Animal Friend – Keelaa – The Guardian of the Home

My friend, companion, and child is a 3-year-old Jack Russell mix. I couldn’t ask for a better pup. Affectionate, playful, loyal, and super protective. She has a love-hate relationship with cats. She only loves them to death if they are her pet. The problem lies with those cats who feel they have the run of the neighborhood. In her rule book, cats belong indoors only.

Then there are the squirrels. Those pesky critters antagonize Keelaa. She has their number and knows the trees. Once she raced a squirrel to a tree arriving first only to turn around to meet the creature. The squirrel let out a squeak and raced away in another direction.

She is a chicken herder even though the birds are the same size as her. When it is time for them to go back to the pen, she has a knack for putting them away by pushing them with her nose.

Night or day, she is a guardian of the road and driveway keeping a sentinel watch over who comes and goes. She will bark until they have gone away, but she will bark with a toy in her mouth. Every night when my son comes home, Keelaa is there waiting for his arrival with something to hold in her mouth as though she can’t stand the anticipation of his arrival.

Cellphones puzzle Keelaa. She always wants to know who you are talking to. No one is allowed to invite a stranger without her approval. So who are you talking to and where are they? This home is by dog invitation only.

I love her though, she is a (bark).

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Forced Healthcare can be an Accepted Policy – but it will take a lot of work, especially in the professional sector

Political parties are bickering in Washington about Healthcare coverage. The question they ask is to either reform the ACA or replace the policy. I remember a time when everyone that worked for a prominent company, big business and small business, the biggest perk offered to the employees was the health insurance. Back then it was reasonably price and the coverage was more than adequate.

What happened to our employee perk?

ACA happened. Let me tell you the why behind the insurance premium price increases that I learned from my recent research project.

If a politician were to ask me what I wanted I would have to say, let the corporations give back their employee perks especially now that unemployment is reaching an all-time low. I’m talking about Cadillac Insurance for those who are employed like the good ol’ days.

But that is only my opinion.

Here is what I learned when I researched the why Healthcare costs have gotten out of hand.

Forced Healthcare can be an Accepted Policy

Linda Nelson

Franklin Pierce University

Author Note

[This paper was prepared for Microeconomics ET102, term IV, taught by Bill Crowley.]

Abstract

Forced Health Care or Reformed Health Care. To learn the Financial benefits of Affordable Care Act versus Health Care Reform. To determine the efficiencies and inefficiencies of any Health Care Policy in regards to the public and the government. Is health care still affordable under the current plan for the citizens of the United States? Healthcare faired in the free market even though some individuals lost their health insurance policies when facing serious health issues such as Cancer outbreaks. Cancer patients get to keep their policies, but healthy individuals who don’t feel they need healthcare find that it is becoming unaffordable due to the high deductibles to be met before healthcare costs are covered by their plans that may involve other factors not taken into consideration by the public.

Keywords:  Obama Care, Affordable Care Act, repeal healthcare, high deductibles

Forced Healthcare

Since the Affordable Care Act, healthy individuals must pay more money for healthcare benefits when they become sick with either the flu or a bad cold. Many health insurance premiums have high deductibles that a healthy individual will never be able to meet from a range of $3,000 deductible to a $6,000 deductible. If a healthy person visits their doctor only once a year, they will need to pay for the physician visit from their pocket before a co-payments are applied. This type of policy is appearing to be unfair to the healthy individual compared to the person who visits the doctor once a month. The Affordable Care Act was created to bring about more stable costs in healthcare and insurance premiums by pooling healthy individuals with those who need constant medical care. A pending Cadillac tax on high-cost health plans is behind the decrease in employers providing health insurance plans with full coverage.

