Pottstown Gets The ACA Or Obamacare!

Hey, rally round folks.  First I’d like to say that this dust up over insurance is just that- a dust up!  If we had the ability to step back and look at this problem from a point in the distance it wouldn’t look like quite the problem we all currently think it is.  You see, only about 15 percent of the population of America is uninsured.  So, we are talking about a small number here, relative to the whole population.

Okay, so why is this sound like such a big deal?

Um, it’s politics.  See, on the one side you have folks who are against government interfering in any market, even the market for health.  On the other side you have folks who believe that there is a numbers game going on here and that having more people covered by insurers will according to the game, make it more affordable for each member of the pool to get coverage for health care.  Those folks don’t object to government involvement in personal choice because they see that as a social good.

Now let’s look at the politics of this beyond conservatives  and liberals.  In this country we have a Supreme Court that decides what is constitutional.  In this particular case most of the “liberal” judges voted for the ACA, or Obamacare and the more conservative justices voted against it.  A lot of people were surprised that Justice Roberts voted for it, but if you read some of  the dissent you’ll see he wasn’t exactly cheering over the Obama Administration’s Act.  Instead he was looking at what he might have thought was a flawed law, and deciding whether as a law it was constitutional.  He called it a tax and said that therefore it was a constitutional law.

In a bit of the dissent there is a statement that surely the government didn’t intend to create 4 million outlaws when they wrote this law.  See, about that many people are expected to want to refrain from purchasing health care from an insurer.  The government expects to “tax” or penalize them for making that choice.  The tax looks like  it will start at about 95 bucks for people who can afford to buy health insurance according to the government and it increases to about 695 dollars a year later!

What someone who doesn’t have health insurance gets for that tax is um…nothing.  On the other hand they could try to find an affordable plan that covers them even if the plan is just for catastrophic illness.

Okay, basically this entire plan is in the early stages.  The insurance plans that are envisioned as a part of this Act are entirely made up in people’s heads.  The centers for care for the uninsured don’t exist right now.  The ability for people to move to plans like Medicaid also don’t exist right now!   A lot of this plan is intended to come to fruition at some point in the future!

Some changes might come from this Act being passed and those changes might be beneficial for all of us.  I mean imagine  an America where almost all naturalized citizens are cared for by private insurers and private care!  This is very different from “socialized medicine”.  In other words we are on the brink of a new dynamic in health care!  That might be a very good thing.

Or not.

The fact that  Justice Roberts called this a “tax” seems pretty important.  Taxes can be dealt with by Congress.  As I mentioned before Eric Cantor a Representative from VA in the House is saying the House is going to vote on it on July 11th.  I noted with a little dismay that the point of throwing things to the House  of Representatives when it came to taxing authority was to sort of scare the members of the House with the threats of citizens who everyone thought were closer to the House….Cantor as a citizen, is personally worth about 7 million dollars, I don’t have a problem with his personal wealth, but I wonder about his experience being a regular joe.

Does that help sum things up?

1- Not that many folks are uninsured.

2-Insured individuals already are paying a hidden tax in paying for uninsured.

3-None of this is currently in practice, this is all theoretical.

4-It’s a tax, so Congress is back in control.

I’ll keep you abreast of any changes…





Read This Letter From the White House!

What the Supreme Court’s ruling means for your health care

Today, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling: They upheld the Affordable Care Act and ensured that millions of American families will have access to health care and protection from the worst abuses of the insurance industry.

Lots of people have questions about the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court’s decision, and their health care coverage. We’ve pulled together the most useful information — including President Obama’s remarks after the announcement — at WhiteHouse.gov:

Watch the video and get the facts here.

Because the law has an impact on so many Americans, it’s important to understand its basic parts. We’ve also put together a list of facts about the Affordable Care Act. Will you give it a read, and then pass it on?

Facts About Health Care Reform

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Huge Thunderstorm Rolled Through Here 6/29 4:30 ish

Did you feel that?  Huge bolts of lightning, loud claps of thunder and lots of rain pelting sideways.  Now, at about 5:19 am it’s slowly moving away.  But even still I can feel the roll of thunder as I sit here on the floor in my living room so that storm is moving and maintaining it’s strength.  I predict East Coventry is next to feel the shaking and then onto KOP.

I’m just glad I didn’t lose my electricity.  🙂



Hey, be safe out there okay?


An Obamacare Win Means What?

