Most of my content submissions seem to be rejected for Yahoo Contributor Network.

Oh well, I guess I can put thoughts down here. I had hoped that some of the content would be of interest to some people. Granted, not many people are excited about insurance. I guess I tend to write in a loose informal style, and maybe it gets rejected by too many.

Well, the feedback I received on some of the pieces was that they would be better on a personal blog, or the content would not be useful to many of the yahoo readers.

These have been rejected as unsuitable for publication on Yahoo Contributor Network.

Dental Adventures

Marty Salo, Yahoo Contributor Network

I guess my latest dental adventure series started about 9 months or so ago. The dentist with one of the chains had moved down to Miami, or something, so the new dentist who presumably rotates through several locations in this big chain of dental offices, saw me and declared that I’d need probably 6 crowns for the front teeth to correct for acid reflux, or other things which went on with my mouth.

Because I have Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), one of the factors is a tendancy to grind teeth at night. A prior dentist wanted to put veneers on my teeth. That prior dentist had me concerned about the grinding at night. I went to a different dentist who tried to even some of the front teeth, because I was concerned.

Well, back to recent history, and I go to a second nearby dentist for a second opinion, and this dentist refers me to his buddy the prosthedontist. He said there were too many things going on with my mouth.

The dental Insurance place did not want me going to this prosthedontist, so they sent an angry letter, and informed me that they would not be paying any of the services that this prosthedontist provides. So, I looked at other prosthedontists in the area, and fortunately, there were some. I went to the provider that was listed as a preferred provider in their network, but still, the dental insurance is playing games.

I get that everybody wants to make a buck. I can respect that. But I don’t like it when they are trying to play games with not providing coverage of procedures that should be covered.

The oral surgery was done, the teeth were prepped, and the crowns were prepared and cemented in place. The prosthedontist did a much more extensive job, and more expensive, but I hope that I’ll be happier with the outcome.

I like the look of the crowns. The smile looks nice, I guess. I’m happier to have redone some of the other crown-work and now the teeth look better, there still is a bit of sensitivity to cold foods, but I was able to have some foods after being pretty much on more liquids for awhile.

Obamacare

A Consideration of Challenges

Marty Salo, Yahoo Contributor Network

When one thinks about the challenges of implementing Obamacare, it is really about expanding the pool of healthcare and making it easier for the uninsured to get insurance. This is complex. Insurance companies are generally not eagar to offer extensive coverage. They are trying to survive as well. People have managed to sign up, but unless they make payments to the insurance company, they are probably not covered. I might suppose that some people are going to have difficulty keeping up with payment schedules for health insurance, but I also think that there are people who have difficulty making rent payments and get evicted from places where they are renting. I see difficulty getting some of those people to send in their health insurance premiums when they have difficulty making rent payments.

I don’t know exactly how many people we are talking about at this time. Large companies have separate departments concerned with HR, and fiscal responsibilities. Maybe small businesses have some sort of help when it comes to choosing health plans, I am not sure.

I guess a dentist’s office is a small business, perhaps dental offices have groups where similar practices can get advice on which health care options packages to offer employees.

Likely, there are employees who work through pain, and discomfort. There likely are employees who work part time. It’s not altogether clear how the health insurance thing works out with the unemployed. Maybe there is a state medicaid program.but that is probably not the optimal situation either.

The economy seems to be improving, but with Janet Yellin at the Federal Reserve Board helping to guide discussions, perhaps there will be more attention paid to achieving fuller levels of employment. It remains to be seen how quickly the monetary policy needs to be tamed, but at present, perhaps the current path might make sense. Some folks might complain that the Christmas levels of spending were not at last year’s levels. Who knows?

Poor Target

A Retailer Tries to Find Mojo with Consumers

Marty Salo, Yahoo Contributor Network

It is way too early for any definitive statements to be made about the scope and impact of the Target credit card data breach. None the less, one can lament and speculate. One can probably recall the TJX data breach, and that had something to do with unsecured wireless transmissions at the point of sale. I may be wrong, but it seems that was part of what was going on. It’s probably useful to consider how the people got the information. It will probably be determined at some point. The 5% off target credit card is a good deal, but when one needs to go through the trouble of identity theft, it is less of a good deal.

