Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Will Insurers of 35W Victims Cash In?

SUBROGATION is the word that worries survivors of the 35W bridge collapse and their attorneys. Are you familiar with it?

1 : an equitable doctrine holding that when a third party pays a creditor or obligee the third party succeeds to the creditor's rights against the debtor or obligor; also : a doctrine holding that when an insurance company pays an insured's claim of loss due to another's tort the insurer succeeds to the insured's rights (as the right to sue for damages) against the tortfeasor called also equitable subrogation
2 : an act or instance of subrogating
NOTE: Subrogation can take place either by operation of law or by contractual agreement.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law at dictionary.com.

I'll give it to you in laymen's terms.

Say you're driving along the highway. A large semi is in front of you. All of a sudden, the doors at the back of the semi swing open, spilling boxes onto the highway. Your car is hit, you swerve and your car rolls. You end up in the hospital with multiple injuries. You're out of work for months and will have to endure many months more of physical therapy. Your insurance pays most of the medical expenses.

At least the company that owned the semi is paying you compensation for pain and suffering. It's a good thing. You didn't know how you were going to get by. You get paid a reasonable settlement.

This is where subrogation steps in. If your insurance falls under federal regulations your insurance company can lay claims to your settlement. They can require that you repay them out of your settlement money.

That's the problem that's wracking the brains and legal knowledge of Minnesota state representatives and attorneys for the 35W bridge victims. They want to compensate them, but they don't want it to go to the insurance companies, waiting like sharks in the bloody waters below.

So... not only do health insurance companies charge you through the nose, refuse to pay for preventative and necessary treatments, and drop you for sneezing the wrong way - now they can take your settlements as repayment, too.

Sick. Absolutely sick.

Read the Star Tribune article, "Will insurers go after 35W bridge victims' awards?" by Pam Louwagie that got me ranting at 700am.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Smile Time

I've been home sick today... and probably will be tomorrow. Time for silly blog post. I snatched these little funbies from MagicMarmot.

Nymphy-nymph-nymph (say that 3 times fast)

What type of Fae are you?

Singy-sing-sing (okay - THAT I can say 3 times)

Find your Celestial Choir

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Thin Ice

I'm having one of those distracted-by-bright-and-shiney-objects kind of days. Work has been a bit of bitch goddess lately, demanding far more of my brain-share than I can offer her. Eventually something breaks down. For me, this comes in the form of "Ooooo - look over THERE!"

Today I got an email through the Star Tribune, promoting the latest Disney on Ice production. Does this strike you as funny as it struck me?

Yes, folks... dancing tropical fish ON ICE!

Child: "Mommy? Why isn't Nemo moving any more?"
Mom: "Remember those fish that Daddy brought back from the lake? The ones in our freezer?"
Child: "Yeah?"
Mom: "Well... let's just say he'll go really well with coleslaw."

Jonathan Coulton, I Love You

Okay, Trees... I lied. I found this linked off of Wil Wheaton's blog today and I had to post it.

Jonathon Coulton of "Code Monkey" fame rants in his blog about negative online commentors. I think the phrase "chicken-shit cockhole" will be a permanent part of my vocabulary from now on. Awesome.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lutheran Upbringing Gone Terribly Awry

All those Wednesday confirmation classes down the drain. One would never guess how active I used to be in the church by how I rated on this little quiz. All I can say is it's pretty darn accurate.

Thanks to Magic Marmot, from whom I stole this!

Your Results:

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do?

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. New Age (95%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (94%)
4. Liberal Quakers (78%)
5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (71%)
6. Mahayana Buddhism (70%)
7. Secular Humanism (68%)
8. New Thought (66%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (66%)
10. Reform Judaism (63%)
11. Scientology (61%)
12. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (52%)
13. Taoism (52%)
14. Sikhism (46%)
15. Hinduism (45%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (44%)
17. Nontheist (43%)
18. Bahá'í Faith (42%)
19. Jainism (40%)
20. Orthodox Judaism (34%)
21. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (30%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (26%)
23. Islam (25%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (17%)
26. Roman Catholic (17%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (10%)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where's My Brian Been?

Occasionally, I have times in my life when I'm certain that Igor has handed over the Abby Normal brain to Gene Wilder to install in my cranium.

This is one of those times.

I have a confession to make. I forgot that my parents were coming this weekend. I forgot to tell my husband that my parents were coming this weekend. In the land of married couples and in-laws, I have broken Ape Law.

Granted, we've been so preoccupied lately that I'm surprised I remember to wipe, much less anything else. I keep four (yes, count'em... FOUR) calendars updated so I can find out where I'm supposed to be at any given time. But sometimes, things slip through the cracks.

This was a mighty big crack. (insert lame joke here)

Top 3 Good Things:
1. My parents are staying in a hotel this time. Yes, I love having them stay at the house and I hate having them incur the additional expense, but sometimes space is a good thing.
2. My house will get clean before they come. In fact, with my mother, it will probably be even more clean when they leave.
3. The kids will get time with their grandparents.

Top 3 Bad Things:
1. I have to find time this week to clean my house.
2. My garage clutter is embarrassing.
3. I haven't even taken down my Christmas decorations yet.

So... I'm off to make my oh-my-god-my-parents-will-be-here-in-2-days to-do list. If I'm not back in a week, send a search party.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

United States Ranks Dead Last

Regular readers of Rhapsody know, the state of our nation's healthcare system is a hot-button subject for me. An article I read in Yahoo! News this morning is a much-needed slap in the face to all those who espouse the "evils" of socialized medicine.

Guess what? Socialized medicine is kicking our U.S. healthcare asses!

Fucking, duh.

Normally, I'd just link to the article. But this one is important enough that I'm posting the entire thing. Read on.

France is healthcare leader, US comes dead last: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) - France is tops, and the United States dead last, in providing timely and effective healthcare to its citizens, according to a survey Tuesday of preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries.

The study by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February issue of the journal Health Affairs measured developed countries' effectiveness at providing timely and effective healthcare.

The study, entitled "Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis," was written by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It looked at death rates in subjects younger than 75 that could have been prevented by timely and effective medical care.

The researchers found that while most countries surveyed saw preventable deaths decline by an average of 16 percent, the United States saw only a four percent dip.

The non-profit Commonwealth Fund, which financed the study, expressed alarm at the findings.

"It is startling to see the US falling even farther behind on this crucial indicator of health system performance," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen, who noted that "other countries are reducing these preventable deaths more rapidly, yet spending far less."

The 19 countries, in order of best to worst, were: France, Japan, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Some countries showed dramatic improvement in the periods studied -- 1997 and 1998 and again between 2002 and 2003 -- outpacing the United States, which showed only slight improvement.

White the United States ranked 15th of 19 between 1997-98, by 2002-03 it had fallen to last place.

"It is notable that all countries have improved substantially except the US," said Ellen Nolte, lead author of the study.

Had the United States performed as well as any of the top three industrialized countries, there would have been 101,000 fewer deaths per year, the researchers said.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mommy? Where do baby-cut carrots come from?

Silly, I know, but I've always wondered. What was the genesis of the baby-cut carrot? Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know.

And so do you!