OpenBookBlogHop-Layla Writes Love 2019 Goals   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

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#OpenBook

Share your writing goals for 2019.

Mis Quince Años

I’ve been asking writers and authors to share their 2019 writing goals all last week.

I reached out to romance authors and ask them to tell readers some of their goals for this year, and I did the same for Muslim authors on the NbA Muslims blog on Patheos.

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It was great reading what authors and writers had planned as well as including some of my goals. I also took a moment to take part in an Instagram author’s challenge post.

I’ve been busy planning and goal making. So, I’m going to use this Open Book Blog Hop post to round up all of the goals I made and maybe add a couple of more.  Here we go!

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Posted January 3, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Socialism = Many-Headed Hydra   Leave a comment

aurorawatcherak

I got into a kerfuffle with some socialists (Bernie supporters) on Twitter recently because I know what Bernie is advocating and they are so enamored of all the free stuff he’s offering that they are blind to the economic, social and political realities of socialism.

As the New Republic’s John Judis explains:

In the early 1970s, I was a founding member of the New American Movement, a socialist group… Five years later, I was finished with…socialist organizing. …nobody seemed to know how socialism—which meant, to me, democratic ownership and control of the “means of production”—would actually work… Would it mean total nationalization of the economy? …wouldn’t that put too much political power in the state? The realization that a nationalized economy might also be profoundly inefficient, and disastrously slow to keep up with global markets, only surfaced later with the Soviet Union’s collapse. But even then, by the mid-1970s, I…

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Posted January 3, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Not A Solution   Leave a comment

So, the United States has a problem with a dysfunctional medical insurance system and a broken government-medical care system. So what is the solution. Well, it’s not becoming Canada.

The Frasier Institute recently undertook a research project to see how Canada’s medical care system stacks up to the rest of the world. When compared to 11 similar countries, including the United States, a recent study shows that whether it’s emergency room visits, same- or next-day appointments, seeing a specialist or getting elective surgery, Canada’s wait times are the worst.

In fact, in 2016, Canadians waited an average of five months for medically necessary specialist treatments. As a specialist working in a field where delay of treatment turns a manageable condition into a death sentence, that concerns me. Apparently it concerns Canadians as well because almost 60,000 of them visit the US and other countries for medical care each year.

Speaking of other countries, over in the United Kingdom, where they’ve had 70 years to figure out how to run a government-controlled health care system, over 80 percent of doctors say their workplaces are understaffed and the NHS reports a 45 percent higher hospital death rate than the US, which might explain why over 50,000 “non-urgent” surgeries were canceled in 2018 when their system was overwhelmed by flu season.

In Canada, apologists for the universal medical care system there (where private doctors are outlawed) claim the wait times remain a small price to pay for universal medicare care, but then why don’t we see similar issues in other countries with universal health care systems? Frasier’s research examined eleven other countries. While you could argue that the US doesn’t have a universal system (I wouldn’t argue that at this point), the other countries. Generally, they allow the private sector to provide core health-care insurance and services in which patients share in the cost of treatment and they fund hospitals based on activity. Canada funds most hospitals from a global budget.

You can look at the Netherlands, which was the top performer in the ability to see a doctor on the same or next day. Individuals are required a standard insurance package from private insurers in a regulated, but competitive market. A for-profit company is the market leader.

France has universally accessible hospital care delivered by public, not-for-profit and for-profit hospitals. In fact, about one-third of all French hospitals are operated on a for-profit basis.

Switzerland ensures universality in an environment of managed competition among insurance companies and medical-care providers. Cost sharing is a central feature. Individuals are expected to pay a deductible before insurance kicks in, and then there is a 10-20 percent insurance copayment, up to a annual maximum.

Germans use social/statutory or private insurance to a access public or private hospital care. Forty-two percent of hospitals are operated on a for-profit basis, but almost all hospitals are accessible by patients with the social/statutory coverage.

So, I believe there is a solution to the medical-care crisis in America, but I think other countries don’t have that solution.

