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Saturday, August 29, 2009

take a grandson fishing

Add a Day to Your Life-Take a Grandchild Fishing

We’ve all heard it said that God never counts a day of fishing against your life span. Who knows, maybe He’ll even toss in an extra day if you take a grandchild fishing. And maybe even a third day if the child manages to snag a fish on that first trip.

That’s what happened to Gayle and me when a couple Saturdays back, we went fishing for the first time in a few years.

We’ve had our boats, and always got a kick out of fishing the river and lake. Once, years back, we had a deep V in which we went offshore—offshore to me being no more than a couple miles from the beach.

Once we had a twenty-one foot pontoon boat, and believe me, cumbersome as they are, they are ideal fishing platforms. We sold our last boat, a jon boat, a couple years back. It had been setting up for the past ten.

Now, we bank fish at Sabine Lake, and usually we do okay. More than anything, it’s a chance to relax, soak up some sun and breathe in the fresh, clean air off the water.

A month or so back, the older grandson, Keegan, who is almost five, mentioned something about fishing. At that age, their little I-want-this and I-want-that minds jump from one interest to the other faster than a cricket dodging a hungry chicken.

I just figured he’d let it drop, but he didn’t.

One day he popped in and informed me he had found the ideal fishing pole at Target.

Again, I just figured he’d let it drop, but, guess what? He didn’t.

Without warning, all the planets fell into line, Mars was larger than it would be for the next trillion years, and the day arrive when we kept him because both his Mom and Dad were working. Fate couldn’t have dealt out a better hand to the little guy, so, we decided, why not?

That morning, we found him a small Zebco rod and reel, a Lightning McQueen outfit. Back at the house, I pulled out our tackle boxes, brushed ten years of dust and debris off them; dusted, then washed and oiled the fishing rods and reels; finally managed to find a couple that worked well.

I’m not even going to go into the problems we faced getting licenses on a Saturday. But we got them.

We decided to go to Sabine Lake. We could have fished down at Port Neches Park, but the little guy would have had to wear a lifejacket, and the ninety-degree plus sun was too hot.

We fished the south revetment with all the rocks where I quickly discovered ten years had handily curtailed my balance as I tried to bounce from one rock to another. While I was bouncing, Gayle was catching fish. Finally we gave up and headed down to the causeway.

The beach was sandy, the water shallow, and believe it or not, the fish were biting, more or less.

Keegan quickly shed his shirt while I threw out his bait and handed him his rod.
In the meantime, Gayle caught another fish.

And then Keegan had a strike, and his line drew tight and the tip of his rod bent down.

Oh, was he excited, yelling for his ‘MeeMee’ to come help.

He did the most of it, and hauled in a fat little redfish about fifteen inches long. After we took a few pictures, we turned the fish back, explaining to the little guy we had to obey the law.

We were out two, maybe three hours, and all three of us were ready to come home and hop in the swimming pool.

Maybe next time, he’ll catch one that Gayle can fry up for him.

I know one thing, from the look on his face and the way he laughed, he’s got the making of a lifelong fisherman.

The other grandson is Mikey. He isn’t quite three. Another couple years, and we’ll have a team of fishermen around here.

Do you think God might toss in a fourth extra day for another grandson?

Oh, well, even if He doesn’t, it’s worth it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

free is nice, best is better

Free is Nice, but Best is Better.

A wag on my old high school chat group sent me this article that is typical of many whizzing around cyberspace this year.

The article states that “Obama’s health care plan will be written by a committee whose head says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it, whose members will be exempt from it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a treasury chief who evaded his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke.”

Now, we can laugh at this, but you know, if you stop and think about it, it could also make you cry.

I don’t know the name of committee head who made the remark-if they made the remark, but you’re as aware as I that no one in Congress understands the entire bill. It’s impossible. From front to back, the document is couched in government jargon.

However, you and I both know that when Congress started pushing the bill that 1. the majority of our representatives had not read it and consequently, 2. they had no idea what was in it, and 3. they knew they were exempt from it.

Given the third point, it is obvious why they were indifferent to the first two points. Hey, we’re just stupid and ignorant beasts of the field out here. They’re important; they’re Congressmen(at least until 2010).