I’m sure many of you have heard that the Supreme Court has decided that the “Obamcare” law.  Those of you who are left leaning liberals are crowing and those of you who are rabid far righters are grinding your teeth.  But my question is what does this Supreme Court decision mean to most of us?

I think, after doing some quick checking that all of this excitment  means NADA to us regular folks.   Let’s look at why I say that:

1.  Republicans are already trying to do away with the law.  July 11th there is a promised vote from Eric Cantor which will do away with this law entirely.

2.  The law as it stands is already being processed by our insurers and hospitals and health care providers.  They don’t have much choice about deciding which laws they’ll follow even if the President decides he can choose which laws he’ll uphold and which he’ll put off action on.

3.  The most that might have happened is we’ve kicked the problem of healthcare down the road a bit.  It’s my guess that ultimately unless insurers find better ways to pay for the monumental fees involved in providing health care we’ll be talking about this problem for at least the next decade or so.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Okay, now here is my prediction on what the new face of American health will look like-


Did that bold capitalized print make it seem like I was screaming?  If so, GOOD.

While making sure that healthcare is affordable is a good plan, there is a corresponding bad side and that is that people  will still get sick or they will still suffer injuries, or they’ll still age and find their bodies giving out on them and there is no way we can afford “Cadillac care” for everyone!  When Americans overall find that their health is harmed by what looks like a socialized system of medicine then there are going to be some nasty fights!

Unfortunately even the health system hasn’t come up with any miracles to save us from the harms that mother nature foists on us all.  I hate to see all of our energy and effort directed on “taking care” of our health.  I’m afraid that this is what will happen for a while, until consumers make better choices about their health with long term goals in mind.  That is tough for most of us.  I don’t think we mean to make choices about health that are harmful, we just don’t see the immediate dangers so we feel safe.  But have no fear the market will act to frighten us to death to avoid having to shell out enormous fees in care.

It isn’t exactly a pretty picture now that we know Obama’s plan for health care in this country is legal.

I guess like everything complicated there are no easy answers.  It’s great that patients won’t have to worry about taking their medical coverage with them if they move from job to job, and it’s great that young people will be covered on family policies, and it’s great that there will be national care for pregnant women and automatic quality care for their infants, but we are still, at this point operating under the old system in which a lot of people simply prayed to avoid needing hospital care or doctors care.  There will probably be a delay in ramping up the necessary care so that all the people who were out of the picture can somehow fit in!

But hey, you don’t need me to tell you that big problems don’t have easy solutions.  It’s just another day,and we still have major problems ahead of us in terms of providing health to Americans. Which brings me back to the idea that we really need to do the most we can as individuals when it comes to  caring for ourselves.

Don’t ask me what that means though!





Remembering Pen Ryn!

When I was a kid a friend of my parents invited our family to  join this swim club just outside of Philadelphia.

We had a large green Ford Galaxy and every sunny summer day my Mom would order us kids about telling us to grab beach towels and make sandwiches and load up the cooler because we were going “swimming”.

I lived in North East Philly.  There were community pools and I’m sure that some folks had above ground pools stuffed into their tiny backyards, but most people back then didn’t have the luxury of swimming every day.  I thought it was cool that we did.

I remember Mr. Yost and Mr. Whelan and Mr. Mattson.  It is funny thinking back on the time now, each of those men I mentioned were married, but somehow they had more stature in my mind.  I guess because they were the ones always fixing or planning to fix the property.  It seemed as if they were the owners of the club.

Pen Ryn was an old estate along the Delaware.  I’m thinking this time period was the late 70’s and early 80’s.  Old buildings didn’t quite have the same cachet that they do now.  They were just old, but it was still an old mansion!  It was a beautiful place.

I remember the long drive onto the property.  It was heavily wooded on either side of the 400 foot lane.  Then you drove into an area where a baseball field had been set up and beyond that you could see the back of the mansion.  We never paid much attention to that building, instead we drove further on into lightly wooded area where there were maybe 20 or 25 screen house type tents.

To me those tents were cool.  Some of the members would put indoor/outdoor carpeting down and they’d paint their tables and they’d have fancy firepits.  Our tent was just a tent with a wooden picnic table inside.  Where some folks had strings of lights inside their tents, we stuck with an old Coleman lantern or those small battery operated lanterns.

We’d all fall out of the car and drag the cooler into the screen house and then grab a towel and bolt across a large open field to the swimming area.  There was a cyclone fence about 4 feet high covered with honeysuckle plants that opened into the pool area.

