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Monday, January 6, 2014

A Personal Encounter with Obamacare

We hear that a conservative is a liberal mugged by reality. I guess that makes an ultraconservative or a libertarian or--Horrors!--a Tea Party "radical" a conservative mugged by the consequences of liberal fantasy-based policies.

It happened to our family on Saturday.

We got a letter mailed in October--but that's another story--from the private elder care facility where my father lives informing us, in blunt terms, that because of certain requirements in the "Affordable" Care Act, AKA Obamacare, the monthly rent for my father would go up by $687 as of this month. A hike of $687 per month! The very nice director of the facility confirmed it, and acknowledged that several residents have indicated that if this increase goes through they will leave. If that happens, she noted, staff (almost entirely Hispanic and Asian) will have to be let go and services cut back for those residents who stay.

Less care for more money plus increased unemployment as the cherry on top! The perfect product of the liberal mind-set and the liberal policy makers who are running and ruining our country.

And by the way, I remember how happy those staff were when Obama got re-elected . .  .

The insanity continues.


  1. Whitewall?

    "Arkie-Free Fire Zone."

  2. Wow... that's a nightmare. Sorry to hear you've been victimized by a bureaucracy which is certainly on the way to topping any other in ruthlessness and inflexiblity. Isn't 'Obamacare' a new branch of government? :)

    - read #1482

  3. The staff probably was looking forward to more Obama phones, or some other freebee, but instead they got a nice little pink slip. They don't call them low information voters for nothing.

  4. We got a letter mailed in October ... The very nice director of the facility confirmed it, and acknowledged that several residents have indicated that if this increase goes through they will leave. If that happens, she noted, staff (almost entirely Hispanic and Asian) will have to be let go and services cut back for those residents who stay ...

    Obviously Dip, despite his "connections" there, the cheap way to go is very East & South - leaves Dad rudderless of course, and likely without the Asian command of English - but what's a feller to do otherwise?

    I suppose when Dad fulfills the residency requirements you can petition for redress Rubio?


  5. Grrrr. We are going to hear a LOT more of this kind of thing. I will be in your position soon. I have not a clue for advice. Actually, I will be watching closely for anything to learn from you. Good Luck on this.

  6. re: "And by the way, I remember how happy those staff were when Obama got re-elected . . ."

    Well of course they were happy, Santa Claus (the black one) was just elected as POTUS! Mommy & Daddy had just never explained to the child that, "No, Virginia, their is NO Santa Claus!"

    NO free rides!
    Hitch-hikers not allowed!
    Life is real, the decisions we make are 'real' decisions having 'real' consequences'
    Lastly, my favorite: Life really is fair.

    1. Don't worry. The press & associated gibbering idiots will be there to reassure these fools that it's (drumroll) "All Bush's fault!"

      They'll probably believe it, too.

    2. No free rides unless you are an 'undocumented' voter. Or one of the 0.01% cronies.

      And Dip, sorry to hear you and your dad getting burned. I left the country because the situation was going to make what I had planned unaffordable.


  7. paul vincent zecchinoJanuary 6, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    "If you like your communism, you can keep your communism. If you dislike your communism, communism will keep you until you do."

    The Affordable Genocide Act is a total control scheme designed to siphon wealth and liberty from the American people, into the claws of Elites who haven't the sense to make the price of a packet of tea.*

    Every communist society commences with the sucker bait of 'free health care'. As Russia's favorite hydrocephalic criminal, v.i. iulianov famously said, "Control the people, control the medicine."

    Horrible. Expect more of this. Plan accordingly.

    * -"...they haven't the sense to make the price of a packet of tea." 'Elsie' (Emily Watson) "Gosford Park", c. 2001

  8. Sorry to hear this but it is not in California alone. North Carolina is popular with retirees and the assisted care/independent living facilities are growing. Several around here have already revamped their admission and housing policies in the last three months with more to come. Some of the same people voted for Obama and got what they wanted, now they may get what they deserve. In time, after more of us get enough, we will act accordingly. It takes massive numbers and this is how it starts. Meantime, another cup of Earl Grey come TEA time.

