Wednesday, February 29

Romney will not get rid of "Obama Care"

Mitt Romney got his narrow win in Michigan Tuesday night, and like we at VUI predicted, Romney touted that narrow win as a great win. But, it was some of the words in his so called victory speech that gave us pause. Romney stated that he would repeal "Obama Care" upon taking office. That is just plain nonsense.

Romney is not alone. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich say the same thing to rally Republican voters. Ron Paul does not, because , frankly, Ron Paul is too honest. Paul knows how Washington works. The others go around beating their chests saying how they will repeal Obama Care, playing to an audience who has no idea that they can not.

Before you get too upset, let's assume Romney beats President Obama and is elected President of the United States. Their are some things to hamper the execution of the Affordable Health Care Act aka Obama Care that then President Romney can do. But repealing it, taking it off the books so to speak, it will not happen.

Here is why. Even if the Republicans have a great year, they get only a narrow control of the United States Senate. If the Republicans walk lock step with a then President Romney to repeal so called Obama Care, they still will not have the votes to stifle a sure filibusterer from the Democrats. All the Democrats need is 40 votes in the Senate to thwart any bill and they will have those votes when it comes to repealing Obama Care. It will be their mantra. They will be ticked at the defeat of Obama, and they will have constituents who demand retribution.

Thus Romney's idea of repealing so called Obama Care is a pipe dream, and an empty campaign promise. It is not going to happen. What will likely happen if Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States is that he will be the "white" Obama. Romney will get the briefings, face the political realities and then act about the same in most things as President Obama, if Romney has the sense of the men who have held the office.

Now before you think we are picking on Romney, remember the rhetoric of Barack Obama in 2008. Then Obama became President. As such he found out Bush was not so stupid on things like GITMO, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other issues. There is something about actually being the President of the United States that makes a man face reality.

As such, if Mitt Romney becomes the President of the United States, he will soon accept so called "Obama Care" because he will realize there is nothing he can really do to repeal it.

Tuesday, February 28

Romney is looking for that win in Michigan

It has been almost twenty years that I was a "stringer" for a local newspaper covering high school football. For those who do not what a stringer is, a stringer is a paid for story sports reporter. On a fall night back in 1992, I had the duty to interview then Dixie High School Head Coach Jim Rich. Rich simply told me about his team's close win that night, "A win ain't a loss." That simple statement stuck with me, and I have used that quote more than once since that night.

When it comes to the Republican Presidential Primary in Michigan, that is what Mitt Romney is facing. Romney and his supporting super PAC have spent millions in Michigan, Romney's home state. Romney has enjoyed a huge financial and organizational advantage from the start of the Republican Presidential Primary season, but Republican voters have not warmed up to him. Romney in some ways seems like the guy who courts the girl with the looks, the job, the family ties, all the right things, except the girl is not in love with him. But, marriages are made of guys like that who somehow keep plugging away for affection. Sure, divorce court is filled with them as well, but at least the guy gets the girl for a little while.

And, Romney just wants the girl, that is the GOP nomination, just for this year. With it, and with President Obama's missteps, Romney can do what his old man could not, become President of the the United States. The irony is, the biggest step to getting that nomination is winning Michigan, where the dad that Romney seems to run away from at times, was Governor. It is a story filled with layers and subplots that one could write about for days on end.

But, the bottom line is this. If Romney gets more votes than Rick Santorum in the Michigan Primary, look for him to use the old Coach Rich mantra, "a win is not a loss," to assure the Republican establishment he is a winner and he is their guy. A victory in Michigan, no matter how narrow, will show Romney is the safe bet for the GOP courtship. It will show, though the GOP is not in love with him, Mitt Romney is a stable suitor, with money, that can provide a shot at beating Obama, what the lady that is the Grand Ole Party really wants.

