Friday, July 17, 2009


I have now found out what it is like to be stranded on the proverbial desert island in the Cyber Sea. As of Wednesday, FIOS became ONEOS. Both the internet access and the television functions ceased functioning. Fortunately, the telephone line still worked but I have been alerted that may be so only for 6 hours use on the battery backup.

After twice negotiating with the computer, I was able to talk with a very pleasant young man in Utah, who informed me that there was trouble with one of the “boxes” that was recently installed. A technician would have to come out and replace it. But this would not occur until Thursday afternoon.

I felt like I was in solitary confinement separated from the basics of everyday life. Although I have the telephone, a car and the radio, as well as my eyes for reading, the real life of today’s world has been taken away from me. This might give me a chance to finish my exercise about FEHB. That will appear shortly, at least sooner than Congress will pass Health Care reform.
In the meantime, the newspapers have been filled with Congressional plans to present a health care reform program before the August recess.

Last week the House approved a plan which is over 1000 pages. As I've previously said; I cannot expect to be able to understand or even read all that much paper. I hope that I can find in the newspapers. The weekly news magazines, some good condensations that analysis the plans without writer prejudice.

Some of the known provisions of the House bill which will have to be alga mated with the Senate’s version before adoption and presentation for President Obama’s signature include a income surtax of 8% on incomes over $280,000 individual and $430,000 couple. There will be penalty taxation on individuals that do not have insurance. . There is also to be a surtax of 6 to 8% of payrolls of companies with an annual payroll of over $400,000. And additional penalties if insurance are not offered.

The first of the Senate proposals was submitted by the Senate. Adult’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. It also requires individuals to have insurance in force or pay a tax penalty. Employers with more than 25 employees, who do not offer health insurance will be taxed $750 annually, are each employee. There will be subsidies for families who are whose income is below $88,000. There is also provision for another bureaucracy a Medical Advisory Council

There may be more proposals coming out of other Senate Committees and of course there will be amendments that may even include some Senator’s pet projects (pork) before the plan is voted on. Even with a Democrat majority in the Senate there probably will ultimately result in a version that will have to be meshed into the House’s version. Don’t hold your breath!

Some numbers given may be erroneous since not all sources have the same quotes.

Ps: It was the roofer.

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