January 2014  
  
Caputo Brosnan P.C. Newsletter
CB
In This Issue
Pun Fun
ObamaCare
Protecting Your Wallet
Interesting Lawsuits of '13

 

 

PUNS

FOR EDUCATED MINDS

 

1.  The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

 

2.  I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

 

3.  She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.

 

4.  A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

 

5.  No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationary.

 

6.  A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

 

7.  A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

 

8.  Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

 

9.  A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.

 

10.  Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

 

11.  Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

 

12.  Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: "You stay here; I'll go ahead."

 

13.  I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

 

14.  A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: "Keep off the Grass."

 

15.  The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

 

16.  The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

 

17.  A backward poet writes inverse.

 

18.  In a democracy it is your vote that counts. In feudalism it is your count that votes.

 

19.  When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

 

20.  If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you would be in Seine.

 

21.  A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boarded an airplane. The stewardess looked at him and said, "I'm sorry sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

 

22.  Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

 

23.  Two Inuit sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

 

24.  Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive."

 

25.  Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

 

26.  There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.


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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

TAKES EFFECT

 

The era of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), commonly referred to as "ObamaCare" began on January 1, 2011. This legislation has been the subject of significant political rhetoric and spin doctoring, much of which, from Sarah Palin's warnings about death panels to the President's promise that you can keep your current coverage, was untrue.

 

In this article, we attempt to answer some common questions regarding ObamaCare in a hopefully unbiased fashion:

 

1.  How does ObamaCare affect me?

 

Although some aspects of ObamaCare began implementation as early as September 2010, the biggest changes will be felt this year.

 

The first is that all Americans and documented resident aliens must have health insurance. If you do not, you will have to pay a fine.

 

The second is that insurance policies must contain provisions mandating a certain level of quality and a certain number of services offered. For example, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be denied coverage, cannot be charged a significantly higher premium and cannot be subject to an extended waiting period or have his benefits curtailed.

 

2.  Can I keep my current plan?

 

Despite repeated assurances from President Obama, the answer is technically yes but practically no.

 

Because all new policies must meet ObamaCare mandates, insurance companies are modifying current plans to be compliant rather than creating new compliant plans to be offered alongside older non-compliant plans.

 

Michigan's insurance department issued a ruling in November confirming that health insurers could extend policies which were slated for cancellation because they did not meet the requirements of the ACA.

 

Both Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Health Alliance Plan were quick to issue press releases explaining that the cancellation of non-complying plans would proceed as planned.

 

3.  Are there any exemptions from the mandate?

 

If you are currently insured through Medicare, Medicaid, your employer or a Veteran's health program you do not have to participate because you are already insured. Prisoners, undocumented immigrants, some religious groups and those American Indians subject to the laws of their tribal community are exempt.

 

4.  Will I be able to keep my current employer sponsored insurance?

 

Employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer health care coverage or be subject to a fine of $2,000 per employee per year. Some analysts have suggested that the combination of premium subsidies available for low income workers combined with the fact that most health care policies cost employers far more than $2,000 per year per employee will be an incentive for employers to no longer provide the benefit. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may cancel their group health plans without penalty.

 

As explained above, most policies are likely to be modified and you will see an increase in costs, deductibles and co-pays as a result of the new coverage requirements. 

 

5.  Will ObamaCare raise my taxes?

 

There are 19 new "taxes" in the form of fees, penalties and taxes which now take effect. Most of these affect the health care industry and so, indirectly, will be passed down to consumers in the form of higher costs.

 

Individuals and families will see a 20% penalty for early withdrawals from health or medical savings accounts and indoor tanning products now incur a 10% excise tax.

 

The ACA instituted a 3.8% tax on net investment income above a threshhold amount of $125,000 for single individuals and $250,000 for married couples.

 

What is in your wallet?

 
Cyber-crime gets headlines, but financial information you can hold in your fingers may still cause you grief if it gets into the wrong hands. Even if an insurance card is merely lost, you must take time to replace it.

 

People who make sure their computer and cell phone are backed up often fail to think about the information carried right in their pocket or purse. At least once a year, place the contents of your wallet on a photocopier or scanner. Copy both sides. You will then have a record of everything in your wallet, the account numbers, and the phone numbers to call if you lose your wallet. Put the copies in a safe place, and make sure a trusted relative or friend, who does not travel with you, has access to the information. That person can help if something disappears when you are out of town.

 

When traveling, carry a credit card, your driver's license and some cash in a pocket. Put another credit card, your passport and more cash in your carry-on luggage. If something goes missing, you will still be able to check into your hotel and board your return flight.

 

You have no idea who sees your checks. The man who mows your lawn could leave your check on his kitchen table where his son's drinking buddy sees it. You could end up buying the kid his next case of beer and the refrigerator to cool it. Do not print your social security number or phone number on your checks. You can provide the information if someone has a legitimate need for it. Even then, offer to write it on a separate piece of paper so all of your personal information is not available on a single check.

 

What if one of those "pre-approved" credit offers you get in the mail goes to the wrong address? It probably will not cause trouble for you, just let your neighbor know that you are credit worthy. But if you want to clean up the clutter, OptOutPrescreen.com allows you to opt-out of receiving offers of credit or insurance based on your credit information with the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies, Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion. Or call 888-5OPT-OUT (888-567-8688).

  

INTERESTING LAWSUITS OF 2013

 

Gary Cole, an inmate at the Super-Max Federal Prison in Florence, Colorado, has sued Frito-Lay and Taco Bell over the Doritos Locos Taco.

  

Cole claims to have invented the Doritos flavored taco shell. He claims to have described his "invention" in a letter to Janice B. Cole and Keoiana K. Cole which was somehow absconded from the U.S. Mail and presented to Frito-Lay.

  

A copy of Mr. Cole's hand written complaint can be found at http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/complaint.pdf 

 

  

 

Mr. Cole may not find the same success in the Federal Courts as Jerry Flanory. Mr. Flanory has brought suit in the Federal Court in Marquette, Michigan, alleging that his constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment was violated. The prison's misdeed was its failure to provide Mr. Flanory with toothpaste.

 

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Flanory was denied toothpaste in retaliation for his refusal to participate in GED classes (Mr. Flanory has an associate's degree from a community college). He could not afford to buy replacement toothpaste.

 

The Trial Court dismissed the action but it was reinstated by a three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

  

 

Finally, it is not a good year to be an opossum. A Trial Court judge in Wake County, North Carolina, has ruled that dropping an opossum does not constitute animal cruelty.

 

Brasstown, North Carolina, celebrates the New Year with an annual "Possum Drop." It is similar to the Times Square ball drop except they use a live opossum in a box.

 

The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attempted to have the practice banned, but Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour determined that the event could continue on as planned.