If Romney fails to win Michigan, then all bets on the relationship with the GOP is off. Santorum might then fancy himself the suitor for the hand of the Republican Party, but he might soon find out that with the rich guy so weak others will pursue the hand themselves. The lonely eyes of the GOP might turn to someone, such as Jeb Bush, or Mitch Daniels, not currently in the race, to take on Obama. As another football coach, the late Bo Schembechler once said, it is now about "Michigan, Michigan, Michigan!"

Saturday, February 25

Medical Health Insurance

Choosing Health Insurance Policies is not as easy as before.When it comes to health insurance, women have special needs. There are so many different health issues that women go through that it is important to find health insurance to cover all of them.
Medical Health Insurance

The first thing to look at is what your company offers. There are so many different options, but the two most common are fee-for-service and managed care. Find out which one is offered to you, and go from there. Different plans can have different providers and services, cost and quality of care.

* Fee-for-Service - In this plan, you go to the doctor of your choice, and they send a bill to the insurance company. You get billed for the rest. Usually, there is a flat fee per year that you must pay before the insurance company will start to cover expenses.
* Managed Care - This is the most common type of plan, and it is broken down into several different categories; Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and Point of Service (POS). With HMOs, as long as you use a doctor or hospital in your network, your out of pocket costs should be minimal. With a PPO, although you might have a larger network from which to choose your doctor, your premium will be higher. With a POS, your plan is similar to a PPO, but your care will be managed by your Primary Care Physician.

Which one you pick will depend upon your health circumstances. For example, if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, you might want to pick a health plan that covers pregnancy, to keep your out of pocket costs down. If you have cancer, you will want to pick one that has good doctors and hospitals in the network. Also, if you already have a doctor whom you love, you might want to make sure that you will be able to see them still with the new health insurance policy that you pick.

There are even a number of government-run resources for women without health insurance. There are community health centers, public hospitals, school-based center, public housing primary care centers, migrant health centers and special needs facilities. Other government sponsored programs include:
* Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, & Children (WIC).
* National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).
* Maternal and Child Health Services.
* Indian Health Service (IHS).
* Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH).

One of the most difficult situations for women is when they make too much money for public government assistance, but not enough to pay for medical care or health insurance. In this case, they might be able to find temporary insurance through their state, or a low-cost health insurance option through a labor union, professional clubs or organization. There are also free clinics and prescription drug assistance. Women who are coping with cancer can find many government sponsored and volunteer organization, and the Ryan White CARE Act gives aid to women with HIV/AIDS who have little or no insurance, and a limited income.

Wednesday, February 22

US Healthcare Reform:Most of the Physicians Oppose it

Healthcare reform is a highly debated topic these days, due to new legislation passed by President Obama late last year. Although the American public seems to be divided in their stance on the reform act, the now majority Republican-controlled House is not its only critic- a recent study cites that many physicians themselves are actually opposed to the reform efforts. 

Among the major points made, physicians polled feel that reform calls for a greater number of healthcare workers, many of whom are not required to earn doctorate-level healthcare degrees like nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

The report recently released by Thomson Reuters and HCPlexus details the results of a national survey which polled nearly 3,000 U.S. physicians on the issue of healthcare reform. The overall consensus can be generalized to say that a majority of physicians feel "frustration and dismay in a time of change."

Of the physicians polled,

65% believe that U.S. healthcare will deteriorate with five years
18% believe it will improve
17% believe it will stay the same

If the healthcare reform act passed by President Obama remains in legislation, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), an estimated 32 million currently uninsured Americans will have will access to healthcare. Physicians participating in the survey report concern over who will treat these new patients. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants will likely begin seeing and treating nearly as many patients as physicians themselves.

According to the report, "physicians overall have a clear frustration with the non-physician providers' compensation, which is comparable to primary care physicians, citing that nurse practitioners and physician assistants are not as well-trained or as educated."