I don’t see how anyone can argue those points, nor 4. argue that our president doesn’t smoke. Of course, smoking is his own choice. It’s no skin off my teeth if he wants to savage his body like that, but he has a lot of gall to insist he knows what’s best for millions of Americans while abusing his own body.

On top of that, 5. we cannot dispute the fact Treasury Chief Geithner did not pay his 2001-2004 taxes in the amount of $43,100.00, or 6. that the surgeon general from Alabama is overweight.

What our president has given us is a collection of administrators with little or no self-discipline to tell us what to do. Excuse me for saying it, but that’s like naming Bonnie and Clyde the president of the First National Bank and entrusting them with the bank customers’ money.

And point 7., at 9:41 am, August 20, 2009, the U.S. debt was “11,731,591,419,387.00 and growing over a hundred thousand every five (5) seconds. That comes out in excess of thirty-eight thousand for each American—not counting the twenty million illegals in the country.

And Folks, we still have the trillions of the health care bill to add.

I hear from the media that the Democrats are tired of trying to come up with a bi-partisan bill. There’s talk they’ll go it alone, using the strong-arm tactic of ‘reconciliation’, a political technique allowing a group to bend the rules enough to pass a bill.

You know, those guys-and gals up there-I’m talking about both parties- are, the most part, career leeches—whoops, I mean legislators. They’ve made a more than comfortable living off the American taxpayer for a good spell.

I find it hard to believe (but then I’m not too smart) that the Democrats would hazard a chance on pushing the bill through by themselves and taking the subsequent political hit next year.

Given the ineptness with which government has run various programs over the years (FEMA for a beginning), the plan has a better than average chance of catastrophe. If that happens, there goes the Democrat party.

I’d hazard a guess that then only the iron-clad liberals would stick with the party. From left-leaning voters all the way over to staunch conservatives would be furious at the tax hit they’ll take plus the trauma of the health bill being jammed down their throats.

Cal Thomas summed it up when he quoted an excerpt from an editorial in the Daily Mail in Britain. “Our(Britain) survival rates for breast, prostate, ovarian, and lung cancers are among the worst in Europe despite huge additional expenditures.” Free is nice, but best is better.

The writer is right. Free is nice, but best is better, and despite our problems, our health care is the best in the world.








www.kentconwell.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dilemma of Bare Toes

The Dilemma of Bare Toes

I’m sitting here now looking at a sixty-seven year-old portrait of Dad, Mom, my brother, Sam, and me that was made in Shamrock, Texas only a hour or so before Dad left to go overseas in World War II. The year was 1943.

In the portrait, Dad wore his Navy blues, his three stripes showing proudly on his sleeve. Mom, wearing a black coat with a white blouse, sat next to him, and I stood next to her. Dad held Sam, who was about one at the time. With the exception of Sam, we all wore sailor hats.

For the next two years, like hundreds of thousands of families with no husbands or fathers, we went about the job in our small town of keeping the country running until the men came home.

Those years when I was seven through twelve stand out as the carefree days of summer should, idyllic and filled with adventure.

Our spring and autumns were a mixture of chores and school. The summers brought more chores, but also allowed us the freedom to roam the small town.

With the ending of school came the annual shedding of footwear and a summer of unrequited freedom. Of course, we suffered stubbed toes and bloody cuts until our bare feet had toughened to the hardpan roads and simmering hot asphalt streets.

Who can forget the agony of stepping in a glob of hot tar and bouncing around on one foot while trying to scrape it off the other?

There were numerous advantages to going barefoot. First, no shoes or socks. Hop up and out bed, into your pants and shirt, gobble breakfast, and head out for another day of play.

It’s hard to forget the delicious feel of running your toes through cool sand or grass. The only feeling better was sitting in the shade of a giant cottonwood dangling your sizzling feet in the icy water of a bubbling creek.

And among us boys, it was a given fact you could run almost as fast as Superman in your bare feet. Bare feet gave better purchase when balancing on a log over a creek.

Of course there were disadvantages.

Tree roots, rocks, and any other a number of unmovable objects played havoc with our bare toes. As soon as the skin healed back over the bloody toe, you’d invariably smash it again.

