Saturday, May 31, 2014

Let's Make Health Insurance Illegal!- The Sunday Collage

I have three blog ideas that I have been working on. I wanted to write a little bit on how people in political positions hire third parties, spokespeople, and create committees to do their dirty work. This seemed prescient with regard to Jay Carney hitting the bricks this week. Not only did Carney lie and obstruct the truth daily- but he really sucked at it. Perhaps working for Obama does that to you. So I am gonna tab that for the future.

The other blog I am working on is a double homicide we solved years ago. It is a pretty interesting story and I think it is worth retelling. So I think I will do that next. This week, I landed on health care after an experience I had on Wednesday. I also think I can expand this particular piece a bit and use it as an explanation for why I think it's time to abandon the whole government theme and move on. So without further adieu...

I am one of the victims of the health care fiasco. Today I am going to offer an interesting premise.

Why don't we make health insurance illegal? Or why is it that we punish millions of patients (virtually all Americans) while ensuring the survivability of just a few predatory insurance companies and their stockholders? How did we survive before insurance companies?

(and don't say because they have a congressional lobby and we don't- that is way too obvious)

On Wednesday, I had a much anticipated doctors appointment. I had waited 5 weeks for it. I found the office, filled out a ream of paperwork, and waited the obligatory 45 minutes that all people are forced to wait. Approx. 50 minutes later, I met the doctor. We did not hit it off.

First of all I should tell you that I do not like to wait five weeks for an appointment and when that moment arrives- wait another hour more or less. I also do not like doctors who really don't care for their patients- potential or otherwise. This doctor came in and informed me, quite clearly, of how she did business and that I, a coumadin user, would be required to attend a coumadin monitoring clinic that her hospital affiliation profited from. That clinic costs 100 bucks a month and does nothing other than a monthly blood draw. When I countered that a small private lab that I use only charges me 20.00 a mo. for the same service, she became indignant. She likened our situation to "dating" and said we might not be a good fit. After a good deal of back and forth, we parted company. The appt. was free. I did not pay for it and that item is key- because it was her suggestion and not mine.

Looking back on it, she very obviously would know I am un-insured because I stated that on a part of the ream of paperwork I filled out and I also mentioned that fact during our "date." That might have been strike one. Strike two occurred when I, the patient, suggested that I need not go in for monitoring every month since I have been taking coumadin for 25 years and not once has the dosage ever changed. Undoubtedly, her fragile ego equated this suggestion with an attitude of non compliance and insubordination to her omnipotence. Yet, I had the feeling that she was sabotaging our appointment very subtlety and that it started before she entered the room. In fact, the reason I was looking for a new doctor was the same reason that I believe I lost my last doctor.

I am uninsured. I spend my very own money on healthcare. And when you remove the real customer (health insurance) then you remove the ability for doctors, their staffs and armies of support personnel, to pry money from you. They cannot supplement their incomes and ancillary services without a faceless, deep pocketed third party that doesn't ask questions and doesn't price shop like I have to. When faced with someone who questions the legitimacy of monthly testing and the charges- today's charlatans are simply going to move onto insured people that will not ask questions. This is not rocket science. This is simple and discriminatory economics. I commend this doctor for her initiative in initially confusing me. She was weeding me out. But it is a rather brutish and superficial tactic to tell someone you are not interested in them- because they don't have deep enough pockets for you or even gasp!- that you have the audacity to speak up for yourself or offer alternatives.

I don't hold the doctor responsible. That she is another greedy cog in our capitalistic way of life is hardly noteworthy or unique.

I attribute most of this damage to insurance companies. For years, they blindly paid whatever charges doctors and hospitals sent in. As higher and higher costs compressed their profit margins- they simply passed those outrageous costs onto patients without so much as a passing vigilant glance so long as their margins remained intact. The real bust occurred in 2008 when millions of healthy Americans lost employer based coverage and never came back. Nothing will destroy health insurance profit margins quicker than losing your entire, healthy, paying customer base and leaving you with the unhealthy- or claim filing customer base.

I saw all of this coming in 2008 and I wrote about it here.

Lo and behold- it was government to the rescue! But they are not here to rescue you- they are here to rescue an insurance industry and lobby on the brink of bankruptcy. Oh sure, they tell you they are here to take care of you- the citizens. How do you know that was patent bullshit? Because they did not install one single reform. Not one iota of cost regulation. They simply doubled premiums, made not having health insurance illegal, and claimed they were doing all of that-for you. If you believe that the government gives two shits about you or your healthcare, I've got some oceanfront property in Idaho to sell you.

All they have ever cared about is separating you from your money.

To this day- I love the statists who buy into the government benevolence theme. This is the same government which drops bombs from drones onto people- ya know- for their own good. Or spies on every country and all of it's own citizens again ya know- for their own good.