I suppose that because some banks were capping withdrawals from ATMs, or maybe even purchases made with debit cards (Chase bank), there may have been instances where the information was used fraudulently. This could be a bigger thing. It is a hassle to have one’s identity stolen.

I can only imagine if the damage were wider. It would be nice if all of the white collar criminals were caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but unfortunately, even big time fraudsters probably do not begin their careers thinking that they will get caught. Those who are probably are not able to repay their victims all of the damage they have caused.

There are Nigerian oil scams probably still going on in the e-mail communications on the internet. Most likely, the criminal element will continue to evolve, and continue to exploit holes in systems. Banks, and credit card companies will most likely continue to make money. Even with some criminals profiting. It would be nice if there could be some assurance that the criminals would be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, The world is a big place, and some organizations are multi-national. It is probably too early to say which organizations are behind the recent black friday attacks on Target stores, but maybe some people have been caught, or will soon be.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

A Consideration of Traditional Good Wishes

Marty Salo, Yahoo Contributor Network

During this time of Christmas, there is a traditional wish for peace on earth, and goodwill toward men. Presumably also women are included in the well wishes, but more central to the implausablility is the peace on earth clause. The people who were born in the territory of Palestine, whether in the Gaza Strip, or on the West Bank, probably feel slighted that their birthright land was summarily given to the Israeli people as a homeland and they were moved around, and arguably resettled in refugee camps.

I must admit that other than that fairly vague understanding of the situation, I am not terribly well informed about the situation. I get that some palestinians feel sufficiently hopeless that suicide vests might seem like a better option. I don’t agree. I think negotiation is always preferable.

There are other places where people are fighting, and thus unlikely to live up to the peace on earth clause. The US military is still deployed to a few places, and deals with some groups who are actively hostile to our presence. The US Navy is pretty much forward deployed much of the time. At the same time, there are other countries with similar militaries facing off against neighbors. China has a long history of being concerned about Japanese aggression. Japan, meanwhile has concerns about Chinese aggressions. Japan want to claim the islands to its south, while those same islands are claimed by China. Getting into a fight over those small islands seem kind of silly to me, but I’m not Chinese, I don’t have memories of Japanese occupations.

India and Pakistan are two more countries who could come to blows. Supposedly because both countries claim ownership of a valley called Kashmir. Pakistan has nuclear weapons, supposedly, and things could get quite bad if they were used against its neighbor.

Iran (Persia) is somewhere that seems to be making progress toward peace. A country that might be thought of as a client state of Iran might be Syria, and there was almost action against Syria over claims of chemical weapons being used, but Mister Bashar Assad agreed to the neutralization, or destruction of his chemical stockpiles.

There could be other country pairs where things could slide off of the rails quickly, but let us hope for peace.

Florida Lifestyle and Technology (electricity)

Marty Salo, Yahoo Contributor Network

I really enjoy the Florida lifestyle, the mild winters most made possible by the ocean and gulf of Mexico being nearby. I acknowledge that there are communities who are not as fortunate. There are communities with ice storms, where the electrical transmission lines get damaged due to ice covered trees falling on them. Restoring power by the electrical linemen is a very good thing, in my opinion. Much of what makes civilization nice is the electrical infrastructure which allows for various electronic devices including computers and cell phones.

Of course, at the same time, there are more people who live outside of the United States. Not everyone has reliable electrical power. I guess that when your neighborhood doesn’t have power all of the time, it is okay, when everyone you know is in a similar situation, it is manageable. I’m thinking specifically of missionaries who desire to serve others who may not be as fortunate. I guess there are strong factors which motivate one to spend time serving others.

There might be similar issues of reliable electrical supply at locations other than just the remote isolated villages. Places in the world where there is conflict probably have issues with ensuring adequate electrical supplies, and sadly that possibly also includes some American embassies in conflict prone regions.

The mild winters are very nice in Florida. A co-worker of mine has spent some time in South Dakota, and tells me that not all money is good money. I think it is easier to cool off than it is to warm up when it is extremely cold outside.

I feel kind of bad when I hear about people who lost power recently. There have been occasions where electrical transmission lines have had trouble, where transformers go. Fortunately, they are not frequent in our neighborhood.

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