Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sunday morning round-up: Barrasso fail, CIGNA shout-out, Colorado history flashback

Sunday morning round-up:

Apparently we're supposed to listen to Dr. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) when he speaks about the Affordable Care Act. He is a doctor, after all, and one whose pearls of wisdom on matters medical keep appearing on Casper TV stations. Last week, he accused President Obama of "cooking the books on Obamacare." He and his Repub fellow travelers don't believe that Obamacare exceeded its enrollment goals by the March 31 deadline. Not surprising, as Barrasso has bigger ambitions and his face is always looming in the background whenever Repub minority leader Mitch McConnell blathers on about something. The good news is that Wyoming Democratic Party Director Robin Van Ausdall issued a rebuttal to Barrasso's claims:
“Senator Barrasso should focus on the needs of his constituents instead of making up wild claims for which he has no evidence.”
Read the rest here.

My insurance company is CIGNA. On these pages I've occasionally made snide remarks about health insurers. So easy to be snarky and snide when sitting at a computer keyboard in the wilds of Wyoming. But insurers have changed since the bad old days when clerks sitting at keyboards in the wilds of Dallas and Cleveland were making life-and-death decisions based on arcane rules and the bottom line. Obamacare was responsible for some of the changes, as was the mental health parity act and other legislation. Our family has faced an avalanche of health care emergencies in the past two years. CIGNA has been incredibly accommodating all along the way. It has streamlined the approval process and provides frequent updates on billing issues. When I have questions, I usually can get a real person on the phone or online. Thanks, CIGNA. And thanks for sponsoring programs such as "Weekend Edition" on National Public Radio.

While shuffling through boxes in the basement, I came across a 1959 Denver Post publication This is Colorado: Gold Rush Centennial Edition. In 1859, a few prospectors found gold at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Word went out across the land, and the next thing you know, Denver City is swarming with hipsters looking for great deals on LoDo lofts and crowding into brewpubs. I guess that came a little later. That's the thing -- as I read the 1959 publication, there wasn't a real sense of Denver's future. Photos and stories and display ads celebrated the state's history and landscape. Lots of mentions of the "Rocky Mountain Empire," not surprising when you consider that the Post's motto was "The Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire." Much was written about big manufacturing companies: tire-maker Gates, luggage-maker Samsonite and missile-maker Martin-Marietta. The rise of the automobile got a lot of print, as did trains and street-car travel. But barely a mention of the Denver airport that's become monolithic DIA. I saw only one display ad that mentioned computers, and those were for big business and industry. Some neat photos were included of a fake frontier town that was built near the State Capitol to celebrate the centennial. Also on display was an Atlas rocket. Past and future. That ersatz past has fallen out of favor and Atlas rockets that used to lie primed and ready under fields near Greeley no longer exist. Wyoming has the missiles now -- so don't mess with us, Greenies!

The Post's editors were cheerleaders for Colorado. But they didn't have a clue about what Denver would become. And who could blame them? Personal computers were more than a decade away. The sixties and seventies hadn't happened yet, decades that saw an influx of young people looking for that "Rocky Mountain High" and "Rocky Mountain Way." Young whippersnappers keep pouring into Denver for those same reasons. Colorado's Front Range is not so much a manufacturing center as an entrepreneurial center, more focused on high-tech and apps and small biz start-ups than factories. Who knew?

Ain't history grand?

The book has a few pages devoted to Wyoming and one full-page ad for Cheyenne Frontier Days (63rd year!). The Wyoming article by Cheyenne native Norman Udevitz focused on a western character from his youth named Big Tom and how he represented traits of self-reliance and neighborliness. Udevitz later went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting at the Denver Post.

1 comment:

RobertP said...


Sam just signed up for Obamacare, as he was too old to stay on mine. He was not big on OC and wanted to sign up at work, then found out he had not worked enough hours one month and was ineligible. I explained to him this was one of the reasons that OC is needed. He had an easy time signing up; he did have to call BC/BS because the payment button on the OC site did not work. But they took care of it and he now has a plan for $42 per month. Will see how this one works and then fine tune for next year.

When anyone complains to me about OC I blame the Republicans for not coming up with any alternative in the 6 years they had full control of the government. And when OC was debated, their strategy was to not get involved and then use it against Obama. So, yes, they have no one to blame but themselves.