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Wed, Aug. 14th, 2013, 09:54 am
I Will NOT Be At GenCon 2013

Just too much going on, too little money, bills due, ongoing problems with my tooth, etc. I wish I could justify it; can't. I hope everyone who does make it there has a blast, and I hope to see you next year.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1636133.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Aug. 14th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope everything improves quickly! (Especially the tooth - ouch!) *hugs*

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 11:32 am (UTC)

Thanks. I appreciate it. *hugs back*

Wed, Aug. 14th, 2013 04:46 pm (UTC)

OK, if you're going to channel *my* life, kindly pick a less sore subject. Sheesh.

(The tooth, that is, not missing the con. Hope both situations improve rapidly.)

Edited at 2013-08-14 04:47 pm (UTC)

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
filkertom: Re:

Owtch! So sorry about your tooth. We'll see how the cash is after DragonCon. Fortunately, I am a Guest there, so that expense is covered. After having slipped under the door just in time regarding my electric bill, now I just have to hold my breath for a week or so.

Wed, Aug. 14th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)

I wish for you, me and everyone that someday the rich folks who run our government will recognize that funding for dental care and/or dental insurance that doesn't have unaffordable copays for big stuff (crowns, dentures, etc.) is something that is severely needed by the middle and lower classes.

In the work I did before retirement, I met a lot of homeless people and people coming out of homelessness and drug addiction. The two number one problems with these people: dental and mental. Imagine trying to get a job, in your 30s or 40s, if (a) You've been homeless or unemployed for a period of years. (b) You are missing some teeth. (c) You have a mental illness that's controllable with medication, but you can't see a doctor, get a prescription or get the medication you need.

I know, I'm preaching to the choir. But, someday.

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 11:36 am (UTC)

I blame insurance companies. This is damn near the biggest reason health care should not be for profit. Anyone who believes that your optical and dental health is somehow not part of your overall health apparently has perfect vision and has never suffered a toothache. And mental health is even more dramatic, and more necessary. How can you function in society, how can you take care of yourself, if your brain literally isn't working correctly?

Someday, indeed.

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 04:11 pm (UTC)

It's unbelievable. This entire employer-based health care thing is unworkable. First employers cut dental and eye (even though dental infections spread through your whole body, and also you'd think employers would want us to be able to see). Now they're cutting away at the main insurance -- while we read about the price-gouging that is at the core of the unaffordable price increases. I wish ObamaCare was doing more to actually stop the price-gouging.

But because it's not, I am paying for health insurance at a "good" company -- a company I've worked at as a crucial salaried employee for 11 years -- but still facing the same fear as everybody else: that I might not be able to pay for a health emergency.

My company recently decided to switch us all to a new plan in which we would have to pay the first $2,000 per-person in health expenses. As well as paying our $44/week premiums. And also, above the $2,000, all copays, prescriptions, etc.

We complained mightily. I went to my boss and said, basically: Look, somebody is going to get taken to a hospital and not be able to pay the bill. People here get paid $30,000 a year after a DECADE of service; they don't have the savings for $2,000 medical bills during an emergency (especially since such emergencies almost invariably mean the person must stay home from work for days/weeks, without pay). The new guys starting at $22,000 can barely pay their school loans, much less their rent. Forget about savings.

And my boss actually said to me, "Well, I've never been in a hospital in my life. Just stay healthy."

As if we could control it. I stared at her in utter shock and said, "Um...I'm planning to have a baby next year. In a hospital."

She, by the way, also had a child. In a hospital. I did not quite get up the nerve to ask her how much she had paid for that -- but I did point out that I'm virtually guaranteed to pay $2,000.

She told me I had plenty of warning to save up now for that bill. I asked her about people who get suddenly hit by a car and she just kept insisting that people should just "stay" healthy.

So there you go. If we all just miraculously stay healthy -- otherwise known as not going to the doctor because we can't afford it, no matter how sick we are -- everyone can pretend that everything is fine.

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 05:14 pm (UTC)

And what you said - that is the primary flaw in the ACA - it is carefully designed to benefit the for-profit insurance companies substantially, which is why the pro-corporate right's opposition makes no sense to me unless framed in their absolute hatred of our president.

Non-profit is also no guarantee of quality affordable health care. Here's an article (rather old but still true): http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/1998/12/14/editorial2.html?page=all

One part of the ACA I like is that excess profit goes back to the insured in the form of checks. I would prefer it go for care for the uninsured, but at least that's a start. The public hospital I retired from just laid off 300 employees because of overspending on uninsured care, or so they say. Personally, I think they've spent too much the past few years on new buildings. One of my friends is among those laid off. Glad I took early retirement when I did. This means my current search for health-care related employment just got harder because there are that many more people out there trying to get the same jobs.

I would like to see, even for non-profits, income caps for people in the health care industry. Have you seen what CEOs and CFOs and other execs in health care are raking in? Measure their excess income in human misery. Not only the misery of patients not able to get care, unable to afford insurance, unable to pay copays and deductibles and premiums - they get you coming, going and standing still - but also in the misery of lower-level employees who aren't making enough to live. Excuse my convoluted sentence. Please.

And in addition to dental, mental and vision - if they were really concerned about overall health, the ACA would cover anything now deductible on taxes as a medical expense, like OTC medications and chiropractors, and some not deductible as well, like vitamins and nutritional supplements designed to promote health. (Says a guy who's probably spending $100 a month or more on such things.) And there would be minimal copays, premiums based on a percentage of AVAILABLE income after living expenses are deducted, and no deductibles of any kind. In other words, covering 75% of a $100,000 hospital stay isn't really insurance at all, if someone who makes $15,000 a year gets sued for the $25,000 and ends up in foreclosure, then homeless, because they couldn't pay the hospital bill for their heart attack. There should be something in the law that says there is an exemption to foreclosure and bankruptcy for medical bills. We are the only nation where medical bankruptcy is commonplace, and that is a great evil.

Off my soapbox now.

Wed, Aug. 14th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry you're not going and about your tooth. I hope things get better in time for DragonCon later this month.

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 11:36 am (UTC)

So do I, m'friend. At the very least, the money will be better.

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)

I won't be there either for similar issues (especially the money). Sigh.

Thu, Aug. 15th, 2013 11:37 am (UTC)

Hugs right back, m'dear. I hope whatever health issues you might have as well clear up quickly and completely.