An Eventful, Uneventful Day

It's amazing to watch reactions to today's impeachment hearings; both sides are sure the game is over, and their side won. Neither side won, or really even moved the ball today. We did get more confirmation that the government isn't really under the control of elected officials anymore, and that's the central problem this whole affair has underlined.

Anyway I spent the day in beautiful Western North Carolina, where the people are friendly and no one ever mentions politics. I met a guy called "Swagnar" who decorates his wine shop with runes, and his very nice assistant Liz who was fascinated to hear about the process of making mead. My wife discussed art with various people, that being her thing. We began laying in supplies for a pie-heavy Thanksgiving, which by request of the eaters is likely to be slim on traditional elements in favor of many desserts.

Hey, we're the adults now. We can do whatever we want.

I guess there was another Democratic debate, but I can't be bothered with it. There's already no candidate I want to be the next President; in fact, I'm pretty sure I don't want another President at all. At some point I'll have to take an interest in trying to limit the damage, but there's no good to be had from this process any longer. It's all about trying to limit the harm it does.

On which subject, I have to change health care plans again. None of the plans available are remotely affordable, not now that the government has taken it all over. Does anyone know of a good alternative, maybe a co-op? Some of you have said you liked those things in the past, and if there's a good one that might serve my part of the country, I'm ready to stop paying the price of a new car every year for coverage with a deductible that's the size of a good used motorcycle. Nothing's been so devastating to our family's wealth than these attempts to make health care 'affordable.' I haven't seen a doctor since 2014, but I've paid many tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of being able to pay only several more thousand dollars a year if I need to do.


MikeD said...

There's already no candidate I want to be the next President; in fact, I'm pretty sure I don't want another President at all.

Well, you're in luck, because according to our (totally NOT Deep State) federal bureaucrats, it is THEY who set foreign (and one would also assume domestic) policy, and not our elected officials. So there's no longer any need to elect any Presidents. They'd just interfere with US policy anyhow.

Tom said...

There are some Catholic health co-ops. I don't use any of them, but they might be worth a look. The one I've heard most about is CMF Curo.

Cassandra said...

Not aware of anything for health co-ops, but I will say this:

We had no medical insurance for years when we were first married. We paid everything out of pocket, and the risk was very acceptable even though we were well below the federal "poverty level" for a family of three (quotations b/c we were never actually "poor", but definitely had little money to spare after saving and paying for food/shelter/clothing/car).

For the last 40 years, we've consumed very little medical care as a family. I had a checkup in 2007 and another in 2018. Before that... I think it was 1982 :p Did have knee surgery that The Spousal One had a checkup in 2018 and the last one was in 2010 before he retired from the Corps. I go to a neurologist once a year to get migraine Rx refilled, and to a cardiologist once a year b/c my blood pressure went up to 185/110 a few years ago. It's now lower than it was in my 20s and I'm weaning myself off the medication. But I found out I have a heart issue, like my Dad did. So I changed a lot of lifestyle things and that seems to be working. All of our care, we could afford w/out insurance by saving and being careful.

That said, I sure am glad our oldest son had/has insurance. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back and they didn't catch it early. She is alive today, and that's a wonderful outcome. They would not have been able to afford her care. We helped a lot with the deductibles - which were quite large - but paying *all* their medical expenses from our retirement savings would have pretty much decimated them. Yet how could we not do that? It was an eye opener to realize that two families' finances could have been devastated by a single, catastrophic h/care issue we never in a gazillion years thought would happen to any of us.

There are a lot of great quality vs quantity of life arguments to be made for going without health insurance. I completely agree it is largely a luxury for most people, who - like us - pay in far more than they ever collect (unless they live into their 80s). But seeing our DIL's medical bills for surgery, aggressive chemo, radiation, and the tests that found it wasn't just a single lump but an aggressive multifocal tumor - was a real eye opener. Hard to imagine rolling the dice and saying, "Gosh... hopefully she won't die b/c we're opting out of treatments x and y to save money."

I think this is a choice no one can make for us - part of why I objected so much to the so-called Affordable Care Act. But there is something priceless about having a loved one - a wife and mother to two boys - alive and able to see her kids grow up that I find it hard to put a price tag on.

Guess that's all just part of life. Whatever decision you make, I know it will be well thought out and right for your family, Grim. It really is a values as well as a risk tolerance decision, which makes it even more insufferable that some people want government to decide such intimate matters *for* us!

Cassandra said...

To Tom's point, there's an outfit called Medi-Share that used to advertise in DC and I loved their ads - the philosophy behind it, etc.

Have no personal experience with them, so FWIW.

Dad29 said...

Here's the Catholic health-sharing URL:

Apparently these plans are NOT obozocare-compliant; they write their own rules (e.g., they do not charge MEN for the possibility of pregnancy, and do not charge young people "old-fart" rates).

Good luck!

E Hines said...

I do watch the "impeachment" proceedings; I guess I'm something of a junky. So far, all the Progressive-Democrats have is a bunch of Progressive-Democrat-selected witnesses (Republican witness requests have generally been denied, as have their document requests, and Schiff has interfered with witnesses answering the occasional Republican question) who have only been able to say that they heard something from a guy (who might have heard something from someone else), a bunch of their surmises and suppositions, and a bunch of complaints that Trump says mean things about people and that Trump rudely doesn't always listen to those witness-professionals. Hill, even now, is whining under oath that "he" wasn't consulting with us.

It'll be a party-line vote to impeach and send the thing to the Senate. If reporting is accurate, McConnell is thinking about dragging out the trial into February so as to force the Senator-candidates to choose between sitting for the trial and campaigning in some early primary-voting states. That's a strategy with which I disagree; those Senator-candidates are the ones from whom we (or my august self, anyway) want the Progressive-Democrat candidate to come, as any of those will maximize the odds of Trump's reelection. Or at the least, their continued campaigning will continue the disruption of Party.

That brings me to last night's Progressive-Democrat debate, which I also watched (that junkie thing). From my perspective, the high point of the entire debate was a near-the-end of the evening exchange between Gabbard and Buttigieg. Over the course of the exchange, Buttigieg called out the despicability of Gabbard's sitting down with evil guys like al-Assad, to which Gabbard looked straight at Buttigieg and said that at least she had the courage to talk to enemy leaders as well as to our friends. At that point, just when things were finally starting to get interesting and the candidates were moving off their canned talking points (all delivered without enthusiasm, almost as though they were tired of the whole process), the MSNBC announcers moved away to another subject with other candidates.

Those announcers did, in fact, ask a number of good questions, but when the candidate weasel-worded an answer or outright answered a question not asked, the announcers failed universally to press the candidate for an actual answer.

Eric Hines

Anonymous said...

I'm in a mutual assurance pool with Philadelphia American. It is not O'care approved, because it requires you to pass a health screening (answer questions on a checklist), but it is better than the other options. The price is a little higher than I'd like, but I'm getting close to being Of A Certain Age, so statistically my risk is increasing. You pay up-front, and they re-emburse you.


raven said...

Years ago, I had a simple inexpensive catastrophic insurance plan. Essentially, it covered nothing but bad accidents and horrible diseases- I think the deductible was 10K -or more- but I was in generally good health, and it was cheap. Great plan.Did not cover ANY routine expenses. The our own little insurance commission for the Soviet of Washington (the other Washington) decided to mandate all sorts of things an insurance plan MUST cover. So my cost quadrupled, and the number of plan providers dropped about 90%. Then a few years later, the zero stepped in and we all know about that.
The rational approach is to use places like the Oklahoma surgery center for routine slice and dice, and overseas care for other events- the really sticky wicket is accidental injury- both my wife and I ride motorcycles, and I am always around hungry man-eating machinery-and if a catastrophic injury occurs, all planning is out the door- you go to the nearest facility and hope you are not bankrupted by the event.
And we all pay and pay and pay for the obese, who suck down 50 years of government recommended carbohydrate poison, and have a cornucopia of related health issues as a result, and the indigent, who come from all over for the free lunch, and the entire system, set up like a cartel to obfuscate and control pricing on virtually all medical procedures, as well as violate Federal law by insisting on subjective pricing.
Ever actually ask a hospital what an operation will cost?
You won't get an answer, but if you did, it would amount to "who are we operating on?"
I actually wrote a reply yesterday, but after the foamy blood spurting out of my eyes covered the keyboard, was forced to delete until the attack was over......

ymarsakar said...

Essential oils, crystal power sources (quantum), alternative healing.

Why do humans still need these obsolete Western medical systems? They go 50% obsolete every 10 years.

Do people know how many cardiologists died from a heart attack just because they followed the American Heart whatever recommendation of a healthy diet for the heart?

ymarsakar said...

There's a simple reason why I keep writing that the American Republic is dead. It's because it is a fact. It's not an insult against patriots or some kind of sarcastic taunt, as I am sure humans tend to take it as.

It's a fact. The people are still here, yes, and the patriots can fight or not. They can watch Trum fight... whatever it is he thinks he is fighting, and see how well that works, since they abhor war so much...

The country is no longer the country. But the people are still here. That's cause the people will still be here even if the country blows up.

And if Americans refuse to kill evil in the world, then do not blame the Heavenly Hosts when they come down and start the Cleansing. At least, that'll be baked in the cake.
If people want to fight the Deep State for the soul of America for the next 3000 years... be my guest.

I won't be there, however.

Russ Sanders said...

I have health insurance through my credit union employer that is an HSA plan. I am unsure how that type of plan would work on the open market, but through my employer, it is very reasonable compared to all of their other plans. My wife is a very heavy user of Pharmacy and doctors (Multiple doctors). That is a key point.
The plan is structured as follows:
$2800 individual deductible and $3000 for a family
$3000 individual out of pocket and $6000 for a family
Pharmacy is included in deductible and out of pocket.
You can load a pre-tax HSA card to pay expenses up to I believe $7000 a year. Money in the HSA account always rolls over so you never lose it.
Through my employer, the plan is so much cheaper than their other plans that they pay the whole cost of the plan plus give ~$1400 a year to my HSA account.

Through my employer, the regular plan cost more to purchase than the maximum out of pocket for my family on the HSA plan.

It is well worth your time to check prices on an HSA plan. (Not to be confused with a FSA plan that does not roll over.)

ymarsakar said...

If people really want some doctor credentials to tide them over, then look to Hippocrates Institute. Otherwise, they can use whole life insurance and other private banking methods to get their income below the iRS taxation limit penalty for not having O care.

Grim said...

Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions. I will definitely look into them.

The motorcycle-riding issue makes it impossible to simply abandon health insurance. There's always a risk of a serious injury every time you get on a bike. So I need to ensure that there is something in place, although I'm mostly worried about the gigantic expenses from catastrophic cases.

Grim said...

Unfortunately, my only HSA options seem to be through the Marketplace plans, which means I have to buy a Marketplace plan. Those are a minimum of $1,600/month, without dental and with a gigantic deductible. It's tax deductible, of course, but that's still twenty grand a year by the time I've bought a separate dental plan (which we also never use because we've already spent twenty grand a year on the premiums).

Texan99 said...

Medi-Share has a good reputation, and there are other co-ops like it.

Anonymous said...

Christian Healthcare Ministries ,for which we pay $300/ month and $75/quarter has pod out about $100k for my wife’s breast cancer, and is continuing to pay. It’s not an overstatement to call it a blessing.