  9. I know it's cold comfort, but perhaps families, between this type of situation due to Obamacare, and unemployment being so high, will begin to congregate generationally once again. Older members will live with younger generations in order to share resources, etc. I personally think it could be a blessing in disguise. Sorry to be the eternal optimist. And I'm not accusing or suggesting it's the suggestion for all families, but it certainly could be for many.

    Liberty Grace's Grandma

    1. Good point. I suspect many of us grew up in multi generation households and this "parent living apart" is fairly new. Other countries look at us in complete horror over this. When we were first married, we had to move my wife's folks in with us from necessity. That lasted 14 years until their health required measures beyond our abilities. Still, this elder living phenomenon is not going away.

  10. LGG: My wife and I believe in "congregating" our family as far as we are able. My mother lived with us for three years until we realized she was consuming our entire life. Either my wife or I was babysittng, changing diapers, feeding, etc, all the time. And since we did it in shifts, on the other side of town, we only saw each other during the "changing of the guard." We finally found her a home. Now we are doing the same thing for my 97 year old mother in law, and we are approaching the breaking point again. The idea of holding a multi-generational family together is attractive, even compelling, but there comes a time when it is no longer possible. It makes no sense to hold the generations together but separate a married couple. It's an attractive idea, but not without costs.

    1. You summed up our experience.

    2. I don't look forward to this situation. It's probably a bit of a 'new' thing as people continue to live longer and longer.

      - reader #1482

    3. Yes, this is the dark side of longer life spans.

  11. And those residents who leave the facility will go where? Won't the same cost increases be imposed in every other facility as well (as a percentage if not as the actual dollar amount)?

    I foresee a large population of elderly folk who need assistance but will not be able to find any affordable facilities at all. Will their families be willing to take them into their own homes? Will their families have sufficient training to provide daily care as well as minor medical care? Will their families have the emotional stamina to provide full-time attention just in case a sudden crisis occurs? And how will their families react when they realize that healthcare professionals stop treating them as the patient's son or daughter, but as an unrelated caregiver?

    I speak from personal experience. My mother could have afforded to live in an assisted living home surrounded by strangers who didn't know her favorite movies or the kind of tea she liked or the family stories that she enjoyed hearing and telling. I had her live with me in my own home, where I could be sure she was served her favorite foods and that she would not be abused or neglected. And I can tell you this: even a pleasant elderly parent who requires limited care can become an enormous emotional burden for the "caregiver" formerly known as "family."

    1. Amen. After many years of "caregiver", both my wife and I were diagnosed with and still have high BP. A good care facility is not the solution to problems, it just changes one set of problems for others. The facilities have to be watched for the sake of your elderly family member. It takes a toll. Time has passed and our parents are gone. My wife and I will plan for ourselves the best we can to try and not be a burden to anyone else. For now we have the means. You do the best you can with the frail elderly and at the end you are still left with doubts about all you did.

    2. Whitewall, you nailed it perfectly.

  12. Obama, Caligula's Spawn, through your arrogance, heartlessness and stupidity, you have opened this formally blessed land and millions of innocent lives to the horror and devastation of ObamaCare…

  13. Dip,
    What "requirements" in the ACA are causing your father's rent to go up by $687/mo?
    I would appreciate it if you would give me a few examples.
    Whatever these requirements are they are being placed on the facility and not your father's medicare and supplemental insurance?

    What a mess this thing is. Do you think that the worker bees that wrote all the requirements didn't know what the consequences would be to the average American? Or, do you think they didn't give a damn?

    1. I asked. It seems that they must scrap their own health care plan for their employees and purchase a new one that is much more expensive. In addition, there is some confusing mess about Medicare no longer covering certain things.

  14. Babs, both, I promise.

    We had Mama living with us for a few years. That was especially hard on my preteen daughter, as Mama was jealous of the attention we gave, I kid you not, to her own grand daughter.

