All posts by bmooreee

Finance Prompt #2

Fiduciary Rule: “Fiduciaries is the legal term for a broad group of professionals who are required to put customers’ interests first. They cannot accept compensation or payments that would create a conflict of interest.” (Lee, Kathryn) That quote came directly from the article on U.S. Pirg, written by Ms. Lee about the interview (I am assuming) with John Oliver about retirement and what comes with retirement.

Lets just start with, I know nothing about retirement funds, how to get one, who to talk to, where to start, how to start, what else to do to increase your retirement, nothing. What I do know is, most jobs offer a 401k, it is important to start at a young age, and investing in your future is probably the best thing you can do in your youth.

Okay, so the fiduciary rule now defined by me: Those that are in the financial advisor positions are not out for their best interest, but are out for the best interest of their client. Meaning, they must do what they can to ensure that their client is receiving the best advice and pointed in the best decision making direction specific to their customer (the person receiving the financial help). This is what it means to me, and I gathered that meaning from the article on U.S Pirg, by Kathryn Lee. I felt, compared to the other article about the 4 arguments by Patrick Tucker, Lee did a much better job at defining and applying that definition of the fiduciary rule to the point that an ignorant consumer, like me, was able to come up with their own definition. She did this my specifically defining the word, then going on to explain again what Mr. Oliver was speaking on in his interview. She elaborated on what it means to have high fees and low fees when choosing a retirement plan, what it meant for those who did not have to go by the fiduciary rule, and an actively managed fund. Each of these topics she spoke on were quick, but to the point and it had enough basic information to clearly understand what she was talking about. On the other hand, the article written by Tucker, I had no idea what he was even saying. He was speaking about things I knew nothing about, and didn’t offer very much background knowledge for me to “catch up” to his article.  This made is difficult for me to quite understand the fiduciary rule and what these myths meant that he was talking about. This doesn’t mean he had written a bad article, because I am sure to those that knew what he was talking about appreciated the shortness and to the point the article was. Just for me, between the two articles, Ms. Lee did an excellent job on explaining and providing clear understanding for the fiduciary rule, what it meant, and where it applied.

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Early Life Prompt #1

What a more perfect topic for me, as I am about 35 days away from giving birth to my first child. I have already gone over the birth slides, so I with a quick overview there and the reading of the midwives, cord blood, birthing video trend, and C-section options, I learned a lot. You would think, being pregnant that I would have already known a lot of this since I am living it currently, but wow. What a word out there for families and mothers to be. Lets start with the question at hand: What do I think young parents would really like to know? Well, what did I want to know? I wanted to know what I didn’t actually need! I didn’t want to buy unnecessary things, and I still have yet to find out if I have or not. I also wanted to know, what are the best health options for my unborn child and I. Reading the cord blood article, it really took me back. In my teens I always had this idea what I would save my babies cord blood because you never know and I thought I understood the importance of saving it. After reading the article and finding out that, in reality, it’s all just played on fear (at least in my opinion), I wouldn’t even waste my time trying to save the blood. For my pregnancy now, saving the blood wasn’t an option as I thought it was so expensive, but I did have plans for my second. Nope not anymore. It’s easy for companies to play on the emotions of new parents, or even second or third time around parents, cause not many parents are educated. This is what confirms it for me that people are vulnerable to unneeded products. As I read on, I learned that women are not even given the option to potentially have a vaginal birth after a C-section. Why? I mean, they go on about how dangerous and the risks are higher and etc., but is that the truth? C-sections cost in the range of $18-$30k (based off a quick google search). I think, although there may be risks, the risks really don’t outweigh the benefits of a vaginal birth. This here again, playing on fear of the unknown. So, back to the question: What do I think they would really want to know? The truth. About as much as they can get, and learn to keep the emotions out of it, cause that’s where they’re going to get duped the most. And being new parents, of course you can’t do everything right, but you can learn from the first time around.