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants do have an education above a bachelor's degree, but are not required to have earned their doctorate from a medical school like a physician. Healthcare degrees of all levels are in high-demand in response to reform efforts, which will require greater numbers of healthcare workers overall, in both an administrative and clinical capacity. Online programs offering advanced healthcare degrees are growing in popularity as a method for working healthcare professionals to earn the additional credentials necessary to qualify for higher-level positions.

Results of the study also claim that a majority of physicians have a similarly cynical view on how healthcare reform will affect patients. Results conclude that:

58% feel the legislation will negatively affect patients
27% feel the effect will be positive

Survey results distinguished responses among physicians of different medical practices, for example, as primary care physicians, or psychiatrists. Of all participating groups, pediatricians and psychiatrists were the most optimistic about the future of healthcare. On the other hand, dermatologists were found to have the most negative outlook; not a single dermatologist polled reported a belief that current healthcare reform efforts would have a positive effect on physicians.

Tuesday, February 21

Coverage For MN Chiropractors-What You, The Savvy Patient, Should Know About Insurance

MN Chiropractors are covered by many insurances, including major medical, medicare, Minnesota No-Fault and Minnesota Worker's Compensation. Space limitation allows me to only cover major medical, Minnesota No-Fault and Medicare coverage here.
Most major medical (your regular health insurance) insurances cover chiropractic services in Minnesota. Two of the major Minnesota health insurers are Medica and Health Partners. Both of these insurers generally cover chiropractic services although the amount of coverage does vary from policy to policy. In the case of Medica and Health Partners chiropractic care is available through two unique networks of chiropractors. Maximum coverage is available only when you are treated by a chiropractor in the insurer's designated network. The list of chiropractors in your insurance carriers network is generally found in your Provider Manual.

Medica and Health Partners will usually cover the following services performed by a chiropractor:

Examinations - the initial examination is required by health insurers and by professional standards in order for the chiropractor to establish a diagnosis. The diagnosis communicates to the insurance company the reason and justification for any additional services provided by the chiropractor. The examination allows the chiropractor to figure out what problem underlies your (the patient's) complaints and / or health issue.
Chiropractic adjustments - adjustments of the spine and joints of the extremities. Adjustments are gentle manipulations of joints made to restore ideal joint function. Adjustments often provide immediate relief of pain. Sequential adjustments (on follow up treatment visits) are needed to retrain normal joint movement. Abnormal joint movement is often the source of local mechanical irritation which underlies joint inflammation and pain. Correcting abnormal joint movement with a series of joint adjustments eliminates the mechanical irritation to the joint and thus the inflammation and pain.
Physiotherapy - numerous additional therapies such as electrical muscle stimulation, traction and other therapeutic activities are used to help promote healing of an area of complaint. For instance electrical muscle stimulation relaxes tight and sore muscles, promotes blood flow to muscles and blocks the sensation of pain locally.
Acupuncture - is used to promote healing and alleviate pain. Using the ancient Chinese principal of chi or vital energy, acupuncture balances energy flows in the body to promote healing.

MinnesotaNo-Fault (Auto):

If your are injured in an automobile accident in Minnesota, you are covered for chiropractic services from the chiropractor of your choosing. This is the law in Minnesota. You are not required to go to a doctor or chiropractor chosen by the insurance company for treatment of your auto accident injuries.

Beware of MinnesotaIME's ("Independent" Medical Examiners):

(However, your insurance carrier can send you to one of their own doctor's on a limited basis. Usually this involves a single visit. Almost universally the auto insurance carrier sends their insured to their doctor-who is euphemistically referred to as an "Independent" Medical Examiner-to refute any injuries that were sustained in an accident. At best, auto insurance companies send their clients to IME's when they want to stop paying for further treatment of the clients injuries. IME's are notorious for overlooking obvious injuries related to the motor vehicle accidents in question. In my 25 years of practice in Minnesota, having seen countless numbers of my patients sent to IME's by insurance companies, I can count on one hand the number of times an IME has acknowledged the obvious injury sustained by a patient, and the need for continued care.)