    Here are a few general tips, which do not normally occur to everyone:

    Two small apartments can be built onto/converted from some of the existing floorspace.Elder Parent lives in one. One care giver lives in the other. They must be paid, also, but the free rent is counted in the compensation package, and is tax-free to them. (So far)

    When the Elder Parent's resources are legitimately depleted, (not "transfer" and "spend down", which really are fraud, and states like Texas know about all those scams) the elder will qualify for Community Based Alternatives to Nursing Home Care, and Medicaid will pay for an aide for a few hours a day, to prepare one meal (Maybe two) and give a bath. BTW, once you have hired one live-in or private attendant, you will usually find that you have tapped into a manpower pool/network, who will always know someone else who needs to pick up some extra work, when the family needs to be out of town.If they never deplete all their resources enough to qualify for Medicaid, well, there are advantages to being not poor enough to qualify.

    None of this is ideal, but my sister and I made such arrangements for our parents, who have since been promoted to Glory, but who were at home until the hearse came for the bodies.They left this world happy and secure in our love.They left no money behind, so we never had to mess with estate taxes or anything of the sort.They left their house to our brother and the Sister-in-Law-from-Hell, so we did not even have to clean anything out.It is not easy,but it is possible.

  15. You call them Liberals, which to me, is a polite way to call someone a Socialist. Liberal or Socialist, its all about promising the needy more of what 'others' have, only to disappoint both.

  16. Dear Diplomad, I have been trying to follow the whole Obama Care story but to a foreigner like me it is very confusing. What I have trouble in accepting is how much Health insurance cost in the US before Obama care, let alone after it, the figures are mind boggling! Down here you can get a pretty good policy to cover a husband & wife for Private Hospital, medical and other incidentals for around USD$151 per month. Of course we also pay a levy of 1.5% of our gross income for our free government health system, Medicare, but it still works out pretty well and if you don't want private health insurance then treatment at Public Hospitals is free, as well as at certain Doctors surgeries.

    1. Yes, the US insurance market is a mess because of government intervention. Each state has its own insurance regulations and requirements and you cannot buy insurance in one state and trust that it will cover you in another. In addition, medical lawsuits drive the price of medical care through the roof as doctors and their insurers insist on every test under the sun to void any possible lawsuit in the future.

    2. I really think that high costs actually started with the introduction of medical insurance in the first place. On the surface a good simple idea that got twisted out of shape over time. First medical people had to create office organization to handle the paper, ditto the insurance companies. Then lawyers realized there were deep pockets to extract a lot of money from, bringing legislation and regulation and more staff and tests. It's similar to an arms race everyone's afraid (or can't afford to) to fall behind. In a sense there are no fixes. the system by nature is (was) doomed to collapse, O'care just hurries it along with the single payer advocates dreaming of the chance to impose a bigger monster. Where this is all going I don't know (beyond a significant collapse) , but I'll bet no one else does either.
      There's more to the theory, but I won't bore everyone completely to death.

    3. I really think that high costs actually started with the introduction of medical insurance in the first place. On the surface a good simple idea that got twisted out of shape over time. First medical people had to create office organization to handle the paper, ditto the insurance companies.

      You're onto something James,

      I've hesitated mentioning my Dad's post Korea era job but now I suppose it's safe (he deceased '95) but anyway he graduated Med School '58, returned to active Navy until '62 then another brief stint '66. Anyway Dad always said, "Medicare was the worst thing that could've happened for the practice of medicine. This cannot but end badly."

      As a tyke I sometimes accompanied Dad on housecalls (might have to read a History book to see what I'm referring to) one of my [now]fondest memories was being present during the birth of a child - in a private residence.

      (That experience led to my first entry into the "job market" but that's a tale that will wait) Anyway, Dad's "fee for service" was five youngish swine as in pigs. Livestock in other words.

      At that time and until sometime after I myself went military Dad's practice consisted of himself, another MD, receptionist, lab tech and two RNs assisting each MD.

