Taxes and Obamacare

So, last year, our expensive accountant had no idea how much we were fined for not doing Obamacare. We got about the same tax refund as the previous year, so we couldn’t tell, either. THIS year, I am doing a lot more research into the fines for Obamacare and the plans we are offered as well. And AGAIN, I see that Obamacare is ridiculous and 100% useless for anything. You might as well BURN the money.

Here is the Subsidy/Fine calculator:

Obamacare Subsidy/Fine calculator
Obamacare Subsidy/Fine calculator

As you can see, the fine indicated would be around $1500, or 2.5% of our income. OR it could be the flat rate fine of $695×2 = $1390, as the calculator below indicates. Who the fuck knows?

Flat rate $695x2
Flat rate $695×2


And here are the illustrious plans offered us:
Shitty Obamacare plans
Shitty Obamacare plans


Wow, only $7k deductible? WHAT A DEAL! LOL Or a measly $13,300 for the other. LOL The rates in bold are the “discounted” rates that reflect our “generous” subsidy of $235.55/mo. LOL What a fucking JOKE.

Keep in mind, that this year, with ALL my shit: surgery, travel, blood tests, one Dr follow up and meds, I have spent about $5400. If you add our AFLAC accident insurance**, which is about $165/qtr ($660/yr, less $60 wellness refund), that still brings us to only $6000 for this year. Even if you add in the biggest fine ($1500), it’s $7500yr, which is technically more than these shitty insurance plans, but keep in mind that you have to add the deductible, so the cheapest plan comes to $6590/yr PLUS $7000, which comes to $13,590 per year before you get ONE PENNY OF COVERAGE. So how in the blue fuck is Obamacare “affordable”? HOW?

Since the surgery was a one time deal, then without that $5000 my typical spending for healthcare is around $400/yr for both of us. That does not include dental ($400 for both, once/yr or around $700 for 2x/yr) or my eye dr ($130 1x year-ish). So my typical spending is what? Around a grand? I’ll take a grand out of pocket over paying out $6590/yr for literally nothing. Obamacare does not cover dental or eye anyway, so all the suckers that pay for it STILL have to pay for that. SUCKERS.

I still see people complaining about their shitty insurance and how it covers nothing, yet they run themselves into bankruptcy to continue paying Obamacare. WHY?? WHY WHY WHY? I just don’t get it. Unless you have a chronic illness that requires shit tons of non generic meds, then I see no reason to pay out thousands of dollars for “insurance” with a $7k DEDUCTIBLE and $14,300 cap! Which means it ain’t gonna pay, yo! I think Americans are fucking insane. Insane to put up with the ass fucking of insurance companies and insane to elect a fucking asshole who is going to make EVERYTHING privatized. You think healthcare sucks now? HA!! Just wait! All you fuckers on Medicaid/Medicare? Get your lube ready, cuz you’re taking it up the ass, my friends. UP. THE. ASS. The Obamacare subsidies will go away and everyone will end up with heinously pricey insurance with heinous deductibles and minuscule spending caps. You just think it’s bad now…

I will continue to hold onto my cash. If an accident occurs, we’ve got AFLAC. We are healthy and do not take Rx drugs. We’ve got credit and savings if we need it. I think that is a far more intelligent way to manage your money than hand it over to private insurance companies who give you LITERALLY NOTHING in return.

But, y’all keep on handing your money over to those private companies. I’ll be over here counting mine.

**Speaking of AFLAC, that shit rocks. You can’t get hospitalization unless it’s through your employer, which is a shame. I think if AFLAC would offer a stand alone hospitalization plan like the accident plan, they’d own the market. The accident plan has generous pay outs for various things like ER visits, etc. We figure if anything serious happens to us, it’ll be on the road or Nick cutting his dick off with a power tool. Either way, AFLAC’s got our back. We’ve had this plan for a decade. :)

Carne Guisada

As with most of my recipes, I started with some meat I wanted to use. I had a pack of carne picada beef (a sliced then shredded cut of chuck or some other braising beef) so I was looking for carne picada recipes. Then I stumbled upon something called Carne Guisada. It has potatoes! This is my version of Carne Guisada for the crock pot. Easy and great for a cold rainy evening.

Carne Guisada de Angela
Carne Guisada de Angela


Carne Guisada de Angela

1.25# picada beef (large shred)
EVOO
1 med white onion, frenched
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 small white potatoes, quartered
1 red or green pepper, diced
1/2 tsp ea S/P
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small can green chiles
1 cup chicken broth (plus another half cup towards the end of cooking)
1/4 cup red wine or apple cider, wine or sherry vinegar
2 Tbl worcestershire sauce
optional: sour cream garnish

Dredge:
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbl chili powder
1 tsp ancho powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat crock pot on High. Spray with cooking spray and put a little EVOO in the bottom. Add onions, garlic, pepper and potatoes and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano.

Dredge the beef in mixture in chunks and put on top of veg. Add green chiles on top of beef.

Check every hour or so to see if you need more broth. This should make a juicy stew.

Cook on high for about 4 hours until the beef is tender. Check your seasoning, potatoes tend to suck up salt.

Add the wine or vinegar after the cooking is done to brighten up the flavour; same for the worcestershire sauce. This stew tends to taste flat after it’s been refrigerated, so be ready to add more vinegar and worcestershire when you reheat. This is a medium spicy stew. If you are heat sensitive, cut back on chili powder and red pepper flakes. Sour cream is a lovely garnish for this stew.

