Medicare or Medi Doesn't Care?


I am on Medicare. Up to 2015 I found it to be very good, with my supplemental insurance, it covered pretty much everything I needed, with doctor visits, procedures and tests costing me little or nothing. Now, it is no longer the case. Here's the story...

I went for blood tests, the day before my appointment with my cardiologist. I was getting my sugar, cholesterol and PSA (prostate level) checked, all of which are high on an ongoing basis. I had given up my daily piece of cake and my popsicles for 6 full days prior to today's tests. 6 days, no sugar.

I went to the blood lab. The lab lady sat me down to do the quick paperwork. Then she told me that Medicare now only covers 2 PSA tests a year and 2 cholesterol tests a year. I explained that I had an ongoing high cholesterol and ongoing elevated PSA, severe enough to have tests on a regular ongoing basis and I would need several additional PSA tests throughout the rest of the year. She said that, after 2 tests, each PSA test would cost me upwards of $100. Same with the cholesterol tests. I was livid that Medicare was not properly covering adequate testing for my serious and ongoing medical issues. As we older Americans age we will have more ailments, more serious ailments, and will need MORE medical services. That's normal. And Medicare is not keeping up with the needs of its older subscribers. And I refused to be financially liable for the "extra" tests. I took back my prescription and left the lab, pissed off. I see my cardiologist tomorrow, will have no lab tests done for him, my pcp or my urologist.

As we Americans get older (and sicker) Medicare coverage is not keeping up, in fact, Medicare coverage is declining, going downward, towards Obamacare. I have survived more than 65 years to qualify for Medicare, only to find it suddenly failing to cover my (and other seniors') normal ongoing medical needs. This is a direct result of the federal government reducing Medicare coverage.

I have resolved to forego ANYTHING medical that Medicare and my supplemental insurance won't cover and that I have to pay for out of pocket. And, if I die as a result, I will come back and haunt everyone responsible for the reduced Medicare coverage :)

I am a pissed off old person. A pissed off old person who votes.

I survived past 65, only to be screwed by my government-run health care system, Medicare ... or, in this case, Medi-Doesn't-Care. Welcome to socialized medicine, American style, where the government is screwing old people - and no longer covering their necessary and needed medical services. Not good. For Americans on Medicare, health care is no longer controlled by the doctor, it's controlled by the government. And we know how well the government runs things.

TO MEDICARE:
STOP REDUCING OUR BENEFITS
WE EARNED THEM!






Is smoking pot bad for you?



A decades-long study has discovered that regular marijuana smokers experience more work, social and economic issues at midlife in comparison to the ones who use pot just occasionally or not at all. Published online on March 23 in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, the research suggested that regular and persistent users also faced more financial, work-related and relationship problems, which became bad to worse with the progress in the number of years of cannabis usage.

The University of California, Davis researchers tracked roughly 1,000 young people for decades and found that the ones who smoked cannabis four or more days in a week over many years suffer lower-paying, less-skilled jobs in comparison to those who didn’t smoke pot on a regular basis.

Regular and persistent users also “experienced more financial, work-related and relationship difficulties, which worsened as the number of years of cannabis use progressed,” according to the research that appeared online March 23 in the journal Clinical Psychological Science."

“Our study found that regular cannabis users experienced downward social mobility and more financial problems, such as troubles with debt and cash flow, than those who did not report such persistent use,” said one of the lead researchers, Magdalena Cerdá at the University of California, Davis, in a written release. “Regular long-term users also had more antisocial behaviors at work, such as stealing money or lying to get a job, and experienced more relationship problems, such as intimate partner violence and controlling abuse.”

"These people may also suffer more money problems and have more difficulties with both work and personal relationships than their non-marijuana-smoking peers, the researchers added," according to a news report published by KOAA.

"We need to be aware that persistent heavy cannabis use may have consequences for how well people do in life, how they perform and function at work and in relationships with others," she said.



I think they got it backwards. It's not the pot smoking that causes the problems, it's the person smoking the pot. Those who smoke dope all day were probably already messed up BEFORE they took up smoking pot nearly every day - that's why they start smoking pot! Those who smoke dope nearly every day (or all day) are probably less than highly motivated in the first place, have a low desire for a "normal" life (job, family, friends, etc) and may have pre-existing anti-social tendencies. Maybe THAT'S why they started smoking pot all day! Maybe it's not the heavy pot smoking that makes these people unmotivated, broke, jobless and unhappy, maybe it's being unmotivated, broke, jobless and unhappy that makes them turn to smoking a lot of pot!