How much cheaper would health care be if we were to outlaw health insurers? I'll tell you what. It would set the status quo right on their fucking ear, that's what would happen. You would instantly wipe out one third of the gross cost of health care- which would include a vast ocean of administrative costs, book keepers, billing agents, lawyers, accountants- which many insiders believe costs hospitals and thus insurers and ultimately insured patients- up to 40% of all hospital costs.

But most importantly, outlawing third party middlemen, would return patients to their doctors. It would return medical bills back to the people responsible for paying them.The people who are paying attention.

I wanted to snap a photo this week of St. Luke's Hospital and their administrative offices here in Boise. It is ginormous. St. Lukes is quickly becoming an Idaho monopoly as it uses it's tax exempt status to swallow every healthcare venue in the state. St. Lukes is erecting giant structures everywhere and taking over hospitals and clinics. Certainly they are not suffering too much as a result of our shared "healthcare" crisis-

So how radical an idea is it- to outlaw health insurers? Let me ask you this...in 2008 did any of you think it was even remotely possible that government could force us to buy government mandated health insurance or suffer 1300 dollar fines by 2016? (based on 45k income)

Did you think that was radical? Or unconstitutional? I did. And the coup de gras occurred when that cowardly bunch of statists that masquerade as jurists- declared Obamacare a tax and made it legal.

So what would we do in lieu of insurance? Massive reform. Everything would be on the table. Predatory pricing on medical equipment and ridiculous drug protections. Cap outrageous punitive awards and use some form of arbitration instead. Catastrophic, chronic, and end of life care might have to be addressed in some pooling of assets. But mostly, people would pay for their own healthcare, just like I pay to get my teeth fixed. With cash. Our healthcare system is so broken- from top to bottom- that it is simply irretrievable. In about a year or so- we are all going to find out just how bad Obamacare is when insurance premiums skyrocket once more and instead of 500 bucks a month- insurers start asking for 800 a month. This shit is going to get completely insane because there is not one incentive anywhere which stops insurers, hospitals, or equipment suppliers from stealing us blind or slows down the demand from the millions of previously uninsured Obamacare patients who pay little or nothing into the system.

That 1300 dollar penalty is going to look like chump change by 2016. I'd bet my house on it.

So how is it that a rather small industry of corporate pirates are able to impose their will on Congress over the will of millions?

It is the same reason that Congress, over the cries of millions of us, bailed out bankers while robbing our treasury.

Congress does not act on behalf of "We the people." It acts on behalf of corporate America because it is corporate America who writes the campaign checks. It is that simple. That will never change until we pass campaign reform and term limits. Who passes those laws? Oh yea, Congress- the very people who do not want campaign reform or term limits.

Congress doesn't care about citizens. Virtually every day, I read some sucker's comments about how we have to vote these assholes out of office and guess what- people keep voting these assholes in. In this year's primaries- every incumbent won. How does that happen when this Congress has had a 10% approval rate for years?

People are uniformed and stupid. This does not stop them from voting.

And that people in a nutshell- is why I am sick of writing about government. Nobody has the balls to outlaw health insurers. There will never be any health industry reform until millions of people have died needlessly (think VA) and the premiums are so outrageous- that nobody can pay them. There will never be any campaign reform because the people who we are trying to subject to term limits- are the same people who will have to pass the term limit law. There will never be tax reform because those same bastards and their elite, pirate cronies are the very same people who benefit from the existing tax code. They are never going to change that.

You'd have to be a complete idiot or a pathological optimist at this point to think there is any chance that any of those things might happen.

So I think you have to get away from the idea that the Constitution means anything to the statists. It doesn't. The statists are working very diligently on rendering the Constitution useless and you are not going to stop that. I would argue with you right now- that at least half of the Constitution has already been rendered useless. They are rendering free speech useless right now. It's only a matter of time before they get it all.

I know the solution is acceptance. There is no stopping any of this. It doesn't take Nostradamus to tell me how all of this ends. The only pivotal question is when. My transformation to a political nihilist occurred right here in front of all of you. I reached this absolute and inescapable conclusion. It is simply a story of government incremental ism. Small steps, which ultimately will ruin the Republic. There will be another upheaval, perhaps a second revolution, and the whole thing will reset.

JFK, the last great President, ( with an honorable mention for Reagan) said it only takes one person to make a difference. God, I hope he was right.

So going forward I am going to focus on human interest stories, stories about pivotal, courageous people in my life, war stories from the old days, and insight. I might even try some fictional stuff with a message. I'm also probably going to change the name of this blog to reflect the new content change.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words of encouragement. Writing gives me a sense of community. I can guarantee you that I know more about some of the readers here than I know about my own neighbors- some of which I have not spoken to since moving into my house over three years ago. It's rather bizarre that I feel more of a sense of community on a website- than I do in my own neighborhood. Perhaps that is something else I must get used to.

