Health insurers refuse to limit rescission of coverage – Los Angeles Times

For those of us who self-insure, this is very disconcerting. It’s incredible to me that this practice has not already been addressed. One executive claims that the practice of rescission “is about stopping fraud and material misrepresentations that contribute to spiraling healthcare costs.” Is it, really? Then why did my monthly premium increase by 30% in one year alone?

decisions, decisions

So I am in the process of deciding whether or not to begin an MBA this year. I’ve been accepted, offered a small scholarship, and could go … yet, I can’t make up my mind. On Saturday, I was going. Yesterday, I was requesting a deferral (with the idea of getting more funding and going next year).  Why can’t I make up my mind???

I was convinced that something was wrong with me because I am flip-flopping all over the place on this. But yesterday I discovered TED.com.  TED.com is full of fascinating talks by very smart people, and it so happens that they have several talks about decision making and happiness. I listened to a few last night. They did not help me at all when it came to my own decision, but I did learn that 1). humans are really bad at making decisions, 2) humans don’t know what they want, even when they think they do, and 3) many people are happier with fewer choices rather than more choices.  After listening to these talks, I concluded that I am human and am behaving according to human nature. What a relief!

So the talks were very interesting, but they provided no answers. That is, there were no strategies presented to help us (me!) learn how to make better decisions.  They did point out errors that people can look for in their thinking, but try as I might, I don’t seem able to use that knowledge to my benefit for my current decision.

Here are the links to the videos I just watched:

Dan Gilbert on mistaken expectations

Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice

Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy?

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce

Austin Bikes!

I recently wrote a short piece on cycling in Austin for Intentionally Urban Magazine. You can find it here.

Scramble!

I have proven, once again, that I am a remarkably inconsistent blogger: here one week, gone the next, and the next …

This time, though, I have good reason. I am cramming for the GMAT. I’m not doing so badly, either: last week on this day, I couldn’t really remember what to do with roots and powers. Today, I remember the rules for both.

My application deadline is May 15 (that’s next Friday!); I take the GMAT on Thursday, May 14. That means approximately 16 days of preparation. Keep your fingers crossed! I’ll be back after the 15th.

Top Ten Enemies of Single Payer | CommonDreams.org

The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t have a healthcare system that serves all of its citizens. Here are some of the reasons.

Idea Maker

A week ago I had a brilliant idea for a screenplay, and as sometimes happens, this idea was accompanied by the burning desire to lock myself in a room — or, better yet, a coffee house — and type type typety-type away. But I didn’t. Because life was happening, and there were errands, and cleaning and eating that had to happen.

Today I was thinking of that idea again, and I could not, for the life of me, see what was so clever about it. So I ask myself whether it was ever a good idea, or whether I have forgotten the bit that was really interesting. In any case, the burning desire to write it has gone gone gone.

This is my reality when it comes to writing: I get lots of ideas. I get really excited about a few ideas. If I don’t pursue these ideas right away, they will not happen. They fade away, their brief life not materialized. That’s the sad bit: something could have been created. I could have created something, and because I didn’t act on the idea, it didn’t happen. In the long run, in the grand vista of human existence, these failures to act mean absolutely nothing. But it still means something to me. Maybe one day (soon!) I’ll learn to do and ignore the distractions.

So Botox Isn’t Just Skin Deep – NYTimes.com

So Botox Isn’t Just Skin Deep – NYTimes.com.

I love how the writer and a doctor repurpose a couple of old cliches in this article: Botox is “medicine’s answer to duct tape” and “a molecule that keeps on giving.”

In addition to those chucklers, the article gives the interesting background of the drug. Who knew it was originally developed by an ophthalmologist who wanted to relax the muscles that caused crossed eyes? I could have benefited from that when I was younger (still could?!). Now they are saying that it could treat chronic migraines and more. Read on, friends.