Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Year in Review

But first, my final words on Obamacare. I did find a cheap plan and signed up for it ... until I discovered none of the major hospitals or doctors in my area accept it. No wonder it was so cheap. I ended up with a slightly better plan that's costing me over $100 a month with the same deductible as the crap plan (about $6500) and no co-pay, but if I get sick a doctor will see me and a hospital will take me in. If I'd been willing, and able, to pay $200 or more a month, then I could have gotten co-pay and a lower deductible. My last plan had all that, but it was discontinued.

I didn't use my insurance last year. Didn't go to a doctor. I may not need it next year, but that's the problem. You never know. It still would have been cheaper to not have insurance at all and pay the fee at tax time -- which, by the by, has doubled again. Even my insurance agent doesn't like this deal. She called it: it's not affordable health care, it's available health care. It's only affordable for a lot of us because our fellow taxpayers are footing the bill.

I'm going to say it again. This was not health care reform. This was a tax, under another name. This was a scam. I'd love to know whose pockets got lined at our expense. I suspect we'll all find out later in 2016 -- specifically, right after the election. I also suspect there will be major changes to the law right after the new President's announced. That's my prediction for next year.

One other prediction: somebody famous will die. See how easy it is to foretell the future?

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As far as the rest of 2015 went for me ... well, it had its ups and downs. The car held up for another year. So did my aging body.  I still had to vacuum the house and mow the lawn. My first venture into self-publishing didn't go so well. On the other hand, I published under a pseudonym and that story did okay. I'm now convinced I can achieve success in publishing, but it won't be under my real name. Hey, that's okay. I'm fine with that. As long as the right name's on the check, I'm a happy camper.

Almost forgot -- I sort of got a job. It's freelance but it's steady, or at least it was until this month. I'm hoping things pick up again in January. Five hundred a month (on average) may not sound like much, but it covers a bunch of expenses. If I could get a second gig like this, I'd be fine. Or two or three, now that I need to pay for "affordable" health insurance.

I'd like to extend my sympathies to Serena for her plight. She sold a story to Ellora's Cave right before all the excrement hit the AC. I know how that is. My work history is strewn with incidents of me getting hired by companies that went belly-up soon afterwards. Most recent example: I applied to Samhain Publishing for freelance work as a proofreader/line editor. They turned me down. That was last month. I just recently learned Samhain has closed to submissions from all but their current authors and is "regrouping." They also fired the editor of their relatively-new horror line. Sounds like a restructuring's going on. No layoffs, but people who leave won't be replaced. Looks like my timing was off in that job application. The doomsday clock's still running on my current freelance job. I'll keep you posted.

So that was my year. Pretty much more of the same, only more expensive. I wish I could blame somebody. Okay, sure, I can blame the current administration for having to buy health insurance. Though if I have a heart attack tomorrow, bet I won't be bitching while I'm dialing 911. The rest of it's on me. You have to actually do something in order for good things to happen. I applied for the freelance job and I got it, and now I can buy gas and groceries. See? It does work out.

Don't worry about bad stuff. You don't have to do anything there. Bad stuff happens all by itself. If more good than bad happens to you in a year's time, consider yourself ahead of the game.

I'm not sure yet if I'm going to make resolutions. Those usually last about 48 hours after the clock strikes midnight. Let's see how I feel next week, with a whole new, fresh year looming ahead. And higher insurance bills. Prediction: I see job hunting in my future. Happy New Year, y'all!

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