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Friday, July 01, 2011


Really, Nothing Wrong With Our Health Insurance America!?

I have many friends, family and co workers who think there is nothing wrong with our medical system and insurance. Well I am going to tell you a true story and I want to hear what these people suggest!

Healthcare Background

I have had continuous insurance coverage since I was about 16 years old (never a days lapse). About 8 months ago a I had an issue where my back/shoulder hurt. The pain was so severe that I had to go to the ER on Thanksgiving morning. I went to the doctor and she prescribed some pain meds and such. Later she suggested physical therapy and an MRI. Well the insurance would not approve the MRI so I never could get an accurate diagnostic of what was wrong. But, after a few weeks, the physical therapy seems to have done it's job and I am fine again.

Current Healthcare Situation

I recently decided to start my own business (Sit Means Sit Austin dog training). So I changed over to my wife's insurance through her company. There was one last physical therapy session and I ended up having to pay that out of pocket because it was a preexisting condition (even though insurance coverage never lapsed).

A few months later my wife decided to join our personal business so we had to shop around for our own health insurance. We found a policy we could - barely- afford and completed the application. A couple days later we were approved but told there were riders on the policy that we could review when we got the packet. When we finally got the packet there were different riders in different places in the policy including:
  • They would not cover any work for a bunion I had a doctor look at years ago and have not gone to a doctor for since. Now if it gets worse and I need surgery I am expected to pay that fully out of pocket. Does this make sense? No, but okay fine, that is a particular diagnostic that is easy to see cause and effect on if I do get something done with it in the future.
  • They will not cover any neck or spinal related injury. Please note, it is not that they will not cover a re-occurrence of the previous problem - which would still be unacceptable - but they will cover nothing. If I fall down the stairs, get in a car accident, fall off a curb, anything! Not covered. How shitty is that? Fine, don't cover the bunion but do you seriously expect me to accept an insurance policy that will not cover something so incredibly important such as my spine?
Think abut this. We are in a "recovery" from a recession. People are always saying we can grow because Americans don't stand around; we start our own businesses; we grow them and hire people...But the entire system, not just healthcare" stacks the cards against the entrepreneur!

The Question

What are we supposed to do now? What kind of situation am I risking putting my wife in if I do hurt my back or neck? How is she supposed to pay for it? This is why the preexisting condition loophole needs closed. I am not some person who went without insurance until something happened to me. I have always had insurance!

Really, THINK about this!! Are you always going to keep working for a company that has a group policy? What if you are diagnosed with cancer and have to stop working and get insurance? Yes, you MIGHT be able to get insurance but they either won't cover the cancer or it will be very expensive and you likely won't be able to afford it!

Again, what do you suggest? What did I do wrong? Do I just fall through the system now? Come on people, help make me a believer in the current healthcare system.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Wind Energy Everywhere

Traveling through Spain it was great to see so many huge wind farms. I hear arguments all the time that the wind turbines are ugly. I thought maybe I would tire of them and maybe agree. However, after seeing complex after complex of wind turbines I still think the are beautiful! They are sleek, put of no pollution, show a lessening requirement on oil and coal, etc. I hope that the US is taking as active a roll in increasing the use of wind power. I did notice after being gone for 2 years that there are many more gas/electric hybrid cars on the road and that is very refreshing. We did not travel around the country enough to see any large wind farms. But the more they are used, the cheaper the technology. Maybe by the time we buy our next house we will be able to afford a personal wind turbine generator and solar power for assisting electricity and heating. Wouldn't that be cool!


Bunch of Punks!

I am disappointed in the youth and/or law enforcement of Europe. Okay, I have no idea what percent of the youth it is, so that is probably too broad of a statement. However, everywhere we go in Europe - yes I mean everywhere - there is graffiti. It may be an equal problem in the US but I haven't seen it. It is definitely not as bad in Asia. This is not often even "nice and artistic" graffiti, but crappy tagging. It makes everywhere you go feel less nice then it really is. Why is graffiti so prevalent? Is there nothing that can be done? Seems like stiffer penalties (e.g. jail time and/or major community service cleaning graffiti) would be a good start. Also, for the artistic kids, give them structured places to do graffiti and have it actually be art. Today we were passing a brand new convention center and two days ago some kids "tagged" it and last night some more kids shot paint guns all over the nice new marble sides. That is just punk ass stupid behavior. Are they that board, lacking that much creativity, having no parental guidance or control, what?


Winding ties of life

I find it exciting how the more we travel the more ours and others experiences tie together. We were at the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and there was a gallery by Keifer Anslem that included the observatory "gadgets" Shelly and I saw in Jaipur India. I know, big deal, but it makes everything that much more interesting when you have also seen or experienced it and have the opportunity to see it through another eyes.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Ouch! Next time where socks!!!

I wanted to share some valuable insight for everyone - where socks when you hike. The first couple of hikes in Costa Rica were VERY wet and I don't have great wet hiking boots. I was tired of getting all my socks super wet, so I thought I would go without socks. As you can see from the picture, this was a very bad idea. These are not so much blisters but more like burns. We skipped the hike today ad hopefully I will be good to hike - with socks - tomorrow. Understandably Shelly has very little sympathy for me.


Sunday, February 11, 2007


My Kind of Pharmacy

I just couldn't resist this. We were in LKF in Hong Kong the other night and there is a new pharmacy. For those of you that don't know, LKF is the "western" party district in Hong Kong. There are almost exclusively pubs and restaurants in multiple level buildings for about a square block area. So I guess if you are going to open a pharmacy in this area, you better have something to attract the customers (like beer, wine and cigarettes). Nothing like those to cure what's making you sick!


Friday, January 12, 2007


Inconvenient Truth is a Must See!

I admit, I was not a very big fan of Al Gore. I don't remember why. It could have been the media; could have been how he carried himself when running for president (or I perceived he carried himself); could have been preconceived bias; etc. Anyway, that view is beginning to change.

On a flight from Hong Kong to Japan today I watched his movie An Inconvenient Truth and I have to say I found it very well done, not all that political, and very eye opening. Before you make a decision about global warming you really must see this movie. I don't have kids, and it scared the hell out of me. If you have kids, and you are ignoring global warming, you really need to re-think things. I knew the climate is changing, and I have heard more and more and read more and more over the last couple years, but I think we are on a at a point of being able to make a change or not.

Please don't read this and think, "oh man, not Troy too. We all know global warming in a cycle with earth; there is plenty of time; what about other countries; there isn't anything I can do; etc." Do some research, see the movie, and you will understand this is a real big and immediate problem and there are things you can do to help.

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