Tag Archives: insurance

iPhones and umbrellas. It’s not stealing if you find one.

27 Oct

12:18 AM Saturday 27 October 2012 Nunhead Heights

I have just lost my phone.

Good, proper, lost. It is either one or two places and they are not there. I’ve gone back and looked. If someone returns it I will give them £50. Or should that be £100? That is the bargaining. Or is that the denial because the phone isn’t coming back. How is the finder of my phone supposed to know where to return it?

I should have put my phone number or email address on the back. Too late.

The five stage of grief by Kubler-Ross. Or are there six? That was two of them. Bargaining and denial.

I have just called O2 to put a block on the phone. That is a sign of acceptance that the phone is not coming back and is probably in the hands of evil-doers calling Egypt or Pakistan or Russia.

Maybe I should look again in the rucksack which I have looked through twice? Just checked. Now three times. Not there.

Maybe I gave to my son when I was transferring my things from my rucksack? He hasn’t brought it over and he didn’t answer the phone when my friend Jane called. And why would he have taken it without telling me? He would have given me that knowing, naughty, giving-away-the-secret smile he is famous for.

God, this is an empty feeling.

The feeling of loss is weighing on my chest. This tragedy and the money I had stolen from my luggage in Edinburgh this summer. And the other ‘lost’ phone I had nicked about six years ago. And that I let my car engine block freeze up. Plonker.

The Stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. Kubler-Ross left out the big one: bankruptcy.

This failure is going to cost me a fortune of wasted British Pounds. I have to get an iphone. I am an iphone person. I am the slightly more pretentious version of the council house tenant who has Sky TV. I have to get an iphone.

And they don’t call it ‘Pounds Sterling’ anymore. Why is that? When did that happen? Why am I thinking about that at this time?

My mind is all questions.

Maybe it is where I got into the car? I was holding it in my hand and when I went into Jane’s car for her to give my son Carnegie and me a lift back from Forest Hill. I didn’t check that side of the street. Should I bicycle back there in the rain and cold and dark? She did call the phone and I would have heard it ring had it from across the street. Wouldn’t I?

Why didn’t I hook up that app – I had that app – the Find-My-Iphone app? Too difficult to understand and to keep on and I have heard the police do nothing if you tell them you have found it’s location.

Why wasn’t I paying attention to my phone!?

Two people I know had found iPhones and didn’t try to find the owners.

I told them both it wasn’t right for them to keep them but I didn’t do more than that. I should have taken a strong stance! I was staring at MY iPhone in their hands. What goes around comes around and all that.

I checked where I got out of the car, where Jane dropped us off. I move aside the leaves. Nothing.

In a flash I thought: Maybe I left it on the counter of the news agents when I bought the newspapers – the Telegraph and ‘ I ‘. Don’t judge me, Britain. I picked up the Guardian yesterday and the day before that the Times. I refused to be judged by the newspapers I read.

I asked the weak-looking shopkeeper:

Have you found a phone just now? And the clerk’s reply was ‘I don’t think so’.

‘Don’t think so’!?

Wouldn’t you know if you just, within twenty minutes, found a phone? Even if it were the cheapest phone I think you’d remember. And mine was an iPhone 4S. I didn’t say this.

What can I do? Jump behind the counter and search the house that lays behind the shop? I may be wrong. Forgive me if I am wrong.

Twenty minutes later I’m resigned.

‘I’ll get a new phone tomorrow.’ I tell myself.

Then I panic again. I must change my passwords! I swing into action. I’ve changed my passwords. But I remember the stand-up shows I’ve ‘taped’ or whatever they call it. Damn Apple for making it almost impossible to download ‘voice notes’ or whatever they call it. Damn you arrogant Apple! I’ve lost a lot. But it is just me. And I am no Lenny Bruce and comedy gold.

I speak to my flatmate who has just come in. Coincidentally, he informs me, his phone is broken.

I don’t care! I feel guilty I’m not sympathetic to him in his moment of need.