While the picture show would let you in barefoot Saturday afternoon, you had to wear shoes at night. Another disadvantage was riding bicycles, for back then the pedals came apart at the slightest bump, and instead of a flat pedal to propel yourself, you were forced to clamp your arch around a six-inch long cylinder.
And you never got used to that.

Another disadvantage were the grass burrs and goatheads. Grass burrs have heads with hundreds of tiny stickers, which, while they will stick, are fairly soft. Goatheads are about the size of a pea with one point projecting from each side-and that point won’t break. Our summer toughened feet could handle grass burrs without too much pain, but goatheads were the dickens itself to a boy’s foot.

Back then, you just couldn’t avoid grass burrs and goatheads. They were everywhere. When we came to a patch we had to cross we’d screw up our courage and on the count of three, take off. Once running, you didn’t dare stop. I don’t know why, but racing across a patch, we picked up only a few stickers, nowhere near as many as if we tried picking our way across step-by-step.

When we went out to milk the cows or slop the hogs, we always slipped into rubber boots. Not even our leathery feet could tolerate what the cow lots had to offer.

Yeah, looking at this old color picture in the original plastic Deco Art frame, brings back wonderful memories.

I just hope my children can look back over sixty-odd years of their life with their own wonderful memories.

www.kentconwell.blogspot.com

Rant, Rave, Curse-And Say Nothing

409-724-2956
rconwell@gt.rr.com

Rant, Rave, Crawfish, but No Answers
If you missed last Sunday’s Enterprise article interviewing State Representative Joe Deshotel, orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Teuscher, Catholic Bishop Curtis Guillory, and the Reverend James Fuller, you missed a point I’ve tried to emphasize regarding the health bill.
The bill is too vague, as in ‘not specific.’
The language in every section of the currently proposed health bill could be interpreted in several different ways, depending upon those doing the interpreting.
In other words, the thousand page plus document is the personification of politically obtuse narrative. And let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, our Congress is a master at obtuse narrative.
All of the gentleman in the article recognize the need for reform. Only one got into specifics, the others relying on inference and platitudes and anger.
No disrespect intended, but only one seemed to have a firm, specific grasp on specific problems and solutions regarding some aspects of the bill.
According to the Enterprise, Representative Deshotel stated that while health care is an issue of great concern, much of the hysteria over Obama’s proposal is irrational and the rumors absurd. “That’s so stupid-it let’s you know that’s not the issue-the issue is the president. They haven’t come to accept an African-American president,” he said.
‘Stupid’ is an ill-chosen remark. Stupid means ‘dull, foolish, inane.’ I suggest millions of Americans who simply want to express themselves or demand clarity are not stupid. They can’t all be ‘dull, foolish, inane.’
Then the extrapolation between ‘stupid’ and what the speaker considers consider the real issue is difficult for me to grasp. Sure, there are folks opposed to Obama because of his race, but not the majority of us.
Why is the hysteria ‘irrational’? Why is it ‘absurd’? How about letting us in on why you so believe. Perhaps we can agree. ‘Anyone can see it,’ is no answer.
Dr. Teuscher, who believes in reform, stated the government should not get into the medical health arena until it solves its current problems. Then he gave specific reasons. 1. Medicare is not paying its full share, leading doctors to limit the number of patients.
2. The system’s financing mechanism is broken. They’re paying for Medicare last year with payroll taxes you’re going tot pay next year. It’s not sustainable. It’s completely unsustainable.”
Now, that’s specific, but it is nothing we haven’t known. Why hasn’t something been done about Medicare? You really believe tossing a whole new system into the confused milieu right now is going to make things better?
Both Bishop Gillory and Reverend Fuller addressed it from their pulpits appropriately.
Neither provided any specific explanations regarding various aspects of the bill. Their bailiwick is the souls and care of their flocks, and both gentleman carry out their callings with the fervor that will assure them of stars in the crown when they meet St. Peter.
However, the Reverend did point out one aspect regarding the cost of health care. Noting that his own premiums were prohibitive, he suggested perhaps that might be lowered with the new bill. Then, he added that such a decrease could help offset the higher taxes expected to accompany a national health care system. And a system in which everyone paid into could result in lower costs for all.
The only exceptions I take to the gentleman’s remarks are two vague and indeterminate words, could and could. If you’ll listen to the proponents’ arguments, they are filled with ‘might’, ‘could,’ ‘looks like,’ ‘supposedly,’ ‘should’, and other such vague terms.
Neither the bishop, the reverend or the representative provided any specific answers. And that’s the overall problem with this bill.
If our lives are to be changed, we’re entitled to the dignity of a ‘will’, not ‘could’.


