Monthly Archives: March 2011

Medicare Rise Could Mean No Social Security COLA

For the past two years Social Security retirees and Social Security disability recipients have had no cost of living allowance increases because the COLA is tied to inflation and inflation has been very low. This coming year inflation might be high enough to justify a COLA adjustment, but now there’s another problem — the cost […]

Congress May Require ‘Drunk-Proof’ Cars

An interesting proposal has been floating around Congress for a while — to enact a federal law mandating that all vehicles be manufactured with a device that prevents people from driving while intoxicated. Your opinion about this law might depend on how often you drive after having a drink or two. There was an article […]

Medical Bills Need Reconstructive Surgery

“Prices are almost always inflated before being routinely discounted. Amid such financial flimflammery, it’s virtually impossible for a patient to be a well-informed consumer of healthcare.” That was the subtitle of an article in the Los Angeles Times recently. The gist of the article is that medical bills, especially hospital bills, are almost impossible for […]

Lasko Recalls Box Fans Due To Fire Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the Lasko Products, Inc., has announced a voluntary recall of almost five million box fans. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. There is a fire hazard posed by an […]

Friday Fun

This may be the greatest invention ever!

Texas Laws Offer Enough Protection To Insurance Companies Already

Fort Worth attorney Bob Halsam wrote an excellent editorial for the Star Telegram this week. The topic was some of the off-the-wall “tort reform” bills that have introduced in either the House or Senate recently. Here are the opening paragraphs of the editorial. You can read more after the break. Gov. Rick Perry’s proposals for […]

Featured Link –

The federal government has launched a terrific Web site to help consumers research products for safety, and to report unsafe products. The site is There really is a lot of information here, and you should check it out. Here is the description from the site: is the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information […]

NHTSA Issues New Safety Guidelines for Children’s Car Seats

Maybe it’s because I have three small grandchildren, but these days I find myself paying much more attention to articles about children’s car seats. In recent news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised its child restraint guidelines so that they categorize by age rather than by type of child seat. The result is […]

Don’t Take “No” As The Final Answer From Your Health Insurance Company

“Don’t take no for a final answer when a health insurer rejects a claim and leaves behind an unpaid medical bill. As many as 50 percent of some appeals prompt insurers to reverse their decisions, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.” That was the opening of a recent article in the Washington Post. […]

Featured Link – Guide to Online Hospital Administration Degrees has lots of information on this hot employment area, with links to colleges offering this degree in each state.

Friday Fun

An oldie, but goodie:

Advocacy group finds 55% of physicians with restricted privileges are not disciplined.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that for about the past 20 years, “state medical boards responsible for disciplining doctors have failed to punish more than half of those whose hospitals revoked or restricted their privileges, according to a new report released Tuesday” by the group Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. “Altogether, the report says, […]

Inadequacy of Crash Test Dummies Leaves Many Child Safety Seats With No Federal Standards

Here’s one more thing for parents of small children to worry about — many children’s car seats may not meet federal safety guidelines. The reason is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t yet developed a lifelike child crash test dummy. According to an article in the Washington Post, “Seats for children who weigh […]

Johnson & Johnson’s Animas Unit Recalls Leaking Insulin Cartridges

Bloomberg News reported, “Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)’s Animas unit recalled leaking insulin cartridges, saying they may cause pumps to deliver too little medicine to patients.” In a letter dated Feb. 24, the company notified patients, “saying the recall affects 2-milliliter cartridges shipped between Nov. 30 and Jan. 4.” MedPage Today reported, “Leaks would prevent patients […]

What’s With the Disability Bashing?

Tom Margenau is a retired Social Security Administration employee who writes a syndicated column about retirement and disability benefits. He always has excellent information, writes in an easy-to-understand style, and has an extensive knowledge of his subject matter. I really enjoy his columns in my local newspaper. His latest was on the subject of Social […]

Texas Supreme Court Lays Out New E-Filing Rules

John Council, writing for the Tex Parte blog, had an update on e-filing for the Texas Supreme Court this week. Here is John’s report: While some state district courts in large urban areas such as Dallas and Houston embraced this concept long ago, the Texas Supreme Court will finally do the same on March 14 when […]

HHS Unveils Preliminary Format for Rate Increase Notices

CQ HealthBeat reports, “The proposed format for notices that insurance companies would have to post electronically when they ask for rate increases of 10 percent or more was unveiled Monday by” HHS. Such notices were mandated by the healthcare law to help prevent “unreasonable” rate hikes. “Under the proposed regulation, the responsibility for scrutinizing those […]

Friday Fun

An oldie, but goodie:

Stop Giving Away Our Legal Rights — The Reality Of Tort Reform Is Unfair System

Houston attorney Paul Simon wrote an excellent Letter to the Editor of the Houston Chronicle this week: For the fourth time in recent memory, business interests and insurance companies want to further tilt the scales of justice in their favor. Called tort reform and pitched as being aimed only at frivolous lawsuits, the reality of […]

National Consumer Protection Week

We are in the middle of Consumer Protection week, and there is a government Web site dedicated to the education of consumers during this one week of each year. Here is a description from the National Consumer Protection Week site: National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take […]