      By the mid 70s that original partnership/practice set-up had split with Dad's practice consisting of himself, receptionist, lab tech, RN & two people handling insurance. When I returned from my first "very extended" tour the "insurance staff" had increased by four, totaling six.

      Dad left his active practice for a period in the 80s but returned to it after a period. His staff increased through the late 80s till reaching a tipping point at which he "sold" his private practice to a "hospital group" and though his name remained on the clinic - till his death - he was for all intents and purposes, an employee of the hospital group.

      People used to ask me, "Arkie, why didn't you follow in your Dad's footsteps and go into medicine?"

      Up until some of my former school chums became physicians in their own I would lamely offer, "I wanted a life of adventure."

      Beginning about the turn of this century only very rarely did anybody ask me why I didn't go into the "family business."

      And recently, a majority of my medical professions friends have taken to telling me, "Arkie, I wish sometimes lately I'd gone into the 'Secret Agent' [not exactly precise job description for what I did, but] business too." My rejoinder is usually some version of, "Well, do you think you'd have enjoyed your working life more if you'd been very frequently pestered by politicians?"

      "More than [we] already are?"

      "Yes. Except that the questions you'd hear were more of the 'very stupid and ill-informed' variety."

    4. The halfrican princess took an imperfect system based on personal responsibility, substituted government mandated services whether they are required or desired and made the system immeasurably worse.

      US healthcare is now a disastrous system that seems only to work for welfare cases, the well connected, congress staff and perhaps government employees. That it resembles the yUK National Health Service is no mistake and similar outcomes are easy to predict.

      It is going to be downright hazardous to be an elderly person in the future. Examples from yUK and your own Veterans hospitals (until recently the only government run facilities) should be enough to predict disaster.

      I am sorry to hear of the Diplomads predicament, even though I live in a country with government controlled healthcare I ensured that my mother who had Alzheimers stayed out of the "system" as long as was humanely possible.

      To make difficult arrangements for parental care and then to have them thrown in disarray by a fanatical Marxist whom I believe "used information" on John Roberts to implement his insane plan would drive me to some very dark thoughts.

      To those who voted for him and will soon find themselves out-of-work or unable to afford their own health premiums, I have zero sympathy, unfortunately I do not believe they will learn a thing and will very happily vote for Hillary in 2016.

    5. I feel it necessary I insert something here:

      In my experience the VA system has been damned good. I will stipulate to having acquaintances & friends whose opinions do not mirror my own.


    6. I am very happy to hear you and Denis (below) have received good service at the hands of the VA, in a large organization there will likely be a large variance in service.
      I am an old-fashioned kinda guy who believes there exists a covenant between veterans, pensioners and the government, that the two former constituencies should damn well get what they contributed to the government during their working lives.

  17. Recently I had to go to the VA hospital, where (so far anyway) I am taken care of in a most professional way. That stay lasted 3 days, and I became friends with the guy in the bed next to me named Ski. He is retired and living in La Paz, Mexico. Apparently there is a substantial number of Americans living there, where US dollars go much farther than they do in the USA (especially places like CA where I live.) We spoke of "medical tourism" and he confirmed that there are a lot of medical facilities being built in Mexico to cater to the Americans who are being turfed out of their healthcare here. (The last major dental work I had, a root canal & crown, was done in Mexico for less than $500, and I literally did not feel a thing. Best dental work I've ever had.)

    I have absolutely no knowledge about facilities for the aged in Mexico, but it seems to me like this would be worth looking into. I guess I'm fortunate; my children & their families live in Australia, and I'm the 'elder' that may need looking after.

    Can't believe I just wrote to leave the USA. But it has come to that. Our government is now dangerous to Americans, and is trying to disarm us all, so that we may be replaced with whatever Eloi will ask no questions and cause no trouble to our 'betters'. Afghani, Somalis, all the refuse of the world will do to replace us, and even better if their "culture" is totally abhorrent to ours.

    May God damn that fraud in the White House. May he burn in Hell for all eternity, and all his God-forsaken fellow travellers with him.