Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Degree of "Too Much"?

This is a Bama story that poses a very serious question. Down in Houston County....the cops came up and determined that the manager and a dancer of a newly opened club (you can imagine the type)...needed to be arrested. Apparently, the county sheriff had reports of nudity. Naturally, in Bama, law enforcement is usually called out and then sits through twelve hours of shows....to make a final determination. In some cases, the local Baptist minister is also asked to help evaluate the situation.

After enough evaluation...deputies arrested the owner...Michael Gene Cox....and then charged him with running a club that allowed "too much nudity".

I paused over that comment..."too much nudity". Once you remove your clothing...you are nude, and at 100 percent. You can't really go to 110 percent or 150 percent nudity.

In this case, nude is nude. You've reached maximum capacity...as an engineer would say. That should be it, unless of course, you're in Dothan and then, maybe, you can get an extra ten percent nude. One's imagination is then left to what folks might consider as extra nude in Dothan. It's best not to ask....I think.

Naive is Good.....Sort Of

I had a work associate a couple of years ago....that I met once or twice a week and we'd have a water-cooler chat for five minutes.

The guy had gone back to the states and visited his mom in Florida. She was a retiree and finally going on social security and medicare at age 65. She was apparently living in a trailer deal....with a old friend, who was only 60 and not yet on either system.

Apparently, his mom had gone for medical procedures and everything paperwork-wise was all prepared for submission to Medicare. For some reason, his mom got a copy of the bill and kept it. A couple of months later.....her friend from the trailer came up and needed the same procedure. She's got private health care insurance....and has to co-pay like a quarter of the cost of the procedure.

Mom is looking at the paperwork and then pulls out her paperwork....and there is this price difference. Mom is upset about this. The friend ended up paying something like twenty percent more than Mom, and it was the same identical procedure. She even went line by line down the receipt for both of them.

She went to the clinic and tried to get rational explanations why she got a good deal and why her friend didn't get the same good deal. The lady at the desk tried to be nice about this but her simple explanation was that Medicare only pays X amount.....and that's all the clinic can charge for that procedure. That really didn't make my associate's Mom happy about the whole thing.

So my associate sat there.....and laid out the whole reasoning of Medicare and how it really works. Basically, the government agrees to only pay X, and the doctors have to accept this....and basically call it a free discount....but they have to make up for this discount, compliments of the government, by charging everyone else a bit more to come out even.

It began to dawn on Mom at this point....that the entire system was a rigged deal. You got a free discount for being 65....and nothing more. Everyone was accepting of this....even the doctors....to make this work.

The curious thing that I thought about after hearing this story....is how many Americans over the age of 65 actually grasp the entire gimmick of Medicare and how it works? Maybe two percent? Maybe ten percent? They all just accept it because it appears to be easy and simple to use....just flash the card....and everything's taken care of. Don't ask questions over something that might be complicated.

It was one of those lessons in life for me.....people tend to just accept things without many questions. And if they did ask questions....they probably wouldn't be that happy over the whole thing and how it works. We are better off with a naive society.