Posted by MrTact on Aug 18, 2009 in healthcare
I had health insurance for over a year through Golden Rule while working as a self-employed contractor. I transitioned into a full-time job for several months, and when that went away I reapplied to Golden Rule to resume coverage.
During the time I was on an employer’s health insurance, I did the right thing: went and had a physical. Everything came back extremely positive—blood pressure good, blood work good, low cholesterol, weight (ahem) within reasonable tolerance. However, I happened to mention during the physical that I had a heart murmur, a minor defect called a Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP). My doctor asked how I knew this; I mentioned that another physician had pointed it out to me about fifteen years before during an exam, and that they had identified it using a stethoscope. He asked whether I had had an echocardiogram to confirm it, and I said no, that my understanding was it was a very minor issue and had never sought any treatment for it.
He referred me to a cardiologist; I went. She confirmed the diagnosis with an ECG. Then I lost my job.
When I reapplied to Golden Rule, enough time had passed that they could not simply resume coverage. We had to re-apply, which we did. Because of the cardiologist visit, I put the MVP on the form.
And was rejected because of it. I was advised that I might be insurable through the Texas Risk Pool.
This is not meant as a sob story. There are many people far worse off than I. I was actually lucky—I might have taken ill, incurred a ruinous healtcare expense, and had them cancel me retroactively for this. My point is that if the dysfunction of our health care system can impact me in this way—although my health is actually quite good and I have a decent income—it can affect anyone. It can affect you.
Posted by admin on Aug 12, 2009 in demos
I don’t know how or why, but I had it stuck in my head that Batman: Arkham Asylum was going to be a dog. Just finished the demo, and I have to say, the last time a demo made me want to run right out and get the game now was… well, it was inFamous, not to put too fine a point on it. But before that? Um… BioShock?
If the whole game experience manages to sustain half the quality of the demo, this is a game that will be well worth it. The thing that put me over the top was the so-called “invisible predator” gameplay. In some fights, you’re just hammering a bunch of guys all at once, which is entertaining enough. (If you played the Watchmen demo, this part of the game feels much like a highly polished version of that.) But then there are sections where there are large numbers of bad guys with guns. If you leap straight into the fray, they’re going to perforate you. So you do… exactly what Batman should do: climb up high and out of sight with your grappling gun, or hide under floor panels, or a myriad of other stealthy tricks, and pick them off one by one. Highly entertaining. And that’s just scratching the surface of the gameplay, from the looks of things. Detective mode is the coolest. All in all, it plays like a Splinter Cell game, if Sam Fisher was… well, the Batman.
Alas, it won’t be in stores until the 25th. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Posted by MrTact on Aug 11, 2009 in Uncategorized
I have seen a number of articles recently on health care rationing (like this one at Investor’s Business Daily, which originally included the hilarious bit of misinformation that Stephen Hawking, lifelong U.K. resident, could not receive adequate treatment on the N.H.S.), and I am compelled to point out what a giant steaming pile of BS they are. Folks, we already have health care rationing. The only difference between the public option and what we have now is that a government bureaucrat would decide whether or not it makes sense to fund a treatment that might save your life, as opposed to a corporate one. And, in case you’re not keeping score, here’s the salient difference between those two guys: the government guy only cares about the cost of treatment; the corporate guy cares about cost plus profit margin.
Don’t believe me? I encourage you to google “health insurance rescission,” which should get you to a bunch of really nifty articles, like this one at NPR.