Health reform is a controversial issue

American’s want four fundamental things from healthcare. They want quality healthcare with the freedom of choice to see who they want when they want and where they want. Healthcare needs to be affordable, and every fellow citizen should share the costs across the board. Not all hospitals participated in the ACA when the policy took place and limited where patients could seek care which is slowly changing as more facilities and healthcare providers come on board to meet the ACA requirements. (Jeanne Merkle Sorrell, 2012)

A difference in Priorities among Americans in regards to health care

Every American individual has their priorities when it comes to health care. Some are seeking quality health care regardless of the cost other are living with a lower income and must find an affordable plan. Some Americans like to have the freedom of choice to choose which doctor they wish to see and where to seek medical care. (Jeanne Merkle Sorrell, 2012)

Affordable Health Care Substantially Impacts the Health Care Industry. 12 percent of the population are seniors, but by 2050 the senior population will have increased to 21 percent. The increase in the aging population with chronic disease will add additional stress to the health care workforce. Another problem is the ratio of specialists to primary care physicians. Only one-third of the physicians are primary care physicians due to the increased costs associated with student loan debt. Shortages are also found in dental, mental health, pharmacy and allied health and have added strain to the health care workforce. (Amy Anderson, 2017)

Wage growth is expected to impact the cost of health care. The greatest increase will be in the physician and registered nurse fields due to the length of training or supply bottlenecks. An increase in the population with health care insurance will increase the demand for services including wellness check-ups. Additionally, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) guarantees all individuals must be treated in emergency rooms regardless of whether they have health insurance. Having a health insurance card does not guarantee access to medical care because of high deductibles or having trouble finding a physician who will accept Medicaid patients.  (Parente, Feldman, Spetz, Dowd, & Baggett, 2017)

Three significant changes took place in 2014. Expanded Medicaid and Statewide insurance marketplaces offering subsidies for low-income residents and the guarantee that insurance is provided regardless of existing health conditions.  (Parente, Feldman, Spetz, Dowd, & Baggett, 2017)

The expansion of Medicaid was designed to deliver coverage for additional low-income residents and to reduce the burden hospitals felt from providing free or cost reduction. Evidence found that by expanding insurance to cover more low-income individuals reduced the provision of hospitals footing the bill for uncompensated care. However, hospitals in non-expanded states are more likely to experience shortfalls when covering the costs involving uncompensated care because they will not have the same increase in the Medicaid revenue nor the decrease in demand for uncompensated care. (Camilleri, 2016)

The creation of State-based insurance marketplaces that provides subsidies for low-income residents. Health Insurance Marketplaces, also called health exchanges are to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in each state by the Affordable Care Act policy. The Marketplace exchange opened the door for individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid but are considered to have incomes between 100 to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to purchase affordable private health insurance plans however the rates were found to be much higher before the expansion of Medicaid by many states. Since the Medicaid expansion, the rates of the Marketplaces are dropping. (Jost, 2016)

Lack of Medical Professionals appears to be the biggest problem behind the price increases in Health Insurance Premiums. By implementing an education policy to attract more student to enter the health care industry and to keep them living in the state of their studies. Free tuition considered with a contract involving area hospitals to provide employment and additional training as necessary.

High School students are finding job searches after graduating a difficult task. Most low-skill job opportunities are filled by older workers. Recruitment at area high schools to enter the medical field with the promise of continuing their education and becoming a medical professional. Early recruitment would open the door for employment and help students to decide a career path early in their training years.

By providing additional medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and lab technicians. The pool of professionals would increase lowering the demand for health care workers. With more working professionals medical cost would drop in the form of wages, allowing healthcare insurance premiums to respond to lower costs.

Lower Health Insurance Premiums would lower the resistance of residents to purchase health insurance taking away the feeling of being forced to buy any health insurance that does not meet the buyer’s needs.