www.kentconwell.blogspot.com
rconwell@gt.rr.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

family memories

Summer on the Farm-Now Only a Poignant Memory

Back when I was just a kid without much common sense and even fewer neurons whizzing through my brain, I always looked forward to spending time at my maternal grandparents’ farm out by Lubbock, Texas on that vast expanse of geography my uncles called the ‘Great Plains’. That was just another name for the Staked Plains or the Llano Estacado.


The plains were called Staked Plains, so the story goes because they were flat and treeless—treeless and flat. Either way you said it, there was nothing growing on that vast expanse of Texas to point a hapless explorer back to the spot from which he had departed earlier that morning.

But there were those inventive yahoos who had an ‘eureka’ moment and drove stakes in the hard ground, i.e., Staked Plains, as a means to assist their return to their ‘however so humble’ abode that night.

It’s an eerie feeling, whether it be land or water; to quickly scan the empty vastness surrounding you and see nothing except your canteen and your pony (boat), neither I’m sorry to say, would offer much of a starting point for your trek back to your camp.

Now, I lived in Wheeler, some 250 miles from my grandparents; my older cousin, Dooley, 17, and his older brothers lived in Amarillo, a hundred miles closer to our grandparents. That branch of the family being right on the way, we always stopped in Amarillo and some of the family accompanied us on to the plains.

Dooley was five or six years older than me or Ed; consequently, as cousins do, he always picked on us. If you had older cousins, farm cousins, you know what I mean. They could be merciless in their taunting, but this time, Ed and I had already plotted our revenge before he could act. Heh, heh, heh.

Outside of the corrals and pigpens was a large water tank, fed by a windmill. Giant cottonwoods surrounded the tank, and naturally, like all boys, we’d strung up ropes in the limbs so we could play Tarzan.

Trust me, this plot had been thought out over a few month’a time, so we had a pretty god idea how it was going down.

The rope was about three-quarters of an inch thick, and we’d cut a little over half-way through it about a foot from the end, then used black electrical tape to wrap it. When Dooley sneered at us for holding above the tape, we said it was because we didn’t want our hands to slip. Heh, heh, heh. The dumb nut.

Now, it was a heap of fun to swing way out, then skim back in barely missing the water, but that’s not how Ed and I did it. Grabbing above the tape, we could only swing out a few feet, then tribble back in.

Dooley would yell at us. “Dummies! Now watch this. This is how you chickens ought to do it,” and then he’d grab the very bottom of the rope and go whizzing out over the tank, almost parallel to the water. He sneered at us.

He called us chicken-livered, and a lot of worse names. We just grinned at each other, hoping he’d hurry up and take the fall.

He’d make all kinds of fun at us

And then it happened.

Boy, that would sure have been a picture. He seemed to freeze in mid-air, his eyes bulging, his mouth gaping, and the scream stuck on his lips.
By the time he hit the water, we’d hit the hardpan road for our neighbor’s a quarter mile away.

If you know anything about cow tanks, you know just how that fine, dark black mud can penetrate everything, stain everything, and stink up
everything.

Naturally, he caught us and worked us over; perversely we even enjoyed it, even the cow patties in the middle of the back, and other such touches of rural revenge.

We all headed back home the next day, but not before Ed and I started planning our revenge on Dooley, and the day that we would start gathering eggs. Heh, heh, heh.

That was in the early fifties; Dooley enlisted in the US Army and was sent to Korea a few months later just after he turned eighteen. He went out on patrol and never returned. He is listed as MIA.I still get teary-eyed thinking about Dooley.

I feel sorry for those guys who never had a cousin like him. He was mean to us, but we loved the heck out of that guy.

health bill penalties

Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts

I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but some folks have actually complained about the information I’ve tried to supply the last few weeks regarding the House Health Care Bill.

