Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Motivation; Standing up for what you believe in

On the news this morning, nationally, media outlets are reporting its official: the recession is over. Unfortunately, the jobless are and will continue to be the last to feel this impact. So what to do?

In between looking for jobs, I recommend using this time to get involved. There are lessons to be learned from Palin and the Tea Party advocates. They are vocal and organized in their efforts to keep the conservative premises alive and take down those who have worked hard to make needed change in this country like health care reform. Love it or hate it, it is needed. We should all have what the US Congress has for healthcare coverage. The question is: do you want what the Tea Party and GOP are advocating? Keep things the same; be obstructionist to progress; vote out those members of Congress who actually worked to make change?

We should learn from them to make an effort, as hard as it is emotionally, to keep those hard working representatives and Senators in Congress. Do you want what the GOP wants? Do you want to be part of a silent majority that lets the few over rule what is best for the majority and who uses fear tactics and lies to make it happen?

I think of Senator Reid who is a target of the Tea Party who did nothing wrong but work hard to compromise and bring change to the country. Health care is a liberty that each US citizen deserves. If you are looking to change places and people who do not do their jobs, I have some recommendations for you:

Veterans Administration: If you have ever dealt with them, this is the epitomy of turtle mentality....the slower the better; getting nothing accomplished in a timely manner; slough off to another employee who is overworked or just plain taking salaries for doing nothing. But this is a blog for a later time. That said, those of you who have ever dealt with the VA, know it needs change. Make it happen. Organize, Tweet, call and write everyone and anyone to make change. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper; tell your stories of the inadequate follow through in this Federal Agency created to help Veterans and spouses.

Stop the Tea Party: get the facts and tell the facts to all those around you. Stamp out lies. Don't let a vocal majority ruin the democracy of this nation.

Congress: research your representatives and senators. Let them know your thoughts. If you really believe they have not done a good job, research the opponent and make the right choice for your vote.

For me, I would like to add the Maryland State Legislature and nominate them for the "doing the least for their salaries" ever in the history of this State or any state in the US.

More to come..................

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reality shows revisited

American Idol is dull except for last nite when big mike almost got voted off. Do you care? I love Ellen on the show but all the judges seem to beg Simon to agree with them...am over Simon. But the best news ever is that Top Chef Masters is BACK! Who knew? not me! when I had time today, I turned on my dvr to catch up with Criminal Minds and saw Top Chef Masters was taped as programed last year to tape only new episodes. Oh joy of joys, I got to watch a really good reality show.

And Project Runway and Biggest Loser are coming to the judgement day end of the season.

You probably think I am crazy and you are correct,  I am. Too much time on my hands though the weather has been terrific so have been doing a lot of running around.. Face it, this is better than reading about te tea parties and obstructionist Republicans............watching reality shows is way less confrontational. Well some of them any way.

That's all for now folks, see ya

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Health Care Reform Law Effect on Medicare Part D Donut Hole

From Senator Reid's staff, information on Donut Hole under new healthcare reform bill. Please don't let Sarah Palin and the Tea Party and GOP destroy Senator Reid's exceptionally good career as the Senator from Nevada. If you do, it will be the start of a revolution that could destroy freedom (my opinion).


The much discussed ‘donut hole’ in the Medicare prescription drug program causes a significant amount of confusion and distress for seniors. When the Medicare prescription drug program (‘Part D’) was created in 2003, Congressional Republicans made a key decision to reduce the cost of the bill. Seniors are required to pay 100 percent of the cost of their prescription drugs, once they reach the initial coverage limit, and until they reach the point at which their spending hits what is known as the ‘catastrophic amount.’ This gap is referred to as the donut hole. The effect of this gap in coverage has been catastrophic for many seniors. According to one estimate, once seniors enter the donut hole, 15 percent stop taking their medication, and 57 percent of them remained off their medication. The health care reform law fixes this problem, providing seniors a $250 rebate check when they hit the donut hole this year, and starting in 2011, providing a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs purchased while seniors are in the donut hole in that year, phasing to close the donut hole completely by 2020.


