Personal Opinions

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher — March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

This is not funny Don’t skim down for the joke. There isn’t any. But I do have a story to tell. I’m an old guy and my kidneys have failed. Used to be, I’d die pretty quickly from that. But kidney dialysis can allow me to live a fairly normal life. Millions of people the world around are on kidney dialysis. I started peritoneal dialysis in January after getting a catheter installed in my abdomen at St. Mary’s Hospital. With help from Audrey at Renal Advantage Inc. (RAI) in Rockford, I learned to do my own dialysis and began to feel better. Yay! Being old enough for Medicare, I opted for a private umbrella insurance company instead of the usual two-tier Medicare with Medigap arrangement. Medicare (“the public option”) hasn’t failed me. But the private enterprise, for-profit company, has failed me big time. Its name is Humana. Boo! On March 1, I got a letter from Humana, CANCELLING MY HEALTH INSURANCE RETROACTIVE TO JANUARY 1. Can they DO that? I sure would like to know the answer to that question. Meanwhile, Humana’s form-letter reply to my startled inquiry said they’d get back to me in 30 days. So I haven’t been covered since January 1. The hospital and surgeon’s bill for my catheter? Humana wants no part of it. My services at RAI? Humana wants no part of it. My four-times-a-day dialysis supplies? Humana wants no part of it. I have what’s called ESRD, or End Stage Renal Disease. Humana apparently wants no part of ESRD. A national health insurance bill passed Congress on Sunday night. It’s an imperfect bill, but it’s something that we, as a nation, can work to improve in the future. It begins (but only begins) to pull some power away from the health insurance industry. I’m currently a victim of that power. Meanwhile, I’ve seen Humana’s glossy advertising that comes in the mail to friends. And Humana’s TV ads are sooo seductive. My kidneys and I wholeheartedly agree with Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who said the other day that it’s critical that WE get the power to limit “the predatory role of private insurers who make money NOT providing health care.”

Main Street by Roger Allen Publisher – September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Saving money These may not be the most popular ideas I’ve proposed but I think they are worth discussion. Maybe, after we get through the health insurance problem, we can talk about them. The war in Iraq was a pretty bad idea, but it looks like we can get out of it now. We are heavily invested in Afghanistan and maybe that is not such a good idea. We seem to be in the middle of a religious war. We’ve lost more Americans in those wars than we did in the World Trade Centers. And then we have Pakistan, Somalia, and an unending stream of nasty governments. We could sure save a lot of money if we came home. The war on drugs is certainly not going well, either. We are spending millions to stop drugs coming into the country and it doesn’t work. We should legalize drugs, tax them, and spend our money helping educate and cure addicts. Wow, I’m going to be in trouble! The lighter side CREATIVE PUNS FOR “EDUCATED MINDS” 1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi. 2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian. 3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still. 4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption. 5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work. 6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery. 7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. Zachary, age 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he’d dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, “We better throw this one out too then, ’cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago. A little boy got lost at the YMCA and […]