Most, but not all of the questions have arisen from someone jumping to an unwarranted conclusion based upon the information over which they simply skimmed.

For example, in one section of the bill, it talks about end-of-life counseling. One gentleman chided me for knot doing my research, referring me to a Snopes’ article on euthanasia.

I never mentioned euthanasia. I mentioned end-of-life counseling, which is in the bill--and not a bad idea either if that’s all it is. It was this gentleman’s assumption that connected the two.

That’s what I mean about jumping to conclusions. Several have suggested I used biased sources, left- or right-wing pundits. They’re all over the place, but they’re just as bad, as uncertain as flipping a coin—usually.
My primary source of information is the house bill itself. On one hand, I have the bill so I can go through it line by line; on the other, I have my document upon which I relate my own personal interpretations of the rules.

I might pose ideas with which you might not agree, but they are not lifted verb-by-verb from another’s equally inept interpretation.

Now, all that being said, and with assurance I’m not copying right- or left-wing regurgitation ad nauseam, let’s talk more about the bill.

Now when the president says ‘everyone’ will have health insurance, he ain’t just whistling Dixie (except for himself and those around him). Not only does the bill lay hefty penalties up to eight percent of the payroll on employers who fail to offer acceptable health plans, but they hit taxpayers with similarly harsh penalties.

In section 59B, we read the penalty for having no coverage. The bill states in subsection (a), TAX IMPOSED- in the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of acceptable health insurance according to subsection (d) at any time during the taxable years, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of: the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year---but it shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year, an amount determined by the Secretary and the Health Choices Commissioner (this is a new one on me too).

The penalty is even more harsh if you fail to cover your dependents. You think that’s not going to burst the bubble of those young, first-time voters who were dying for a change?

Makes you wonder how those Washington whiz kids are going to handle the cardboard-box-sleeping-under-the-bridges constituents in their voting blocs.

Now, a couple pages farther in the bill, AND THIS REALLY TICKS ME OFF, page 170 to be exact when the bill addresses EXCEPTIONS TO THIS PENALTY. Nonresident Aliens - Subsection (a) – (the subsection mentioned above) – shall not apply to any individual who is a non-resident alien.

By the way, a non-resident alien is a person who is not a US Citizen and who does not meet either the ‘green card’ test or the ‘substantial presence’ test described in IRS Publication 159, US Tax Guide for Aliens.

The way I read this is that American citizens will have to pay the penalties, but illegal aliens will not.

I wish you critics would read it and tell me if I’m wrong on this interpretation. If I’m right, does that mean you and I are paying for old Tequila Joe?

Now, if you’re good hearted enough you don’t mind illegals wading across, how about picking up my share of their insurance tab?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

house bill part 3


I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but some folks have actually complained about the information I’ve tried to supply the last few weeks regarding the House Health Care Bill.
Most, but not all of the questions have arisen from someone jumping to an unwarranted conclusion based upon the information they skimmed over.

For example, in one section of the bill, it talks about end-of-life counseling. One gentleman chided me for knot doing my research, referring me to a Snopes’ article on euthanasia.
I never mentioned euthanasia. I mentioned end-of-life counseling. It was this gentleman’s assumption that connected the two.

That’s what I mean about jumping to conclusions. Several have suggested I used biased sources, left- or right-wing pundits. They’re all over the place, but they’re just as bad as flipping a coin—usually.

My primary source of information is the house bill itself. On one hand, I have the bill so I can go through it line by line; on the other, I have my document upon which I relate my own personal interpretations of the rules.

I might pose ideas with which you might not agree, but they are not lifted verb-by-verb from another’s equally inept interpretation.

Now, all that being said, and with assurance I’m not copying right- or left-wing regurgitation ad nauseam, let’s talk more about the bill.

Now when the president says ‘everyone’ will have health insurance, he ain’t just whistling Dixie (except for himself and those around him). Not only does the bill lay hefty penalties up to eight percent of the payroll on employers who fail to offer acceptable health plans, but they hit taxpayers with similarly harsh penalties.

