One restaurant I frequent has some interesting servers.
One demonstrates her prodigious memory on a regular basis. She does not need to write down our order, though she often does to ensure that there are no mistakes. She casually mentioned the other day that she wouldn't be at work on the usual day we appear because she would be on vacation. I asked her if she was going any place fun. She offered that she was merely taking a break from working two jobs, as she works at the restaurant before going to her full-time job as a night stocker at Walmart.
One does what one has to do to survive in an economy where libertarian parasites are allowed to outsource jobs with wild abandon, not to mention ignoring long-established law.
Another mentioned that she had been in California for some training. I thought this was strange, given that restaurants do not pay people to travel to other states for training. After eavesdropping on another table I got the impression she was a real estate agent. I asked if she was a real estate agent, but she replied that she is a flipper. I had never met a flipper before, so I asked her a few questions. She was very animated as she talked, like an Amway salesman I once knew. She told me how flippers research properties remotely via the Internet. What was most amazing about her story is that flippers might assign the property to another flipper before the original transaction was completed. I asked her how that was handled contractually and she said it was done with a few added lines to the contract, something I found difficult to believe. She went on like a Scientologist, extolling the virtues of flipping, saying that everyone wins, yet she also mentioned that some sellers were only doing so because they were in financial trouble. I was shocked that she was not required to be a real estate agent.
It used to be true that selling a house before it had been owned for one year incurred a severe capital gains tax, but obviously Congress in its infinite libertarian wisdom eliminated that pesky restriction. The flipper is dead wrong: everyone does not win, because she and her fellow flippers are putting house prices out of reach for first-time buyers. Buying a home should not resemble a lottery. If we had a Congress with any integrity, the law would be changed back to what it was before.
The NRA initially appeared willing to agree to a ban on so-called bump stocks, a replacement of the stock which allows the shooter to essentially fire in a fully automatic manner. But it has flip-flopped.
The NRA demonstrated its ignorance of the law, specifically the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act which banned automatic weapons -- "it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun" -- which had not been lawfully owned prior to the passage of the bill.
Since adding a bump stock converts a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one, it creates an illegal situation because the weapon was not an automatic weapon before 1986. It is no different than replacing the sear in a semi-automatic weapon with one from an automatic weapon, or modifying it in a machine shop to achieve the same result, with the sear being the part that ties together the trigger, safety, and hammer.
Bump stocks have nothing to do with the Second Amendment, as the Founding Fathers would not approve of a device that enables a user to spray-n-pray as compared to employing aimed fire. The Second Amendment addresses protection against government and self-defense, not selfish, hazardous entertainment.
Congress needs to enforce existing law, something the NRA has been saying for years.
Bump stocks must not only be removed from the marketplace; the possession of them must be made illegal.
Years ago, before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, I was denied insurance due to preexisting conditions even though I did not have cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, or any other major medical problem. Eventually I discovered Cover Colorado, the insurer of last resort in Colorado, but while I was uninsured I made a few inquiries. I asked a pharmacist what the cash price would be for a generic prescription that cost me $20 under insurance. He told me that his price would be $200. Later, with a high-deductible insurance, I asked a surgery center for the costs for someone with poor coverage. They told me that there was a retail price and a cash price, with the former being the outrageous amount they charged insurance companies. And of course there were the many negotiated prices depending upon the size of the negotiator. I never forgot these lessons.
As I wrote before, I was rear-ended by someone. I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss my injuries, with this appointment being in early September. My doctor and I discussed some things, including the possibility of physical therapy, and then he told me to get some x-rays at a provider I had used earlier that year. However, the provider told me that my insurance was not valid. I was rather confused by this. They told me I could pay the cash price, which I did because it was not too high, though still not as low as what a normal co-payment would have been. I did not make much of the incident at the time.
My PCP sent me a message which required me to login to his website. I noticed that it had changed and was now UCHealth. However, I had never received any notice of the acquisition -- or more importantly, any notice of insurance changes -- whether via telephone, email, or USPS. I made a second appointment with him, as he had advised that insurance companies like it better if patients see their PCP every 2-3 weeks to obtain continuity of treatment. The Friday before my Monday appointment, someone from his office called me and left a message. Since my appointment was the next Monday, I assumed it was the usual, "We are calling to remind you of your upcoming appointment," and I did not listen to it until the weekend when the office was closed.
However, the voicemail was not the expected one. The call regarded UCHealth's acquisition of the practice and its impact on my coverage. Specifically, the person stated that UCHealth does not accept my insurance and that I would have to pay the cash price for my Monday appointment. I took this to mean that my appointment still stood.
I thought about not showing up for the appointment, but I showed up to argue my case and to avoid having them charge me for a missed appointment. When I got there, the receptionist asked the business manager to speak with me. The business manager told me she had only worked there for three weeks and that the doctors had sold their private practice to UCHealth. It was clear she believed that this freed UCHealth of any obligations to its newly acquired patients. She also told me that my appointment had been canceled, yet when I challenged her on it, she admitted she had no idea if that was actually true. She told me that the acquisition by UCHealth was effective August 1, 2017.
I asked to see my PCP one last time for long-term advice and to obtain one more prescription for generic prescription painkillers for my neck, especially given that it was nearly the end of the month and it would be a clean break. She refused in a corporate manner. She told me that I could sign a new treatment plan and agree to pay all charges. I asked if this paperwork would state that I agreed to pay the cash price. She told me that the agreement was of a generic nature and would not have any limits on my liability. I refused and left.
In fact, any corporate acquisition involves the acceptance of both assets and liabilities unless the creditors agree. UCHealth could have given me advance notice of the problem -- August 1 would have been a good date -- so I would have had plenty of time to find a new doctor.
The Colorado version of Obamacare does not allow customers to switch plans in the middle of the year unless it is for a life-changing event, e.g. adopting a child. It is not possible for me to switch plans to accommodate UCHealth, not to mention that it is nearly time to choose a plan for 2018.
I first had to look through the list of doctors to find one accepting new patients, call to see how long the wait for an appointment was, and then change PCPs. Luckily I had nothing important to do that day so I was able to change PCPs and make an appointment for early October. Cigna told me it will not mail a new ID card because it is already preparing for 2018.
Cigna told me that my PCP was still officially the original doctor, as UCHealth had not notified them of any changes, with PCPs being the gateway for all treatment unless one wants to pay the out-of-network price. And UCHealth sent me two emails at the very end of September explaining that the office was moving to a different location effective October 2.
UCHealth unilaterally eliminated all but emergency coverage for September and possibly August as well. UCHealth will never tell me the truth, so I will never know if I actually had no coverage in August or if events were triggered by the business manager when she started work at the beginning of September.