Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
  • Dominick Vila

    The worst nightmare for a Republican, at the moment, is the tens of thousands of Americans signing up for ACA. I wonder how are they going to explain to them that getting better and more affordable coverage, or getting healthcare coverage for the first time in their lives, is evil and that what they left behind is the way to go…

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      It’s debatable whether or not ACA is affording “better coverage” compared to traditional forms of health insurance.

      If you have Pre-Conditions, your policies are probably going to be as much as if you were to buy it outright, IF you can even get one. I’ve already seen policies as much as $6000+ a year with $5000 deductibles. That’s not any improvement.

      The problem with ACA is that the government didn’t absolutely Mandate these insurance companies that they must cover people and at affordable prices, no matter what pre-conditions they may have.

      Seems to me, this is all turning out to be another government loophole for the insurance companies to keep maximizing their profit margins.

      Sorry, but as good intentioned as Obama is, I don’t see ACA as being an improvement so far. Yet, we MUST sign up for it by the middle of 2014 or face a fine? That’s bullshit!

      • Riobound

        Poor Mikey is complaining that he has to be a responsible adult and pay insurance instead of going to the Emergency Room and Mooching off of people who DO pay for insurance. Whaaaaa! Grow up Mikey! We’re finally catching up with the rest of the Western World. Who knows? We might even see a single payer plan, one of these days. Hahahaha.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Listen smartass!

          The rest of the modernized western world has Universal Healthcare for its citizens. Most of the time their citizens don’t pay a dime towards it, or an extremely low co-pay that cover their citizens from birth to death, no matter what problem they may have and needs that are met.

          Why don’t this country? I’ll tell you why. Our Citizens have become greedy (which has gotten worse over time), ME ME type that don’t give a crap about their fellow citizens and don’t want to pay a higher tax for good social programs.

          And, through our own ignorance, our corporations have everyone by their family jewels, sucking all of our national wealth and shipping to countries like China and the reaped profit that don’t filter down to anyone buy themselves.

          So, YOU face reality and take notice of what is going on around YOU and become a “responsible citizen”!

          And, BY THE WAY ASSHOLE, I paid for my coverage I have all the years I worked.

          • stcroixcarp

            People in the civilized world where there is universal health care DO pay for it in their taxes. Why can a small country like Finland afford great health care and a first class public education system? Just take a look at their defense budget!

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Well certainly this is absolutely true. I was going to also put into my comment the same as you stated:)

            Take a look at our Military Complex expenses. Why?, simple, we haven’t learned yet how to get along with other countries and we keep sticking our noses in where it don’t belong.

            But, you know, here’s the thing about this. The Military Complex DOES support our economy, most the time with well-paying employment. IF we brought home all of our soldiers, closed most of our military bases here and overseas, stopped letting out military contracts, our economy would totally collapse within a few months and our unemployment figure would double within a month. There was never enough peace-orientated jobs available to fill this gap.

            This is one of the biggest DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS our government won’t tell its citizens. Let’s face fact, the US LOVES WAR. We have never had not even one generation live in a peace-orientated economy, NEVER. We have to have wars, etc. to keep our economy afloat.

          • jnap

            I wasn’t sure about you after reading your first post but I do agree with you on the war issue. Our military budget needs to be reduced by 25%.

          • Suralin

            Indeed. There’s a tremendous amount of money that disappears into the defense industry due to the “cost-plus” method of payment. It makes sense for pure R&D, but as far as actual production hardware’s concerned, that payment scheme tends to incentivize the most expensive equipment possible, rather than what would be the most effective use of taxpayer money. (Exhibit A: the F-35, now estimated to cost over $600 million *per plane* over the course of the class’s lifetime, due in large part to the horrendous R&D costs, and the constant whack-a-mole process of trying to deal with the fighter’s terrible litany of glitches and design flaws.)

            We shouldn’t do a full pullback, though. There are several major actors (I’m looking at you, Russia and China) who would gleefully pounce on our erstwhile allies within days of such a move. Heck, for lack of a better term, Putin’s *already* trying to re-vassalize the Ukraine as we speak.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            The US has consistently talked itself into a pigeonhole all these years.

            In order to keep any international credibility, the US has to keep most of these bases open and “in business”.

            Since I am gay, I don’t particularly care for Putin and his country’s politics concerning this issue. But, I have to admire the man for speaking his mind. He’s not afraid to call the US on the carpet when its needed. No doubt about it, the man’s got balls………………

            With the Ukraine issue, it is similar to our states. As far back as i know, the Ukraine has always been part of Russia. We ought to keep our noses out of it.

