Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I know my  next sentence will mostly be repeating what many have already stated before; this is, after all, an ongoing, nationwide, nightmare. Then why do I feel compelled to say any more?  Because my most recent experience only highlighted, again, the additional burden placed on the state medicaid system.  It’s all very well for the federal government to mandate that everybody gets insured for medical coverage, but the manner and method of the coverage they mandated, has created the most costly and inefficient medical coverage any of us have ever seen, or felt.  Lest you get too discouraged about this subject up front, and stop reading; let me just reassure you, dear reader, that I will make a small suggestion that could help alleviate some of the wholly unnecessary burden the state is carrying, once I’ve outlined what happened in the most recent incident.

I recently wrote in one of my other sites , an article called “Fried Eggs” about a stop in the emergency room.  This stop was necessitated, not by a true emergency, but by a combination of ridiculous employer requirement, and a non-working medical card.  My daughter had come down with a summer cold, and her nose was running, and she was sneezing, and when she woke up, unusually, she couldn’t breath well.  A sort of choking sensation was occurring.  Naturally, being a waitress, she called in to work, to say she was ill, and wouldn’t be coming in.  Now, she had come down with this cold a few days before, so she had already been exhibiting the signs of the cold the previous day, and her manager knew this; however, the manager still required my daughter to get a note from the Dr. to prove she was ill, for the company records.

A little history here, about the medical card.  I used to have a full time job, before my required college course schedule began to interfere with getting there on time, and since the company wouldn’t adjust my hours, not even to make them part-time (how unusual), I was forced to choose between the call-center work, and finishing my education.  Being that I really want to finish getting a degree, I chose the education.  Now, I don’t have a full-time job, just a part-time one, and so, no insurance; however, the system was having a hard time getting updated to reflect the new status.  I had been trying for four months to get it updated, but there  was always some new hang-up.

On this particular day,  we tried to go in to the immediate care center, but the card was still not working, so we went down to the local medicaid update center, and tried again.  We were told, that we did indeed have coverage, but that the insurance company system where the main body of the coverage resided, needed to update itself. Under the circumstances, we still couldn’t go to the immediate care center, or the Dr’s. office, as they required the card to be working already.  We were sent to the emergency room for the required visit to the Dr. for the note.  Now, this makes getting that note a very expensive proposition.  An emergency room visit is at least three times, and often five times more expensive than a Dr’s office visit.

Imagine, if you will, how many other people may be going there for similar purposes, as it’s unlikely that we are the only ones who have difficulty with our medical coverage status.  Now understand, this coverage is being provided through both the federal government, and your local state government. They are both paying out a share  for these completely unnecessary visits. They get their money from the taxpaying citizens; from you.  In one recent article, I read that medicaid accounts for 25% of the state budget… I’m not sure which state it was referring to, but any state that is covering all these unnecessary trips to the Dr., and unnecessary emergency  room visits, is bound to be bogged down in an overblown medicaid budget.

Now, maybe you are mad about this expense, and you should be; but at least, in our case, I drove my daughter to the emergency room.  In many cases, the visit is made by ambulance, because it is being used as transportation; not because the trip is for a life threatening emergency, but because the traveler can’t afford a taxi, and has no other means of getting there.  The ambulance ride also gets billed to the state.  This is a really expensive ride to the Dr’s office.  These are all unexpected expenses in the state budget.  The real cost of covering all medical expenses lies not just in the actual medical issue, but in the combination of working, and non-working computer updates, human error of inputs, and availability of other resources.

In my daughter’s case, we did finally get seen, and she got a whole new health designation, due to having developed bronchial spasms, which had never occurred before.  She also got her required note for work, so she can keep her job; low paying though it is, it’s part of what we live on.  As I’m sure everyone already knows, part-time work doesn’t have required medical coverage for the employees, not that we could afford it if it did.

This is where I make my suggestion for cost savings to the state.  I know, I’m about to suggest that another government requirement be met by businesses, but, under the circumstances, I believe it’s necessary.  Here goes: Any time an employer requires an employee to get a note from the Dr’s., in order to prove an illness, or an injury exists, the employer should foot the bill.  I’m sure they could make an arrangement with a local immediate care to do this service, at a reasonable cost to all, in the same way that many employers arrange for lab work for drug tests.  Seriously, if a company can’t trust its employees to tell the truth about being ill when they call in, they have other issues that shouldn’t be burdening the taxpayers.