I loved that place.  I don’t know, it was that time in my life where new friends felt like family.  There were lots of kids and we’d all have such fun splashing and playing silly games like water polo and chicken and we’d race each other.

Of course there were the bad times like when a friend stepped on my head while I was underwater and I sucked in about a gallon of chlorinated water.  But most of the time we all got along.

I was so damn skinny back then.  It’s no wonder because I remember being in constant movement.  Now being in the pool means standing and walking around trying not to get my upper arms wet…back then being in a pool meant I was able to flip and kick or press my body against the big old slick octopus drawn on the pool bottom 8 feet under to see if anyone had left any pennies behind after a game of hide and seek.

I just remembered this today.  It’s been years and years and I just forgot about how much I enjoyed it all.  There was something about today that made me remember.  Maybe it was the way the sun filtered through the tree branches, or maybe it was the feel of the wind on my skin but something took me back.

I remember Jeff and Timmy and Dave who were the lifeguards.  ( Don’t  tell them but they weren’t always the best guards!)  I remember  one of them teaching me how to wrap both legs around the diving board after lifting my body out of the water and scrambling to get up on top.  As a kid I thought I was being challenged because they didn’t  think a girl could do it.  As an adult….well now I have a different feeling about the exercise! 🙂

It was wonderful then.

I think I remember that if our families had packed dinner, we’d all tend to eat at about the same time and so afterwards the kids would plan to meet up to play basketball or go swing on the swings, or toss the baseball around.

Then when it got late there were fires back under the trees tended by solemn adults  and I think I can remember the sound of a couple of radios either playing music or baseball games.  Mom’s would call out their children’s names ordering them to go get out of their wet suits and back  into street clothes for the rides home.  Most of us would say we were already dry which was probably mostly true, and we’d climb into our cars with the  hot plastic seats  which kept the heat of the day after sitting closed up all afternoon to keep the bugs out.  We’d drive up that long lane with a couple of soaking wet beach towels draped over us and we’d head home.

I know a lot of people must have memories of belonging to swim clubs.  I just think that Pen Ryn was something special with it’s mansion and the well worn paths that took you down to the Delaware.

It’s also where I saw my first ghost!  But I guess that is as they say another story.

Enjoy this wonderful June evening.






Lonely People? Contact Me Immediately!

The title of this post is a little tongue in cheek.  I mean if you are reading this post then maybe you don’t mind me being frank and saying, I get it.  We are all lonely sometimes, and I understand that some of us are a lot more lonely than others are!

Like look at me  for example.  I’m lonely a lot.  Heh, look who I talk to?!  I don’t know why I’m so lonely.   I mean I’m a nice enough person…I just don’t quite know how to connect in a permanent way with people.  I shy away from that kind of long term commitment.  If I were to try to pin down why I’m sort of reticent with making friends  I’d say it probably stems from my life history.  I mean, it isn’t exactly like I have people hounding me for my attention.  And so I just sort of hibernate sometimes.   And then I feel like an outsider and then I get comfortable with that attitude and I tell myself that we all can’t be people persons…but then I feel confused because I am a people person!  I just get drained sometimes and it feels easier to be a loner.

It’s not though.  Being human is being a social animal.  In cutting off friends I’m cutting off parts of myself.

Do you wish you had someone to talk to?  Do you wish you had someone to show a special object to?  Do you wish you had someone to tell a new idea to?

I’m not that busy.  You just have to reach out.  I’m easily found at mogallant@gmail.com







Getting Old in Pottstown!

A couple of weeks ago I had a very sad experience.  I was shopping in a local store and there were a couple of gentlemen standing not too far from me having a chat.  It isn’t as if I wanted to listen in on what they were saying, it was more that I couldn’t help but hear them.

I even hate to write about it here for fear that one of them might see what  I’ve written and know I’m writing about what they said!

Oh well, here goes- The one man was talking about losing his wife.  He was in his 80’s and he looked very healthy but it sounded as if his wife hadn’t been as healthy and well, he was alone now.  He said she was the only woman he had ever loved.   He said he  had kids and they were good to him, but he didn’t know why he was still here.  He didn’t have any purpose.  He felt like he was simply rattling around waiting for…well he didn’t go so far as to say the word death but then he said that a couple of times he felt like ending it all himself.  His kids wouldn’t understand though, so  so far at least, he’s chosen not to.