I personally experienced the truth of what goes on between IME's and insurance companies in Minnesota on one occasion. I had given a presentation to the state wide convention for the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association. My topic was Whiplash Injuries. An insurance adjuster in the audience was impressed by my presentation and later on contacted me. He wanted to send me a patient to examine-my role being one of an IME. After examining the patient I wrote a lengthy report detailing my findings and stating that the patient had definitely sustained injuries in the motor vehicle accident in question, and still needed ongoing care. The adjuster never sent me another patient. (It also took a long time for me to get paid by the insurance company for the work that I did).

MinnesotaNo-Fault insurance covers all of the above services (mentioned under major medical insurance) plus some.

Examinations, chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapy, acupuncture and (in addition) massage are all covered chiropractic services under Minnesota No-Fault. Your chiropractor has to appropriately document your condition and show that the treatments provided are directly related to the injuries that you sustained in a motor vehicle accident. If that is done appropriately, there should be no problem getting your chiropractic services covered.


Medicare is a federally mandated (provided) benefit. But your Medicare benefits are sometimes provided through a local insurance company. In either case, Medicare only covers chiropractic adjustments.

While Medicare will only pay for chiropractic adjustments when you see a chiropractor, the chiropractor is required to do an examination to establish a diagnosis for Medicare. But even though Medicare requires that the chiropractor do an examination to establish a diagnosis, Medicare will not pay for the examination. It is difficult to get this fact across to patients (because it is so illogical). So if you have Medicare and see a chiropractor, expect to pay for an examination on the first visit. Examinations are not covered by your supplemental to Medicare. Your supplemental to Medicare only covers the portion of the chiropractic adjustment that Medicare will not pay for. What?

While I said that Medicare covers chiropractic adjustments, they do not cover 100% of the chiropractic adjustment. They only cover 80% of the adjustment. The other 20% is either your responsibility (out-of-pocket), or if you have supplemental coverage it will cover the remaining portion.

The bottom line on insurance coverage for MN chiropractors is "Yes, they are covered-depending on a number of variables".

It can be very complicated. But the bottom line is that most Minnesota insurances do cover MN chiropractors (to different degrees depending on the type of insurance and your specific policy).

Saturday, February 18

La Casse Noix -- Restaurant Review

Address: 56 Rue de la Federation
Nearest transport: Dupleix (ligne 6)
Hours: Closed Saturdays and Sundays
Reservations: recommended
Telephone: 01 45 66 09 01

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; $$$$ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on plats--main course)

1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

  5 - Stars............................................. (Pre-fix menu)............................................2 - Bell

I have family visiting from the U.S. and I wanted to show them a part of Paris that most tourist don’t see, such as the 15eme.  I wanted them to experience a neighborhood restaurant where real “Parisians” go  and tourists very rarely venture to. So, my good friend Marie from the "French Market Maven" suggested we go to "Le Casse Noix”, also recommended by my good friend John Talbott.

We entered this small, but very cozy restaurant. We were 6 and they gave us a nice round table in the center of the restaurants. The servers were very friendly and cheery.  Almost immediately, they gave us a creamy liver paté with some bread. We then started off with apéros while we perused the menu.

They have a prefix (entrée, plat, déssert) menu for 32€ (and apparently nothing à la carte). You choose among 3-entrées, 3-plats, and 5 desserts on the clipboard, and if you didn’t like anything on the prefix menu, you could also select from choices written on a blackboard, which gave you an additional choice of 4-entrées, 6-plats, and 3-desserts, mix and match. So, let’s just say you have a lot of choices.

For entrées, we all tasted each others dishes.  We started with “soupe crémeuse de panais, châtaignes et lard fumé” (creamy soup of parsnips, chestnuts and smoked bacon).  When it first arrived, we thought how strange, it looks like they forgot the broth, but our fears of a dry soup were allayed as the server came with a pitcher of creamy broth, and delicately poured it into the bowl.  The combination of the parsnips which were julienne'd  and the creamy chestnuts and smoked bacon just worked so well together. We practically licked the bowl dry.

