John Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show’ – also known as the fake news – is terrific. It’s on Comedy Central a couple of times a day. I have no idea when; I just TiVo it. Highly recommended.
MORE MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
Stephen Gilbert: ‘If you are eligible to open a Medical Insurance Account, you don’t have to go to an ‘MSA insurance company.’ My insurance, in California, is through Blue Shield. They offer a high deductible plan that meets the MSA requirements. Once you have a qualified insurance plan, you can open an MSA account (mine’s at MSA Bank), which is like an IRA but in some ways better: you get to deduct your annual contribution, but need not pay taxes on money withdrawn to pay medical bills. Money in the account grows tax free, and can even be invested in stocks or mutual funds.’
MORE CRAZY HOSPITAL CHARGES
Name Withheld: ‘Thought you would enjoy this one. I’ve had 16 chemotherapy sessions. 15 of them were at the oncologist office and cost Blue Cross $1,075 each on a negotiated rate. My doctor went on vacation one week and his patients take their chemo at the local hospital outpatient clinic when he is away. The hospital also has a negotiated rate with Blue Cross — $5,250 for exactly the same procedure! I realize they possibly have higher overhead…but isn’t there something wrong with this picture? If I didn’t have any insurance and had to pay out of pocket, that is a huge differential. Even the car mechanic gives you a good-faith estimate before he starts the work. How can the medical profession always get a blank check? If your medical problem is an emergency, I can see where cost could possibly not be a consideration. But in all other cases? (If you should publish this, please don’t use my name. My friends don’t know how ill I am.)’
CAUTION, RED-STATE DWELLERS: YOU ARE ENTERING THE BLUE ZONE
Toby Gottfried: ‘Last Friday‘s column concluded with the question, ‘When are Americans going to come to their senses about their government?’ We can only hope and pray it is during, and not after, the $200 million Republican advertising campaign which is planned for next year to keep them from doing just that.’
Michael Irwin: ‘Neocons were incensed when Clinton did his famous ‘depends what the meaning of is is’ dance, yet Bush is now trying to deny deceiving us in his State of the Union message by his having attributed the Niger uranium story to British intelligence. Let’s see: we should worry about deception in sexual peccadilloes but not in matters of war and peace?’
Some of this guy’s animations are too tough for my taste; but this one, about Katherine Harris, and this one, about our commander-in-chief’s own military days . . . well, watch them and decide for yourself.
‘If this is class warfare, then my class is winning.’
– Warren Buffett