Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ObamaCare, How I See It

Let me start by saying,

I am not a politician. I am not an insurance agent. I am not a lawyer. I am not a doctor. I am not a healthcare administrator. I am not a college graduate.

To fully understand ObamaCare you have to be one, if not all of the above. So as you read this, keep in mind this is my take on it, and the way I see it affecting those around me.

I am a small business owner so I will see things from my point of view. I have visited with doctors and healthcare administrators, but I don't understand how it affects them (although I've heard it's not good.) I have visited with insurance agents, but I don't understand where this will leave them (most of you don't care.)

Creator Designs employs approximately 35 full time employees. For about 10 years now we have been providing health insurance for our employees.... these wonderful people!

In March we met to go over our annual insurance review. We meet with our agent and he shows us how the rates will change for the upcoming year. Sometimes we cringe and sometimes we hi-5.

Several things determine if our rates change. Get this in your head...

Insurance companies need to make money. They are not non-for-profit. They are not a government organization. They are in business to be profitable, and contrary to what some think, this is not a sin, and this is not against the law. 

So, when our group's health care costs are higher in a year, we can expect a raise in our rates the next year. From 2012-2013 ours didn't raise at all, we have a young healthy group. On an average companies rates go up about 12% At this dreadful March meeting, we were told to expect 30-50% increase on our rates.


Wasn't Obama's goal to HELP people in the area of healthcare, to encourage businesses to cover their employees?

So I started researching and asking, if we were already providing coverage, shouldn't we be rewarded? or get a pat on the back? at least an ole atta-boy? too much to ask??? Ok, then, just leave us alone, we don't need our  rates to double!!!

Oh those evil insurance companies! They know they are losing some customers to ObamaCare so their raising our rates so they can keep their jets and vacation homes, right??? Well, the more I researched the more I discovered, they are being forced to play with a new set of rules. Rules that in many cases won't apply to large companies, just small business.

1. Thou shalt not charge a higher rate for child-bearing, hormonal women over simple, vigorous men.
2. Thou shalt turn down no one for pre-existing conditions.
3. Thou shalt make broader the benefits and lesser the limits.
4. Thou shalt charge the young & healthy at least a third of what thou charges the old & cranky.
5. Thou shalt provide dental & vision to all who apply.

I could go on and on, but you get what I'm saying. ObamaCare is making the rules, the insurance companies are still attempting to make a profit... and this leaves us with an increase in rates. Which in the future, leaves us to stop offering health insurance to our employees. Now we're hoping to aid them in some way financially, but in most cases this will force them into the "exchange" and out of private insurance.

*Nothing is free, someone always pays.

If Mr. Obama wants the uninsured to be insured, how can he accomplish that? By taking a little of what you currently have and giving to someone that doesn't.

So, after all that, what you started reading for...
How I See It...

Ending thoughts... This blog post could have gone on and one. There are so many angles and so much more to say. I know I'll read over this tomorrow and want to add 100 things, and I might just blog about it again. Several people private messaged me about what ObamaCare is doing to them. The majority of them told of how they were losing coverage from an employer or their premiums were going up. Even one was told that his coverage would drastically change and not to expect the same treatment for his Stage 4 cancer once 2014 arrived. These stories need more attention and I hope to find time to tell them.

*Is Salvation and forgiveness free? No! Jesus Christ paid the price.

Now back to baseball games and silly boy stories. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lunch Cart - Back to School

What's the worst thing you're likely to find in the school cafeteria?
The food!

The food in our school cafeteria is perfect.
If you're a bug!

How many of you loved school lunches?  I'm guessing not many. Me however, I loved it. Eating out was a treat and that was like eating out to me :)

Ever since I've had kids in school (9 years now, whoa!) I had the rule they had to eat school lunch 4 days of the week. THEY could pack THEIR lunch on the 5th if they wanted to take it. Over the years, I've heard numerous times...

"Emme's mom lets her take her lunch every day."
"Hunter's mom packs his lunch for him."
"Jace's mom brings him lunch every day."