In section 59B, we read the penalty for having no coverage. The bill states in subsection (a), TAX IMPOSED- in the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of acceptable health insurance according to subsection (d) at any time during the taxable years, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of: the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year---but it shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year, an amount determined by the Secretary and the Health Choices Commissioner (this is a new one on me too)
The penalty is even more harsh if you fail to cover your dependents.

Makes you wonder how those Washington whiz kids are going to handle the cardboard-box-sleeping-under-the-bridges constituents of their voting blocs.

Now, a couple pages farther, AND THIS REALLY TICKS ME OFF, page 170 to be exact when the bill addresses exceptions to this penalty. Nonresident Aliens - Subsection (a) – the subsection mentioned above – shall not apply to any individual who is a non-resident alien.

By the way, a non-resident alien is a person who is not a US Citizen and who does not meet either the ‘green card’ test or the ‘substantial presence’ test described in IRS Publication 159, US Tax Guide for Aliens.

The way I read this is that American citizens will have to pay the penalties, but illegal aliens will not.

I wish you critics would read it and tell me if I’m wrong on this interpretation. If I’m right, does that mean you and I are paying for old Tequila Joe?

Now, if you’re good hearted enough you don’t mind for the next illegal wading across, how about pickup up the next two or three for me, okay?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

physician, patient-- protect thyself

Physician and Patient, Protect Thyself

No one likes the hassle of buying new health insurance, but at least, we can shop around.

But no more! The House Bill doesn’t give you a choice, not really. If you like to comparison shop, forget it. There will be nothing with which to compare the benefits.

On page 65 of the Health Bill, it states that the ‘Secretary of Health and Human Services’ shall establish a temporary reinsurance program to provide reimbursement for participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and eligible spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents of such retires. To me, and probably also to you, health benefits means medical, surgical, hospital, prescription drugs, and such other benefits as shall be determined by the SECRETARY whether—(read this carefully), whether self-funded or delivered through the purchase of insurance or otherwise.’

In other words, as I see it, that means even if I have the funds to pay for a high-dollar operation or procedure, unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services approves, I cannot get it.

Read it. Tell me if I’m wrong. I hope I am, but I don’t think so. It appears to me, the older folks are bearing the brunt of this savage attack on our welfare. Of course, you are well aware the Obama administration had suggested taking 500 billion from Medicare to help pay for this all-encompassing health bill. With that much ripped from Medicare, I can only imagine what benefits will necessarily not be available any longer. How about you?

A friend of mine mentioned a movie from years back with Edward G. Robinson, ‘Soylent Green.’ Soylent Green was the food the government of the future provided for the population. In the movie, the government runs your life to the point of telling you when it’s time to die. The death is peaceful and serene, and then the body was dumped at a processing plant that produced—what else? You guessed it, Soylent Green.

Now, I’m not suggesting anything like that, but this section of the bill will dictate procedures you, depending upon your age, will be eligible to receive—or not.

On page 72, a government Health Exchange is being set up to establish standards for all insurance companies offering health benefit plans through the Health Insurance Exchange. In effect, the government is bringing private health care plans under its control. It mandates—as in NO CHOICE- mandates ALL benefit levels for all plans. It other words, they are telling us what we can get in our healthcare plans even if you buy from a private company.

During World War II, we were told what we could buy and could not buy. That was called ‘rationing’, a word that has been popping up more and more frequently in regard to this bill.

On page 91, lines 4-7, the bill states that each insurance company will provide for culturally and linguistically appropriate communication and health services. That means only one thing to me--this plan is designed to cover the twelve million (who knows how many?) illegals still in our country.
Sure, there are many folks without health care, but illegals, using the gov’t’s own figures, make up twenty-five percent of that number, while the shiftless, the potheads, the indifferent, the cheats, the-get-something-for-nothings also make up a large part.

How many of us had the initial impression that this bill would treat everyone the same, benefits, etc…? Guess again. There are five different levels of participation in regard to cost-sharing. Uh, oh! Cost Sharing? Horrors! You mean we’re going to have to fork over cash?

You got it. Five different levels with five different cost-sharing provisions. You have more money, you buy a better plan.
Strange, that seems like what we’re doing now.

They even tell doctors what they can and cannot charge by relegating them to ‘preferred’ and ‘non-preferred’ status.

Welcome to the future.