Friday, October 29, 2010

I’m going for a walk today – a real one, without my MP3 player. My husband’s niece and I did this once before. (She is an infant teacher, currently working half-time, lives in Morningside.) One of Edinburgh’s many merits is how near the real country is, just outside. It is often possible to stand on a street-corner and see out, to the hills beyond. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a little book about Edinburgh – he mentions that feature, and it’s still true.

So that should make a pleasant day, except that the weather forecast is atrocious. I keep twitching the curtain: still dark, no rain so far.

Thanks for your help on American health. There was a good New Yorker article back when Hillary was trying to reform it, about how she hadn’t taken the insurance industry sufficiently into account. I’m sure, by now, insurance is part of the problem as well as part of the solution. American friends seem to talk of little else.

Another thing that surprised me in Annie’s article was the fact that Gerry is covered by Medicare. He has multiple myeloma, and was covered for the first couple of years by insurance he had through his employment. But I thought Medicare was only for the over-65’s. I tried Googling, and it immediately became obvious I could be there all day. If Annie says he has Medicare, I’m sure he does.

One good thing, I gather: elderly Americans can travel. If my husband and I were up to it, which we aren’t, it would be difficult and by now very expensive to buy insurance for a trip. Whereas Medicare, apparently, covers you from Patagonia to Peking.

Linda, Annie was teaching knitting in Italy. Her account made it sound like pure holiday, but she always writes like that. I seethe anew at the thought of her not getting paid – fees or travel expenses – for Stirling in August. Maybe things have got better? But she shouldn’t even have had to wait and worry.


Another good Amedro session.

I went on thinking about Christmas. Thinking about quick hats (see yesterday) took me to the Knitter’s Almanac. I grew interested in December’s “Wishbone sweater”. Perhaps for a small person? And very interested in EZ’s remark that it is not to be attempted with fine yarn – it won’t work. She is emphatic, and repeats the advice. But she doesn’t know why.

The pattern is written for Sheepsdown again, 2 ½ sts to the inch. I did a bit of Googling, and found several examples in worsted, nothing finer. It’s been a long time – I wondered if Meg might not have tackled the problem, just as she solved brioche-in-the-round. But a search of the Schoolhouse site for “wishbone” produces nothing.

The problem is intriguing. But then I remembered that anyway, I’ve got some worsted. I bought it at Camp Stitches in ’99 with a sock-slipper pattern. It should be ripe by now.

But first I must finish Amedro, and Matt’s socks, and the Japanese hat. Then we can think about these fripperies.


  1. Medicare covers both the disabled and the elderly. On paper, the disability rules are very strict--you need to be disabled for 24 months before you have access to the insurance--but that is currently the fastest growing part of the program.

    Medicare does NOT cover you everywhere. Some versions of the available supplemental insurance do. And for some odd reason (I'd love to see the actuarial calculations)the cost of travel insurance, which is heavily focused on transport to get you to where you need to be--is quite reasonable at least up until about age 85. Have you shopped around? I think my US company would cover you (and, presumably, ship you back to the UK if needed).

  2. The whole insurance brouhaha in the US started when insurance companies started negotiating rates of reimbursement with certain providers instead of just paying a flat percentage for everyone in their pool. At first it was expected that the preferred providers would get a better rate but it ended up with providers having to increase their own rates to be able to get a reasonable reimbursement from the insurance companies to stay in business. Medicare's reimbursement don't cover the cost of care and the government medical assistance program for indigent patients is even more pitiful in its reimbursement. It's an awful mess that has no simple solution.

    Some of the things that gives the elderly more options for travel here is the accessability of locations and the discounts various places offer for seniors. My elderly brother and his wife are on a limited income but they've been all over thanks to discounts they garner from various motel chains they use and specials they watch for.

  3. Anonymous6:37 AM

    Medicare for persons under age 65 requires total and permanent disability for 24 months to qualify for coverage. The only exception to the 24-months qualifying period is the diagnosis of End Stage Renal Failure, which is an immediate coverage qualifier.

    Mary G. in Texas