Fidel is up on all things current. He works in the dole office and sees life on the ground floor and below. And he’s a Southwark boy.

‘Do you have insurance?’

No, of course not. It is £10 a month or £240 a year and who pays half of the cost of something in insurance? Would you pay £15,000 insurance over two years for a £30,000 car?

I have another flash: I will put up posters on trees offering a reward for the phone.

He laughs, again.

Should I make a stink with the newsagents? They have it. I am almost sure of it.

‘Let it go. That is how so and so [mentions someone we both know] got his iphone. So and so had lost his Samsung phone and then he found an iPhone and that’s how it works.’

Indiana comic Jim Gaffigan entered my mind. I remember a comedy bit he did 20 years ago, before he was famous and rich. How it is okay to not to search for the owners of lost umbrellas. Umbrellas are just passed around the universe. It was funny.

I ask my flatmate, Fidel:

‘Could an £500 iphone with a person’s work, all their contacts and apps and music, be treated the same as a £3 (three pound) umbrella?’

He smiled.

Yes, lost phones are reunited with their owners in Britain. I left my phone in the dressing room at the Edinburgh Fringe last August and it was returned to me. And misplaced phones are probably returned every day in South London and Nunhead, too.

But it is possible that an lost iPhone now belongs to the universe.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow

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Seeing through it all on facebook about Obama and Obamacare. And the NHS, too.

21 Sep

1 PM Friday 22 September 2012 Nunhead Heights


“I am Obamacare. I’m 34 and my job does not provide benefits or health insurance. I was in pain for days and went to the ER. I discovered my uterus was full of tumors. I couldn’t pay for surgery and because I was now a “pre-existing condition” insurance companies could (and did!) turn me down for coverage. But because President Obama passed Health Care reform, I was able to get PCIP and the surgery I needed to get well. Thank you President Obama for helping me live and heal when others said no.”

A 34 year-old woman somewhere in America is diagnosed with tumors at a hospital emergency room. I saw it posted on facebook today. I hate those kind of posts but read every single one.

She wrote she couldn’t pay for surgery and because she had a “pre-existing condition”
the insurance companies turned her down for coverage.

First, of course you can’t get health insurance after you get sick. It’s like calling DirectLine, Churchill’s, the AA, or the RAC after the car accident and seeing if they’ll pay to have your car fixed. It’s called “insurance” for a reason.

And if she couldn’t afford insurance BEFORE she had the “tumors” how could she afford insurance afterwards? She didn’t say how.

No one in America is denied medical treatment because they don’t have the money to pay.

There would have been a hospital in her town that would have done her surgery. Then she would then have been presented with a bill for the surgery and expected to pay at a later date. Yes, she would be expected to pay for a service which other people pay for, either in cash or through their health insurance companies. And if she couldn’t pay, well, luckily there are no debtor’s prisons in America.

I explain Obamacare in a previous post.

This woman took a chance in not getting health insurance and she pocketed the money she saved. And she WON. Now she is covered by Obamacare at no cost or low cost! Now other people who actually paid for health insurance out of their own pockets are expected to pay for her.

This bit is about me:

Yesterday, I visited my doctor in East Dulwich. My GP is a lovely woman and she gave me ten minutes to tell her all my problems.

I told here that I stop breathing when I’m asleep and have been told I snore loudly. That I have been waking very often in the night to urinate. That my dodgy knee is acting up – three years after surgery. That I am having trouble sleeping and feel stressed. Oh, and my high blood pressure is still raging.

I had only ten minutes with her but given more time I am sure I would have come up with more ailments. Oh, I forgot. I did. I told her I didn’t feel that capable down there any more, if you know what I mean. Down there.

I walked out with an appointment with a sleep lab, tests scheduled for my PSA count and renal function, an appointment with joint doctor. I didn’t get the sleeping pills or the Valium I really wanted. I got another prescription for Viagra. I let the last prescription lapse as they were £8 a pill. Sex isn’t worth the money.

