Republicans Find They Have to Sell Drug Benefit Plan

Initially I was rather aghast at the Republicans on this: it appeared that they were simply trying to follow a time-honored Democratic tradition and buy some senior votes. Now I'm not so sure ...

My mom, age 82, is on Medicare, of course. She also spends upwards of $400/mo. (out of a fixed income of about $1600/mo.) on prescription drugs. She tried to figure this new thing out, and failed - and my mom's a pretty sharp gal. I tried, and couldn't make heads or tails of it. So she signed up for one of the counseling sessions offered by the local senior citizens organization, and when all was said and done, the best fit program for her would save her $24 a year.

You read right: that's $24 every year, or $2 per month, with the added hassle of filling out forms, paying deductibles and filing claims.

The best case Mom could find from her apartment complex was a gal that saved about $30 a month. Most of the complexity has to do with the various drugs being dispensed, the other supplemental insurance that the patient may already have and a lot of other seemingly random factors (widowed or divorced? what does that have to do with drug coverage?).

I'm not sure that the party in power realized exactly how such a huge new program would actually be implemented: the devil's in the details, after all. And private insurance companies are on a level with government itself when it comes to creating bureaucratic complexity.

Mom decided not to bother signing up. And she votes, generally Republican, as she's pretty much socially conservative. But now ... well, as she phrased it "Those people [Congresscritters] are idiots! We need to clean house up there [in Washington]." If the Republicans were in fact trying to buy senior votes, I think they just sold one instead.

Congressional Republicans are trying to ease apprehension about a program that strikes many retirees as dauntingly complex.

(link) [NYT > Home Page]

00:00 /Politics | 1 comment | permanent link

Caffeine Prevents Liver Disease

I'll never get liver disease ...

The Washington Post reports that drinking two cups of coffee or tea daily may reduce the risk of liver disease. From the article: 'The study of nearly 10,000 people showed that those who drank more than two cups of coffee or tea per day developed chronic liver disease at half the rate of those who drank less than one cup each day.'

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Another Work Day for the Goats

Dad gets a goat kiss
Dad Gets a Goat Kiss
(goat breath gives a whole new dimension to halitosis!)

Donner on the job
Donner On the Job

Posing with customers
Donner posing with customers
(and, if you look closely, sticking his tongue out!)

A quick snack
Grabbing a quick snack on the job ...

Where's my tip?
Where's my tip?

00:00 /Home | 2 comments | permanent link