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This will be a short, angry diary. This is the first year my company shoe-horned us into a medical HSA. I had a simple question about how it works.

I had to speak with FOUR COMPANIES to get an answer.

My employer
Their benefits administrators
The health insurance company
The bank administering the HSA

That is 4 sets of expensive CEOs, 4 sets of admins, 4 sets of auto phone systems etc etc etc. All this took 45 minutes out of my working day. Single payer, free at point of service would have taken nothing out of my work time.

How in all that is holy is that "more efficient" than single payer? Can someone point me to credible studies that have examined the relative costs between our current system and single payer?

Discuss

It's really easy to get caught up in the political invective. And why shouldn't we? We are confronted by a determined foe who oppose the social safety net, job creation, positive government and a strong sense of community.

But I am sat here after Christmas listening to loud pop music with my grandchildren around me and I can't hold on to the anger any more. I am happy with life at this point in time. I have my health, family, job, sanity, hobbies and community. And today I am going to enjoy it.

Tomorrow is another issue entirely. After all, I am a proud progressive. I am going to fight for those people who don't get the start in life they need to succeed.

* For those veterans coming back from useless wars with PTSD and inadequate benefits
* For those in public schools who are having funds sucked away to underperforming, underachieving charter schools.
* For those who don't have enough to eat who lost their food stamps
* For those in gerrymandered districts who will get a heartless Red representative.
* For everyone who drives over potholed road and rickety bridges sadly in need of public investment
* For those who desperately, desperately want to work, but are still labeled the useless 47%
* For those who work two jobs and still don't have enough work
* For those incarcerated for decades for non-violent drug offenses- victims of mandatory sentencing

And what will I do personally for the progressive movement? I will increase the number of shifts I do on our local domestic violence crisis line. I will listen for hours and hours to people with family, mental, drug and/or alcohol problems and I will guide them through the hopelessly inadequate social safety net to get the help they need.

And I am asking you, this wonderful Kos community to do something positive for the progressive movement in the New Year.The country really need us to step up.

And finally I am thanking all of you for what you already do and for giving me a happy progressive home. Thank you for the chance to express my happiness today.

Discuss

I work in high tech for a prosperous New England instrumentation company. I am programmer. A late night working, pizza eating, cola swilling, occasional shaver who comes into the office one or twice a week (the rest of the time I'm telecommuting at home to my outsource colleagues in India and China).

I work on the ground floor - the actual and symbolic ground floor suitably removed from the decision makers on the second floor who power dress and fuel the company gossip.

Yesterday I made a rare trip to the second floor to hear a presentation on the new company health benefit for 2014. And I was exposed to the second-floor culture.

More below the orangy-squiggly thingy...

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