February 24th, 2010

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Blogs Yesterday's News? Maybe.

Chris Bowers on Pew survey showing rise of social network sites over blogs. Not sure if I'm as worried about the long term trend here as Chris. I've argued for years our metrics on political impacts of social networking are poor and suffer from the fact that certain data (such as the number of followers) is more easily collected than other data (general discussion topics). Hopefully, data collection will become more sophisticated. My theory is that social network discussions are the future "kitchen table" discussions that actually shape voter behavior.
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I Switched Doctors and Now I Am A Woman

And, according to my insurance company, I have been since October 2009, when my company switched our coverage (same carrier).

I switched doctors, and today was my new appointment. I did not expect them to give a free sex change with the initial appointment, but it was a lot less of a hassle than my transgendered friends had previously indicated. The first indication was when the administrative assistant said that my insurance claim was rejected because I was the wrong gender.

So I spoke to the nice representative of Carefirst on the phone with my new doctor's office. She confirmed that (a) the policy is active, (b) the policy holder is, indeed, Harold Feld, with my social security #, birthdate, etc. But the Harold Feld employed by Public Knowledge, with the birthday of 2/25/1967, residing at 8917 2nd Ave, etc. is -- according to their computer -- "female." Since the Harold Feld with everything else identical at the doctor checked the box at the doctor saying "male," they are denying coverage. No, the admin person cannot correct it. My employer must correct it. No, it is not her job to notice that "Harold" is not a typical female name, or that my voice is rather deep. If any field does not agree, they deny coverage and I must go through the appeals process.

All I can say is this is precisely the sort of discrimination we women have faced since October 2009, when I became one. I'm also happy Becky and I were married in MA.

Happily, I am not immediately discommoded by this, as the doctor had _already_ seen me. But I will need to straighten it out before getting my prescriptions filled and lab tests.

But it is definitely the oddest birthday present anyone ever gave me. I feel bad I missed out on nursing Aaron.