I expected the other gentleman talking to him to cluck in sympathy, perhaps to chide him for thinking of suicide but instead and much to my chagrin I heard this instead… ” My wife is gone too.  She wasn’t the only woman I ever loved, I had others, but she was the one I was with the longest.  I know how you feel.  I don’t want to wake up in the morning some days.”

I couldn’t stand there any longer and pretend not to hear.  My throat felt tight.  I had no right to walk up to them and interrupt, and yet, I felt so sad hearing their conversation.

It made me want to drag both of them to my car so I could take them to a local golf course and drive around with them sitting in the back of a golf cart, or take them fishing, or go to the Boyertown museum and talk about cars!

I didn’t.

I’m telling you.

I’m thinking about age as it approaches.  I want to get a handle on it. I want to know what the changes will be like to my body and to my mind.  I want to stave off the negative changes and I want to make room for the positive ones!

This isn’t something we talk about a lot.

What do you think?






Foam Rolling And You!

I was just talking about the Catholic Church getting into the fitness craze.  While I was being a little snide, I have to admit that it’s probably a good idea to at least think about our health and how we take care of ourselves.  I think a lot of us with genetic tendencies to plump up feel hopeless as we get older and we think health is something for young people!  Well, that is probably wrong.  We all have to care about ourselves, no matter what faith we profess, or what nationality we are, or how old we are!  Each of us, to the best of our abilities absolutely has to get to be as fit as possible!

That gets us to the topic of foam rolling sort of…  I was reading an article over at the NYT about the elderly.    The article was talking about a doctor who devoted her career to working with older folks  and it was an interesting article but I found myself hooked when I started to read the comments.

Aging sounds tough and that lesson is coming from the folks that are experts. Of course some were commenting by giving the standard lecture, you know, the one where you about take care of yourself and you’ll live a wonderfully fulfilling life and die in your sleep almost miraculously.  Others were saying, hey hold on, aging has some surprises in store for some people and it isn’t like you can protect yourself from some of the traps like boom, you might get Alzheimers, or crash, you might get constant bone fractures from simple frailty.  No matter how healthy you are, age might just get you!

So, what is foam rolling and how is that connected in any way with aging?

Aha!  Well, you see, there are a lot of people who are older who have gotten to talk with physical therapists!  And they have learned something that the rest of us might not have learned yet and that is that massage is really helpful to the body!

I hear you saying “okay, massage is helpful and older  people as a group probably  have talked to more  therapists than their younger counterparts, but what is foam rolling?”

Well, foam rolling is a technique that uses foam noodle like things to release or ‘self massage’ the myofascial tissue of the body!

The only tough part about doing the foam rolling is that you need to have some upper body strength in order to do it.  Imagine a foam roller about 36 inches long and 6 inches in diameter on the floor.  Now imagine you lean on the roller sideways with your hip resting on it.  Now roll your body over it while it’s on the floor and any “knot” or pressure point that you feel you hesitate in that place for about 60 seconds or so to relieve the knot of tension.   In this way you are helping your muscles to stay strong and supple.

When I looked into this I found that those knots can keep coming back and unless you work on them specifically and not the healthy muscle around them they can cause a lot of debilitating pain.

Now I bet you are saying, okay that sounds reasonable, it’s like giving yourself a deep massage and you can do it on your legs, or on your upper, mid, or lower back, but what if you don’t have a foam roller?  What then?

Well, you could use a large can of tomatoes but it wouldn’t be as forgiving.  You could swath a gift wrap tube in a couple of bath towels and tie them or rubber band them into place.  Or you could buy a pool noodle and do the same thing with the added toweling.  I guess you  could dump a bunch of tennis balls into a pillow case and use that to massage pressure points.

Now I want to caution anyone reading this!  I am not a licensed therapist!  I just came across an idea that I thought was interesting and I dragged it back here to share the idea.  If you are going to do your own myofascial release then I suggest you find a professional to show you how to do it particularly if you have any physical problems to start with!

Let’s take extra good care of ourselves!





Running with Jesus?!

The Catholic Church is weighing in on fat people!  It sounds like being overweight or obese is a religious concern these days and the Church isn’t going to sit around twiddling it’s thumbs!   Why some of the parishioners have started programs like “Running With Jesus!”… or eating fruit with Jesus.

You can read more here at Catholic News.

Isn’t it about time we started making people feel even guiltier about being overweight!