            In the same vein, how would we like it, if say for instance, Texas wanted to get out of the union and Russia backs it to the hilt. We wouldn’t like that. We’d tell them to mind their own business. So, why should Russia tolerate our interference in that issue.

            When is the US ever going to learn to mind their own dam business? Probably never!

          • Suralin

            The Ukraine hasn’t been an independent nation for a long time prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, it’s true, but the foreign armies sitting upon them haven’t always been Russian. Go back further, and you’ll find stuff like the Crimean Khanate, the Khanate of the Golden Horde, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth controlling most of it. (Austria-Hungary also controlled part of it after the Polish Partition.)

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Wow, lots of old history there.

            You seem to know a lot about that area.

            Then, you mentioned Crimean Khanate which might remind me of something.

            There was a movie many years ago, starring Arrow Fly called the Charge of The Light Brigade. It is a true story (more or less) of a military campaign during the Crimean War of 1854.

            I don’t know that much about the area but does the Ukraine involve itself in this war?

          • Suralin

            Hah! Ironic you should bring that up, I did a bunch of research on it a few days ago.

            Anywho, there were a few Ukrainian polities that had been independent before the war, but Russia crushed and absorbed them.

            The Russians then started pushing in on the Ottomans, hoping to push all the way to Constantinople and control the straits (and the lucrative trade through them). A few other European powers (Britain, France, and Sardinia-Piedmont) didn’t want the big, scary Russian Bear to have that sort of extra income, or to challenge their naval primacy in the Med.

            The whole thing degenerated into a pile of blunders and attrition. Eventually the Alliance won, tho.

            (I feel the need to listen to The Trooper again, now.)

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Thanks for the info:)

            Huh, I thought the Czar and the western powers were getting along, generally speaking, on fairly good terms until his entire family got assassinated and communism was installed.

            Looks like the western powers always had an issue with the Russian Bear then. It didn’t matter who ran Russia.

            In the end, all these things go back centuries. Nothing changes, just how the politics of it is approached.

          • Dominick Vila

            Because most Finns are intelligent enough to understand that nothing is free, and that social responsibility goes a long way towards reducing cost and making sure ALL citizens enjoy the most basic necessities in life.

      • Dominick Vila

        After working for one of the largest software companies in the world for 16 years, my eldest son started his own business in March 2013. When he tried to get health insurance he was quoted $1,800 for family coverage. He joined an ACA exchange 3 or 4 weeks ago, signed up with Florida Blue, and he will be paying $700 a month starting 1/1/14. Yes, $700 a month is a lot of money, but it is a lot better than $1,800 for a comparable policy.
        Those with substandard individual policies that only covered a few doctor’s visits a year, and often no hospitalization coverage, may have to pay more for comprehensive insurance coverage. What is wrong with that? Let’s not forget that those who for a variety of reasons chose a substandard policy, would have become a burden for the rest of us had they been afflicted by a serious illness and needed hospitalization and surgery.

        • jointerjohn

          After a series of years with steadily rising premiums and shrinking benefits, my employer provided health care just brought us an open enrollment with much improved coverage and lower dependent premiums. First time in years the company’s cost didn’t go up either. ACA is working.

          • Dominick Vila

            We need more people like you to spread the word and tell the truth about ACA. After 4 years of demonization, distortion, turning every little problem or statement into a crisis, the GOP is finally being exposed for what they are: the liars and clueless minions that support the special interests that have been exploiting us for decades, often at their own expense.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I’m happy to hear from someone that ACA has helped. Thanks for the wonderful news:)

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Thanks for the info:)

          Well, even with my Medicare, I can’t go and do whatever I want either. My Medicare and United only allows a certain amount of testing, etc. per year. So far, it’s been a wonderful comprimise from NO insurance at all.

          As I stated before, even when I was working, I never had it better than I do today. So far, I’ve had absolutely no problems at all getting treatment(s), testing, meds, etc.

          My companion should check out ACA’s website and get some form of coverage. He has none now. But, he has lots of pre-conditions which I believe is going to be expensive as hell:(

          He still might not be able to afford ACA.

