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home : opinion : editorials May 1, 2016

10/27/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: On a kneed to know basis

Rich Thurlow

After years of hearing how wonderful replacement surgery turned out for other people, I decided to add my right knee to history's bone pile in the spring of 2012.

It would be wonderful to report that I was just as pleased as every other person I had talked with who had undergone the procedure, but that wouldn't be true. Yes, after a few months my right leg was mostly pain-free. But my left leg, which had spent years serving as a minor annoyance, put in for a promotion to major.

Promotion denied.

Instead, the left knee was added to the bone pile on Sept. 26 and I have now returned to work after spending many productive hours flat on my back waiting for the next football game to start.

In between games and physical therapy I read my share of books and more or less kept track of the tragedy/comedy taking place in Washington. In the aftermath, I'm marveling at the news coverage that declares the Republicans won or the Democrats won.

How did any party "win" when the decision was made to increase the debt by another trillion-plus dollars? When are enough politicians going to wake up to the fact this colossal debt - now racing toward the $18 trillion mark - can ruin us?

That debt blind spot by too many elected officials is equaled (or perhaps overshadowed) by the inaction in response to the pain caused by Obamacare. Some examples:

• According to Kaiser Health News, Florida Blue is terminating about 300,000 policies, roughly 80 percent of its individual policies in the state.

• Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people - about half of its individual business in the state.

• Highmark, a Pittsburgh insurer, is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers.

• Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.

The above data was gleaned from the Patriot Post, but there are literally millions of these examples all over the Internet. Yes, there are Obamacare success stories, but can you name one that didn't come at someone else's expense? And is anyone buying any of the excuses surrounding the "launch" of the healthcare.gov. After spending well over a half-billion of our dollars on the website, citizens have run into a brick wall of incompetence that has Big Government - slow, inefficient, indifferent - written all over it.

Right now the website is just about trying (and failing) to buy insurance while giving away as much private information as possible in a non-secure environment. But what happens when the real plan - single-payer - takes over and the "glitch" postpones your MRI or urgent cancer surgery for months and months?

And why in the world would Obamacare being horrible serve as an excuse for even more government health care involvement in the form of single-payer?

I don't have the answer to that, and I really don't care which party wins and which party loses according to the press.

But I am pretty sure we can't afford too many more years of victories like the ones being won now in Washington.

And do yourself a favor and get those knees taken care of before government "health care" makes it impossible.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Article comment by: security questions (recommend for ACA website)

1. what was the name of your first drug dealer 2. when were you first sexually abused 3. which President would you most like to see (even post-mortem) tried at the World Court - please name only one ----- this might spur interest in Obamacare, and lines up more aptly with peoples' contemporary lives (as opposed to "what was your 2nd cousin's dog's name" or whatever - most people haven't seen their nieces or cousins living in Wisconsin since You Know Who was President)

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

"Until the Department of Health fixed the security hole last week"

Key word is "fixed". So your point other than parroting Fox News is what? And again, how does this affect you since you're already dependent on the government? Also, please explain to me why the ACA is any different than forcing people on Social Security into "buying" Medicare part B, especially veterans that already have a medical plan (VA and Tricare) that covers their meds. Then if you don't buy into it, you lose your Tricare. Please do your research before you respond.

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

CNN Wire - ABC 15 NEWS 167

NEW YORK - The obamacare website has more than bugs. Cybersecurity expert BEN SIMO, SOFTWARE TESTER IN ARIZONA, found that gaining access to people's accounts was frighteningly simple.

Until the Department of Health fixed the security hole last week, anyone could easily reset your Healthcare.gov password without your knowledge and potentially hijack your account.

Guess an existing user name, and the website will confirm it exists. Claim you forgot your password, and the site will reset it. View the site's unencrypted source code in any browser to find the password reset code. Plug in the user name and reset code, and the website displays a person's three security questions (your oldest niece's first name, name of favorite pet, date of wedding anniversary, etc.). Answer the security questions wrong, and the website spits out the account owner's email address -- again, unencrypted.

Armed with the account holder's email address, a person with malicious intent can easily track down their target on social media, etc, etc,

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“So if I have a bigger budget I get better care.”

No, the level of care is not affected by the plan you choose. Please do some research it will make you look a little less silly. The four levels of plans cover payments – bronze (basic paying 60%), silver (standard, paying 70%), along with gold (80% coverage) and platinum (90% coverage).

As you see there is no impact as to the care you receive. Poor righties show up proving they have no actual knowledge of the ACA, but spew on endlessly.

While we’re here - Under the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare by the less intelligent among us) no company may deny coverage or charge a higher premium based on preexisting medical conditions, gender or occupation. For older citizens the ACA will also close the “doughnut hole” in Medicare Part D drug coverage while providing an annual wellness check-up among other benefits.