• Seniors are required to pay 100 percent of the cost of their prescription drugs once they reach the initial coverage limit, and until they reach the point at which their spending hits the catastrophic limit.[1]

• For 2010 the Part D benefit coverage limit is $2,830. After which beneficiaries are expected to pay 100 percent of their drug costs until their spending hits $6,440, a coverage gap of $3,610.[2]

• Without health reform, the coverage gap could have exceeded $6,000 by 2019.[3]

• Over 31 percent of beneficiaries hit the initial coverage limit of their drug plans in 2007, only one year after the program started.[4]


• 15 percent of seniors entering the donut hole stop taking their medications. Five percent switch to an alternative drug in the same class.[5]

• 57 percent of beneficiaries that stopped taking their medications in the donut hole did not resume taking their prescriptions once exiting. Only 36 percent resumed taking their medications.[6]

• Overall drug prices increased by over 8 percent between 2007 and 2008. Prices rose by over 10 percent between 2008 and 2009. According to Express Scripts Inc., one of the country's largest pharmacy-benefits managers, drug prices rose by more than 10 to 15 percent between the first quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009.[7]

• Pharmaceuticals are the third-most profitable industry in the United States, with profits at 19 percent of revenues.[8]

• The 2008 gains of the top 21 drugmakers amounted to $51.5 billion.[9]


• In 2020 the Health Reform law completely closes the donut hole.[10]

• The Health Reform law provides a $250 rebate check for Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010.[11]

• Beginning in 2011, the law institutes a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole.[12]

• Over 70 percent of respondents to a recent survey said it was either extremely important or very important for a health care reform law to close the donut hole.[13]



Alabama 143,000

Alaska 10,600

Arizona 151,000

Arkansas 89,800

California 794,000

Colorado 102,000

Connecticut 97,100

Delaware 24,800

District of Columbia 13,300

Florida 565,000

Georgia 203,000

Hawaii 34,300

Idaho 37,700

Illinois 314,000

Indiana 170,000

Iowa 89,700

Kansas 73,900

Kentucky 129,000

Louisiana 116,000

Maine 44,800

Maryland 132,000

Massachusetts 180,000

Michigan 279,000

Minnesota 133,000

Mississippi 84,600

Missouri 171,000

Montana 28,400

Nebraska 48,000

Nevada 58,200

New Hampshire 36,200

New Jersey 227,000

New Mexico 51,900

New York 511,000

North Carolina 247,000

North Dakota 18,800

Ohio 325,000

Oklahoma 102,000

Oregon 103,000

Pennsylvania 393,000

Rhode Island 31,500

South Carolina 127,000

South Dakota 23,300

Tennessee 177,000

Texas 493,000

Utah 46,500

Vermont 18,600

Virginia 190,000

Washington 159,000

West Virginia 66,000

Wisconsin 155,000

Wyoming 13,500

[1] Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010 Primer

[2] Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010 Primer

[3] Kaiser Family Foundation, 11/2009

[4] CMS: Medicare Releases Part D Data For 2006 And 2007 At Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Symposium

[5] Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/2008

[6] Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/2008

[7] Testimony by Gerard Anderson before Senate Special Aging Committee, 3/17/10; Wall Street Journal, 4/15/09

[8] Boston Globe, 11/21/09

[9] Boston Globe, 11/21/09

[10] HR 3590, signed into law 3/23/10

[11] HR 3590, signed into law 3/23/10

[12] HR 3590, signed into law 3/23/10

[13] Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/2010

[14]HealthReform.gov, accessed 3/23/10

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Care Reform and Health Care for Seniors

This past year, I was fortunate to be one of 5 bloggers who got to communicate with Senator Reid's office staff on Healthcare Reform and health care coverage for seniors. Today I received the following videos which I hope helps all of us to understand more about the changes ahead.

Now that health care reform has passed, we just finalized a video that explains what the health care bill does for seniors:


For any information you might need on the bill and it's provisions that affect seniors, please go here:

Section by Section Analysis of the HCR: http://dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill63.pdf

There is more coming on the Donut Hole for Seniors.

I heard today from the Huffington Post that the Republicans are using an old tactic in the Senate: leaving at 2 PM daily as their means of obstructing progress. Are they kidding? they did not have to leave at 2 to obstruct progress; they did that daily!

I hope everyone is aware of who voted no and why they did it. Most of these people need to leave the Senate permanently not just at 2 PM.  To read a brilliant blog on this and more,  please go to see "Listen to Me!"


More to come

Monday, March 22, 2010

CSPAN, Healthcare Reform Historical Vote, Twitter

I watched CSPAN well into the wee hours and tweeted on the progress of the HCR bill along with thousands of others. The experience of connecting with others and watching history being made was incredible and exciting.

