Mad Dog's thought for the day: Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything --- author unknown

Message of the day

“ If wine was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me.“
- Joe Henle

Featured Article

Lakes Lutheran adds extra vibe with Jazz Sundays

Featured Photo
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and three longtime professional musicians are only minutes away from a gig.

Only this time, drummer Paul Testa, 64; pianist Ron Simone, in his 70s; and bassist Dick Jones, 76, are ready to go “onstage” at The Lakes Lutheran Church.

Jazz Sunday is presented once a month at Lakes Lutheran and the idea has proven wildly popular as churches attempt to find new ways to attract parishioners. On this particular day, The Lakes Lutheran Church is celebrating its 25th anniversary, so the mood is especially festive.

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Mad Dog Blog

Current health care rules give many the shaft
Date: February 22, 2015

 My wife and I are among the millions in this country who are now trying to deal with the costs of health care. Our previous plan with a high deductible priced at about $525 per month has been replaced with another plan with a high deductible price at $952 a month.

Now in our 60s, we’re starting to understand why so many Americans are frustrated with health care. In particular, we are now understanding why so many senior citizens are saying “to hell with it.”

The Golden Years are supposed to be easier. They should be years of rewards since like so many others we survived tough challenges and kept on going.

Too many couples give up when times get tough and we didn’t. We didn’t give up when health issues turned out finances into what could have been bankruptcy and we bowed our backs when family members died.

Even a horrible house fire in 2002 didn’t deter our dedication. We simply gathered up the little that remained and avoided the reality that losing our home was actually a level of homelessness.

To borrow a phrase, getting knocked down wasn’t important. Climbing to our feet was the answer.

However, the latest challenge related to health care is not one of those things that only requires a call to your insurance company to survive.

You see health care nowadays is increasing dramatically – to the tune of the fact that it’s doubling in most cases – and a plan instituted by today’s requirements could financially break seniors all over the country.

I distinctly remember President Obama saying that Obama Care wouldn’t change how we reach received health care wouldn’t change how we sought help. I remember him saying we could see our same doctors.

Hogwash. We cannot qualify for the subsidies, so we're getting the shaft. At the same time, we're being kept away from being a part of a an improving economy because our health care costs have restricted us.

Things have changed alright. For those who thought the Margin Tax would ruin Nevada’s climb out of the worst economic setback since the Great Depression, the current state of health care costs could send the entire country into what we all faced in 2007 and 2008.

 Using us as a prime example, we are in need of another vehicle. Our 2001 Toyota Tacoma that we have owned since 2002 now has 246,000 miles on it. The fact that it had only 11,000 miles when we purchased it illustrates the fact that the truck has been not only loyal but also dependable for more than 15 years.

But the Tacoma is finally getting tired. We should probably trade it in for something newer, but we can’t simply because our health care costs have driven us out of buying another vehicle. Instead of buying a new vehicle, we have been ordered by government to make sure we have health insurance that has doubled or pay a penalty for not following the rules.

The idea was to have young people purchase Obama Care so that the costs of insurance to balance out the costs. The problem is that young people are saying “To the  hell with it. I’ll take my chances” and the rest of us are now paying the price.

Considering that I’m not very politically astute, I’m not sure how or why anyone would present such a complex health care plan. Surely, there must have been some special interests involved in the idea because nothing about the current state of health care makes any sense especially as it relates to seniors.

If you use the health care plan, that’s one thing. But if you don’t you’re throwing away money and in our case, you’re driving an old Toyota Tacoma that thankfully has outlived its expectancy.

 In a city like Las Vegas where people take chances frequently, we are simply taking a chance by spending thousands for a need that may never take place.

Thankfully, our Toyota Tacoma has been more loyal to us than today’s health care insurance plans which continue to give us the royal shaft.

In December, I will sign up for Medicare. In the meantime, I have to decide whether to go without insurance, while also taking the gamble and paying the fine.

And besides, we’re going to need another vehicle.

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