The Problem   Leave a comment

Less than half of the 24 million proponents of Obamacare who said they would sign up during the legislative process in 2010 actually did so in the last eight years.

Why?

Well, they ran up against the cost of socialized healthcare.
Premiums doubled in the first four years of Obamacare. Last year, the average monthly premium for individual insurance was $476 per person per month in the 39 states participating in HealthCare.gov.

Here is Alaska, premiums in the individual and small-group markets doubled in those first four years and have tripled in the three years since. Alaskans in the small-group markets pay an average premium in excess of $1000 a month.

It gets worse than that, however. As premiums have gone up, choices have gone down. In more than 80 percent of counties across the US, there are only one or two health care plans available on the Obamacare exchange. That means millions of Americans now have far fewer choices when it comes to their doctor and health care network.

For the 11 million who did sign up for Obamacare, over 86 percent of them were enrolled in Medicaid. That didn’t ensure they have access to medical care because increasing numbers of doctors and other medical providers are no longer accepting Medicaid because they are reimbursed at an unsustainable level for the amount of staff required to handle all the related paperwork.

Medicaid is notorious for long wait times and poor health outcomes. It is a costly and unsustainable welfare entitlement program that delivers low-quality medical care to many of its enrollees. Because most doctors don’t accept Medicaid, recipients have little choice but to seek non-urgent care in expensive and overcrowded hospital emergency rooms where they often receive inferior medical treatment. When they do need to seek urgent care, they are routinely assigned to less-skilled surgeons, receive poorer post-op instructions, and often suffer worse outcomes for identical procedures than similar patients both with and without medical insurance.

Medicaid has become too large to provide good services to people who genuinely need public assistance. Eligibility expansions have crowded out those who need care and can’t afford it because taxpayer funds are being spent on individuals who could afford private insurance coverage. This diverts resources from the genuinely needy populations of the program.

You could perhaps make an argument for this if states that have expanded Medicaid had experienced better health outcomes for their poorer populations, but there’s no evidence that has happened. While most of those enrolled in Medicaid are relatively healthy children and their mothers, a small subset of enrollees have serious diseases like diabetes, HIV, anemia, or psychosis. These Medicaid patients are typically in worse condition at the time of their diagnosis than either the insured or the uninsured. They also typically have worse average health outcomes after treatment than either of those two demographics.

Compared to the privately insured, Medicaid patients have a 22 percent great chance of complications and a 57 percent greater change of dying following colon cancer surgery. They are more likely to die in the hospital than the uninsured. That’s right – the uninsured. That statistic comes courtesy of the University of Virginia, by the way.

Medicaid patients typically spend longer in the hospital (10.5 days) than both the insured (7.4 days) and the uninsured (7 days). This is because they are more likely to experience complications and that might explain why Medicaid patients have a 21% higher cost for hospitalization than the uninsured and and a 26% higher cost for hospitalization than the privately insured.

These sad statistics are not limited to adults with cancer, but also show up in stroke recovery and in pediatrics. The vast majority of children in and out of Medicaid enrollment are healthy, but of course that’s not always the case. Researchers have found that a child with asthma is five times more likely to see an asthma specialist if she has private coverage rather than Medicaid. Children with Medicaid are 50% more likely to be seen by an emergency room doctor, in large part because of the dearth of private doctors who will accept Medicaid patients. Those same doctors will accept someone paying case, so uninsured patients actually have more access to medical treatment than those insured under the Medicaid system.

The worst part of all of this is that Obamacare’s shifting of lower-income coverage to Medicaid has resulted in a crowd-out of private insurance and patients it used to cover. Yes, some few uninsured who were not previously covered by Medicaid may now have insurance (with no assurance of actual medical treatment), but even for the previously-insured, getting into see a doctor is now much more difficult, resulting in higher prices and longer wait times. Obamacare’s paperwork requirements on doctors have reduced the amount of time they can spend with patients, increasing diagnosis and treatment errors.

And, none of it was necessary. There are better solutions.