Next we tasted the “pressé de joues de cochon et foie gras crème raifort et salade” (pressed pork cheeks and foie gras salad and horseradish cream). My favorite part of the pork are the cheeks, because I find them extremely flavorful and tender.  We agreed that this was an excellent dish.  There were some actual cheek skins folded into the mix, but I liked the different textures. And, although the horseradish was very subtle, it did give a nice counter-balance.

Two more to taste. Next we had the “noix de saint-jacques poêlées, fondue de poireaux et tuiles aux épices” (nuts of fried Saint-Jacques, leeks and spiced tuiles). It was a simple dish packed with lots of flavor, especially the little tuile cracker. 

Finally, we tasted the “coques au spec et piment d'espelette, façon marinière” (cockles and chilies with spec and a house marinate). Normally, I find cockles a bit rubbery, sometimes I feel like I’m eating rubber bands. Whatever the Chef did, praise be to him, it was delicious and pretty tender for cockles. It did have a little “bite” but very suble, would definitely have this dish again. 

Onto our main courses.  We had the “pavé de merlu rôti au piment d'espelette, julienne de légumes, émulsion d'une béarnaise” (roasted hake steak espelette pepper, julienned vegetables, and a béarnaise emulsion). What can I say except the fish was cooked perfectly. The skin was nice and crisp while the meat was so tender it almost melted in your mouth.  Since the fish was the main attraction I almost forgot about the vegetables, but the béarnaise sauce was a perfect accompaniment.

Next we tasted the, “poitrine de cochon Ibaïona à la plancha risotta de coquilette comme une carbo” (pork belly Ibaïona pan seared with risotta of minature elbow pasta). Although this dish was extremely tasty, I found it too salty. However, my friend Marie said take a sip of the red wine afterwards and you’ll see the saltiness blends well with the wine. I did, and it did; however, I still found it too salty for my liking. Actually, truth be told, most pork dishes in France are associated with heavy salting, probably to help tenderize the meat. My dish came with an additional side of little minature macaroni, almost like mac/cheese, but without the heavy cheese.

And, one person had “hamburger de Saumon” (tartare of salmon sandwiched between minature pancakes).  This was actually an appetizer off the menu, and I was surprised, because it was a meal.  The salmon was excellent. Cold raw dishes need to be highly seasoned, and it was seasoned perfectly.

Next we tasted the "Rouelle de cuisse de pintade farcie, cuisinée de chous" (fillet of guinea fowl stuffed thighs cooked in cabbage). What a beautiful dish. And, it tasted as good as it looked. Lots of different flavors that really complimented each other quite well.  It also had alot of textural components which tickled all your senses.

Everything thus far has been excellent.  Now onto desserts.

As usual, I opted for the “”assiette de fromages: brebis, vache et chèvre”, a cheese plate. Although they didn’t specify what type of brebis, vache etc., they were all very good choices, served with a “citrusy salad” and cherry sweet preserves.

Now the sweets.  Marie had the “île flottante” (floating island), a meringue dessert floating on a sea of creamy goodness.  She said it was extremely light, flavorful and tasty.  Jack said it looked more like a 'continent' than an 'isle'

Two others had the “cheese-cake parfumé à l'ananas, gelée fruits de la passion” (cheesecake flavored with pineapple, passion fruit jelly). The wait staff told us it was not a cooked dish. The cheesecake is more of a French interpretation of our cheesecake, probably made with St. Moret cheese (French cream cheese). Both said it was delicious.

Two others had the “tarte au chocolat et glace à fève de tonka” (chocolate cake and ice cream made with "tonka" bean).  You would think this desserts sounds heavy, but it was wasn’t, the proportions were just right. The chocolate was very flavorful. More of a milk chocolate rather than a bitter sweet. And, the home-made ice cream with the tonka bean flavoring (similar to vanilla) was the perfect accompaniment.

