Biggest tax increase ever

Bill O’Reilly contends that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the biggest tax increase ever. I sincerely doubt that is correct, unless it is measured in absolute dollars uncorrected for inflation and population size. Assuming that O’Reilly is correct in his limited definition of the Obamacare taxes, and the Right claims that all tax increases are bad as well as all taxes, is Obamacare a wise investment? I say it is. It is better for you and me, we as a nation, to live in a country where are fellow citizens are healthy and productive. That also means educating everyone up to their full potential so each and every one of us can contribute fully to our country and live up to our full potential.

Secondary health insurance up only 2%

Good news in the mail today for my wife and me–our secondary health insurance resets every twelve months and it will increase only 2% starting in September. Is this the result of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? I don’t know, but it is a welcome change from recent double-digit increases. Hoorah!

Arachnophobia

I have never liked spiders and I like their relative, the scorpion, even less. When we moved to Saint George nearly eleven years ago, I knew that we were likely to encounter wildlife to include exotic spiders, scorpions and snakes. To date, most of the scorpions I have encountered have been dead or I quickly made them so. One dead scorpion was silver in color and nearly six inches long. Yesterday was an exception. I walked barefoot onto a porch to retrieve a package and I felt something stab the side of my foot. I looked down and saw a two-inch long tan scorpion running away. The pain was sharp and quickly became much worse. Fire in pulses. Not good.

My wife, a retired nurse, put ice on the wound to reduce swelling and administered Tylenol for pain. Neither treatment helped. After two hours of increasing pain, numbness and increasing nausea and dizziness, she drove me to the local ER. Unfortunately for me, the local ER does not treat enough scorpion stings to stock the required anti-toxin. I was told that Arizona with more scorpion stings stocks the anti-toxin. Happy thought as I struggled with the pain. After three hours and a regimen of drugs including a pain-killer, I was discharged home. I was unable to sleep, and 20 hours after the sting, I still feel the pain which I was told may last for a total of 48 hours.

For those who have never been stung, permit me to describe what you may expect. Your experience may differ. Saint George scorpions are either brown or tan; I was stung by a small tan scorpion, a little larger than most I have seen. I was stung on the bottom of my left foot. The pain traveled up my left leg and over time, visited all parts of my body, reaching my right leg last. The pain felt like a heated nail driven into my body and then twisted. Pain and numbness at the same time. My mouth went dry and numb at the same time I felt pressure on my teeth. I experienced dry mouth, my lips trembled and plain water tasted carbonated. My hands trembled so badly that I could not type or write. My speech was affected. At the time I am writing this, the pain has receded to the site of the bite, where it burns, and the foot is numb.

I do not tolerate pain well. The first day was the worst. I found that sitting in a chair was more tolerable than lying in bed. Now 72 hours after I was stung, my foot still tingles. My medications cost $34.00. The ER was not busy when I arrived and my visit only took 3 hours. I will report on the cost when I hear from Medicare and my secondary insurer.  It was an experience that I hope never to repeat.