CSPAN lets the vote and discussion unfold in front of your eyes with no pundits or media dissertations. You see first hand the workings of our Constitution. You also see some incredible stupidity, childish behavior, and scare tactics, lies, and in my opinion, hatred and one sided views of an entire party: the Republicans who want people to live their individual lives according to THEIR will. It was unbelievable to watch. It spoke volumes about who we have in Congress and who needs to go.

Twitter was actually fun; connecting with people of all types all over the US in discussing what was occuring live in front of your eyes was unbelievable.  There were so many lies being stated by Republicans that the Twitter group started a theme ""icanmakeupshittoo" in which people posted what would happen if health care reform bill passed to make fun of what the Republicans were saying. Some examples:

"If HCR passes, every American will be forced to watch American Idol"
If HCR passes, Republicans will join the biggestlosersclub"

It mimicked the mockery of the Republican party on the floor of the House and provided some levity.

I applaud the House for passing healthcare reform. Its far from perfect but it is a start. Now we need to make sure the Senate passes the House is Reconciliation Act with changes to the Senate bill that was passed by the House last night. The fight continues. I urge you to watch the Senate vote when it occurs. Republicans are already promising to challenge this vote. But then, they have challenged everything that makes sense to human beings.To describe their actions is a disservice to seeing this for yourselves....my children did not act like this in the worst days.

More to come....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stupidity or Schmucks? You decide

I know I haven't blogged alot lately but its the old saying....the world is too much with us...too much to try to organize into words. That said, sometimes things happen that spur me to speak out. Yes, I am sparked by emotion, injustice, and today, stupidity.

COBRA health plan administrator companies, ever heard of them? Usually in larger companies a health plan administration company is hired to manage the health benefits and more. They also handle COBRA for disengaged former employees.  This is my opinion based on PURE FACTS. While I was on COBRA and this company handled my plan, I was struck by their lack on intercompany communication and their stupidity and inability to follow up. I cannot tell you the number of mistakes they made.Now they have susspended one of my former colleagues COBRA even though they admitted they have a trail of communication that dispute the suspension. Why? A supervisor needs to review this. How long has the supervisor had to review this: Try 6 months. It is NOT the former employee's fault, really, its not. This company has charged people for COBRA when they were not on it. They denied a health claim for me saying I wasn't on COBRA when I had proof I was and they still have not rectified it. I have now turned it over to an attorney and advised my former colleague to do the same and to report them to the Insurance Commissioner of Maryland. And even though the Schmuck's Forest is not yet up and running, I am creating a forest just for them. They are located in Hunt Valley, MD. They know who they are.....and, they should know, we have just begun the fight.

American Idol: people what were you thinking? Todrick, Lily and Lee? Are u nuts? this has been the worst American Idol ever. Boring with bright spots that are now gone. Judges who have literally driven the contestants crazy with their inconsistent comments. I think it will be their last season. I may have a section for them in the Schuck's Forest.

Thank goodness for Ruby, Project Runway, CSI and Criminal Minds for distractions.

So, what's on your mind?

More to come.................................

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Idol Worship? More like the biggest loser, pun intended

American Idol, one of my flight from reality shows that keeps me going, has gone. Sad to report. I am thinking of sitting Shiva (a period of mourning following a death) for it. They have switched seats of the judges so many times, like that is going to make for a better show? I love Ellen but she has not hit her stride yet and looks very uncomfortable in the judges table. Simon had looked like he wanted to be anywhere but on Idol...last night he seemed better but not by much. What's with Kara looking at Simon everytime he speaks as though she "idolizes" him. I have to restrain myself from vomiting.

The men? puleze......not too many are good; none seem to be star quality. Some of the people they let go were better then what is there. The women are better but not by much though am hoping tonight they come through.

For the first time, I switched stations constantly during the show. I kept watching Biggest Loser (which is the name Idol should use this year). I love Biggest Loser, it keeps you attached emotionally. Idol used to but so far this year, it frankly sucks.

Thank goodness Ruby is back, and Project Runway is up to speed; even Amazing Race is back and always great.

Reality shows keep me from dealing with the reality of no job. Funny isn't it? reality shows keep me from reality....hmmmm maybe I should do a reality show on job hunting...any one interested? Of course, there's always the ForestofFools or the Schmuck's Forest (in progress watch this space). Shame they are not up yet, I would have planted Senator Bunning...more to come.