CP& R Prompt One

This week I read about school lunches, the Toyota recall, and the plane crash. Of these three, each of them gave me a feeling of uncertainty and almost as if, as the consumer we really aren’t told very much. Especially in the plane crash. I had no idea about the rules and regulations of airplane flying, or the fact that there isn’t a camera in the cockpit. Toyota seemed like they were giving as much info as they could, but in retrospect, being the consumer you know that there were things they were leaving out to protect the company. As any company would. School lunches, well I mean, I’ve been out of public school for about 5 years now, and we all know that just because they want to do these things doesn’t mean they are. So overall, as a consumer, I do not feel protected. I feel as if companies and law makers don’t feel like they have to tell the whole story and giving half of the story will satisfy people and their worries. But, that thought it actually really scary because it’s true. We aren’t told much and when we want to know more it’s a matter of, “at this time this is all we know” and that was seen in the Toyota recall article and the plane crash article. I feel as if things are strategically put to keep the citizens at ease and to keep the fear to a minimum.

In order for there to be protection provided to the consumers I think the truth needs to be let out. The whole truth. These stories about “stay tuned” and never any follow up is a bit concerning. Or if there is a follow up it’s months later. To who can we get that from? Making new laws and making it so that when these articles are released or when companies are making press statements they are required to tell the full story. Especially when it comes to the safety of their consumers. This idea of wanting to keep the fear to a minimum is completely understood, but to me, it’s creating more fear than ease because people are then left wondering about their safety and protection as consumers and don’t really know what to do or where to go with the information that was given to them.

Morning Challenge, ACCEPTED!

Day One: Wednesday

Easy peezy. Being pregnant I wake up very often in the night to drink water. I keep a water bottle next to my bed because I get so thirsty while I sleep! I blame it on the pregnancy. So, I finished that water bottle (which about 1/4th of the way full) when I got out of bed. Washing my face this morning was great because I took a shower. The exact place I wash my face. And because I showered I did the teeth/tongue brushing after washing my face and hair brushing after I dried my hair. Sugary drinks? Not a thing for this almost mama. (as bad as I crave them) I find myself more dehydrated than anything at the end of my pregnancy, so doc’s orders, WATER WATER WATER!  This morning was a perfect day to start this challenge.

Day Two: Thursday 

Not as easy as yesterday. The hardest part is washing my face. I don’t like to do that in the morning because it messes with my hair, and makes my hairline wet… but I did it. Which was followed with the teeth and hair brushing. I don’t usually brush my hair everyday, cause most days I wake up to good enough hair.  Water was drank all night, and finished as I got out of bed, as per my pregnancy usual.

Day Three: Friday

Happy Friday! I woke up a little early on accident this morning, and just felt ready for my day. So today’s routine went over better than yesterday. Still not too fond of the face washing in the morning, but it does definitely make me feel better and leave my skin extra soft all day. My hair went up today, so it got brushed with my fingers. That counts as a brushing, right? No sugary drinks (this is becoming a record!) This challenge is helping with that.

Day Four: Saturday

Weekends are tricky. I’m really lazy in the mornings.. but I washed my face in the shower, teeth/tongue. Brushed my hair.. actually my fiancé did, but it was still brushed. He brought me a tall glass of water as I got out of the shower since I finished my water bottle last night. I sound spoiled.. But overall I’m really surprised at how much I’ve been able to keep up with this challenge. Especially the washing of my face. Again, water all day. My dr will be proud.

Day Five: Sunday

I woke up at a friends house this morning. I heavily debated skipping over my morning rituals, but it’s the last day, so I might as well follow through, right? My friend and I put on masks today. Not in the morning, but in the early afternoon. It was nice. I also (finally) caved and got a chai tea. It was so good. Teeth and tongue are always brushed before I come down to greet anyone for the morning, so that a norm. But my hair? Unless running my fingers through it a couple times counts, today I forgot about that. Real easy for my to do on my days off.

This challenge was a good one. I’m actually surprised at how well I stuck by it. I really wanted to stick by it and do it since this used to be similar to my morning routine (minus the morning face wash) before, well life. We’ll see if I can keep it up now just to keep it up.