References

Amy Anderson, D. R. (2017). The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Health Care Workforce. Healthcare Reform. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/the-impact-the-affordable-care-act-the-health-care-workforce

Camilleri, S. (2016, April 21). Study Highlights Impact of ACA Medicaid Expansion on Uncompensated Care. Humanities and Social Sciences News. (N. Dunn, Interviewer) Raleigh, NC: NC State University. Retrieved May 7, 2017, from https://news.chass.ncsu.edu

Jeanne Merkle Sorrell, P. R. (2012, November 9). Ethics: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Ethical Perspectives in 21st Century Health Care. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 18(1). doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol18No02EthCol01

Jost, T. (2016, August 26). ASPE: Medicaid Expansion Lowers Marketplace Premiums. (Project Hope) Retrieved May 7, 2017, from Health Affairs Blog: http://healthaffairs.org

Parente, S. T., & Feldman, R. (2013). Microsimulation of Private Health Insurance and Medicaid Take-Up Following the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act. Health Services Research, 48(n2pt2), 826-849. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12036

Parente, S. T., Feldman, R., Spetz, J., Dowd, B., & Baggett, E. E. (2017). Wage Growth for the Health Care Workforce: Projecting the Affordable Care Act Impact. Health Services Research, 52:2, 741-762. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12497

 

 


My Year Flashed Before My Eyes

Where did my year go?

This year has rushed by, and I can see why with being as busy as I have been with school and work. First-year terms are coming to an end. They finish up on May 13th leaving me with two years and two terms to go before acquiring that Bachelor degree. Microeconomics is not one of my favorite subjects. Economics, in general, are not a favorite either. I haven’t struggled this hard since taking Principles of Finance though I sure I’m going to pass.

I added to my book collection

 

 

 

I discovered a couple of good buys this weekend on Amazon dot com. One of which was the book, Writing Romances – A Handbook by the Romance Writers of America. I picked the book up the used book for $6. It turned out to be a sweet find. I plan on reading a minimum of one chapter a day. So far it has taught me about the functions of an agent, and now I’m learning about the duties of a publishing house editor. This book holds the nuts and bolts about publishing.

The other book I found in the used book section is the Chicago Manual of Style 15th edition that I picked up for $10. The 17th edition is about to release, but the used version will suffice for now, which is better than going without any edition. 

I love stumbling across things, especially great deals. So what if the RWA book was published back in 1996 even though so much has changed in the publishing world, some things never change that drastically like what editors do or what agents do. Yes, we have moved into an electronic era, but print books are making a comeback. I have found electronics to be hard on the eyes, and there is still that something about being able to hold a physical book in your hands. If I have to have that book, it will be a print edition, but if I’m not sure whether or not I will like the book, I tend to go with the electronic version. Why waste a tree on paper if the book is not worth reading?

My manuscripts still sit covered with dust.

I will return to them in time. Ideas are beginning to flow, and I can feel a story brewing in the back of my mind. I should be journaling every day. That won’t happen. The next 12 weeks will be hectic with school. I will have two back to back crash courses that will contain eight weeks of work to be completed in 6 weeks each. – My summer school. What I do to try and get ahead in life all because my story ideas seemed so lame at the time. Now I barely have enough time to post to my blog.

Blog ideas for the coming year:

  • Journaling
  • Interviews – I could not only host questions and answers with writers but what about professionals in every neck of the woods. Hmm… what a thought.
  • Books I have discovered – books of the craft, for the craft, and arts and crafts
  • My pets – Keelaa and Julie
  • My grandbabies are growing up so fast.
  • Pictures of my garden
  • Works in progress updates

I wonder which of these will find their way to the surface the most, who knows what the coming year will bring besides being one more year closer to getting that degree.


If We Were Having Coffee – We would talk about the past year.

It’s been a while since I last posted. More like a month has passed since I wrote about the coming March for Science. How did that go anyway? I didn’t see any big bangs taking place. While they marched I planted two new trees. A Cherry and a Honeycrisp Apple after which I moved those Cherry bushes I had been meaning to move for the past four years. They are much happier for the move. The plum tree was relocated too.

Last year we had no blossoms on our peach tree. This year we have this:

 

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Sorry, I haven’t been making my weekly posts. My schoolwork has kept me busy. I really dislike Microeconomics; it’s not my cup of tea. I would say that this has been my most difficult class to date. Half the questions on the quiz were not actually mentioned. You sort of need to feel your way to the correct answers even though it is a multiple choice quiz. The course is so difficult and the text we have been using is so dry, I went and purchased a different textbook in hopes that it would help me to better understand the information. If only I had thought about using a different textbook after taking the first quiz, my grade might be a bit higher.