As for the transportation issue; the state should arrange with local cab companies, or with the ride sharing services, to allow them to bill the state for rides to the Dr.’s office, or immediate care centers, or even to the emergency room, where it isn’t a life or death ride, to save the cost of unnecessary ambulance services being billed to the state.  I’m fairly certain, that even if there were some billing done that wasn’t legitimate, it would still save the state money over the present system. And since there are GPS trackers in some of the cabs, the state could even cross check on the locations, and patient information being billed, to help keep companies, and rides legitimate.

 

AWalkInTheWoodsByEllenLattzFall2015

Election years are all about making a choice. Choosing a direction that you feel our government should be going in. Sometimes those choices are easy.  Sometimes, not so much….   This election cycle we are handed the ‘not so much’ set of choices.

Rhetoric is thick out there. Like swimming in nine day old porridge. Sifting through the first up links on the internet is all about spin. And television media??? ….  Wow!!! You are bombarded with other people’s interpretations of what just happened.  The slant is the thing… depending on who is doing the writing, and what they want you to believe.

For myself, I find that what is most valuable, is to hear the actual speeches, in full.  I have a brain. I’m perfectly capable of determining, for myself, what I see, and hear, and how I feel about it.  I have history to go by, and experience.  I can sift through the bombast, and the promises, and see where a stated course will take things. I can anticipate how the whine of a sentence will influence others, and how that will affect my life, and yours. I’m not so easily influenced by flattery… not anymore.  I’ve seen where that course takes you also.  It’s never good; whether individually, or nationally followed.  Flattery is always used by con artists to lull you into a false confidence, while they take everything you have.

I used to make the mistake of believing that if I didn’t have very much, a con artist wouldn’t be interested in what I had.  I was wrong. What ever you have, someone else is always interested in taking, if you don’t guard it well.

In this election season, as in all of them, we must look to what we have, and guard it well.  Who is trying to take something, and what are they telling us?  Are they  using flattery to keep us calm?  Or giving us false confidence?  What is the aim?  What do they want, that we have?  In their ability to get things done, do they have Our best interests at heart? or theirs?

Remember that any governments first job is to protect it’s citizens from foreign takeovers. That’s what the military is for.  Its second job is to protect the citizens from corruption.  That’s what laws are for.

The rest is deal making.  Deals can hurt us, or help us.  Who will do the job in a way that most benefits the whole country, or our state? or our local communities, for those elections in your local area.

Don’t let the side notes take your mind off the end result.  Know that you’re not electing family members, that hairstyles, or suit styles don’t determine the outcomes of negotiations, and that celebrities aren’t necessarily smarter than you are.  Decide for yourself.

Remember that character does count…. which often as not, leaves us with few choices, in the end. Since no one is perfect …. whose imperfections appear to be mostly in the past?   Whose recent activities are indicators of trust?  or corruption?   Who would you trust with your life, if push came to shove?

In the end, that’s what this is about; your life.  Protect it. You are valuable. You have something to contribute to the society as a whole. You are a valuable part of the community fabric.  Who will help that fabric to be stronger?  And while you are trying to decide, don’t forget to ask for divine guidance.  Don’t forget to pray.  We need that help, now, as ever.

Other links you might like:

https://emariaenterprises.wordpress.com

https://themusicofpoetry.wordpress.com/category/poetry-2/stanzas/

Speak Kind to Yourself

© Ellen M Lattz and emariaenterprises, llc 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Ellen M. Lattz, and/or blog owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Lattz, and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Links I’ve seen:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=news&view=detail&mid=12D34C9C5D4D1637F94312D34C9C5D4D1637F943&FORM=VIRE

There is a lot of shouting going on in my neighborhood, lately.  A lot of people are frustrated; and some are getting pretty desperate, as well.  I moved, recently, to reduce my overhead.  I used my income tax return to accomplish this.   I could have used it to pay off some older debts, but that would only have succeeded in paying off the old debts, while leaving  me in a position to accumulate new debts (as it happens, I have those too).  I did manage to pay off some current debts, which I did in order to further reduce my current living expenses.   Perhaps, with this reduction, I’ll have enough income now, to be able to pay off old debts too.

