a death and some political stuff


I’m sneaking a blog post in between church and a concert Rhonda is giving this afternoon. The husband of my violinist, Amy Hertel Piersma, died on Thursday evening. It was unexpected. Here’s a link to his obit. He was 65.

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Amy stopped off yesterday to say that she was interesting in playing this morning despite Jim’s death. I told her we could hang loose on that. She emailed me last night that she decided not to do it. We played what we had scheduled anyway and I covered the violin part. This worked pretty well.

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If you’re looking for things to do in resistance and response to the Trump Presidency, you might try what is suggested below. This was posted by my brother, Mark, on Facelessbook. I submitted a comment.

ACTION NEEDED: Leave Public Comment on HHS Website

**** Please leave comments at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=CMS-2017-0021-0002

You are requested to log onto the HHS website and leave a public comment as to why the proposed regulations should not be adopted.

Among the new rules being proposed are:

1) Shortening of Open Enrollment from 3 months to 6 weeks (Shrinks the number of enrollees. Quite possible that those who are healthier will miss getting enrolled, weakening the system further)

2) Tightening up on Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) by
a. Requiring all persons who apply for a SEP to verify their eligibility prior being enrolled (or if already enrolled before changing status and subsidy)
b. If already enrolled may not change metal level (Bronze, Silver, etc.)
c. Insurers permitted to deny coverage under a SEP for loss of minimum essential coverage if the insurer can demonstrate prior termination of the enrollee due to non-payment of premiums.

“Consumer advocates have warned that some of these changes could penalize people who really need coverage but would have problems complying with requirements for documentation, or might fall behind on their payments. But insurers have said they are necessary to keep the market functioning.” (Huffington Post)

3) Loosening Rules for what insurers cover – the actual language around this is fairly technical with much jargon. Basically, it is lowering the cost of insurance by requiring less to be insured. Since subsidies are based upon cost, lower cost means lower subsidies.

“People who didn’t want or need generous coverage, and weren’t eligible for subsidies in the first place, might find some cheaper options. But consumers who qualify for assistance would ‘either have to settle for that less generous plan, or else make up the difference by paying a higher net premium to keep the same type of coverage they had before.’” (Aviva Aron-Dine, senior fellow and senior counselor at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, quoted by Huffington Post)

Try to address those areas that concern you, making a case against the proposed changes. A form letter cribbed from elsewhere is much, much less effective than if you write your own, thoughtful comment. But any comment against these regulations is better than none.

If it helps to get a sense of what others are saying, I have collected 40-50 comments from the site and made them available in a PDF here:https://tinyurl.com/zjgs42x

Fact Check: Trump Blasts ‘Fake News’ and Repeats Inaccurate Claims at CPAC – The New York Times

Despite our current president’s insistence, lies are lies. Facts are still facts.

I feel like we need to end on an up note. Here’s my piano trio playing some fun Mozart a couple years ago.

2 thoughts on “a death and some political stuff

  1. I have never actually heard your piano trio before. No wonder you enjoy it so much! Well played!

    Thanks for passing along my post. I spent quite a bit of time trying to wrap my head around what they are proposing. I do understand that there is a problem with people signing up, getting their health care needs handled and then dropping coverage until the next open enrollment period. Obviously, that is a problem that needs to be addressed. The problem is that, as is so often the case, they go after what is really a small number of people gaming the system with a blunt force that catches up those who legitimately have problems paying their bills and drop out because they can’t pay their premiums. The typical response of going after an annoying mosquito with a bazooka.

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