color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hey! Mr. President & Congress! Listen Up (Healthcare Forum)

First, the big mistake in this "forum" stuff IS THAT YOU DID NOT INCLUDE CONSUMERS.

Since I wasn't invited, here's some of my thoughts.

1. If you want to immediately reduce the impact of health care costs, reduce -- and then eliminate - the threshold for tax deductibility of medical expenses. Not everyone -- in fact very few -- Americans have access to pre-tax Medical Expense Accounts. Why should only SOME citizens have access to tax-free money for medical expenses?? Let us deduct ALL of our medical expenses from our income. Yes, that will have an income consequence for the Feds, but if the goal is TO HELP AMERICANS AFFORD HEALTH CARE, this is step one.

2. Pres. Obama IS WRONG. The government does NOT have to legislate the minimum standards for health insurance. The government simply needs to require full disclosure and let the consumer choose. The government decided to protect investors this way when they required companies to include in their proxy statements and annual reports a STANDARD FOR DISCLOSURE. Companies are required to compare their performance to comparable companies in terms of return on investments and disclosure of compensation, etc.

Same thing would help ME -- as a CONSUMER -- to choose MY insurance and how much I want to pay for it. Pick the 10 most common and/or 10 most expensive health conditions and make the insurance companies tell me whether they cover it FULLY. Make every insurance company tell me IN READABLE TYPE what the lifetime limit on the policy is. Tell me how much of my premium is used to cover administrative costs -- including executive compensation.

Yes, let me shop for insurance anywhere in the country, but give me a way to compare the coverage AND LET ME CHOOSE. That's the American way. I don't need no stinkin' "protection" from the Feds. If a company covers two days for childbirth and that is disclosed when I buy the policy, that's it. Let ME decide what I want, when I want it and how much I'm willing to pay for it.

Let me choose the coverage I want -- like well-care and preventative care -- and eliminate certain coverages I don't need. I do not need Obstetrics coverage and I don't want to pay for it. I get the idea that this is part of spreading the risk & spreading the cost... but then do something to LIMIT my exposure -- like meaningful tort/litigation reform.

There should be two types of coverage: HEALTH coverage for well care and routine care and the hospitalization and catastrophic coverage -- for surgeries and long-term treatments. Now we don't have a choice -- these are all rolled in... separate them and let me shop separately. Maybe I want to cover my own routine care and only want catastrophic coverage? Let ME choose.

3. The high risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions. Yes, it's abhorrent... but if you require each health insurer to assume a certain number of those policies -- as they require auto insurers to do for high risk drivers -- then everyone in the U.S. will assume a fair portion of that risk. That's fair to me. No one gets dropped and no one is denied insurance and everyone assumes some of the risk.

4. Community-based health care. No one is talking about that. Where I live, there are two LARGE community health clinics. People who cannot afford (or choose NOT to buy health insurance) can use the community health clinics. What you pay is based on what you can afford. Many people who have insurance  also use the clinics. They are full service. They are principally funded by tax dollars but also by charitable contributions and donations of time from health care professionals and the community.

5. Fraud and waste. Exactly WHY does it take THIS health care proposal to address that?? If this is a problem, deal with it NOW. If you cannot agree on anything else, carve this out and JUST DO IT.

All of these should be separate pieces of legislation. If one works, great. If one doesn't, it gets dumped or tweaked.

If I hear one more person -- from the President to the Congresscritters tell me one more time that this is such a complicated issue -- implying that we are uninformed or too stupid to figure this stuff out -- I am going to shoot my television!!
So I watched the health care forum... mostly political theatre and posturing... but, Mr. President, besides the not-even-thinly-veiled threat that either the Republicans do it your way or you'll do it without them...  if you are the President of ALL the people, why did you only ask the Republicans if they could compromise?? Isn't the very definition of compromise for BOTH sides to give & take?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sleepy’s Comforts the Troops with Pillow Donation

I have had sleep problems for the past 10 years... there is nothing I value more than a good night's sleep. And I can say that the last 3 mattresses we have purchased for our homes have come from Sleepy's.... so I was delighted when this arrived in my email.