As we were eating dessert, the server came out with a basket of walnuts and a nutcracker, which is basically the name of this restaurant, their signature logo, so to speak. 

In summary: What a great restaurant. Lately, there’s been a lot of discussion on “service issues” in Paris, e.g., just getting a reservation is impossible. Although bad service exists, and even at some of the more popular "favorite of the season" places, I’m a strong believer that a wonderful dining experience starts from the time you make your reservations to the time you leave.  And, this restaurant delivered just that, a wonderful overall dining experience. 

Chef Pierre Olivier Lenormand definitely has a following, and I can see why. The Chef came out to talk to us, and we thanked and praised him for the wonderful meal we had.  It is such a nice, cozy restaurant with excellent food. Our meal came to about 47€ per person with a a Basque red wine, Irouléguy Arretxea for 32€ and house white for 20€.  This is a great deal for the city.

Would I go back? In a heart beat, in fact I may just take residence there. Although, I’d like to keep this restaurant for myself, I’m all about sharing.  I’m already planning an outing with some friends visiting from the US next week. This is the type of restaurant that we need to support, and by doing so sending a message to other restaurants that have bad attitude because they’re so in demand, we have good choices!

Friday, February 17

Health care reform,Five Most Important facts.

It's time to tune out the misinformation mission when it comes to health care reform. The political battle is over and President Obama and the Democratic party won. Health care reform is now the law of the land. The important thing now is that all Americans become informed about what this actually means for them and that's what this article aims to do with these five facts.

Fact #1: More Medicare Benefits

A big part of the Republican party's fear campaign on this bill was that it would cut Medicare benefits for seniors (and of course there was the "death panel" lie but that's too ridiculous to even consider.) The truth is actually the opposite. Because of this bill people on Medicare will have access to new benefits.

There will be an immediate $250 rebate for those who hit the "Donut Hole" this year and beginning next year there will be a 50% discount on all name brands in the "Donut Hole." By 2020 it will be closed entirely.

But that's not the only benefit, another big one is that beginning next year there will be no more co-pays for any preventative care visits! This will enable seniors to go to the doctor without having to worry about what it costs them because it will be free.

The bill also "balances the books" for Medicare through at least 2026.

Fact #2: This Bill Cuts The Deficit

Not only is this bill paid for, it actually cuts the deficit. It cuts the deficit by 130 billion dollars over the next 10 years and most impressively it cuts it by 1.3 trillion dollars over the next 20 years.

Fact #3: It's The Biggest Tax Cut For Small Businesses In History

Yes. You read that correctly. Available immediately will be new tax credits which will pay up to 35% of the health insurance costs of employees. By 2014 that number will be up to 50%. This will be a huge tax cut for small businesses so when the Republicans are running against this bill they are running for a huge tax increase on small businesses.

Fact #4: Denying Coverage Due To "Pre-Existing Conditions" Is Made Illegal

Because of this bill it will be illegal for health insurance companies to deny coverage to children due to pre-existing conditions as of September (6 months after the bill became law.) In 2014 this law will go into place for adults too.

Prior to this bill, it was entirely legal for a health insurance company to deny coverage to a newborn baby with a "pre existing condition." When the Republicans are running for repeal they are running for making that legal again.

Fact #5: 32 Million More Americans Will Get Health Care Coverage Because Of This Bill

Those running for repeal are running to kick 32 million of our fellow Americans to the curb regardless of how sick they are. That is truly "Anti-American."

Health Care Reform may have been scary (due to Republican lies about it) to some people in the abstract, but in reality it will be a huge positive for the vast majority of Americans. The Republican party deserves to be held accountable for the lies they told about health care reform. They put their party ahead of the American people and that's unacceptable.