          • Dominick Vila

            I have also been on MEDICARE for many years and, like you, I use the AARP/United Healthcare as my Supplemental insurance to cover the 20% that MEDICARE does not cover. I only had two problems concerning billing with MEDICARE during the last decade. The first time it was caused by the service provider sending the bill to the Supplemental insurance first, instead of to Medicare. The second problem was caused by the service provider not checking a box indicating the procedure I had was medically necessary. MEDICARE, like Social Security, works very well. Hopefully, ACA will work as well after all the initial bugs are solved, and the efforts being made by special interests are relegated to the annals of history.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I can remember one time, when I had an Appendix Operation when I was working, when I had United back then too, they covered the entire thing.

            I was only sent a statement that looked like a bill. Called them and I was told EVERYTHING was covered. I didn’t pay a dime for a single thing. Surprised the hell out of me:)

            Seems like United IS the best one of them all.

            Then there was the time when I had NO insurance what so ever. Had been laid off for quite awhile. Had to have an operation for a Torn Ligament in my Elbow. Had to pay it all out of pocket. Thousands of dollars:(

            I had to have a Colonosopy done a few months ago. Covered up to $200 out of pocket – no biggest. I asked what it would be if I had NO insurance since I’m concerned about my companion. They told me it would be around $6000. My companion could never afford that! They did offer a payment plan – with 25% Interest:( We declined their “generous” offer.

            Though I have to admit, the dope they gave me to knock me out worked great. Wish I had a GALLON of it:)

          • Dominick Vila

            I had excellent healthcare insurance throughout my professional life paid for, mostly, by my employer. MEDICARE has been great since I retired, but I did have problems with the first Supplemental insurance company I chose. The AARP/United Healthcare coverage has been excellent. Can’t complain.
            My wife is getting ready to have physical therapy for a torn ligament in her right elbow. If that, and the anti-inflammatory gel the orthopedic surgeon prescribed does not work, she may need surgery.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            IF your wife has surgery, make absolutely sure she uses the appliance that is recommended to keep the arm from bending the Elbow Joint for whatever length of time is required. The doctor will adjust and increase the arm movement over time. But, it’s going to take a while before she is allowed to have total movement.

            Yea, it was my right Elbow too. I didn’t use one because at the time I couldn’t afford it. And, hence, the surgery didn’t hold up and the ligament re-tore. I now have a muscle in my upper arm where it’s not supposed to be.

            I’ll live with it.

            I’m now dealing with Brucitis in my right shoulder. They say the pain is worse than Arthritis. I believe em too. I’m getting to love Hydrocodone. I’m scheduled for a MRI soon. Might need surgery. Hope not!

          • Dominick Vila

            Thank you for the advice!!!

          • tax payer


          • Michael Kollmorgen


            Like the old saying goes: Shit Happens:(

      • Lola Johnson

        “What you mean,we, white man?” You just said you are on Medicare. You don’t need to sign up for anything. And, we on Medicare have been required to buy Part D since 2003. And, insurance companies that enter the marketplace ARE mandated to cover people, regardless of their pre-existing conditions. There are millions who were unable to purchase insurance at any price. Now they can. Many, many people who get their insurance through their employers are already paying $6000/year as their share of the cost. Family coverage can run as high as $40,000/year, and $18,000 is not at all unusual.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          I agree.

          But, so far from what I have been able to detect, ACA is not a bargain basement deal yet. Maybe in the future once the program is fully implemented without all the bugs at this time.

          Yes, you certainly can get coverage when you could’t before. But, the cost is about the same as if you went through the regular process. The only exception is IF you go on Medicare as a regular process of getting SS via retirement.

          If ACA can’t offer greatly reduced rates, with guaranteed coverage in spite of pre-conditions, it’s no bargain.
          And IF, these insurance companies are mandated to afford coverage, how come so many people are getting their coverages cancelled? Simple, they’ve found a loophole that allows them to do that. OR, they’re doing that thinking the government won’t go after them sooner or later.

          Of course, Part C & D (the part SS/Medicare doesn’t cover) is covered. I have been on Medicare for around a years now. I take out $100 a month for it using AARP Sponsored United.

          And, I DO save tons of money on my meds, visits, testing.

          By the way, this is a people issue, not a RACE ISSUE. So, get off the White Man crap!

          • Suralin

            Twasn’t intended as a racial remark, it was a reference to an old joke with the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Waaaaayyyy before my time (my mom told it to me), but it goes kinda like this:

            The Lone Ranger and Tonto, sworn blood brothers to the end, are cornered in a canyon by hundreds of angry Indians on horseback. There is no hope of escape.
            Lone Ranger: “Looks like we’re in for it now, Tonto!”
            Tonto looks at the oncoming horde. Then back to the Ranger. Then back to the horde. He pulls out his tomahawk and knife, begins brandishing them at the Lone Ranger, and says:
            “…What you mean ‘we’, white man?”

