Thursday, July 30, 2009

Plaxo once was a way to keep contacts updated. Now they charge $60/yr to download updated contacts to Outlook. I'm moving on. Suggest same.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bucket List question: If you had a year left to live, what would you do?
I would build things, something different every day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mr President:

I am writing because I am happily going to be a new father soon. The upsetting part is that I just got off the phone with my insurance company where I was forced to cancel my health insurance policy.

Like many Americans I have a health care plan available through my company. I've only had this plan since the beginning of the year. As soon as the insurance went into effect, we found out that we were expecting a child after 4 years of trying. A month ago we were informed by our insurance that we'd reached the limit of our coverage. $1000 for doctors visits and $1000 for Labs/X-rays/Ultrasounds doesn't go far. We still have 3 months to go and due to high blood pressure, the doctors want her to come in every week now.

My wife began searching for alternatives, Medicare/Medicaid, and was approved, but only if she wasn't covered under any other plan. When we called up our insurance company, they refused to remove her from the policy unless there is a "major life event". I think this qualifies. They don't. So for my wife to get the coverage she needs, I now must go back to the ranks of the uninsured and hope I don't get sick or injured.

This is asinine. I'm livid. Our military budget is rivaled by no one. I'd gladly pay for less military and be able to guarantee medical coverage like the system in France. Please fix the system.

- Do away with open enrollment once a year. It's a ridiculous practice that has no relevance in the internet age. Any one should be able to apply at any time of year. Enrollment should be immediate. No more applying in October to wait 3 months for coverage to start in January.
- Plan changes should be able to be made at any time for any reason -- upgrades, downgrades, adding dependents, removing dependents.
- Regardless of your position in a company or how many hours you work, everyone should be able to select any plan offered. I am in a very seasonal industry where during the summer I am considered a part-time employee because I only average 28 hours a week. I'd have to lie, cheat and steal to be considered a full-time employee to get access to better insurance choices. From the lowly mail-room clerk or dishwasher all the way up to the CEO, everyone should have access to the same choices.
- Bring an end to worthless coverage. I feel cheated. I've paid my premiums. Now I have to suffer the burden of paying expenses out of pocket.
- Make it easier to make an apples-to-apples comparison between insurance choices. Every insurance provider should be required to provide 2 plans that the governments sets the criteria for. One being a minimal coverage policy for basic healthcare. The second being a carte-blanche, everything's covered policy.
- I don't think the solution to the healthcare "crisis" is a government run insurance. I think that a government sponsored, non-profit company that provides healtcare to individuals and companies at the same rates makes much more sense. It would run as a private enterprise just like any of thousands of cooperatives have been run over the years that have provided for their customers over the years. Telephone companies and financial institutions used this system to provide service to people otherwise left out by the free market.
- Insurance provider should NOT be profit companies.

Sincerely hoping for a difference,
Eugene Smiley

Bill Maher: New Rule: Not Everything in America Has to Make a Profit
The Health Care System I Want Is in France
Healthy examples - Plenty of countries get healthcare right