Bitten with Binge Watching

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image courtesy of Kooroshication via flickr.com

I broke down and checked out Vampire Diaries. I loved it so much that I had to watch the entire 8 season episodes in one month. I couldn’t stop watching. The show was emotionally intense. I needed that to help me understand the elements found in romance. I’ve since moved on to the spin-off series, The Originals, and I have discovered another short lived series by the same author, The Secret Circle.

Last month we joined Netflix. I’m surprised to see the changes that were made for the streaming service. I’ve found too many programs I want to watch. A co-worker introduced me to the OA and then I discovered Haven. I really enjoy the paranormal suspenseful mysterious romantic shows.

Maybe when I have my 2 week school break in September I will be able to tackle one of my abandoned/neglected manuscripts.

School has been going great even though struggling with Microeconomics. The environmental studies are interesting. I’m working on a research paper covering the Edward MacDowell Lake in Peterborough, NH. Maybe someday I will use this lake as a setting for a story.

Surprisingly, I have finished my first year of college. This term will end on May 13 and I will be well on my way with my second year of school. The extra two terms I take in the summer shortens the time it will take to finish my Bachelor degree. It has been busy and leaves me without much time for family, fun, writing, or those hobby activities like crocheting, quilting, and knitting.

The new Grandbaby is 7 months old. She is so adorable. Meanwhile, Jasmine is going to be 7 years old. I told my daughter she is catching up to me in age.

 

 

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Ava, 7 months old dressed for Easter

 

 

 

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Jasmine in the Pink straw hat with her friend.

 

 


March for Science on April 22nd, Earth Day Movement on Washington

Image courtesy of wikimedia.org

In My Own Opinion

 

March for Science – What is the Matter?

 

I’m not going to go marching anywhere at the moment, but I will voice an opinion on the matter.

The plan that is going forward at this time is a massive march on Washington D.C. on April 22 which is Earth Day to bring awareness to the changes under consideration on Capitol Hill where science is concerned. Some feel that a march like the one for women’s rights that took place on January 21, 2017, will make the scientific community appear as spoiled brats complaining that they no longer have any funding for their research. (FLEUR)

I have to agree with Robert Young. He said in his article, “A Scientists’ March on Washington Is a Bad Idea,” scientists would be better off marching themselves into schools, libraries, and such to teach the public about the matters of science that the public does not know. Educate the public instead of wasting time by marching on Congress. Science and politics don’t mix. Everyone has their agenda some of which is the opposite of science. The last time Robert Young brought up the fact about climate change in a political atmosphere he and his colleagues faced slander by those whose interest which was hurt by such knowledge, such as the real-estate market. (YOUNG)

Yes, there is talk about cuts under consideration to the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NOAA. Maybe funding can be found elsewhere by making the public aware of these agency’s needs. After all, do people know who is responsible for warning the public about tornadoes?

Maybe the suppression of information, the so-called gag orders are frightening the public. Then add the claim of the news media passing on the fake news makes many citizens want to scream about the outrageous allegations against reporting facts.

Another thought –

Could political policies be a wake-up call for the public? If NOAA does not warn about tornadoes and Hurricanes, thousands of people could die. Could political strategy involve population control?

Think about the Healthcare plan Washington almost passed the other day and the items slated for removal from being covered by Health Insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. The policy appears pointed in the direction of reducing the population of our country.

What do you think?

I will plant a tree instead of marching on April 22 to do my part in fighting climate change.

 

Works Cited

FLEUR, NICHOLAS ST. “‘Listen to Evidence’: March for Science Plans Washington Rally on Earth Day.” The New York Times (The New York Times Company), February 2017.

YOUNG, ROBERT S. “A Scientists’ March on Washington Is a Bad Idea.” The New York Times (The New York Times Company), January 2017.