Health Care Prompt #2

I have never heard of a CBO, let alone read one. To be honest, reading the article Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 really confused me. I had to read it a few times, and even at that, I don’t think I fully understood it. From what I did understand from it, more people are going to be uninsured by 2020 because they are removing the penalty for not having insurance, and they are not requiring employers to provide insurance. The penalty with that is being removed as well. While reading this, it kept referring to “nongroup market”. That was really throwing off my understanding while reading, so I had to google what it was. Essentially what a nongroup market is a place to buy insurance when your employer or government doesn’t provide insurance for purchase. It is mostly expected that nongroup health insurance is expected to get more expensive before 2020 because of the changes to come if this new act. Young, healthy people are less likely to purchase health care because it’s easy to have the mindset of “why do I need what I don’t have?”, meaning, if I’m not sick, why do I need to purchase something just in case I get sick. I won’t get sick. Especially since the out of pocket cost is expected to rise until 2020.
I want to know more, but I feel like it would be more beneficial for me to talk to someone than to read about this. Simply because I do not have a good foundation of what everything means. I hope that I actually did understand what I read, and am interpreting it correctly. I would like to talk to those who sell the insurance, and those that agree and disagree with the insurance bill. I feel like talking to someone from all the different views would give me an entire 360 view of the topic, and better help me understand what it really is all about. Then I feel like I could establish a better understanding of reading about these articles and understanding exactly what is going to happen, or what is hoped to happen.

Thinking & Discourse

Prompt One

It’s easy to lead someone in any direction with the words you use. Especially when you are asking something that the person isn’t very knowledgeable in, or something that you want a specific result. From the two questions, the second is clearer than the first. A huge difference in the questions is the detail that is put into the second question compared to the first. This leads to the language of the question. What if the person has no idea what it actually means to expand Medicare because they have no idea what Medicare is? This then can lead them in a direction they don’t even agree with because of the way the question is presented. When a question is presented with the detail that the second one is, you are more likely to receive a more accurate response, because it guarantees that the people answering the question, actually knows what the question is asking. This is shown in the results too, because the first question is vague and I bet most people just put yes because they thought it meant that each American gets health care coverage. But in the second set of results, it’s a more even split because the detail of it gives more to agree or disagree with.

 Prompt Three 

I chose the birth slides, simply because I will be giving birth here shortly, so this whole set just applies to my life and my new learning of consumer health overall. Three important pieces of content that came from this slide set came more from the links within the slides, than the slides themselves. The first I am going to discuss is the link to an article posted back in 2012 titled “Beyond Contraception”. This article is referring a lot to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how there were many changes coming to better serve consumers in their health care with birth control, vaccinations, awareness screening on specific sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal care for mothers and so much more. This article was informative to me, and it is very important because ensuring that a woman and a man, are “good to go” essentially to have a child is extremely important. Or in helping to prevent the spread of diseases or unplanned pregnancies. A person doesn’t know what they don’t know and the thought of going to the doctor is scary, not just because of the shots or discovering something new about yourself, but the PRICE. As a consumer, I believe everything from birth control being covered in a health plan, vaccinations against HPV and screenings for STI’s is a basic human right. The next important piece of this slide set is about caesarian birth. This applies to me because I’ll be delivering soon, and I really pray that I don’t have to get a c-section. I’m sure many other women have this thought too. From the slide about caesarian birth it gave some stats: the most common surgical procedure in the USA, in WA alone 11,000 caesarian births were not needed, and there are plans to make the cost of natural child birth and caesarian births equal in cost. After a quick google search of how much a c-section costs, it gave a ball park of $14-25k while natural child birth is $9-17k. No wonder there are reports of 11,000 unnecessary c-sections being done, they cost so much! This is extremely alarming as a consumer because soon I will be ready to give birth and who is to say that the doctor I have won’t suggest something based off a dollar amount than an actual need for me? Luckily, I know that won’t happen, but other women don’t. Which is why there is the birth survey. This is a link in the slides and this is about a project to help women stay informed on the doctors that have been used in the past by previous women, and for the doctors themselves to stay on top of their performance as well. This is extremely important to the consumer because then they know what kind of doctor they are buying into. Although when a woman goes through her prenatal care, it doesn’t really feel like she is purchasing a doctor or birthing plan, but essentially she is. The third important piece was the slide on the consumer. When it comes to birth, people automatically assume the consumer is just the woman, but a man is just as involved as the woman (in some cases). You don’t become a consumer once you or your woman becomes pregnant either, it begins before. Which I thought was an interesting idea because it does have a lot to do with your health and lifestyle when attempting to become pregnant and getting pregnant. On one of the slides a question was asked: Who’s responsibility is it to bring healthy babies into the world? (something close) And so I ask, what do you think? From a consumers standpoint, I am pretty much paying someone to bring my child into this world by the care and treatment I am seeking. But it also falls on the consumer as well because although I am buying something, it doesn’t mean money can buy everything and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is what brings healthy babies too. Plus, being able to receive the proper screenings, prenatal care, postnatal care. Overall, birth applies to everyone. Whether it be you, your partner, sister, cousin, friend, coworker, birth happens and being able to prepare for it through the basic rights of your health care insurance, to ensuring yourself if healthy. A person is a consumer of birth, at least once in their life.

