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Posts published in “Day: February 13, 2007”

Prevention is cheaper than treatment

Fifty years ago, minus about six months, I began a new career in the Employee Relations Department for a large chemical company back East. My initial assignments were in benefits. As all benefits administrators, I got a lot of questions from employees about what is covered under the company’s health insurance policy and what isn’t.
Frequently there were differences of opinion and usually they centered on things that were considered “preventative” drugs or treatment. Back then for the most part one would talk about coverage for “preventative” items and the insurance company would think you had an extra hole in your head or they would laugh. One representative once said to me, “you have to git what you are going to git before you will git any coverage.” English might not be perfect but the message was clear’

Over the years the philosophy has changed some. Recently I read in an Associated Press story about this very topic. While many “preventative” drugs and treatments are now covered we still aren’t there completely.
The article said a new study shows picking up the tab for certain medications taken by people who had suffered a heart attack could save insurance companies money in the long run. If it is going to save the big boys some money some of that savings will eventually trickle down to me, the policy holder, and I favor that.
Continuing with the article, “A combination of heart medications and cholesterol-lowering drugs has been estimated to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 80 percent compared with a placebo. Yet the medications continue to be greatly underused.
“One answer to that problem would be to provide full coverage of the heart medicines to those who had a previous heart attack, instead of requiring the patient to pick up a share of that cost. Often the extra coverage could be entirely offset by the savings generated when health problems are averted,” said researchers at Harvard Medical School.
It seems the extra coverage would cost insurers an average of $550 per patient, but that would lead to fewer deaths and nonfatal heart attacks and strokes, saving $1,731 in costs per heart-related event. That’s a cool $1,181 in savings per event for the insurance companies. Multiple that by the millions of policy holders with heart problems and that would mean Billions in savings for the big boys.
That seems to me to be a great move, considering some of that savings would be passed on to me, the policy holder. To end where I started, maybe I don’t “have to git what I’m gitting to git coverage.” Sounds good to me.
Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home!

“Pan’s Labyrinth” is a stunning masterpiece

“Pan’s Labyrinth”
Running Time: 119 minutes
MPAA rating: R
Language: Spanish (with English subtitles)

“Pan’s Labyrinth” is director Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece. A visually stunning, intelligent foray into the madness of fascism and the story of a little girl whose fantasy world is a dark mirror of the horrors of Franco’s Spain and its affect on her family.
The film takes place in 1944 at the dawn of Franco’s regime. A 10-year-old girl, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), and her mother travel to an old mill — the site of their new home. The mother has remarried and is pregnant with the child of Captain Vidal (Sergi López), a sadistic soldier who has the job of exterminating the last vestiges of the Resistance.

To escape the oppressiveness of her home, little Ofelia escapes into the forest near the mill, where she awakens a fawn. He tells her that she is the long-lost Princess Moanna. She must reclaim her throne by performing three tasks before the moon becomes full. Each of the tasks increases in difficulty, and with each task Ofelia encounters creatures more fantastic and horrible than the last.
What makes “Pan’s Labyrinth” such a compelling film is the way del Toro keeps us guessing. Does the fantasy world actually exist, or is it only the delusion of a tortured child?
This is a beautifully crafted psychological drama that still maintains the trappings of a fantasy film. That del Toro can juggle the two genres while still delivering a commentary on the current political climate by showing us its historical allegory is a stunning achievement.

GRADE: A

20 Aldine ISD football players earn scholarships

Twenty Aldine ISD senior football players signed national letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers on Wednesday, Feb. 7 during signing ceremonies at all four AISD high schools.
Eisenhower Senior High School led with way with 17 signees, while MacArthur Senior High had two players sign and Aldine Senior High and Nimitz High had one each sign, respectively.

The Eisenhower players who signed were: Broderique Banks with the University of Mary, Nick Cannon with Doane College, Deon Cooper with William Penn University, Tyrell Gaddies with Coffeyville Community College, Major Latin with West Texas A&M University, Mike Love with Augsberg College, Brandon Myers with Coffeyville Community College, Reggie Rice with New Mexico Military Institute, Joshua Ross with New Mexico Military Institute, Deon Senegal with William Penn University, Germarcus Smith with William Penn University, Julius Smith with Augsberg College, Matt Smith with Augsberg College, Ahkeen Starks with William Penn University, Bryce Taylor with Doan College, Melvin Thomas with North Dakota State University and DeAndre West with the University of Mary.
MacArthur High’s Joseph Nailor, Jr. signed with West Texas A&M University, while teammate Halston Higgins signed with Washington State University.
Aldine High’s Curtis Thomas signed with the University of Minnesota, while Nimitz High’s Trentel Bottley signed with Coffeyville Community College.

ACORN educates potential buyers

ACORN Housing Corp. held a Homebuyer Fair at Shadydale Elementary School Saturday.
“There are literally thousands of families and individuals in Houston who are not aware of or have an idea of where to look for sources, ways, means of buying a home,” according to information and discussed in a recent meeting with Juan V. Perales, Housing Development Project Manager with Houston’s ACORN Housing Corp.

According to Perales, these are often individuals who by way of varied circumstances, fall through the socio-economic cracks of society, going through life with one lifestyle, that is Apartment Dwelling.
Recognizing that an apartment lifestyle does not mean it is an inferior one, but families who have less than a single family home for a lifetime, that element of pride and dignity that generally comes with homeownership can make a significant difference in a child’s choices and ambitions due to environmental factors alone.
ACORN Housing Corp., a major faction of Houston’s affordable Housing field sponsored its Northeast House Buying Fair to give low to moderate income working families the opportunity to become home owners.
The fair was designed to help potential homeowners get into the loop of resources they need. Participants had an opportunity to meet with representatives from the City of Houston as well as banking partners of ACORN.
Representatives from the City of Houston’s Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) conducted workshops to explain how to qualify for the City’s Down payment assistance Program. The level of assistance ranges from $10,000.00 to $30,000.00 to eligible families who qualify. This level of assistance is free money in a form of a Grant. Individuals can find out how to qualify at this workshop.
ACORN Counselors will conducted initial evaluations to help determine what one can afford. Workshops explained how you can qualify for up to $30,000.00 in free down payment assistance.
Families can also find out how to qualify for a new home in the ACORN GLENN Subdivision. This affordable subdivision has homes available right now…just call (713) 635-7264 and start the process of becoming a homeowner within this subdivision. It offers quality full size homes of full 5,000 square feet lots. These homes will be on display at the fair.
If you are thinking of buying a home but need someone to help you figure out what your options are….ACORN Housing Corp. can help. The word from ACORN Housing Corp. is “ Acorn Housing can help .” Staffers are advising “ Now is the time to get started; do not let another years of Income Tax refund go to waste, use it to invest in your future by becoming a homebuyer.
ACORN Housing Corp. has been providing homeownership opportunities and free Housing counseling to low and moderate income homebuyers since 1987. We have opened HUD certified, Fannie Mae approved housing counseling offices across the United States, helping families to achieve homeownership and leveraging $10 Billion in mortgage loans, and grants and other assistance that help make affordable homeownership available to lower income familes.