Cousin Rick is a world-renown research doctor who works for a major medical center and    would like not to identify himself, as that would likely ruin his career under the current tyrannical environment of the medical community. He is a frequent guest on my blog whenever the current  medical insurance stupidity becomes so great that he feels it necessary to vent.

Last 48 Hours of #Sale   Leave a comment

January 1, 2019, all prices return to standard $3.99 except first book in series and Hullaboo on Main Street. Get your #reduced price books now.

Amazon

January 1 look for #free day for Life As We Knew It, The Willow Branch, and Hullabaloo on Main Street.

Posted December 31, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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Scenic Route   6 comments

December 31, 2018

Share your writing goals for 2019.

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1. Link your blog to this hop.
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I’m a big believer in goals. Goals give us structure in life. That said, I believe goals should be held lightly. They are guides only, not set routes that dictate our every turn.

This is a lesson learned hiking in Alaska. You have a goal – maybe to hike Mount Pennell. The peak is right there, but there are multiple ways to it. Sometimes you start out on the path you think is best and encounter a creek in flood. Now you can’t take the desired path, so you need to change your route. The main goal is still in view, but the route changes. And, maybe, in that new and unexpected route, you’ll discover great views or a wonderful flower meadow or sheep on the cliffside and that new route will become the desired route from then on.

That is my view of writing goals. I’m open to the need to adapt circumstances and sometimes I’m very pleased with where the writing detour takes me.

My writing goals for 2019 are similar to what they are every year. I want to finish the fifth book in Transformation Project (“Gathering In”)and maybe submit a short story to an anthology. I’m considering submitting “What If Wasn’t” to another round of beta readers to see if it’s improved enough for publication. I might combine the first three books in Transformation Project into a box set. I’ve got some adjacent novellas planned in the series universe, but I’m not ready to publish yet.

Finally, I’ll be working on the third book in Daermad Cycle “Fount of Wraiths”. It’s taking too long to write it, but that means it’ll be fantasy gold when it’s done.

I also have a YA I’m noodling on, but it’s not near to being done and isn’t even titled yet.

Although my primary project will be published sometime in the second half of the year, all other projects are subject to change, adapting to my life and my muse. It’s all well-and-good to have goals, but they should not constrain us to the point where writing becomes a rote exercise. They only provide us with structure for creativity. They aren’t the main event and too much adherence to them can destroy creativity as surely as having no plan at all.

Posted December 31, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Recognizing Cognitive Dissonance   Leave a comment

Recognizing cognitive dissonance is the key to real problem-solving.

Far too often, we leap to conclusions that are not supported by reasoning.

One such conclusion is that gun control is the answer to mass shootings, murders, etc. But the logic defies that mind set. We already have background checks to purchase new guns and several studies have shown that mass shooters rarely get their weapons from private sales. And yet, the Democrats are already planning a bill that will attempt to outlaw all private sales. So, if I want to give my guns to my son, I will have to actually sell them to a federal firearms dealer and then my son will have to purchase them for whatever price the FFL feels is acceptable and, in the meantime, my collectible firearms will become subject to confiscation if the FFL decides he can get a better price on the open market.

And, yet, we know that gunmen get their guns legally, using the background check system while other gunmen get their guns illegally, avoiding the background check, and in all cases, gun control FAILED to keep the gunman from getting the guns.

Meanwhile, Office of Government Accountability created a study to try and catch illegal private sales on the Internet and dark web. Pretending to be felons and other disallowed individuals, government agents tried to buy guns privately, but gun forums and those running classified ads were unwilling to sell to agents who self-identified as being prohibited from possessing a firearm. Out of 72 attempts, 56 sellers refused to complete the transactions, 26 sellers stated they would not ship a firearm and 27 refused after the disclosure of prohibited status. Five websites froze the accounts the undercover agents had set up, preventing further use of the forums and attempts at purchase.

In other words, self-monitoring appears to be much more effective than gun control.

Posted December 28, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control

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