 

A bit about Me.

Hello, my name is Blessyng. I am a psych major with a minor in public health. I am hoping to be finished with my degree summer or fall 2018. We’ll see how that goes considering I am 7 months pregnant with my first baby 🙂 I hear it’s difficult being a new mom, but I am going to give it my best! At the end of my educational journey (and it’s been a loooong one, and keeps getting longer) I hope to be a physicians assistant, working anywhere, helping many. To be completely honest, I don’t know much about consumer health. I think I find myself overthinking it more than I should. So what is my “personal consumer health status”? To me that means, what do I know about the products around me. Meaning food, clothes, advice from doctors or people advertising about the next best health kick. Based on that, I guess my status is average? Maybe a bit above average, because if I don’t know or understand something, I google it. Google is my best friend and I have tons of questions, therefore I google a lot. I read reviews about everything before I buy, I ask my doctor a tons of questions (especially being pregnant), I just want to know before I commit. Even if it is just a $5 commit or trial. I’m not sure if that what consumer health is, so I am really looking forward to learning more about the topic and I wonder if at the end of the quarter I’ll look back and find my own definition of consumer health silly.

Two values I hold: honesty and giving it your best effort. My biggest peeve in the world is being lied to. To me it’s a betrayal, and invasion of trust. As if I was not good enough to hear the truth, even if that truth may be painful or great. Giving it your best effort is another one because if you try, you can succeed. Never rob yourself of the opportunity to be better, and the one way you 100% will always do that is if you don’t try. Even if you have to try again and again, trying always gives you the opportunity to succeed.

Two rights I’m SURE we have: freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. We can talk, say, shout, and write whatever it is that we want. Isn’t that great? We aren’t punished for having an opinion and putting it out there. Can it be used against us? Absolutely! And that is someone’s right to do so, because they can talk freely too. Another right, I am sure we have is the right to bear arms. Even though it comes with many regulations and hoops to jump through, at the end of the day if I want to open carry, concealed carry, have a gun in my home, anything, I can. It’s very important to me that I protect myself and my family.

Two rights we SHOULD have, but not sure we do: I believe we should have the right to choose/be and the right to continue your education. As a grown adult, I have the right to decide for myself, in the realm that I am not physically harming another. No one else needs to tell me what I can and cannot do with my time, money, space, person, anything. Just as much as I don’t have the right to tell people what they can and cannot do. But in reality, do we have that right? I mean we constantly have to explain ourselves for driving a car, owning a car I bought with MY earned money, buying a house, building on that house, etc etc. So many questions to what I am choosing to do with myself. If I’m not harming you, why do you need to know? The right to continue your education. We can, no one is stopping you from doing so, other than that pretty penny that no one seems to actually have. Money is the deciding factor and if you don’t have enough of it, moving on after high school is extremely difficult. No one should be robbed of a better education because they don’t have the money. Everyone deserves the chance to make something more of themselves than just a high school diploma.