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Freddie

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Member since: Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:44 AM
Number of posts: 7,295

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Meet the Parents

We have 2 children.
Laurie, 31, is the one I never worry about. She's an RN, working on her MSN, teaches new nurses at a nearby hospital. Married to Steve, a great guy, and mother of our two wonderful little grandkids. She's smarter (and makes more $) than either of us.
Tom is a whole other story. Handsome, smart, articulate - and a recovering heroin addict. Started with pills when he was in HS and eventually, like so many of them, switched to cheaper heroin. (Our small PA town is infested). This was off and on for 6 years, during which he managed to get a BA in Life Science from Penn State. He originally wanted to be a science teacher but couldn't handle student teaching while being a drug addict. Inpatient rehab twice during this time - he is alive because I have good insurance. First time at 20 didn't take at all. Second time at 23 he stayed clean for 9 months, during which time he finished his degree and got a good job at a local bank. Then he got sucked into it again, lost his job, had a car accident while high...a true nightmare time, 2 years ago. His dad and I told him he had one more chance at rehab while he was still 25 and on my insurance.
This time, so far, it's working. He's clean almost 2 years. Decided to move to Florida to get away from this drug-infested town and his dealer "friends". He hooked up with a good, reputable rehab down there where he now works FT as a discharge coordinator. Has his own apartment and a cat. Goes to NA meetings and he's a sponsor as well. And now, he's in love.
They say, in recovery, don't start a new relationship until you're clean for a year. A year and 3 months in he met Jennifer, who also works at the rehab. She's clean 2.5 years. She's gorgeous, his age, they're inseparable. She had a similar journey with drugs and plans on finishing her college degree which got interrupted much like Tom's did. He told his sister he wants to marry her. I am thrilled he found a great partner.
Our family is pretty political and we're all on the same page including Tom. So we've never had a "what to do with the RWNJ uncle at the holidays" issue before. Tom and Jennifer are coming home next week and we are meeting her parents over dinner at our house. (She's from Ohio but has relatives fairly nearby). I just found out that her dad is a Trump fan...thank God they live in Ohio.
In the interest of peace DH and I will carefully avoid politics at the dinner table and will change the subject if necessary. I understand they are just as happy as we are about Tom and Jennifer and I want it to stay that way. But knowing the dad is a RWNJ has put a little damper on the menu planning etc. Help.

Health insurance question

I am very blessed to have great health insurance as I work for a school district. I am payroll and benefits manager but this is a personal concern.
6 weeks ago I took my husband to the ER with severe abdominal pain. He had a CT scan and later that afternoon had laparoscopic gall bladder surgery. He got 1 night in the hospital- semi-private room, regular floor not ICU.
We are self-insured with Aetna as administrator. Aetna was billed $65000 (!!!) by the hospital. That's just the hospital, not the surgeon or anesthesiologist. Those charges seemed reasonable. But $65000 for ONE NIGHT and an ER visit??? Of which my employer paid $27000! Since we're self-insured that's coming directly from my school and will certainly make our premium increase next year. What do they charge for a complicated illness with multiple days' stay??
I honestly think this is a mistake. Had an appendectomy 2 years ago (similar circumstances- ER visit, 1 night stay, same hospital - and I think Blue Cross (we had then) might have paid $5000.
Called Aetna and could not get a straight answer. Only "that's what they billed us, we paid our share and you owe $100." Like it wasn't my problem that my employer paid $27000.
Was this a mistake? Or is the list price for 1 night in the hospital really $65000??!

This is personal now

My son is a recovering heroin addict. 14 months clean. He is now working as an addictions counselor-in-training at a recovery center in Florida and doing great.

When he turned 26 last summer I put him on COBRA. The rehab he was at (not the one he works for now) did not take any of the Exchange plans so I had no choice. It was worth it to me to maintain his good insurance that I can get through my work.

His new job will offer insurance after his 90-day probation period (July). If it's a decent plan I would absolutely love to save $500 a month and stop his COBRA coverage. But now that the GOP has fucked the nation, I'm scared to do this. Once you stop COBRA you can't go back on. What if he lost his job? He's got a hell of a pre-existing condition and you know damn well Florida will elect to end "essential benefits" in a heartbeat.

I've read that the pre-existing condition thing would only kick in if you allow a 60+ day lapse in coverage and if you bought a plan right away it wouldn't matter. Is this true? I know I should read the fine print but the assholes who voted for this thing didn't. If he lost his work plan I would get him a private plan immediately. The "lapse in coverage" thing is the deciding factor in whether I could risk taking him off COBRA.

Does anyone know for sure?
I hate Republicans with the heat of a thousand suns.

"Apples and oranges" arguments - there's a name for this

I'm seeing this on FB a lot. For example, a response to a post about the Women's March will be "how can you complain when women in the Middle East have no rights." Huh? It's true but what does that have to do with American womens' rights being threatened?

The latest one is in response to the refugee crisis - "but Bill Clinton banned illegal immigrants in 1995!" Again, huh? We're talking about people who went through all the hoops to get here and are still denied.

There's a name for this kind of argument, it's in Wikipedia and someone posted the name and definition on FB recently but I can't find it. Would love to have this handy for rebuttals.
Anyone?
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