My point: Free and Unlimited health care is unsustainable either in America where it is led by private insurers or in the UK where it’s state-run. It will collapse under the weight of people like that horrible “I am Obamacare” woman with the tumors and horrible middle-aged and old people like me demanding health services and unwilling to pay for them. And you’re to blame, too.

And that is something you don’t read on facebook.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on http://www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow

Obama’s healthcare law explained to British people who think they know all about America

29 Jun

3PM Friday 29 June 2012 Nunhead Heights

Last night, a comic friend of mine  tweeted that “the most powerful country in the world has the highest prison intake, the death penalty, no health care, and no geography.”

“China?” I replied.

China has no health care unless you call having your kidney stolen “health care.” China has low prison intake because they tend to use the death penalty even more than America, which proves that America doesn’t kill enough of it’s citizens. And China doesn’t have geography, lacking a West Coast, Great Lakes and a Grand Canyon.

He pointed out that “it is only a matter of time” before the Chinese have a West Coast.

Let me clear up a few things about health care in America. First, the United States has health care.

Every American who is poor, old, or in the Military gets free health care courtesy of the Federal or State governments. The rest – and the majority – are covered by their health insurance.

You cannot be denied hospital treatment in America, even if you don’t have insurance or poor, contrary to what the British people believe. It may not be in the hospital of your choice or by the doctor of your choice but broken bones get put in casts and cancer cells get radiated. You will be treated.

The average life expectancy in the USA is 78.2 and the UK is 79.9 according to wikipedia.

That isn’t much of a difference considering how mental Americans are and how vaunted the British NHS is. Americans get into a panic about everything: From aliens, to gays in the military, to disco music. And they also get worked up that the Chinese are buying the world, that maybe Europe IS headed for financial disaster and that maybe there are people in other countries who are trying to hurt America. England has a lovely “can’t be bothered” attitude which is good for the heart.

British people erroneously experience their lives as being is a lot longer than Americans because there is bugger all to do here in the UK. The only thing you can do here is wait for the next big thing to come from America. The English can’t go starting wars anymore or come up with a unique musical genres. The last big thing the Brits exported was the paparazzi shot of the female celebrity leaving the limo with her legs spread apart.

The United States is not instituting socialized medicine with ObamaCare – or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it is gently called. It already has socialized medicine.

What the United States doesn’t have is UNIVERSAL socialized health care. Meaning everyone is covered by the government, paid for by the government.

The main bit about ObamaCare is about getting the maybe five or ten percent of Americans who have money but don’t want to take out health insurance to take out insurance. That is so the Federal Government and local jurisdictions don’t have to pick up the tab for their health care – insurance companies will. The Feds are trying to un-socialize the medicine.

ObamaCare assumes the people who don’t have health insurance have money to pay for it – which flies in the face of the belief that many Americans don’t have the money for health insurance. If they don’t take out the insurance they are going to be fined and they’ll need money to pay the fine.

It is also about forcing insurance companies to provide increased level of service and for some businesses to buy health insurance for their workers. And other stuff. There is a lot of force going here, and Americans, generally don’t like the Feds telling them what to do. Think Europe. Who does? That stuff is completely un-American.

The Federal Government – called “federal” cause it is confederated of the States – New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, et al – is the top layer of United States governments, above city, state governments but under the Jews, who control everything. [That Jew part is a joke in case you thought otherwise.]

The Feds are trying to force the uninsured, the insurance companies, and the States, to pick up more of the bill.

That is not very social of them, I’d say.

NB There is a good chance I have gotten this very wrong. I am not very interested in the health care debate because it has gone on longer than waiting for England to win another World Cup and just as unsolvable and I live here, in the UK, and I am old and bored of hearing about sick, old people.

Tell me what you think about what I wrote. Please. Rubbish, brilliant, spot on, off the mark, ridiculous. Please let me know by making a comment.

@lewisschaffer on twitter

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Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic