Posts by SWTarget

    Was going to title this "socialist utopian medicine" but I'm bad at sarcasm / irony and it wouldn't come off as intended.

    Anyhoo . . .

    I have a pain in my arm. No biggie, but want it to get better. Had an appointment already with my regular doctor, so just decided to mention it. Five minutes of talking, slight prodding to determine range of motion, and poof, prescription for an anti-inflammatory, get some blood work since I am due, x-ray to rule out skeletal problem, and referral to physical therapy. Prescription ready in 2 hrs at the pharmacy. Do I need an appointment for the other items? Nope. Walked in to a lab and had blood drawn this morning without calling ahead, in/out 15 minutes (granted, last time they had only one person and it would have taken longer, but this time, at least 3 workers and boom, done). Drive down road to hospital, walk into imaging center also without an appointment, and in/out in in less than 30 minutes. Accessibility very high. Insurance will cover, minor co-pays will be approximately $25-$50.

    Trade off for accessibility -- Cost. My company is very open about what they spend on benefits. They have kept the employee contribution relatively small, about 15%. But total cost for my family plan is somewhere around $28K per year. My company hasn't said whether the total plan cost will go up next year, but just said that the employee contribution would not change.

    Youngest brother just a couple weeks ago was talking about his medical coverage. A little different story there. The cost of his medical plans all went up. Unlike my company, his employer has decided that the employee must cover the entire increase. The company will continue to contribute $700 / month (that's $8,400 annually for you math-challenged folks), the employee pays the rest through paycheck deduction. After the increase in his contributions, he calculates that he will need at least a $2 per hour raise just to keep his net take-home pay even next year. (Not being able to help myself, I told him that was his benefit for being a Union Thug.)

    What's the alternative? Some would say socialize the industry. Gov-run healthcare would mean what? Well, no insurance so you would pay taxes. I have 14% stuck in my head as a rate that has been bandied about that would go just to healthcare. People with lower incomes would possibly / probably pay less for the coverage. People with higher incomes would pay more in taxes. People like me who presently have very generous employers would get the short end, while people like my brother may benefit and see it as a good thing.

    Trade off for that? What happens to accessibility? I've heard horror stories about the long waiting times for basic diagnostic testing in some countries with socialized medicine. Are they true? I'm sure to a degree they are. I am also always mindful of my friends who live in Sweden, both working in the medical field (one in administration, the other an oncology nurse), and their complaints about how inefficient everything is and the 3 year struggle to get a second MRI machine for one of the hospitals. My guess is, I would still have received my blood test and my x-ray under socialized medicine, but it would have been on their timetable, not mine.

    Point of my wall of text? I like my easily access healthcare, but it is sobering to understand how much of the cost I really am not bearing compared to others. I feel very blessed to have a relatively good position in it all. I can also see why so many others are cynical when I compare their situation to my own. No system is perfect, trade offs for everything, and everyone's experiences will be different.

    I think back in April there was a Russian drone that ended up crashing in Serbia or Croatia. And there are vids all over the place of Russian AA rockets that don't do what they are supposed to. I'm sure this wasn't deliberate, just another example of their less than fully reliable tech.

    Most random picture I think I took this year.

    Yes, that's looking out my back door.

    No, that sandal doesn't belong to anyone who lives here.

    For some reason that reminds me of an old cartoon . . . something about modern inventions (for the late 40's), and when they were talking automobiles . . .

    "This one comes with special-equipped bumpers" zoom out from driver, the bumpers are so wide they cover both sidewalks "Just let them TRY to get away!!"

    Smashing noise

    "This model also has a glass bottom, so when you DO strike a pedestrian, you can see if he was a friend of yours!"


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    Sounds like a 1981 "Quincy" episode.

    "Quincy M.E." D.U.I. (TV Episode 1981) - IMDb
    D.U.I.: Directed by Georg Fenady. With Jack Klugman, Garry Walberg, John S. Ragin, Val Bisoglio. Quincy gets involved in an anti drunk driving campaign after a…

    Noise cancelling... That's interesting. As long as the ringing pitch doesn't change. You just dial it in and reverse the phase. That's a simple and ingenious solution.

    The problem is that you're not really hearing a sound. It's the perception of a sound. You could remove every part of your ear and you'll still "hear" it.

    You're both right to a degree. The Doctor said it depends on the cause of the tinnitus as to whether it will work. It isn't an external sound, but in some people the hairs in the inner ear partially lay down as if they are getting a stimulus, and so the person hears a sound that isn't there. These people can be helped with the feedback in a hearing aid if they can tune it just right that the hairs stand erect.

    Other people have tinnitus because the inner ear or the nerves have been damaged so that there is a range of sound the ear isn't picking up in part or in whole, and the brain tends to fill in the lack of stimulus by creating one to "fill the void." These people aren't able to be helped, as the feedback can't be detected due to the existing damage.

    At least that's what I remember of the conversation. I also remember the "thousands of dollars to find out" part most vividly.

    They don't help with tinnitus like some do so I've read . . .

    Several years ago I went to an audiology center to see if they could do something about my tinnitus. I was told they could try some kind of a feedback hearing aid that in theory could cancel the tinnitus. He said the problem was that they only get it to work well for about 40% of patients, and since my hearing in general wasn't bad enough, insurance was not going to cover the thousands of dollars it would take to find out if I was one of the lucky ones.

    Yeah, I was trying to look it up and it is definitely a more murky area than I imagined. Guess I'm still naive enough to think that laws mean things. One site had 465 different legal definitions.

    Did find this, though. Could already be in litigation I suppose.

    FPC to California AG: Revoke Your “Good Moral Character” Legal Alert and Comply with Bruen Before We Sue
    Last night, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) sent a letter to California Attorney General Rob Bonta informing him that if local concealed-carry issuing agencies…

    "Conditioning a carry license on a discretionary evaluation of an applicant’s ‘good moral character’ is patently inconsistent with Bruen’s repeated statements that the carry right may not be denied by non-objective criteria applied by a local government official."

    “On this account I say to you: Stop being anxious about your lives as to what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your bodies as to what you will wear. Does not life mean more than food and the body than clothing? Observe intently the birds of heaven; they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are? Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?

    "Also, why are you anxious about clothing? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin; but I tell you that not even Solʹo·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. Now if this is how God clothes the vegetation of the field that is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe you, you with little faith?

    "So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to wear?’ For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

    “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles."

    Matthew 6:25-33


    Does 15 minutes of peace mean no wifey?


    No wifey today, so correct, no chatter while trying to have a peaceful moment.

    In fact, the helicopter was circling for five minutes when I arrived, but he was gone when I found the bench, too.

    And no sirens, for once.

    And whatever frigging school marching band practice that I could hear from the Hosta Garden had apparently taken a break, too.

    So, yes, truly was peaceful for the full 15 minutes. I really enjoyed it.