And I'm sad to say, but at the end of last year, I broke down and gave in, "FINE, if you want to take your lunch every day YOU have to pack it every day."

And that is where the madness began!

Mornings were never the same. It was a continual state of rush, stress and chaos. We never had the right thing, we were out of drinks, we were low on PB, the meat was old, the chips were stale, the yogurt I bought yesterday was devoured hours after it hit the frig, there was no fruit to add (and I didn't want the lunch room attendant judging me.)

Finally, I had enough! This is when I thought of the LUNCH CART!

(insert singing angels here) AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

And now all my mornings have been solved! THE lunch cart holds what the boys need to pack a decent lunch. There is a key to the lunch cart so that I can lock it up and they won't "snack" on everything after school. (I love that part!!!) 

On top of my lunch cart is a mini-frig which holds Powerades, lunch meat, cheese and yogurt. 

All of this stays in my pantry for easy lunch-packing. The boys can now take their lunch every day, every day THEY choose to pack it.

The top drawer holds the infamous "brown bag" and 2 size ziplocks - snack & sandwich. Of course the bread is in the pantry as well as the PB. They make their sandwiches in the pantry, then use the ziplocks here.

The second drawer holds beef jerky and fruit snacks.

Third drawer down is fruit, mainly mandarin oranges and pineapple. Sometimes I get ambitious and cut up fresh fruit and have it in the frig ready for them, but this drawer's contents are always ready to go!

Fourth drawer holds some dairy, pudding and cheese crackers. Plastic spoons are readily available in the pantry.

The favorite drawer contains treats! YUM!!! On a good day I'll make them brownies or cookies but these are the standby.

Last but not least, the biggest, bottom drawer is overflowing with chips. If we're running low or I have the time, I will pre-ziplock bags of chips.

So there you have it, the success to our mornings. You can buy one of these carts at Sam's here or make something of your own. I love this cart mainly because of the lock. This one is also a good option if space is an issue. It could set on top of the cabinet somewhere.
Yes, they are tool boxes but stainless steel is in right now and I love the butcher block top.

If you have any other ideas that go along with this, or tips on great school lunches or tips on children not driving parent's crazy these last few days before school starts...  please share!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chapel's Thoughts on Baptism

Many people baptize in different places. Before our church had a baptistery, we would all meet at a river or pond.

 I loved this, the thoughts of my ancestors doing this years before in the same way... honoring and obeying God in the beautiful place He created.

Some churches meet at a swimming pool, maybe a river or pond isn't accessible?
Or maybe they prefer water that animals haven't occupied? :)
Wouldn't this be nice?
Baptism in the ocean! Now that sounds "heavenly"!
But now our church has a baptistery, it's not built in, we just roll it out and fill it up when needed. The boys always notice when it's out and ready.
Last Sunday was one of those days. Chapel excitedly proclaimed,
"The Bathtub is out! Who is getting Bath-tized"?
We tried so hard to hold our giggles... but failed.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I'm a lil Behind... Last Summer

As I was cleaning off my old phone, switching to my new one, I found several pictures/events that never got shared from last summer! Either they slipped by or I had dreams of a BIG fancy blog post on the event but for whatever reason, they didn't make it. So stick with me on this randomness - in no certain order....

Chapel can always find ways to entertain himself at Creator Designs!

Excited and surprised, I was named to Springfield Business Journal's 40 Under 40

Our friend, Mr. Martin, gambled on a trip to the country with his ice cream truck... needlesstosay it paid off!

We had a fun time at the annual Austin family reunion - camping and playing in the river.

Deacon's team won the A World Series!!! We stayed in KC for the week and we had SO MUCH FUN!!! It was the highlight of our summer.

Bo's team won the Springfield City League.

Jake's team got to be introduced with the Springfield Cardinals.

The boys had so much fun playing with their cousins in Eldon. Girls just don't run in the family.

Unc D turned 40!
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