Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Few Late Morning Notes from Pepto-Bismol Falls: Highmark and the Great American Health Insurance Hydra -OR- Free Will and No Grace

A beautiful set of waterfalls in some tropical location.

This might be Iguazu Falls, but I'm not sure.

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Once again, apologies for the lack of a planned entry last night.

I got home from work last night and, as on Monday night, I went to bed instead of doing anything else. While I didn't sleep 16+ hours as I did on Monday into Tuesday morning, I was asleep for the better part of 12 hours -- but with some awake periods in which it was difficult to fall back asleep because my thoughts were, as usual, racing across a seemingly limitless number of topics.

U.S. Capitol building and grounds, Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2017; photo by Twitter user Jennifer Lichty and reposted in this CWG entry.

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I hate that racing thoughts in the wee hours. I usually can counter it, eventually, by listening intently to the electric box fan I have, even trying to drone with it (taking into account breathing, of course). 

Anyway, between these two extended sleep episodes, I slept as much as I was awake and in the van during last month's South Carolina total solar eclipse trip.

I continue to have a stomach bug of some sort, although no vomiting has been involved (just one way).

My appetite has been mostly missing, too, although I've been able to eat a modest amount of food. Without any additional details, the cup of beef stew I had for lunch from Au Bon Pain yesterday turned out not to be the best idea.

I'm unsure what is the cause of this but, yes, it involves a lot of Pepto-Bismol.

That is, I'm unsure whether this is just a stomach bug of some sort or perhaps related to an ulcer.

I have an endoscopy scheduled for next Friday (Oct. 6th), but it turns out my shitty PPO run by my health insurance provider -- a one of the for-profit subsidiaries of Highmark -- into which I was dragooned covers nothing for the first duodecillion dollars.

Like all alleged "health insurance" companies in the United States, Highmark is a rent-extracting middleman (the "rent" being your health insurance monthly payments) that exists for the sole reason to maximize its money intake (by not paying out anything) while putting together glossy brochures of people running and frolicking in sunlit meadows. It hires phalanxes of middle-aged, married, otherwise nice ladies from the working class in Rust Belt Trumpizoidal states to sit in offices (or maybe in their living rooms) and decline anything and everything under the Sun.

America's health insurance "market" is like its credit card "market": two multi-tentacle hydras existing as both apex predators and parasites (as parasite, as a sort of Ebola virus that kills their hosts too quickly).

But from an American idiocracy perspective, it's something about free choice and free markets, flags and eagles, family values and exurban cowboys in their SUV Toyota Tundras, skin in Paul Ryan's game, Koch Brother's dark money oligarchy, and a Vulgar Talking Yam's pathological need to "win" at all times.

Heracles, Iolaus and the Hydra, Paestan black-figure hydra C6th B.C.; The J. Paul Getty Museum

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Anyway, the point is, my PPO doesn't cover diddly of that procedure or any procedure up to my "deductible" amount.

It also doesn't cover anything above the deductible based upon a coding mistake that the hospital might make, or indeed, based upon any arrangement of any quantum state in the Multiverse known to Mind.

"Deductible" is a morally obscene oxymoron of a term loved only by some ultra-shitty American "free market" economist with lifetime sinecure at a rightwing foundation - funded think tank.

Turning to the weather ...

Oh, yes, weather, finally, is frickin' cooler but still not a hint of rain for the next two weeks. We may very well make a run at a record for number of days with no measurable rainfall at KDCA. I believe it is 32 or 33, but not quite sure. It is about 77F at the 10AM hour with a dew point around 57F and pleasant gusty northerly breeze.

OK, I better go. I need to get to work.

For tonight, I don't know if I'm going to try to go to the gym or go someplace to watch the debut of the reboot of Will & Grace that is on tonight. I'd like to watch it.

7:55PM 9/30/2017 Update / Clarification: The longest stretch with no measurable rainfall (precipitation) in Washington, D.C., as measured at KDCA, is 34 days from Sept. 15 to Oct. 18, 2007.

End of Update and of Entry.

--Regulus

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