That brings me to the subject of current income. I am working at entry level, in the general services labor force.  This is where most of the newly created jobs are, mostly because the old entry level, full-time jobs, have been turned into new, entry level, part-time jobs. These jobs pay in the near neighborhood of the current minimum wage of $7.45 an hour, depending on the company, and the state you live in.  These part-time positions do Not come with health benefits; for those, you have to go sign up with your state medicaid office, which, since you make so little money, you will qualify for.

Of course, everyone has heard some of the argument about raising the minimum wage by now.  In the past, I’ve argued with the business people, that it would hurt the ability to increase hiring; however, since there isn’t enough money in a part-time job to pay even half the bills, a person needs at least two jobs (I’ve been known to have as many as four part-time jobs at a time when the wages wouldn’t connect) to make even the most paltry ends meet.  If, on the other hand, the minimum wage were to be raised to say, $15.00 an hour, one might be able to make those same paltry ends meet with only one job, or maybe a job and a half….  thus, how is it going to hurt the workers, if there are fewer jobs? Since they won’t need to work at as many jobs to pay the bills.

I’ll take my chances with fewer jobs under these circumstances.  Raise the Minimum wage;  I dare you!

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Iran (Persia) with Black, Caspian and Arabian ...

While I was sitting in the State offices for registering a new business, I had chance to chat with my fellow waitees (the office personnel are friendly but the service is not rapid fire).  We were discussing the price of a gallon of gasoline and the price of a barrel of crude oil.  It was baffling to some of my fellow entrepreneurs, why the prices are so high.  I have pondered this for a bit, along with watching the international picture. Sure, there’s less war to support right now than there was before; however, there’s the imminent threat of one even bigger looming on the near horizon.

I mentioned that perhaps our government, sensing that we may have a problem on our hands, was stockpiling oil and gas in case Iran happens to successfully interrupt the flow for a substantial amount of time.  This would be a sensible thing to do and under the circumstances.  As hard as it is to get around with gas at over $4.00 a gallon, I can see how this might be a good thing; provided that Is what our government is doing.  I for one, hope they are.

Key Petroleum Sector facilities (2004) Iran (W...

Although the fellows conceded that it might be justified for gas to go up if that’s what the government was doing, they wondered how we could possibly be worried about a little country like Iran.  “We have such a large military force, surely we can control any threat coming out of Iran,” they said.  “Surely we could deal them a crippling blow before they could deal one to us.”  Surely they are rational people and know this?

I conceded that they were smaller than us, but pointed out that they have a border on a critical choke point in the oil shipping lanes.  although it has been said of them that they are rational, in their own way, I pointed out that what seemed rational to them, might not be what we wanted it to be. It might be that what seems rational to them is hurting us back.  It wouldn’t be difficult for them to hurt us by throwing a wrench in the direction of our oil shipments.

The fellows conceded that it would be bad if they held things up there, but pointed out that there were other shipping lanes available.  I, in turn, pointed out that there was trouble in other countries on critical shipping points as well.

Flag of PDRY - combined from Yemeni and NLF flags

If I were an Iranian leader who had my back against the wall being threatened by multiple big league governments, I would start instituting some big time war game plans.   I would make deals with countries that were friendly to my country,  like Russia, who is a trading partner with them; and deal with rebels in countries that didn’t have friendly governments.

I would agree to back the rebels in their efforts if they would cooperate with my country and target the oil shipping points.  Yemen is such a country.  They sit on a vital shipping lane as well, and their rebels, who were responsible for blowing a hole in the U.S.S.  Cole, have been causing a lot of problems for a long time.

The fellows conceded this was true. One of the fellows objected still and said we could just get an increase in shipments from Western African countries.  I pointed out that they had their problems too, and were also vulnerable to rebels and dissidents.  One of the fellows getting his new business license was from western Africa.  He chimed in with, Oh yes.  they do have their rebel troubles too.

Firing Squad in Iran, winner of Pulitzer Prize...

So, if I were a rational Iranian leader, wouldn’t I take advantage of all these troubled countries?  Wouldn’t I make deals and throw support in for the rebel causes?  If enough fires were started at the same time, the big countries wouldn’t be able to respond effectively. They’d be too busy trying to figure out where to get their next oil shipments.

 

© Ellen M Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Maria Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.