Saturday, February 18, 2006

This is only a test

Do not be alarmed. I'll be signing off this evening and then not returning online for about a solid week and a half. There's a few reasons but the big two are that tonight and for the next few days my former babysitter, her current husband and 1-2 of her lovely children will be visiting the homestead. Since I have the largest available room it has been volunteered to them. I don't mind terribly much but in cleaning it up and out the internet must be disconnected so that toddlers do not toddle over the ethernet cable.

The second reason is that this coming Saturday myself, my parents, my sister, and younger brother will all be heading down to South Florida to see the Everglades, hike, boat, swim, tan, golf and whatnot. It'll be a grand old time but not a time conducive to internet connections. And nor should it. Truly I've been attached to this new fangled idiot box for a good long while now. So, ten days off (give or take) should do me some good.

In other developments I've been volunteering a lot lately. And if I were a senior on a fixed income, Medicare part D (D for Drug Benefit) would scare the shit out of me. See the trick is that even if you don't sign up for it-say you can't afford the hundreds of dollars of enrollment or the monthly fee-you might still lose out on free medication that was formerly given freely by drug companies. This is because the Office of the Inspector General has specifically warned drug manufacturers that if they provide free medication to seniors who could also be enrolled in Medicare Part D then their company could brought on Federal anti-kickback laws. Which means that millions of 65+ Americans who are already stretching food stamps, Social Security and anything else they have pretty tight to begin will now be paying something-perhaps quite a lot of something-more then free for their life saving medications. The really lucky won't have to choose between drugs, and heat.

Troubling times indeed.

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