So please stay tuned. I'll try and write some interesting stuff. Next week will be good. I am going to tell the story of how a couple of small town thugs murdered a couple of people and I am going to include some of the zany shit that happened during that investigation. I think you'll like it. Have a good week!


   














Friday, May 30, 2014

Jumping the Shark, FG Style

I love the phrase "jumping the shark" and I wish I could give credit where credit is due. Forgive me if I bounce around a bit today. I have a gaping hole where a busted molar used to be- and the vicodin is certainly working it's charms on me.

In the last days of the hit television series 'Happy Days" the writers were clearly running out of ideas. The characters were growing too old for their high school roles and Nielsen ratings were declining. In a two part series, the writers of Happy Days had the show's hero, the Fonz, water skiing over a ramp and jumping a shark enclosure which they tried to make as dramatic as possible. It was a ridiculous premise of course- a last gasp effort wherein the writers tried to lure back viewers. It didn't work obviously and the series was cancelled.

However odd and bizarre that ending was, it did serve a useful purpose. Jumping the shark has become synonymous with prolonging something that has already outlived it's usefulness. When I read the phrase "jumping the shark" I immediately know what any given writer is trying to convey.

Earlier this week, I asked readers to offer up some ideas on content and perhaps even a name change for this blog. The ideas I received were outstanding and helpful. They were authentic. Authentic people are wholesome, truthful, and helpful. We need authentic people.

I love to write and I love people. I really do. And at my very worst, when I am outraged and angry at people- I still find them fascinating. My mother, who lands here from time to time, will tell you that as a child she used to leave me or find me at the top of Hennessey's (the always in vogue department store where she shopped) escalator in Butte where I gladly passed the time as a child, watching all the different people who came in and out of that store. The attire, just the hats that people used to wear, were formal, kind of bizarre, and always interesting to me.

People don't wear hats anymore. They wear misaligned ball caps.

I have about 90 blogs on my blogroll. I read about one half of them on a regular basis. I credit many of them with my adult education along with a few of my readers including "Compleat Patriot"- a very knowledgeable prepper and friend from my past life- who I will be relying on if some sort of apocalypse takes place. 

So I've been schooled. It is a humbling thing to find out just how little you know. And once you get schooled- you discover you were certainly not alone. To this day, I am in awe of how little people really know or understand things like the Federal Reserve Bank or where money comes from. Or how the price of gold and silver have been manipulated lower for years- by bankers using a paper proxy.

But more importantly, people don't care because they don't understand how all of this works. They don't know how any of this actually effects them. That's too bad because what you don't know- really does hurt you. 

So I've been on here beating the war drums for 6 or 7 years. I've jumped the shark.

Moving forward, I am going to do what I do best. I am going to transition to more of a human interest blog. I am going to write about people, my observations, and my insight- and I am going to write about some of my favorite cop stories. And maybe, I will change the name of this thing.

I want to thank everyone who helped by offering advice and suggestions this week. They were authentic and I very much appreciate the time you took to write them. I am going to incorporate those ideas moving forward.

This Sunday, I am putting together a piece on some very intelligent people (generally speaking) who have found a way to game the system- manipulating people and evading responsibility. It is something I have witnessed my entire life but never really had given any thought to it- until about 10 or 15 years ago when it bit me in the ass. It's pretty sneaky. I think you'll like it.

Brian







 





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seeking New Name and Changing Content, Please Comment

For six years, I've been writing about government schtick, economic manipulations, and the worst presidential administration of my lifetime. Even Nixon, at least, was good with foreign policy.

So here's the deal. I am sick of writing about all of that shit. It's not like any of that is going to change any time soon. I'm not making people "aware" here because most of you know what's going on in the world. You are the people who pay attention.

Frankly, I like to write. But I want to write about things that matter. Observations perhaps about real people down here on the ground. I like to write funny stuff- but quality funny stuff is very time consuming. That's been my experience anyway.

So I am asking you folks for suggestions. I've never begged a dime from anyone here- instead I'd like a moment of your time to hear about what interests you. I'd like your input.  If you have any brilliant ideas about a new title, I'd like to hear that too.

Just don't suggest Asylum Watch- my friend Jim already nabbed it.

And if you draw a blank, that's ok too. I appreciate all the support you've given this blog over the years.

Brian






Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Freedom Index

Today is Memorial day. The day we honor those who committed some part or all of their lives so that we could be free or remain free.

So who takes your freedom away?

Can you imagine being hired for a position or a job where there is no job description or policy manual? How would you perform your job in the absence of a direct supervisor without a job description or policy guidelines?

