Sep 29 2012


I will not be blogging for about a week or so. I have to up to Landstuhl Hospital to have cataract surgery on my right eye. To say that I am nervous about it is an understatement-but I can no longer put it off. And arranging to get it done through the TRICARE system has been a bit of a challenge-however once I got through the "gatekeepers" the treatment from the professionals at Landstuhl has been excellent. Lets hope it stays that way through the next week.

Could I have had this done through the German system? Yes-but I would have had to front a great deal of my own money and then work to get it back through my insurance. Such is the problem of being US insured, while being in an overseas system. Fortunately for me, Landstuhl had a spot and once I had jumped through the TRICARE hoops, they were able to take me on board. I had considered going back to the US to have it done-so that they could bill my insurance directly, but it would have eaten up all of my sick leave. This allows me to go back and forth by train and make my appointments. Plus I will get some opportunity to shop at the "big PX" at Ramstein. ( Which is obscene in its size-as only the USAF could build).

I can't imagine what it would be like to be facing this without insurance. The cost while not large by some standards, would hurt me more than a little financially. And yet, that is exactly what some back in my home country are proposing for their fellow citizens. I cannot accept that line of thinking. That's why I won't be supporting Romney/ Ryan this election. ( among many reasons).

I was thinking about that this morning,  when I decided to act on my thoughts by making a donation to the campaign of Patrick Murphy, the man who is running against the poster child, Allen West. Its a small race in Florida-but if West can be defeated, it raises hope for the rest of us. It was just a small donation, but many donations add up to a strong campaign.

If you feel as strongly as I do about politics in the US, consider making a donation to help take back the house from the Teabaggers.

God willing, I will "see" you in a week or so. Wish me luck!


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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Hiatus”

  1. Granton 29 Sep 2012 at 7:21 am

    Good luck with the surgery, I had the cataract surgery on both eyes last year and it went well.  The doc put in crystal lenses in both eyes.  Interesting, the doc had to do both eyes for me because they are monocular and only doing one eye would have thrown my depth perception off.  I am now 20/20 vision after wearing glasses for 50 years.  Eye procedures are amazing these days.

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  2. The Loonon 29 Sep 2012 at 7:02 pm

    All the best to you, Skippy, for a successful surgery and recovery….you certainly couldn't do any better than the Doctors, Nurses, and all Staff at Landstuhl.  "See you" upon your return (yes, pun definitely intended) and happy shopping.

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  3. Mauriceon 30 Sep 2012 at 7:57 am

    Best of luck to you.  I hope that you get well soon.  As for your comments on health care, I had to have a cornea replaced a few years ago.  USNH Yoko couldn't do it, the doctor could but the hospital isn't equipped.  For that surgery they give you orders back to Tripler.  Since I am a retiree, and only covered with TRICARE Standard, they picked up some of the cost, for the operation, but the trip to Hawaii and stay for two weeks (surgery was only a few hours, I had to go back a week later for follow-up) was out of my own pocket.  If I had been on A/D, it would be no cost.
    That is what the problem is with the US health care.  The hospital I attened wasn't equipped to handle my operation.  They have agreements with local hospitals in Japan, but the wait list for corneas is long.  Japanese don't normally donate body parts when they die, so there is a shortage of tissue that can be used, and as I stated, the wait is long.  Many find it faster and cheaper to go to the US to get it done.  The US healthcare system is short handed now, and with the new Obamacare plan, where more and more will be forced to see a PA vice a regular MD, situations like mine, though not life threatening will take longer to get taken care of.  We do need reforms in the US health care, but not the way under Obamacare.
    But politics aside, good luck to you.  Also, I used to have TRICARE supplemental under the MOAA plan, and they didn't assist with any of the costs for my surger either.  So I dropped them like a hot potato as soon as I could, and went with FSB. 

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  4. Triletteron 30 Sep 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Good luck, Skippy. Anything messing with our vision is of concern, but that surgery is pretty mature. Look forward to seeing you back with your commentary. As for the health care, it is too bad as a retired member of the military you would have to pay for anything, Tricare or no. Thought that was the "deal" when we signed up.

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  5. Richardon 01 Oct 2012 at 8:32 am

    All the best..I am sure that it will be fine.

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  6. Old H-2 Guyon 01 Oct 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I've got Tricare Standard/MOAA Supplement also – I'm curious to know why MOAA wouldn't pay.

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  7. Curtison 01 Oct 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Good luck Skippy.

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  8. Skippy-sanon 02 Oct 2012 at 12:21 am

       I have FSBP insurance too, I have been very happy with them. They provide on line claims filing-quick payment and so far have had no issues with non payment, once I hit my deductible. Filing with TRICARE has been a nuisance, but the clinics here in Germany have filled my German prescriptions, no problem.

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  9. Mauriceon 02 Oct 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Old H-2 Guy:  Not sure why they didn't assist.  I sent in my bils to them and got nothing back.  I finally decided to get rid of them when I applied for FSBP.  So far, when I visit USNH they never ask if I have any other insurace.  As far as medications go, I get them filled at USNH and so far have not received any charges.
    If you have TRICARE Retiree Dental Overseas, similar experiences.  USNH only sees you on space A, and that means you have to show up at 0730 and just wait.  A good dentist trained in the USA has set up shop across from the base and has American staff and many people go there.  But, you need to watch it with TRICARE Dental.  For cleanings and X-rays, you get 100% back, but for other services they normally give you back 60%, after you pay the provider upfront.
    Skippy, I hope that you get better.  Funny, we sound like a bunch of old grumpy men talking about health care issues, when a few years ago we were talking about walking outside the gate at Osan looking for a nice place to "beat the curfew."

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  10. Skippy-sanon 03 Oct 2012 at 4:56 am

    I still think about "how to beat the curfew"-but the flesh is weaker. 🙁

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  11. Mauriceon 04 Oct 2012 at 10:12 am

    I guess you need to update the Wiki Dictionary with the following:
    Old Meaning: Things Falling Off Aircraft
    New Meaning:  Things Falling Off Aviators

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  12. Skippy-sanon 04 Oct 2012 at 1:31 pm

    TGFV! Thank God for Viagra!

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