Shutdown doesn’t deter Affordable Care Act

It’s a crazy time as Americans shop for health care insurance

Freelance Writer

Scanning the Infosphere after a crazy day on Capitol Hill to seek some health care clarity, I came away with a few thoughts on the first day of shopping for federally subsidized health care plans.

1. It’s smart to start shopping now, but wait awhile to push the “buy” button. There are still details to be worked out and information to be gathered.

2. Residents of states that opted out of the federal health exchange will have a more difficult time gathering information, but if they are persistent they can find it.

3. The devil is in the details. What results in lower health care costs for  one family on the neighborhood cul de sac may result in higher costs for another. Continue reading

MNU memos for the week of Oct. 7

Oct. 9 – Pioneer Basketball Fundraiser at Chipotle
The men’s basketball team will host a fundraiser at Chipotle Mexican Restaurant (20080 W. 153rd, Olathe) Oct. 9.  If you visit the restaurant between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and tell them you are there to support MNU basketball they will donate half of the money to MNU men’s basketball and the Sun Valley Indian School Mission Trip. Continue reading

Olathe news briefs for the week of Oct. 7

City Council
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, October 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

Protect our Pipes, Pumps and Plants: Think Before You Flush
Many modern personal and household cleaning products are marketed as “flushable” or “disposable”. However, unlike toilet paper, which breaks down quickly, these products remain intact indefinitely. These items can accumulate in the sewer system or get tangled in sewage pumps when flushed down the toilet. This can clog your home’s plumbing system or the City’s wastewater collection system, resulting in sewer backups that require costly repairs. Flushing these items down the toilet uses excess water and can increase your water bill. Continue reading

‘Squeaky Wheel’ column makes its national debut

Together, grassroots disability advocates can make a difference

Freelance writer/editor

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — Grease is the word.

But don’t mistake this for a 1978 ode to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as two 1950s high-school lovers, the highest-grossing musical to date in the United States.

This recurring column — the “Squeaky Wheel” — is dedicated to the free flow of information affecting the global disability community in our ongoing push for change — the “grease” to lubricate the gears of society to level the playing field and remove the physical and attitudinal barriers standing in our way.

For as we all know, it is the “Squeaky Wheel” — — that gets the grease. Case in point: Continue reading

Obamacare: Seven things you need to know before signing up

Freelance writer/editor

On Day Five of the Affordable Care Act rollout the glitches continue. The headaches mount. And in Kansas, Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is asking Sunflower state residents to take a chill pill before going all wobbledywonk over the launch of the federal government’s health exchange program.

Relax, she says, let the first adopters fight in line to get through to a health-care broker. You still have until Dec. 15 to sign up at and be insured come New Year’s Eve.

In the meantime, know that if you’ve been unable to get insurance either because of a pre-existing illness or high costs, the Affordable Care Act opens up new options.

According to Phil Galewitz, a staff writer at Kaiser Health News, here are seven things you need to know: Continue reading

Count to three before buying a health care plan

Sign up by Dec. 15 to be covered on New Year’s Eve

Freelance writer/editor

Patience is a virtue, mom always said. Take a deep breath, consider all your options and then make an educated decision on what health care plan is right for you.

It just makes sense. You have until Dec. 15 to enroll under the federal government’s launch of the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed ObamaCare.

Consumers shopping for coverage in new online markets for health insurance will be able to see what plans are offered in their area, how much they will cost per month, what their annual deductibles are and whether their families might qualify for federal subsidies or Medicaid. Continue reading

Showdown over the shutdown

How our elected leaders are screwing disabled Americans

Reliance writer/editor

Just got this ironic email a few moments ago from the President’s National Council on Disability.

I was scheduled to testify in Topeka on Tuesday (Oct. 8) on my experience with KanCare, the managed-care program in Kansas that puts insurance companies in the driver’s seat over doctor’s orders for me and 379,999 other Sunflower state health care recipients.

No longer is that the case. This is not just a Kansas story, but a cautionary tale for the nation’s disability community. Here’s the email in my in box: Continue reading

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