“That's not your way now is it? Please tell me how that is fair, equitable or even affordable. No subsidies allowed in your justification.”

What a sad comment based on a total – as usual – lack of facts.


Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens


With skin color unimportant, why must you libs always point it out?

Mr. Thurlow could not have been more clear.

#1 - Government cannot do these type things well - we have many past failures to look at.

#2. The obamacare rollout is the most screwed up mess most of us have ever seen.

#3. Obama has already added 1/3rd of our now $17 Trillion debt in only three years all by himself - Obamacare will add trillions more. UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT!

#4. Massachusetts healthcare is NOTHING like this no matter what you have heard. Look up the facts.

#5. Why on earth would anyone with any brain at all want this inefficient, job killing, unaffordable monstrosity - one step away from the even worse inefficiency of single payer- dumped on the American people.

#6. Republicans presented many better plans - ALL IGNORED so libs could loudly declare there were no other plans.

#7. Repeatedly lying that you could keep your plan and Dr if you so chose, estimate is 15 million will be dumped off their own
paid for plans. Gosh! Wasn't having insurance the idea? Paying for their own, now YOU get to help.

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Article comment by: You Only Have Yourself To Blame

I suspect we will be stuck with the likes of this ediitor until he retires or dies. He reflects the wacko segment of this community repeatedly in his columns. He reflects the educational level and disrespect of learning which exists here and continues to drag this town down. He brags about the fact his only has a high school education then tells the youth here higher education is a waste of money.

As for his latest rant here. Rich try to remember Obama and the Dems wanted a public option. His supporters pushed for Medicare for All. Many of these ideas were supported by and even introduced by Republicans. That support evaporated when the black man in the white house pushed them. The Republicans forced compromises that resulted in what we ended up with. We only have those like you with a broad voice able to advocate for those unreasonable to blame.

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“On obamacare - heard one more story today I have not seen reported anywhere else.”

Probably because it was pure nonsense. A “story” one hears is usually hyperbolic nattering.

Still waiting for your explanation as to why you – who lives on government assistance and health care – is so adamant about denying health care access to every American?

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

Nephew and others-
If there are 4 levels and you can choose what level according to needs and budget. So if I have a bigger budget I get better care. That's not your way now is it? Please tell me how that is fair, equitable or even affordable. No subsidies allowed in your justification.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Capt. Nice:

I am so sorry to hear about your hip problems. I have something similar approaching though I understand possibly even worse. A shoulder replacement and that is the only option I have. Your post makes me think long and hard on it.

On obamacare - heard one more story today I have not seen reported anywhere else.

A man in Arizona was able to hack into it easily and as soon as it opened in October.

He said, no problem, with not much knowledge it was simple, leaving three weeks where people's information was available to whomever hacked in...and you can bet there were plenty that did.

Amazingly, it asked, if you don't have your password, you can set a new one, if you don't have your this and that, set a new one now. That is simply incredible. It is supposedly now fixed but to make it that simple is the stupidest thing I have seen in years.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Now, for the rest of the story

So you are saying that the VA paid for "none" of your bill. Honesty counts.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Just a thought -

And I already know that. The bombshell that dropped today was that Obama and the IRS already knew three years ago that up to 15 MILLION would be dumped out of their plans...for tiny little reasons Obama didn't bother to mention when he said the following, not once but REPEATEDLY.


IF YOU LIKE YOUR DR, YOU CAN KEEP HIM. And the really important word. PERIOD!!!

So we have ONLY one bidder, connected with Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarret, already investigated for shabby dealings and lousy work, lies that it would be ready when it wasn't tested or crashed at the one small test done, lies from start to finish about prices, deductibes, who will stay, who will go and on...and on...and on.

People are mad as hell. Those NOT dumped have seen their premiums skyrocket, deductibles skyrocket. A story today, old people dumped AND their Dr's dumped too.

Yeah, it's a great plan. And didja know, that Massachusetts plan o fondly says he patterned it after...well it's in BIG trouble.

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Plans under ACA are better and cheaper? Say what? Simply not true.”

How do you know? When did you go on-line to check them out?

“… added crap they didn't want and huge deductibles they didn't have before.”

Nope, with a choice of four levels of plans a person is able to select a plan and coverage that best suits there needs and budget.

And I still await an answer as to why you, a person who thrives on government health care, are so against every American having access to health care?

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

Just a thought

"Thanks for showing hate and distain for people that are not as fortunate as you have been. "

What I got from the editorial was that Mr. Thurlow was concerned about how the ACA will add to the already enormous debt, and how it will limit the availability of health care to everyone. Both are reasonable concerns.