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Ahhh, I understand. Funny:) Thank you for clarifying it.

            My apologies.

            We have to watch how we phrase things in here sometimes. It’s too easy to take a otherwise innocent statement as a racial statement.

            Unfortunately, this type of communication does not lend itself very easily towards inflections, etc……………

      • mwh191

        To me, the biggest problem with the ACA is that it relies on the same old, same old private, for-profit insurance companies . . . . the same companies that we’ve always had, and always had problems with. I would have loved to see a public option (Medicare for all) offered through the exchanges. Sooner or later that will happen, and the U.S. will be forced to join the rest of the industrialized countries that somehow manage to provide every one of their citizens with access to health care.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          I personally would like to see a totally; government operated, government funded heath care system with very strict cost controls and high regulations regarding safety and profiteering.

          This system would be very similar to our VA System.

    • Independent1

      Talking about nightmares for the GOP, they’re even spreading into Texas. In case you haven’t run across some of this yet, here are some excerpts from a DailyKos article with the title:

      Rick Perry in negotiations to accept Medicaid expansion – Turning Texas Blue
      Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 01:10 PM PST

      There does seem to be a general feeling in the chamber that something is bubbling up below the surface. As I went to Republican members offices and behind closed doors there is almost a sense of foreboding on the Republican side that is palpable – and it’s not just in Austin. Another member I met with in the conservative district of Sherman which borders Oklahoma said, “ Look I’m as conservative as they come, but I’m not going out to dinner with Ted Cruz in DC, I’m not a celebrity. I got neighbors to take care of. Republicans I have known for years are signing up for Obamacare on the federal website. What in God’s name am I going to tell them come 2014, that I am going to kick them off their insurance. These same people are being asked to go to the Turn Texas Blue meetings.”

      He walked over to his large office window and pulled the curtains back and pointed, “Look at that. Those god dammed people set up right outside my office. They are registering hundreds of people a week for the Democratic party, and now they have another office on the outside of town near the damned pig farm.” He shook his head and walked back to his desk and sat down with an air of resignation. “Ya know, I got caught up in the Teaparty and the Perry presidential run and then the Cruz crusade, but ya know, I got people to help, who have kids to feed and grandparents to take care of, and I’m not going to let them down. I went to the local Teaparty meeting last week and ya know how many people were there ? Take a guess – there were six people there. Two years ago ya couldn’t fit them in the building there were so many of them. Hell yesterday I talked to the spokesman and he just signed up for Obamacare. I asked him what the hell are ya doing John, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said “I’m doing what I got to do, you got your insurance, just what the hell you expect me to do ?” “And he just walked away from me. Well why wouldn’t he, I mean they are not going to stick with us and Rick just so he can make a second run for the White House.

      Perry can’t change his mind now, so we are just going to have to change it for him. Otherwise you mark my word, we are going to get beat down the road and we are going to get beat bad, and it’s gonna happen sooner rather than later. This Turning Texas Blue outfit means business, they are everywhere. You won’t read about it in the national papers, but I’m telling you in our Republican caucus meetings at the State House there is a sense of panic so thick you could cut it with a knife !”

      • Dominick Vila

        I have the feeling we are going to see a lot of backpedaling in weeks to come. GOP hardliners may still be in denial, but the truth is that more and more Americans, Republicans and Democrats, are signing up for ACA and cannot believe the level of coverage they are getting for a fraction of what they were paying in premiums before, or getting insurance at affordable prices for the first time in their lives.
        Instead of blaming Perry, Crus, Lee and the other radicals, they should reflect on what they did and learn from it. Most of them reacted emotionally to what they thought was a winning strategy, when our corporate owned media became the voice of special interests, and now they have nobody to blame for their lack of vision but themselves. The sweetest part of this issue is that the ACA concept was conceived by The Heritage Foundation, the most conservative think tank in the country, and beta tested by none other than Mitt Romney.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          I HOPE they DON’T learn new tricks!

          My greatest hope is that the Republican/Tea Party totally disbands off the face of the earth. But, to totally disappear, that may take another few generations.

          We got to keep dem hicks from breedin…………

          We could covertly start putting Saltpeter in their water:) That would certainly help.