Brad Pitt in "True Romance"

And, no, I am not excusing the behavior of heavy pot smokers nor am I advocating the smoking of cannabis, I am just pointing out assbackwards research.





letterboxing sucks


My old Kindle tablet is ready to be replaced. It served its purpose well (Netflix, email, reading, browsing) but I wanted an operating system that does more. I investigated the best new 8-inch android and IOS tablets on the market. I spent hours doing research online. I narrowed it down to the new Ipad and the new Samsung 8-inch tablets. Both cost $399. Plus tax and carrying case. Before I spend $500 on a new tablet I wanted to see the tablets in person and compare them. I went to a store that had the iPad in stock. I was not impressed with the high resolution screen and it's video playback picture. The videos were just not sharp enough. It didn't WOW me. My old $200 Kindle HDX 7-inch tablet had a brighter more colorful sharper picture. For viewing Netflix and videos, I was disappointed with the iPad. Next, I went to another store to see the new Samsung 8-inch tablet. WOW! What a bright colorful screen! Now that's more like it! I was getting excited. My Netflix movies and TV shows would be rendered in beautiful sharp living color on this tablet. I loaded a movie trailer, turned the tablet sideways (landscape) and started the video. I immediately noticed that very thick black lines ran across the top and bottom of the screen, making the video look ... not good. What? I am used to seeing a movie or video taking up the whole screen (full screen). This new tablet was showing me only maybe 75% of the screen, the top and bottom cut off by black bars, called "letterboxing". It didn't look right. It was off putting. My eyes and my brain HATED it. WHY did tablet makers change the way videos and movies look, i.e. letterboxing? I found out why (it's technical) but, to my eyes and brain, it looks just plain WRONG! I refuse to watch Netflix movies or TV shows on a device that has THICK black bars at the top and bottom of the screen which noticeably compresses the picture and makes viewing annoying and difficult. And, no, I don't think I can get used to it. The cause of this is how the entertainment business makes movies and TV shows. Movie and TV directors changed the "aspect ratio" of their media and, to properly accommodate that, electronic device makers have added letterboxing on the computer or tablet screen.

It appears that perhaps ALL new computers and tablets will feature the stupid unwatchable letterboxing. That being the case, I will be giving up Netflix and will stop watching movies and TV shows online. It is/was one of my major and most enjoyable daily hobbies. Now, the enjoyment is gone. My enjoyment is gone, and replaced by stupid unwatchable letterboxing, thanks to movie and TV directors and electronic device makers. Thanks a lot, you stupid idjiots!

Well, at least I will save $500, by not buying a new tablet.






Happy Birthday to my blog


In case you were wondering, I started this Stu Pitt blog on March 9, 2009. Today is March 21, 2016. I have been writing this blog for seven years. I had no idea it has been seven years. I didn't realize it has been that long. I guess time DOES fly when you're having fun. And, when I did realize it has been seven years I was stunned. I am truly amazed (and humbled) that, since 2000, I have written 20 books (see them on the right) and have posted to this blog since March 2009.

For it's 7th birthday I am giving my blog an online animated sugar-free birthday cake and a iTunes gift card!







I am a dinosaur



I'm old, out of date, and don't care. I am a dinosaur. Soon to be extinct.

I don't text, don't use social media, I don't sleep with my phone, don't have a beard, don't have ANY tattoos, don't eat only gluten-free food, and don't smoke pot all day. And I don't want to do any of those things. I don't care. I'd rather TALK to someone, face-to-face, walk WITHOUT texting, read a book or watch TV or a movie. Along with tens of millions of other Baby Boomers I am a dinosaur. Old, out of date, and soon to be extinct. I am a dinosaur. And damn proud of it!






medical bribery


Doctors receive money from pharmaceutical companies. In exchange, it appears that some/many doctors prescribe medication that benefits those companies.

From NPR:

"A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe.

We matched records on payments from pharmaceutical and medical device makers in 2014 with corresponding data on doctors' medication choices in Medicare's prescription drug program.

Doctors who got money from drug and device makers prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn't, our analysis showed. Even those who simply got meals from companies prescribed more brand-name drugs, on average.

Moreover, as payments increased, brand-name prescribing rates tended to as well. Doctors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages. Among internists who received no payments, for example, the average brand-name prescribing rate was about 20 percent, compared to about 30 percent for those who received more than $5,000."

According to the report, In California, where I live, 66.7% of the doctors received a payment in 2014.



OMG! So patients now have to protect ourselves from their doctors, doctors who are probably participating in the Big Pharma "bribe to prescribe" program??? How the heck can we patients question our doctor as to whether or not they are prescribing proper and necessary medication? The conversation might go like this ...

Patient: "Doctor, you want me to start taking this brand name drug. Are you prescribing this medication for me because I need it or because you are being bribed to do so?"

Doctor: "Don't question me. I'm a doctor, you aren't. I went to medical school, you didn't! Shut up and start taking the pills."






Don't Talk About Freedom of Speech



Protestors forced Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, to cancel a rally in Chicago. It is rumored that it was also an organized protest which included organized protest groups such as Black Lives Matter, supporters of socialist, Bernie Sanders, and spurred on by politically extreme left wing liberal organization, MoveOn.org. The protest was designed to disrupt the speech by Trump and take away his right to speak in public.

Left wing radicals should be ashamed of themselves for shutting down other people's access to free speech. They certainly would be vocally and instantly up in arms if the other side (conservatives) did that to them! Liberals would be the first to scream, "Freedom of Speech cannot be denied!" Yet, in Chicago, they denied the ability to speak freely to Donald Trump, and tens of thousands of his followers, who disagree with the protestors' liberal or socialist views.

