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Notes From The Fall
by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  September 13, 2007 - reprinted with permission

   By that I mean there is this thing called the Donut Hole. Who came up with that I think is missing a few nuts, bolts and brains. First of all there is the $250 deductible and then the Donut Hole after you use $2500 in prescriptions you pay $2,501 to $5,100 and the program kicks in again. So you pay $2599 before the plan kicks in again unless you pay a bigger premium to begin with to cover the Donut Hole. I had pounded on this as a bad idea before we even knew there was going to be a government plan by having something much more sensible suggested in our proposed prescription plan where none of this deduction thing would ever take place. One way to beat it is to pay more for your prescription plan to begin that covers all of the deductibles. If that isnít done then one learns by doing that you work from the get go with the doctor to be sure the doctor either prescribes generic drugs and if there is none then have the pharmacist work with you and the doctor to find an equivalent formulation that works the way the doctor wants it to work for a lot less money. I have found that you may buy two medicines that combined are very similar to the one the doctor wants but costs about $10 dollars as opposed to about $100. And in some cases the pharmacist may find a medicine that does what the doctor wants but not quit like the patented one that is so expensive. This does take work and a smart pharmacist. If you are used to getting free medicine (samples) from your doctor to use be sure to keep your eyes open when it come time to buy the prescription that is the sample and can cost hundreds when there are other possibilities. For many this may not be something you would want to do so then the only thing I see is to consider an HMO that covers everything. There arenít many good HMOís to consider and every year we have fewer options. Maybe we will start to elect people to office who will look more at what is right to do not politically right which may be very different.

   Isnít it time that we ask our elected officials to deal with what we need, not what they think would be in their best interests? I wouldnít care how much within reason we paid them if we got qualified politicians elected to office that for a change were in Washington to serve our best interests. I remember a few times when a president of one party had to do business with legislatures of the other party and got a lot done because they had to cooperate or get nothing done. In fact more than once it seemed to me that if the politicians did nothing we would be better off than when we a have politicians who are in office to feather their nests. We have a couple ideas on how we should be able to get things done in Washington that meet our needs which would be just great for a change. We arenít even close to voting for anyone or anything and I think most of us are already tired of the news media reporting on their activity. Like it or not there are good things that come from all this activity. It makes jobs for a lot of people, sells a lot of ink, paper and TV time for want- to-bes. I think some one is saying presidential candidates will be spending in the billions in their runs for office. Isnít if awful to spend so much on hot air?

   It seems that now the mayor may have two arenas not just one. Wouldnít two arenas lead to a disaster unless of course his honor will be playing hockey in one arena and basketball in the other arena? How successful could two 20,000 seat arenas for hockey and basket- ball be in Las Vegas when there is already so much for people to do here like gamble, go to shows, eat, sightseeing and all the other good things available here. We came here from Minneapolis where hockey was very popular and then died when we built a baseball-football arena. Twenty plus years later Minneapolis wants to spend $400,000,000 for a football arena and a baseball arena, a city that canít burn up taxpayer money fast enough. How can we ever control such hunger to eat up tax-payer dollars?