Will Healthcare “Reform” Go the Same Route as Credit Card “Reform”?

It bugs the hell out of me that a law was just passed that won’t take effect for years. The government just gave private corporations a four-year window to do whatever they can get away with. When they gave credit card companies a 1-2 year warning, look what they did to us – limits are halved, interest rates have been doubled, some folks had their monthly balance repayment % increase by 150% with 30 days’ notice, new fees are being created out of thin air, annual fees for responsible cardholders are set to make a return, fixed rate cards have been unilaterally turned into variable rate ones which will allow CC companies to continue some of their mercenary antics, and I’m sure there’s plenty of other sneaky-bastard manoeuvring that I’ve missed.

So I’m wondering, what can health insurance companies do to us over the next four years? I can think of the obvious (increasing rates, limiting coverage, etc), but hey, those credit card companies got diabolically inventive. You know that insurance companies are even more capable of – and unapologetic about – an inhuman yet somehow legal lack of ethics and fairness.

Care to share any predictions?

Would you do a job you were too embarrassed to admit to?

No, I’m not going to admit what my new sideline is, but since it affects my income, I can’t really brush over the fact that I have one. After all, this is me being financially proactive before I need to get reactive – there’s no other way I’m going to make my whole life policy premium in August without a few changes.

I make my own hours, which can be anywhere on the clock…can be 2 hours a week or 102 hours a week, or anywhere in between. It’s 100% legal and has nothing to do with massage, and my flair for the written word is my greatest marketing tool. Actually, it’s partially because of that flair that I was able to slot right in at the top of the food chain. Anyway, because of all the writing I need to do to get this fully up and running, my blog posts will be fairly brief over the next two weeks – brief, but hopefully entertaining.

So, have you ever done a job that you were too embarrassed to admit to? I would love to hear about it – and the best part is, you can just mark yourself as anonymous when leaving a comment. So far, thanks to Twitter, I’ve found someone who…

– designed a BDSM website
– made lunch trays for a prison catering service that was likely running drugs
– stocked sex mag/toy vending machines (in Tokyo)

Care to add to the list…?

ABC TV – Your Greed Is Showing

I watch a fair bit of lunchtime programming on ABC (Channel 7 in NYC), and all week they’ve been doing these heartfelt ads about how Cablevision has refused to make a reasonable $ offer for their programming. The ads beseech Cablevision customers to let their feelings be known to customer service, and also suggesting that they change cable providers asap if they don’t want to risk missing the Oscars this Sunday night.

Cablevision is not my provider, so it’s easy to say that I’m on their side because I’ll still get my daily dose of The View (the only thing I would miss on ABC). Um, if I didn’t have cable TV, I would get ABC – along with CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, PBS and MyNine – for free. So why should the cable company, and ultimately their customers, pay for content that is otherwise FREE? And really, you’d think ABC was being financially crippled by the current status quo. With 20 minutes of ads cluttering up every hour of viewing, I find their appeal less than genuine. In fact, I find it just plain GREEDY.

A Week of Retail Returns

I hate returning things. I always feel bad because it’s rarely the fault of the item – it was some form of mistake on my part (wrong size, wrong color, turns out I didn’t need it, etc), and here I am creating extra work for people. But then I found out about my aunt’s psychotic abuse of return policies and decided that my return needs were perfectly reasonable. I mean, this woman will buy 10 things and return 9 of them. At all stores where she shops, and every time she shops. The back of her SUV is filled with her rejects. I really don’t get it, because returning things is not my idea of a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Well, it started off badly – not Overstock‘s fault, but more my brother’s and mine. I got some curtains for Christmas to replace the ones that I left on the train and never recovered, but by the time Christmas came, I’d changed my color scheme plans. We celebrated the holidays at my brother’s place in Baltimore, and I left him in charge of the return so I wouldn’t have to lug them back to NYC on public transportation (which temporarily lost my luggage too!). I forgot to chase him up, but I don’t think it mattered – those curtains were deeply clearanced so a return wasn’t really an option. I figure he hasn’t decorated a couple of the rooms in his house yet, so they’ll be put to use.

In happier news, I discovered 2 weeks ago that Home Depot changed their return policy so that you can take an item bought online to a retail location and get the refund. I almost failed to return it in time though – I did it on the last possible day (Monday) of their 90-day return window because the city was too slushy for the 5 days before that. So I paid $2.25 for the subway – only one-way because I live just a 15-minute walk away – instead of $20 in return shipping.

This evening, I received an email from Sierra Trading Post informing me that they had received my return item and, since more than 6 months had passed since the purchase, the full $23.50 was issued as store credit/gift card. It took me a moment to figure out what this was…ohmygod, it was a present I had given my post office-averse newlywed sister for Christmas 2008. As in 15 months ago. This sister has randomly finds a sealed, addressed card she meant to send at some point in the past and mails it with a little note on the back of the envelope that she has no idea what’s inside. Usually, it’s a birthday card from 2-5 birthdays ago. With supplemental stamps on it because the rate had changed once or twice since.

Of course, the issue of curtains and rugs has yet to be addressed.  I’m just afraid of making more mistakes. Like that orange paint. That was a $40 mistake. Ouch.