If young people are not taught by their teachers in school or their parents at home, about American freedom, or two-way fairness, shame on teachers and parents. If YOU want to speak or protest peacefully against an issue(s), that's fine, but you must also allow the other side to peaceably assemble and speak freely. THAT is what gives you YOUR freedom. If, on the other hand, you do away with somebody else's Freedom of Speech, don't be surprised if they do away with yours.






lying in wait



Quote of the day:

"Politicians give liars a bad name"

Joke of the day: "How can you tell if a politician is lying? Their lips are moving."






Thank you Warren Buffett



The other day I received an email, from Warren Buffett, billionaire investor. He wanted to give me $5 million. Here is an excerpt from the email ...

"My wife and I decided to donate the sum of $5,000,000,00 USD to you as part,of our charity project to improve the lot of 10 lucky individuals all over the world from our $12 Billion Usd I and My Wife Mapped out to help people before she died. We prayed and searched over the internet for assistance because i saw your profile on Microsoft email owners list and picked you.Susan my wife and i have decided to make sure this is put on the internet for the world to see. my wife has cancer and she died at colchester regional hospital, my wife just didn't die but she was a great person and I miss her so much and this is why I have decided to do one thing i promised her forever.I am not getting any younger and you can imagine having no much time to live. although am a Billionaire investor and we have helped some charity organizations from our Fund."

Thank you for accepting our offer, we are indeed grateful You Can Google my name for more information: Mr Warren Buffett.
God bless you
Mr Warren Buffett Billionaire investor




Imagine that, Warren Buffett wants to give me $5 million! All he wants is for me to send HIM some money, in advance, so I can get the $5 million. Yeah, sure, I'm going to do that. Yeah, sure, it's not a scam - it's really Warren Buffett (with bad grammar) and I will really receive millions of dollars from him. Yeah, sure, I believe it. Yeah, sure, I'm that stupid. Not. My mama didn't raise no dummy.

I do feel sorry for Warren Buffett that email scammers are using his name to scam unsuspecting people. I do not feel sorry when email scammers are tracked down by authorities, arrested and thrown in jail.






keep running


I read an article about a Goldman Sachs partner's advice to the junior staff. The Wall Street firm's partner told staff, "Keep your head down. And keep running." This is old school work ethic and applies to working hard and getting ahead. There is more to life than work. MY work AND life advice to young people is, "Keep your head UP. And keep WALKING." That way you will see more things, learn more things and avoid more pitfalls.





hit-and-run epidemic


Los Angeles is experiencing a hit-and-run epidemic. According to nbclosangeles, "A hit-and-run crash occurs about once every 18 minutes in Los Angeles, according to data analyzed by the NBC4 I-Team that illustrates the extent of a problem that has been called an "epidemic." The I-Team examined data reported to the California Highway Patrol on all hit-and-run cases in Los Angeles County for 2015. More than 28,000 reported hit-and-run crashes during that year occurred over a widespread area of the county at an alarming rate and 50 percent of all incidents in Los Angeles County are hit-and-run cases.

The national average is 11 percent, according to the American Automobile Association.

Most hit-and-run cases do not involve injuries, according to the data. They often involve a driver striking a parked vehicle, then leaving the scene.



Maybe the intersections that have the most hit-and-run incidents are badly designed intersections. Badly designed or badly maintained with too much traffic congestion, potholes, bicycle lanes that caused traffic lanes to be removed, construction projects which disrupt traffic, speed limits which are not enforced, etc. Or the epidemic could be the result of young inexperienced millennial drivers. Or caused by illegal immigrants and/or other lower income people who have a car and buy only one month of auto insurance to comply with the car registration law (in Los Angeles you must show that you have vehicle insurance in order to register your vehicle) and then they cancel the insurance after they register their car. That being the case, when they hit another vehicle they don't stop because they are driving illegally - without current insurance - and also cannot pay out of pocket for the damage to the vehicle they hit. So when they cause an accident, when they hit another car, they run (or in this case drive) away.

Or maybe they are drunk. Driving while drunk. I would like to know what time of day, or night, these hit-and-runs happen. If a lot of hit-and-runs happen late at night, it may be drunk driving or "past your bedtime" accidents.

Or maybe the epidemic of hit-and-runs is caused by the epidemic of pot smoking. These days, lots of people in L.A. are smoking marijuana -- all day. They are stoned. Day and night. And then driving. BANG! Duh.

Or, maybe drivers are simply getting more selfish and irresponsible (millennials?) "Oops, BANG, I hit another car. Damn, I banged it good. Oh, well, MY car still runs so I'm just going to drive away."

OR, even though it is illegal, maybe the hit-and-run drivers were texting while driving and not paying attention to the road. CRASH! And when they hit another car they run away - because they don't want to get arrested! Hey, drivers, don't "Drive Dumb", put the f-ing phone away!!!

Driving is a privilege not a right. Protect your privileges, protect your life, respect property (yours and other people's). Driving 4,000 pounds of metal at 40-70 mph requires our FULL attention ... ALL the time!