Beware of Out Patient Procedures

So, a few weeks ago, I got my blood tests and called my gyno to get an appointment to discuss. She answered the phone and told me that her nurse, Alicia, had died suddenly, so she had very restricted hours.

I was so shocked, I started bawling on the spot. I was (and AM) very upset by this news.

I’ve been going to my gyno for years. She is the only Dr I’ve ever liked and who is genuinely interested in me as a person, not just a hooha that needs a probin’. Her nurse and office manager Alicia was a part of the fun atmosphere and I looked forward to seeing them every year. Crazy, right? I actually like my Dr and nurse that much. I was looking forward to sharing my weight loss with Alicia and joking around like we do.

So losing her was shocking to say the least. She was mid 40s, had a husband and kids. TRAGIC.

What happened?

She went in for a simple “out patient” sinus procedure that required general anesthetic. They used propofol. They did not monitor her breathing and she died. Just like that.

Sound familiar? It should. It was what happened to Michael Jackson. And Joan Rivers.

Propofol is a VERY dangerous drug. It is used in these office visit procedures because it dissipates quickly for a fast recovery. HOWEVER, it can also overshoot quite easily and requires a very attentive anesthetist to make sure that the patient’s breathing does not get too slow.

The lesson to be learned from this is to NEVER EVER agree to an “out patient” procedure (read: insurance won’t pay for a proper hospital) that requires anesthetic such as propofol to be used without demanding to see the operating suite. They should have a crash cart. They should have proper monitoring equipment for respiration and blood oxygen. Demand to see your anesthetist’s CV and ask how much experience and training they’ve had. Demand to know the procedures in place for respiratory arrest or other emergencies. IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS.

Or better: do not have surgery in a Dr’s office. If it’s something you need to be completely out for, then do your damnedest to get admitted to a proper hospital. If Alicia had been in hospital, she would not have died.

Alicia’s death was unnecessary and easily preventable. The anesthetist was inexperienced and did not continue to monitor her after the surgery was done. The office must have been sketchy in general, as several employees quit the day this happened. And YES, the family is suing. DAMN RIGHT.

THIS is why I always preach about taking control of your medical issues. Alicia was a nurse and she didn’t take the time to ask the questions. It happens all the time. It’s a simple procedure, but the anesthetic is not discussed. People tend to be afraid to ask questions or disagree with Drs. DO NOT BE. Be your own advocate. If you’ve got a Dr that won’t answer questions, find another. If your insurance refuses to pay for a hospital procedure, then ASK THE QUESTIONS to ensure your safety. SO MANY Drs do “out patient” surgeries because of insurance pressure. And SO MANY do not have adequate facilities or personnel to handle emergencies. Have someone with you to monitor what’s going on. Any time you’re put under, you should have someone ON SITE with you.

I was not worried about my surgery, as it was in a hospital, but I made out my will just in case. NEVER assume that nothing could go wrong. When you’re dealing with anesthetic, there is much that can go wrong. Be diligent. Don’t be a statistic. Please.

Doenjang Mushroom Soup

I’m in the kitchen today making turkey stock, testing cheese sauce recipes and testing a Korean soybean paste (doenjang) mushroom soup recipe. I hit the jackpot with the soup! It’s easy and SO much umami that you can’t stop making nommy noises! This soup is a little on the salty side, but I don’t mind. If you are salt sensitive, cut back the memmi (or soy) and increase the rice wine vinegar. Also, this is a VERY Asian soup with specific Asian ingredients. I’ll give you more common substitutions, but it will change the overall taste.

Doenjang Mushroom Soup
Doenjang Mushroom Soup

Doenjang Mushroom Soup

EVOO for sauteeing veg (about 1 tsp)
1 8oz package cremini mushrooms, diced
1 shallot, small dice (about 1 Tbl)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, 1.5″ pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbl Korean doenjang paste (sub Japanese miso, but it’s not as assertive)
**I also think that adding a tsp of gochujang (Korean chili paste) would be awesome in this soup!
1/4 cup Kikkoman memmi soup base (sub soy sauce)
1/4 cup mirin (sub water w/ 1/2 tsp sugar dissolved in it)
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 Tbl water
2-3 scallions cut on the bias for garnish

In a medium saucepan, start sweating shallots and garlic in EVOO over med low heat. When shallots are soft, add scallions and mushrooms. Up the heat to medium. When mushrooms release their juice, add mustard, pepper and doenjang paste. Stir until the paste melts and coats the veg. When the doenjang has coated the veg, add memmi, mirin, rice wine vinegar and chicken stock. Bring to simmer. Check seasoning. If it is too salty for you, add the half cup water and bring back to simmer. Add cornstarch and simmer for 2-3 minutes to cook the cornstarch. Check seasoning again and serve with scallion garnish.

VSG Six Month Update

I could do a video for this, but I’m not in the mood. So stills you’ll get!

My six month anniversary was yesterday, Nov 17, 2016.

I pulled a still from my first video and I just took a couple for comparison.

Beginning:
I started at 250# and lost 10# before surgery. My waist was 51″.

May 2016
May 2016

Today:
I am at 192.4# (total lost 57.6#) and my waist is 44″.

Nov 2016
Nov 2016


Nov 2016
Nov 2016


I’m taking 20mg Nexium 2x/day to keep the GERD in check, still on the same vitamins and I’m having little issue with the VSG. My volume is still around 6.5 oz, still small, but doable. I’ve learned to adapt to the small portions and usually eat 4-5x a day. When I remember. ;)

My problems now all revolve around the Mirena and hormone imbalances from menopause. BAH. If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.

Overall, I’m doing well. Can’t wait for the next 50# to come off. It’s going to be glorious!