Sooner or later, you are going to fail in an environment like that. In fact, many of the people who I see getting terminated in Idaho are employees who lack training and policy. 

That is the sort of thing that makes human resource people cringe while at the same time making civil litigation attorneys smile...they make lots of money over wrongful termination.

So if you are a legislator, what exactly is your job description? Who gives it to you and who is working in human resources on your behalf? What exactly are you supposed to be doing?

The point I am trying to make is this. Civil servants are supposed to serve us. That's we the people. We don't send them to Washington to enrich themselves or sling their authority around like it's nobody's business. It's as though they have no job description what so ever. Therefore, this is the best way to measure their performance or NON performance as legislators-

By the way and once again- every miserable member of the worst Congress in history (with a 10% approval rate) won their May primaries.

The Freedom Index. http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-freedom-index-find-out-where-your.html


The Cop Obsession- The Sunday Collage

The other night I was eating at a restaurant when I struck up a conversation with the waiter. After managing a few restaurants, working 60 and 70 hour weeks, my waiter informed me that he had had enough of the restaurant business. He was going into law enforcement.

I don't think I was every really prepared for law enforcement. I started in 1983 and I landed in one of the richest, if not the richest, valleys in the west. Sun Valley is filled with old money, blue bloods, billionaires, liberals like John Kerry, and more Ivy league graduates than I care to remember. The place was suffocatingly liberal and when I say that- I need to be specific. These people don't think they are better than you- they know they are. They have more success than you, more money than you, a better education than you, bigger houses and jets, and they aren't afraid to make that known under the right circumstances.

They are better than you. That was a consistent message.Think Leona Helmsley.

I wasn't prepared at all for any of that, in fact I was incredibly naive and stupid. I have to tell you that the contempt those people have for law enforcement is well concealed. Outwardly, you wouldn't see it. They understand propriety better than any class of people I have ever met. Image is everything to the wealthy. Publicly, they wouldn't say shit with a mouth full. Privately, it was a different story entirely. After many years, you might say- the truth just started leaking out.

So the upper crust wasn't much different than the lower crust when it came to hating cops. They just used different tactics.

I'd be a liar if I said I didn't feel a twinge of hate anytime someone flipped me off, called me a pig, or yelled "sooeyy." If blacks don't like being called "niggers" then how could anyone imagine cops who enjoy being called "pigs." The difference is- nobody cares about cops. There will never be any marches, any litigation over hate speech because generally speaking- our society says it's ok to call policemen "pigs." It is tolerated. And it is tolerated by the masters of free speech- the liberals- the deciders of what is appropriate speech and what is not. Or it wouldn't be.

I get all that. I got it privately and I got it from folks like Bill Maher. And I got it for 25 years up until such point that I didn't have to get it anymore.

There was only one guy- in all my years- who very nearly got his ass kicked. There was the kid on one of our league's softball teams that loved to call me pig. I gave his father CPR on a gym floor before he was pronounced dead. I gave his mother money and a television before she died of lupus 15 years later, nearly penniless, but I never made a point of telling him. It didn't matter. He had a shitty life- I never expected much out of him anyway.

And so I jettisoned out. I would not have to hear the cop hating rhetoric anymore. Or so I thought.

Please don't misunderstand me. I hate victim speak. I picked that line of work and I enjoyed it. And even when I was at my worst- I'd like to think there was a lot of good in me. So mostly the good outweighed the bad. That's why I stayed for 25 years and the first one was free. I wasn't stealing from anyone, charging predatory interest rates, or gouging little old ladies in car repair shops because I could get away with it. I was trying to be the best human being that I could be and sometimes I was. I wasn't ashamed of what I did and I'm still not. But I don't make much of a habit of mentioning the old life because out here nothing has changed.

I guess I still don't get it. Everyday it seems, I stumble onto blogs and rants all over the internet about crooked cops or ne'er do wells with some attached vitriolic narrative. It's a never ending stream of shit and I have to quit thinking it's going to stop any time soon. I gotta quit confronting these people. Hatred, any kind, is just a form of mental illness. Besides, I am 30 years down the road and I doubt the liberal word police are gonna show up anytime soon. All I can do is remove those venues from my daily radar.

Law enforcement is a noble profession. Done well- cops work small miracles every day. That's a gratifying gig.

Those were the things I said to the waiter. I liked him. He was a big, happy guy with a daughter that he said he wanted to spend more time with. I remember thinking I would have hired him back in the day.

In the meantime, if any of you cop haters stumble in here and think you are gonna leave some nasty piece of vitriol in the comments, know this- it won't last long. And if Kenny stumbles in- I just wanna say thanks. He'll know what I am talking about.