Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swine Flu and the world's worst week

I know I'm supposed to call it H1N1, but "Swine flu" just rolls off the tongue!

We have actually been Swine Flu free for nine days...kinda sounds like an AA meeting.

Our week went like this...

7:00 am Aiden wakes up with a headache and sore throat. No fever, so mom sent him to school.
3:30 pm He gets off the bus looking like death and clocking in at 102.7...why he didn't go see the nurse is beyond me.
That night I have a headache and my throat is't be.

7:30 am Aiden stays home from school and Abbott is totally jealous. He has no symptoms, so an entire day of Mario Kart is out of the question.
8:15 am I admit to myself that I feel horrible. I take my own temperature. At 99.9 it's not overly impressive, but it's enough to make me want to crawl back in bed. (FYI, no I did not get to crawl back in bed...I had three kids to take care of)
11:00 am I take Aiden to the doctor, hopeful that my swine flu gut feeling was wrong. Nope. Rest, fluids and decongestants.
1:00 pm I get a call from the school nurse to come pick up Abbott. Hmmm...could he have pulled off the whole thermometer-to-the-lightbulb-thing? I get to the school and he doesn't look great, but he is grinning from ear to ear.
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I know that my foggy brain was in charge of medicating 3 people. I know that I didn't go to my meeting or take Aiden to scouts that night.
I also know that my microwave wasn't working. Seriously. I am so sick that I am barely upright. I have two sick kids and two little kids. They all expect me to feed them. And my microwave picks now to stop working?
We yanked off the door out of spite. Not really...I just wanted Aaron to prove he could get the old door off before I bought a new one.
10:00 am- Aaron heads off to work. He let me sleep in, but he has a huge thing Friday to prepare for and can't stay home. Luckily, I knew ahead of time about the huge thing so I wasn't too upset with him.
We are all pretty sick still so we don't do much. My foggy brain is still in charge of keeping 5 people alive and medicating 3 of us. Isn't there some rule against mom getting sick?
On the up side, we borrowed a microwave from some friends...thanks Binghams! Of course our door was not in stock and it will be a couple of weeks before we get it.
I learn that my dear husband is still planning to go to the Razorback game on Saturday and leave his swine flu infected wife home to take care of the kids. I'm not thrilled.
7:00 pm- A huge storm blows through.
7:15 am Aaron goes to work to do his huge thing.
Aiden and I start to do a little better. Abbott is completely recovered and having a blast playing wii all day. He lucked out with a mild case.
3:00 pm Aaron gets through his huge thing and Karma strikes. Headache- check, sore throat- check, fever- check. Razorback game? No check. I told him that he got sick because he was going to abandon his sick family.
5:30 pm Our neighbor Flynn knocks on the door and asks us if we need help with our trampoline. Huh?
That is our trampoline. That is Flynn's yard.
It had been there since the storm the night before and we had no idea.
Really? We have the swine flu and our trampoline picks now to blow away? Must be in cahoots with the microwave.
We sat at home.
We sat at home and watched a lot of football.
We all felt better and had been fever free for 24 hours, but we sat at home to be on the safe side. This was actually a really fun day together.
Everybody went back to their normal lives. One week exactly.
The miracle is that these two little angels never got it.

End of pity party post.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Healthcare "reform" will reduce the deficit! Hooray! Who believes this stuff?

I haven’t written a political blog since the election. At first it was depression that kept me from the keyboard. Then came the shock and outrage. After almost a year I have decided that it is time to again share “Aubrey’s Opinion” with the world.

Why now?

I was searching the friendly World Wide Web for information on the current healthcare “debate”. I was amazed (more upset than amazed) to find that it was VERY difficult to find actual information. Everything is presented to us through a lens…what “they” want us to see. “They” being the media, the current administration, the progressives-take your pick-that are trying to hijack our country.

And I remembered why I started my political blog in the first place.

1. An outlet for me to vent my ideas and frustrations.
2. A way for me to help my friends and relatives (and total strangers that find my blog) know what’s really going on in the world. It’s hard to find the truth, so when I dig it up, I want to share.

So here goes…

If you have been following the healthcare mess, you’ve probably heard about the report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about a week ago. The major news networks joyfully reported that the CBO found that imposing government run healthcare would REDUCE the deficit by $81 billion dollars over 10 years. Hooray!!

Really? Is there anyone in America stupid enough to believe that bunch of hooey?

If you got your information from CNN or NBC, that would be the end of the story. The Baucus bill will save us money and reduce the deficit. Yeah! Let’s pass it now!

Umm…not so fast…

The CBO set the 10 year cost (2010-2019) at $829 billion. The thing is, the coverage won’t START until 2014, but the $11 billion in tax increases will start NOW (2010). Do you get it? Over this 10 year period they are collecting taxes for 10 years and implementing the program for 5 years. So on paper they can make it look great!

CBO report on the Baucus Bill:
*2010-2019 decrease deficit by $81 billion
*2020-2029 increase deficit by $1.2 trillion (yes, trillion with a ‘t’…somehow this number-in the same report-didn’t seem very newsworthy)

Here's a pretty graph that I found in case all of these numbers are making yoiur head hurt.

And those numbers assume that the cost estimates are accurate…a HUGE assumption! In 1965 it was projected that Medicare world cost $12 billion in 1990. In reality, Medicare cost over $100 billion in 1990. It’s pretty safe to assume that the numbers are hugely underestimated.

Is anyone curious where the money is coming from to pay for part of this disaster?

According to the same CBO report:
$4 billion- tax on individuals who don’t buy government qualified coverage
$23 billion- tax on employers who don’t offer government qualified coverage (which will mean employers will have to lower wages or lay off workers…good plan)
$200 billion- tax on health insurance plans. This includes a 40 percent tax on sales by insurers of ‘Cadillac’ policies and fees on health insurers, drug companies and device manufacturers, all of which will ultimately be passed on to consumers. (Side note…many of you probably have “Cadillac Plans”…this is any family plan deemed to be worth over $21,000 per year)

I haven’t even gotten to the best part!

The Joint Committee on Taxation says that 87 percent of the tax burden will fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

Didn’t a certain presidential candidate say something about not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year? I must have dreamed that.

In addition to all of the tax/fee increases, the rest of the $829 billion will supposedly come from Medicare cuts and provider payment cuts. Seriously, do you think the politicians will vote to cut Medicare payments to old people right before re-election? I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the $400 billion in cuts will ever actually happen or if we will just tack it on to the deficit. I mean, what’s another $400 billion in debt to pass on to our kids when we're already passing on trillions a year, right?

So what does our $829 billion buy us?

The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released a study that predicts that the Baucus plan would increase premiums for an average American family by $4,000 per year.

The Obama Administration’s response? Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform:

“Clearly this is not their area of expertise.”

You know, those accountants…they really need to stay away from numbers…they have no experience with money or anything like that.

Bottom line.

We are being led to believe that the end goal is to “reform” healthcare and make it more affordable and accessible. If that were truly the case, would we see all of these taxes, fees, and cost increases?

I don’t think so, but clearly this is not my area of expertise.