Sunday, November 17, 2013

Welcome to a wet but warm weekend.

The weather people say we should get a bit over an inch of rain over today and tomorrow.  However, the themperatures are also supposed to be above "normal."  The snow is pretty much gone even from the shaded areas--like my patio.  Let's see what is on the 'net.

We are now (Sunday) getting the rain and have the possibility of tornados.  We were watching the trees dance in the winds as we drank our coffee.  I noticed that the trees went from fully leafed and colorful to bare in less than a week.  I didn't see anything worth commenting on yesterday.  What could I say about most of the so-called news except "Oh, shit.  The idiots are still at it."

Good Morning America had a snippet about one of the major contractors involved with the development of the ACA web site--they had a long trail of failed public contracts behind them.  It isn't a case of one or two but a string of failures.  I have to ask--why were they given another?  I wonder if the old "tradition" of accepting the lowest bid was involved.  I wonder about that as I watched two commercials this morning.  The first was for All State.  A little girl asks her dad, who is on the computer, what he is doing.  He tells her he is changing his car insurance.  "Why?" she asks.  Dad informs her that the new policy is "cheaper."  "Why?" she asks again.  "Good question." says the announcer, who goes on to point out the obvious: the cheaper cost may be for less insurance.  In this case the government got considerably less than they paid for and now have the added cost of the fix.  (By the way that is at the bottom of the controversy over the Obama promise that if people liked their insurance they could keep it.  Not said was that they could keep it only if the policy met the ACA standards.  Quality, it seems, is never a consideration.)  The other commercial was for a politician running for governor in Illinois who main talking point is he is a businessman and can run the state like a business.  That, given the performance of so many companies over the last few years, is no great selling point.  And I am not one who thinks that business standards easily apply to government.  Government isn't in the "business" of earning a profit.  Most of the metrics by which government should be judged are not so easily quantified.

This little piece asks a question that resonates here.  Mom just got the information packet for her health insurance package which comes through a union because she is the widow of a retired worker. About this time last year her premiums doubled with a few new features were included.  Not only did the premiums double the co-pay for office visits went from $15 to $25 and they had to be paid before seeing the doctor.  Also included (though not new) is a drug plan and which seems a good deal on the surface but may be not so good a deal when carefully examined--which takes time, her time.  She is  still working through the numbers and possibilities.

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