Tag Archives: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Thinking Out Loud


Sometimes ideas in my mind sound totally different when I say them out loud.

Often, I’ll have a great idea when in the shower, and after getting to work I excitedly share it with someone.

But once I say it out loud, it sounds like the stupidest thing I could have ever said.

That’s why I like working as part of a team. Bad ideas can be dispensed with quickly, or better yet, someone will respond with something like, “That’s stupid, but if we turn it sideways and paint it blue, it just might work.” That’s how ideas grow.

Yesterday on my way home from work, I was talking with my father on the telephone. Like everyone else who works for the government, I’m less than enthralled with Congress. As we were talking, I blurted out that even though it was disruptive to be furloughed again, I’m still blessed to have a job when many of my chronological peers are not so blessed.

It’s easy to forget the good stuff.

My advice – Don’t.

The Government is Shutting Down!

You’ve reached the United States Government. We’re closed right now.  If you receive this message during regular working hours, it means that we were not funded. Please try your call later. Thank you.

It’s the lead story on the news, it’s the end of life as we know it! (Details at eleven) And, of course, it’s someone else’s fault.

What will we do? What will we do?

Unless God wills otherwise, tomorrow, the sun will come up.

Most of those with a job will go to work. Children will go to school.

People will eat and sleep. Children will play at recess. Babies will be born. And yes, someone’s grandpa may die.

So what will be different?

If you were planning a luxurious trip to some exotic island, your passport may be delayed.

Your government grant for studying the nocturnal feeding habits of black footed ferrets in the high plains won’t be funded just yet.

Our lives will go on.

And maybe some people will realize that the politicians are neither as important nor as powerful as they’d have us believe.

On the other hand, God is.

Congressional Update

visitingdc.com (And it is a great place to visit)

(And it is a great place to visit)

Sources who declined to be identified have provided the following information.

In the hallway of the Capitol Building, several Tea Partiers demanded Harry Reid’s lunch money. This was their 42nd unsuccessful attempt.

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz threatened to hold his breath until he passed out, if they didn’t promise to keep trying.

Speaker John Boehner when asked about the incident, replied, “The devil, I mean Ted Cruz, made me do it. I didn’t want to but he made me!”

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi yelled, “Will you all be quiet! I’m still trying to read this Affordable Healthcare Act to see what’s in it!”

Other sources have indicated that President Obama responded with, “As the highest elected official, and the spiffiest dresser since Harry Truman, if I do say so myself, I’d like to say nyaa nyaa nya nyaa nyaa!”

Unfortunately, when Ted Cruz passed out, no one seemed to care.

My Turn to Fume

I try to be positive and upbeat, but every once in a while I just have to engage in a temper tantrum because things just don’t make sense.

Right now there’s a lot of discussion about “Obamacare” or whatever you want to call it. First, let me say that after 30 years in healthcare, I have huge problems with the current medical industry business model. No one can tell you the price of anything in advance. Prices are set exorbitantly high so that insurance companies can get huge discounts. There is a disconnect among who decides what services will be used, who is the “customer” for those services and the third party that pays. Many can’t get primary care and basic prescriptions so their only option is to wait until things go from bad to worse and show up at the Emergency Department, after which there is no follow up.

Etc., etc., etc.

However, I also have concerns about the government running these programs.

(Before I continue, let me say to the business community – you blew it by putting your own short term profit interests ahead of the big picture. You could have proven yourself a better choice but you elected not to. If you had come up with something better, that’s what we’d be using. Know what value added is? Didn’t think so.)

The government has been involved with various service industries either directly or through quasi-corporations in the past. Let’s review a few of them.

There’s the United States Postal Service, whose primary customer is junk mail producers.

There’s Fannie-Mae and Freddie Mac who helped usher in the housing crisis.

There are the student loan programs that are making for-profit college owners rich while not actually leading to people (especially service members and veterans) getting degrees that will help them earn a living.

There’s AMTRAK which sells hamburgers for $9.50 (!) even though it costs AMTRAK $16.00 (!!!) to make each one.

I use the official prescription plan for military retirees. They don’t send me the prescriptions that my doctor has ordered but they do send me the ones that he has discontinued, even when I specifically request them not to.

Frustrated, I sent a note to the mail-order pharmacy through my user ID and password protected access to their site and they send me a response that required me to set up another separate user ID and password (yes, separate from the one I have) just to read their reply.

What ultra-secret words of wisdom did they have to share with me?

"Dear Mr. Nowak, 

Thank you for using XXXXXXX Pharmacy Program. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Thank you for your feedback. XXXXXXX Scripts appreciates suggestions made by XXXXXXX beneficiaries as it allows us to improve our processes. Your feedback has been forwarded to the appropriate department for review.

If you have any further questions please email or contact us at 1-877-XXX-XXXX.

We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced. Thank you for continuing to use XXXXXXX Pharmacy Program.


Shawn G.

I’m not sure how you read this, but to me it says, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Go away!”

Now I’ll bet you’re all excited about how the new healthcare system is going to make your life better, too.