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political views

Over-the-Counter Disappointment

By financial wisdom, political views 7 Comments

I’ve always been a pretty big proponent of HSAs and FSAs when my friends ask me about them — well maybe not always, but at least as long as I’ve known about their existence. Just last week, I recommended a friend look into the new FSA benefit being offered by our company starting in January. Of course, I spoke too soon. Now I’m not so sure how I feel about FSAs because of this.

FSAs are a “use it or lose it” plan, so I think having the ability to use the money up on over-the-counter supplies at the end of the year makes the plan more user-friendly. Now that you’ll need a prescription…I’m not so sure. Who’s to say your doctor will write you a “prescription” for your OTC drugs? Do you have to pay to see the doctor in order to get this “prescription”? Will you keep track of it, in case you ever get audited? See the problem? The average person is going to have to do a lot more planning ahead to determine exactly how much money goes into the FSA.

As far as HSAs go, I don’t see this as a really big deal. HSA money carries over from one year to the next, and the money is yours to keep for qualifying health care expenses. If you can’t waste it on six bottles of Advil and some allergy medicine at the end of the year, it’s no big deal. It’s still kind of a pain though. I like having the freedom to spend my HSA money on OTC drugs when I’m sick. I can relax and spend money specifically put away for nursing my cold, rather than blow $40 out of my checking account on NyQuil, Sudafed, and cough drops.

I think I would have to consider the effects of this new rule at length before making a final decision, but so far, I’m not a fan.


This crazy trip has got me feelin’: skeptical
And I’m singin’ along to: November – Azure Ray

AP Stylebook Faux Pas

By breaking news, conversations, political views One Comment

Lisa: "Why is this dumb newspaper referring to the president of the United States as ‘Mr. Obama’?"

J: "What newspaper?"

Lisa: (Scrolls to the top of the page.) "The New York Times."

I bet the AP Stylebook would also be pretty upset with me if I were a journalist and I broadcast my personal opinion about people who are responsible for oil spills. I think someone who is responsible for an oil spill should be taken up in a helicopter over the body of water that person has played a part in destroying, wearing extremely flammable clothing, set on fire, and pushed out the side to plummet to the surface and drown in his mess. Just a thought.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to blame one person for causing an oil spill as it is for blaming one person for, say, creating some pathetic excuse for a car bomb out of gasoline and fertilizer, wasting the time (and money) of an entire city’s law enforcement officials. Perhaps we could toss that person into the oil spill instead.

In the meantime, Facebook is trying to make me publicly endorse stupid television shows, hobbies, former places of employment and my hometown in one of it’s never-ending attempts to become profitable.


Views on Health Care

By political views One Comment

I’ve been seeing a lot of banter on Facebook about this healthcare bill. I’ll admit that I’m not completely up to speed on the healthcare bill, but I am completely up to speed on my own health insurance. I wonder if any of the people making idiotic remarks like, "the end is near" and "this is socialistic warfare now" could hold up their end of an intelligent conversation about health insurance.

Do you know how your health insurance works? Do you know how much it covers or what you would be paying for health care without it? Do you have your insurance because it meets your needs? Or because it was the only option you had? Is there anything screwy about your insurance? Will your insurance cover you forever or does it cap out?

Do you ever call your insurance company? I do. I call them every single time I go to the doctor. I get the medical billing codes, and I find out how much I’m going to have to pay. I have a high deductible plan with an HSA, so I check all of my EOBs online to make sure that the amounts I am paying are being properly applied to my deductible. I also call pharmacies to compare prices on prescription drugs and find the best deal because my health insurance plan has no co-pays. "No co-pays?" my friends sometimes ask. They think my health insurance plan sucks because I have to pay $120 to go to the doctor. But, you know what? I spent three days with a calculator and the internet creating scenarios and weighing the pros and cons and costs and benefits of three different types of coverage before I chose my insurance.  Maybe if the general public did that, we wouldn’t be in the midst of a situation where our health care system even needs to be "overhauled."

I’m not saying the healthcare bill is good or bad because, like I said, I’m not up to speed. But I can say this – make sure you’ve got all your personal shit straightened out before you start broadcasting an opinion and trying to push it on everyone else.

Election Season

By political views 2 Comments

I read in the paper today that Virginia’s election officials adopted a policy that allows poll workers to prevent people from sporting political paraphernalia while voting. Not that I would be caught dead in "political paraphernalia" any day of the week, but it seems to me that this new policy is right up there with telling sports fans they can show support in team apparel – just not to the game!

I understand the need to create a neutral voting atmosphere, but banning people from wearing t-shirts and buttons to support their candidate might be going a little overboard. Handing out campaign material is, and should be, prevented within 40 feet of the polling place entrance.

Whatever. Like I said, I’m not the type to go traipsing around town decked out in political garb anyway. But, all you campaign fashionistas better plan ahead. You won’t be able to support your candidate on any visible clothing or accessories, so get out there and buy your Obama and McCain panties – classy. I’m sure undergarments are okay, as long as you don’t flash them around at the voting booth.

As for me, I’ll be voting for 7-Eleven, a company who has, by far, come up with the best election-time marketing campaign I’ve seen yet – the 7-Election! It’s such a great idea that this is the third election year they’ve used it – cool cups, neat website, fresh coffee. You can’t go wrong there.