Nearing Medicare status now

I went to Hills?boro?s Family Practice Clinic this past week to undergo routine tests and get my annual flu shot.

My medical care has been on my mind for the past weeks. I just signed up for Medicare, which I am eligible for in January. After I had signed up, a funny feeling came over me. Like, is this really happening to me?

I realized I am one of the baby boomers who is flooding the system and will make it go broke at some point unless something is done to fix it.

But I don?t feel too badly about receiving the benefits since I have been paying in since I was 13 years old and have never not paid in. And I have never not had health insurance, so I think I have a little bit coming back.

Actually, I?m hoping not to use the system very much in the years to come.


While I was sitting in the exam room, I was thinking I might be looked at differently when I am on Medicare, since it doesn?t pay as well as those who have insurance or pay full price for services.

So I asked if they would say bad things when they saw me coming. Not so, I was told. They will welcome me just the same.


Our group health plan at work went up again this year, after going down last year. I think it has gone up every year except one since we began the plan about 10 years ago. My leaving the plan should help since rates favor younger people and everyone in the office is much younger than me.


I took a quick trip to Des Moines this past Thursday for the fall conference of the Midwest Free Community Papers association. What I learned is that print is not dead in the free-paper industry, that classified print ads work just as well as they always have and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to back it up.


When the conference ended at noon Saturday and I hit the road for Kansas, I turned into a football nut for the next 10 hours. First, I listened to Iowa State beat Texas?it was the only game on the radio in Iowa at the time. Duh.

Then, as I neared the Missouri border, I was able to tune in a few Kansas City stations carrying the K-State/Baylor game. But I only heard a minute of it before lightning stopped the game for more than an hour.

Then I thought I would tune in the Tabor-Bethel game on our Free Press Web site at the Missouri rest area 200 miles out. It didn?t have free Wi-Fi like some of the other rest areas do, so I planned to use my Alltel wireless router for my Internet connection. I soon realized I didn?t have my 12-volt adapter with me.

I went into the men?s restroom and plugged the router into an outlet there. Not ideal conditions. And the connection was so slow I couldn?t get the streaming video to load.

I was amazed at how many people come in and out of those restrooms in 15 minutes.

Then it was on to Lawrence to watch the hapless Hawks. Oh boy. I found a cheap ticket from a scalper and after the half, I sat on the 50-yard line, 15 rows up.


After a football game the coach found a cell phone on the ground near the sidelines. He picked it up and looked at it for a minute and then ran over to the referee and told the ref he found his phone. The ref asked the coach how he knew it was his.

?There were 13 missed calls.?

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