Sleepy’s Comforts the Troops with Pillow Donation

Mattress Company Partners with Give2TheTroops to send Pillows to Military Overseas

To give troops a soft spot to rest their heads, Sleepy’s, the family-owned east coast mattress company, has developed a pillow donation program in partnership with Give2TheTroops, a non-profit organization which sends care packages to the military. Through a program called “Comfort Our Troops,” when consumers purchase any Tempur-Pedic pillow at one of Sleepy’s 700 retail locations between January 28 and February 28 Sleepy’s will send a travel pillow to troops overseas via care package from the Give2TheTroops organization. The pillows will be packaged with other “comforts of home” such as snacks and toiletries.

”Sleepy’s is proud to engage our community to support the men and women who serve our country through the ‘Comfort Our Troops’ program,” said Adam Blank, Chief Operating Officer at Sleepy’s. “We hope that when they lay their heads down, they are reminded how truly grateful we are for their service.”

“A cozy bed is one of the things that our soldiers miss the most while they are away,” said Andi Grant, President and Founder of Give2TheTroops. “The ‘Comfort Our Troops’ program is a great way for people to give our soldiers a little piece of home and help them sleep a little easier.”

To purchase a pillow in support of the “Comfort Our Troops” program, please visit one of Sleepy’s 700 retail locations beginning January 28. For information on the program, please visit or

ABOUT Give2TheTroops
Give2TheTroops® is a NONPARTISAN, NON-POLITICAL, PATRIOTIC organization aimed at supporting U.S. deployed and wounded troops in harm's way. We are managed by patriotic volunteers who ensure that deployed U.S. military members in all branches of service are supported with letters and care packages. Give2TheTroops was founded by a U.S. Marine wife in December of 2002 when her husband was deployed for a year with Operation Iraqi Freedom. The organization grew rapidly as more people wanted to show their support for our troops. Give2TheTroops has headquarters in Connecticut with branches located throughout the country. Give2TheTroops are incorporated and certified as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-political, non-partisan organization. For more information, call 888.876.6775 (888.TROOPS.5), or visit us at


Sleepy’s, The Mattress Professionals(R) is a privately-owned 4 generation company with over 700 locations in thirteen states, spanning from Vermont to West Virginia. Throughout Sleepy’s 52-year history, they have supported the idea that one mattress does not fit all, carrying a wide selection of mattresses so their customers are certain to find the one that suits them best. Keeping up-to-date on all the latest innovations in sleep technology, Sleepy’s, The Mattress Professionals(R) carries the latest in Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Beautyrest, Posturepedic, Tempur-Pedic, Sleep To Live mattresses and 12 other brands to fit any price range or comfort level. For more information, call 1-800-SLEEPYS (1-800-753-3797), or visit us at

This ends February 28 -- so get a move on!!  Personally, I think nothing says, "I love you!" on Valentine's Day more than a new pillow (with a piece of diamond jewelry perched on top, of course!)

I received no products or compensation in any form for publishing this blog post.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Hi there,

Greetings from the East Coast of New England. As an organization who has a personal or professional interest in Veteran's Groups or post traumatic stress disorder, I am contacting you regarding my latest novel, THE LAST SURGEON and its Fundraiser launch party, on February 16th, 2010, to benefit the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Project.

The party will be held at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston -- an evening full of books, auctions, music, great food, and appearances by some of the country's best writers, including Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen, Gary Braver, Lisa Gardner, Joseph Finder, Andre Dubus III, Mark Vonnegut, William Martin, Sandra Lee, and Hank Phillippi Ryan.

If you are from the New England area, I would be thrilled if you could attend. All ticket proceeds and a portion of the book sales will benefit the Home Base PTSD Program. It's a great event for a great cause. You can purchase tickets by visiting the LiveNation website.

For those who can't make it, I encourage you to help spread the word.

Between today and February 16th, 2010, I'll be conducting a little fundraiser of my own via social media. It's free to participate and a great way to help out.

Here's how it works:
1. I'll donate $1 to the Mass General Hospital Red Sox Homebase PTSD Foundation for every additional Facebook fan I acquire until book launch on February 16th, 2010. I encourage you to spread the word and to suggest for your friends to become fans -- it's an easy way to help a great cause.

2. For you Twitter users, I'll also be donating an additional $1 for all followers who adopt THE LAST SURGEON Twibbon. If you have a Twitter profile, simply click HERE to get started.

I would love it if you could help out in some way to support this event. If you cannot attend, I'd appreciate it very much if you could help pass along this message to contacts who might be of interest.

Warm Regards,

Michael Palmer

Labels: , , ,