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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Logo for the Durham Chapel Hill Complaints Choir

Our concerts will be on May 2. Stay tuned for locations!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Insurance for everybody except sick children

Extracts from
Coverage Now for Sick Children? Check Fine Print
By Robert Pear for the New York Times March 28, 2010

Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing conditions.

Insurers on health care law: "The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost."

"The concept that insurance companies would even seek to deny children coverage exemplifies why we fought for this reform," said Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the Senate commerce committee, said: “The ink has not yet dried on the health care reform bill, and already some deplorable health insurance companies are trying to duck away from covering children with pre-existing conditions. This is outrageous.”

Insurers say they often limit coverage of pre-existing conditions under policies sold in the individual insurance market. Thus, for example, an insurer might cover a family of four, including a child with a heart defect, but exclude treatment of that condition from the policy.

Insurers say, until 2014, the law does not require them to write insurance at all for the child or the family. In the language of insurance, the law does not include a “guaranteed issue” requirement before then.

Consumer advocates worry that instead of refusing to cover treatment for a specific pre-existing condition, an insurer might simply deny coverage for the child or the family.

“If you have a sick kid, the individual insurance market will continue to be a scary place,” said Karen L. Pollitz, a research professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University.

Starting in January 2014, health plans will be required to accept everyone who applies for coverage.

Until then, people with pre-existing conditions could seek coverage in high-risk insurance pools run by states or by the secretary of health and human services.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From today's New York Times...

Last year, 37 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds were unemployed or no longer looking for work.

The portion of 18-to-29-year-olds who live alone declined to 7.3 percent in 2009 from 7.9 percent in 2007, according to the Current Population Survey. A decline that large was recorded only twice before, during or after recessions in the early 1980s and 1990s.

According to the census, 56 percent of men age 18 to 24 and 48 percent of women in the same age group live under the same roof as their parents.

"It's kind of like having roommates," [a scuba instructor] said, "except they won’t disappear without paying their share of the bills."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Expired."


Acrylic on canvas 12 x 16


Powerpoint is pointless and dull.

One of the complaints in our Durham Chapel Hill Complaints Choir song. And this morning, I see this wonderful warning from Mark Goetz:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Subterranean."

Attack of the Mole, with Burrowing Owl

Acrylic on Canvas 16 x 12


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Where you can sell or buy almost any service for $5.00

Well, this is an entertaining start to the day: at people offer services of all kinds (this screenshot is from the music category) for $5. And, of course, you can offer a service of yours as well. I may just try it out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

In which I catch both Superman and Jethro having a rational moment

Unbelievable! Both of them standing under the tarps when it was raining! Although if you look carefully you'll see Jethro is half out in the rain, which proves his indifference to the whole concept of shelter.


Our new Buff Orphington chicks

My neighbors Derek and Melissa were going out to the Efland Milling Company (919-732-7893) to get new chicks for their flock so I asked them to get me four. Four is a much more manageable number than the dozen I got last time. They are much calmer than the last batch.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Bravery."


Acrylic on canvas 12 x 16



Saturday, March 06, 2010

Best travel piece I've ever seen. On Peru.

I am just bowled over by this Bob Harris trip to Peru at BoingBoing. Everything about it is great - pictures, writing, thoughts. Go see it if just for the pictures. But then read it too.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Perspective."

Bird, Dancer, and Rabbit

Acrylic on Canvas 16 x 22

The understanding of perspective is one of the major concepts in western thought and is a point where science meets art.

This conceptualization, even by itself, justifies teaching art in public schools and stands up to art education's harshest critics.

Of course, art is more than perspective, but the appreciation of optical illustions can open the window to what drawing and painting bring to human experience.