No where did I read any words of hate and distain toward anyone. Perhaps you could use specific examples from his editorial to demonstrate this hate and distain that you claim to have read.
Or, are you resorting to the tired and pathetic leftist tactic of claiming "hate" when someone presents views that go against the pre-programed leftist agenda, and you have no reasonable argument you can use to counter their view point.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Just A Thought

@ Linda and Rich

Just one out of every 50 health plans in the private insurance market currently meets the minimum coverage or essential health benefit standards that will be required in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This is why many participants in private health care plans are being canceled. They do not meet the minimum requirements.

Rich what I would do if I were you is go and sit down with your HR representative. They can and will give you the needed information about healthcare policies you left out of your rant. If they cannot then your HR department has missed the Federal deadline to see if your companies healthcare meets the minimum standards of the ACA,

Now for all of you on Medicare. The ACA DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU. You must still use medicare.gov for your healthcare choices. Now quite whining about something that does not affect you.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

Hip replacements are not as bad as knee, but if I had it to do all over again...I probably would have opted for the pain and limping.
Now that I have the best money can buy, I can't run, jump, bend over easily plus fall down and trip quite easily. Once falling down at a gas station and rolling under a car...thank goodness it was stopped.
I hate to discourage people thinking of having hip replacements, but that has been my experiences....I also have pain but maybe not as much as before my replacements.
I have had three replacements due to the terrible job a doctor in California did, so at least my leg length is right on now, not an inch and a half off.
Yeah, I think I would have waited a while and at least joined the ranks of people who could at least walk fast.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Just a thought:

Plans under ACA are better and cheaper? Say what? Simply not true. May be a few, majority, as case after case shows, sky rocket, added crap they didn't want and huge deductibles they didn't have before.

Here's a plan. What if we had left all those people happy, happy with their own insurance plans alone and just worked out something for the few million who needed but didn't have care?

What? Oh, I see. That would have made sense, been logical and left most of the country happy. Can't do that when we can endlessly cause turmoil, strife and despair. At that, obama has succeeded like no other in our history.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

I really get a kick out of what you write, but usually it follows with the desire to bang my head against the wall. (cement block preferred) I like this sentence: I don't have the answer to that, and I really don't care which party wins and which party loses according to the press.

Come on Rich, didn't your mother tell you not to lie or did you spend your time as a youth on your back waiting for the next football game?

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Now, for the rest of the story

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that your two knee replacements were partly paid for by the VA due to that arduous duty you performed in Vietnam. I’m never surprised by the beat down a new program gets from those siphoning (taking advantage of) off the other programs that were meant for something totally different. Rich Thurlow replies: Love the "out on a limb" pun. Speaking of limbs, you kneed to know my time in the Army didn't include service in Vietnam. The Miner provides quality health insurance to its employees, and for that I'm grateful. My own resources took care of the out-of-pocket.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Welcome back Mr. Thurlow. You have been missed. Continued good recovery to you. What? You missed the Food Channel, LMN movies and all those intelligent reality shows like the Kardashians? I always wanted to create The Wives of Butler but whatever.

My knee story, in hopes of helping someone else.

Having two forms of arthritis and other rotten auto immune problems, knees were in severe pain, working a counter I often stood on one leg propping the other on an upside down garbage can.

Finally so bad, I was told knee surgery was imminent...and soon. Unable to leave work, we opted to try second best, therapy at Deerings.

Going over my case and creating a plan, the Deering therapy was miraculous. Unable to ride a bike at all, in one month I was easily peddling ten minutes. Simple exercises, key is keep them up at home. Years later, I can still walk well without limping, knee pretty pain free, ride a bike endlessly.

It did not work for shoulders but for knees, a home run. Hope this gives others an option to try.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Just A Thought

Glad things went will for you Rich. Now for this article. Thanks for showing hate and distain for people that are not as fortunate as you have been. Now you spoke of all the individuals that have been dropped from their health policies. There is one great reason for that. The policies that they will be able to buy under the ACA are much better and cheaper than they presently have. Now for your choice of information you based your article on. Well a far right wing republican terrorist website is not a place to find information that is not distorted and border lies. Rich please for your readers try a bit harder next time you feel driven to write an opinion.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

No! No! It can’t be true,
What about Bush one and how about Bush two,

You have to overlook this amount of debt,

You have to realize the Messiah isn’t finished yet,

Free health care, green earth and peace on earth,

Ask yourself, what is THAT worth?

Only racists doubt the truth in his loving, wise eyes,

After all, didn’t he get the Nobel Prize?

But look, don’t believe me,

Listen to the media, Oprah and Hollywood celebrities,

How great this Man is, you are unacquainted,

Men like Obama are usually Sainted,

We reluctantly “forgive” you,

We don’t like that word,

But you’re obviously uninformed,

In the name of ObamaCare,

This is our prescription,

A steady diet of Letterman, Fallon and Jon Stewart,

To FOX you no longer listen,

When He speaks you’ll swoon and your eyes will glisten,

Now that you’re converted and no longer deranged,

Let’s talk about man made Climate Change.

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