All seniors have received the 2015 Medicare book, which lists all these insurance companies in our service area that pick up the 20 percent of the insurance not covered by Medicare. Medicare pays 80 percent.
It lists the types available, including HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and PPOs (preferred provider organizations). A PPO has more hospitals and doctors in its network. It lists the prices for drugs; some expensive drugs will not be covered.
Medicare likely has increased the life expectancy in the U.S., but the 20 percent adds up when an illness strikes because there are high co-payments. Also, a certain amount, according to your income, is already deducted from your Social Security.
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Have no fear, AARP has the solution. Along comes Serenity with its supplemental insurance plan for only, in my case, $257 a month.
This would be for its popular “F” choice. But you cannot have an existing condition. Wonderful isn’t it?
Even the Affordable Care Act does a better job.
Let’s face it, people. As long as our insurance companies, hospitals, etc. are in this business for profit, it won’t get better.
I applaud the Nov. 30 letter writer and her husband for the way they raised their son. Their son is lucky to have been raised with two people telling him you get the respect you give to others.
That statement doesn’t apply to just black people but to all young people. Regardless of race, all young people need to learn at an early age that they get the respect they give to others.
Thanks to the letter writer and her husband for a job well done.
Keep people happy
Most of us are losers. Well, at least 99 percent, to borrow a phrase. So society depends on us. We are the biggest group by far.
The problem is how to keep us happy. If you have lots of unhappy losers, it’s French Revolution time, which was bad for Marie.
So, how to keep us losers happy?
Handicaps. In golf, you give strokes. In bowling, you give pins to partially equalize the advantage of the superior player.
These handicaps are not usually enough to make winners out of losers, but the losers don’t lose as badly, which saves face. And saving face is important to us losers because that’s all we have.
Look at casino owners. They’re masters at making losers feel happy. Free buffets. Free slot play. Drawings. Giveaways. Free shirts and other stuff. They know how to work their losers. They still keep most of the money.
The lesson here to the top 1 percent is to offer free giveaways. It doesn’t take a lot to keep us happy.
Don’t mess with our Social Security and Medicare. Quit complaining about food stamps and housing assistance.
A 2 percent raise once in a while would help. Don’t get us all riled up again.
Since my children started school, every week the PTA is having events to raise money — sometimes twice a week. Enough is enough.
My kids go to school to learn, not to be pressured into buying.
GOP’s solid South
There was recent court action by the Alabama Democratic Party against the Alabama Senate for gerrymandering the districts in the state so a white Republican majority would still control the state.
This is just the latest step in what has been a 50-year reshaping of the Republican Party in the South and in America.
Until the 1960s, the Democratic Party was the party of racism, led by people like George Wallace and enforced by groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The Republican Party, the party of President Abraham Lincoln, was the party of civil rights.
President Dwight Eisenhower had sent troops to Arkansas to force the integration of schools. Nelson Rockefeller of New York had fought long and hard for integration in New York and America.
Then things began to change. Democratic President Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Acts through Congress, and the Democrats became the party of integration.
Richard Nixon, however, saw a way to defeat the Democrats.
It is now known as Nixon’s Southern Strategy. He appealed to white Southern Democrats.
It worked. The Solid South that had served the Democrats so well is now the Solid South for the Republicans.
With gerrymandering, it will stay that way for a long time.
Kansas City, Kan.
In my opinion, the Wall Street bailout is what destroyed citizens’ trust in government. More people like cockroaches than like Congress nowadays.
The leaders of this country are supposed to be shepherds, gently guiding their citizen flock to better economic status. Instead, they are only concerned with the wool, shearing and starving the people so they can have more wool in their warehouses than the next shepherd.
They are also slaughtering and starving the different minority citizen sheep. The fences are falling down, and the shepherds are so busy competing with each other that they cannot be bothered to fix them.
The shepherds are so busy arguing that they don’t notice that the pastures are running low on grass. And to improve the pastures would cost time and effort and maybe reduce the amount of wool in the warehouse, so it is not done.
And you wonder why the citizen sheep are no longer interested in acknowledging the shepherds’ commands? It is because the shepherds are not living up to their agreement with the sheep.
Trust is a two-way street. Our leaders are too busy arguing to do their duty or live up to their promises.
Kansas City, Kan.
I am wondering how things would have turned out if someone in authority had said that 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death on Aug. 9 was a tragedy and that the authorities in Ferguson, Mo., would work with the community to change the atmosphere in the area.
This could have been done without admitting any wrongdoing, but the authorities could have admitted that any time a child is lost it is sad and that they understand the loss the community felt.
Guns, child safety
When it comes to gun ownership and safety, how do we protect our children?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show a child is much more likely to be accidentally injured or killed by a gun in the home than that gun being used to defend the children from an attacker.
Children, teens and adults are more likely to commit suicide with access to an unlocked and loaded firearm.
If you keep a gun in the home, please lock it and separate it from ammunition. Teach your children that guns are not toys but rather something you take very seriously.
As a physician, I don’t care if you are pro-gun, anti-gun or somewhere in the middle like me. What matters to me is the effect on your child’s health.
If you own a gun and have children in your house, as your child’s physician I want to be able to have an open conversation about this and other topics regarding your child’s health, such as water-heater temperature, your car seat and whether you lock up medications and cleaning items.
Please tell me your thoughts and feelings. Our children’s safety is a team effort.
Please don’t cut out your doctor.
Matt Petty, M.D.