Health Care Reform-Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance

MEDICARE and MEDICAID are both like the backbone of the US health system.Both have there own benefits and drawbacks with respect to age limit.There has been much chatter and concern about the new health care laws. You yourself may be wondering how the Affordable Care act will affect you and your Medicare Benefits.
It will please you to know that the new law will not cut your Basic benefits. In fact, it will actually make some benefits better. The free annual wellness checkup is a good example of this. Starting 2011, your annual checkup and certain preventative screenings, like cancer and diabetes will be provided at no cost.

The new law will work towards better care when you do get sick by investing in testing ways to improve coordination between providers for patients with chronic conditions who see multiple providers.

What if you are hospitalized? Money talks and Hospitals will receive incentives to make sure that you get the education to take good care of yourself and the services you need in your community. This will help facilitate a successful return home. It will also help you avoid returning to the hospital.

What about drug coverage? Good news there as well. For those of us on multiple, costly prescription drugs, the Part D donut hole looms large. The law started affecting Medicare Part D in 2010 with the $250 rebate for those who went into the coverage gap on their drug plan. In 2011 you will receive a 50% discount on name brand drugs during the coverage gap.

Over the next nine years the donut hole will be closed little by little each year. By 2020 there will be no more coverage gap.

The law also addresses the issue of Medicare spending. Medicare spending is growing at a rate of 6.8% per year. The new law will not stop the growth but will slow it down over the next ten years to 5.5%. This sounds small but it is projected to save Medicare over 400 billion dollars over the next 10 years. How will this be accomplished?

Starting this year the law will reduce payment increases to providers such as hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies. These providers expect to see increased profit due to newly insured patients. Many have agreed to accept these payments. The law will also have an effect on Medicare funding of Advantage Plans. While the Advantage Plans initially were expected to save Medicare money, it turns out that these plans actually cost Medicare over $1,100 more per person than original medicare. Higher premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries pay for this over payment. The new law will lower these payments over time to bring the costs more in line with original Medicare.

If you are one of the 25% of all seniors enrolled in these plans,the decreases in funding may affect you in several ways. You may find that your plan increases premiums, eliminates extra benefits like eye glasses. You may even find that your plan stops offering Medicare coverage entirely. You can rest assured however. The MA plans can not eliminate any of the benefits that Medicare gives, only the extra benefits can be affected and if you lose your plan you will have the right to switch to another plan or back to original Medicare. The new law will not cause you to lose your basic Medicare benefits.

New revenues are also expected, mostly from taxes assessed on tax payers with incomes of $200K and up. These new revenues combined with the savings are expected to reduce the deficit by $124 billion over the next 10 years and keep the Medicare Trust Fund viable for an additional nine years.

These are just a few of the highlights. A look at the upside of the Affordable Care Act.

Stephanie Coutavas is an Insurance Professional specializing in Senior Insurance Solutions and Medicare Insurance. Co- founder and Senior Broker at Sense Insurance Solutions Group. Stephanie decided to specialize in Medicare because, "I saw the effects of the confusion and misinformation in the senior market. I really feel that with the proper,correct information, presented in an understandable way that our Seniors can position themselves for the future and achieve the peace of mind and security that they deserve at this exciting stage of life. We strive one client at a time to make sure that we address the individual and that they are better for having met us, regardless of whether they choose us as their broker."

Wednesday, February 15

Thank you Coach John McKissick

Summerville Head Football Coach John McKissick will not be roaming the sidelines in the Fall of 2012. He is retiring from his post after 60 years at it. McKissick was recently named the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Award winner, an award long overdue. McKissick has been already awarded and enshrined in various Halls of Fame, but it was nice to see the NFL honor him during Super Bowl week.
Indeed, a life like McKissicks is hard to measure. First, there is the longevity. For sixty years, McKissick coached Summerville High Football. He started when Harry Truman was in the White House. He coached Summerville through wars, economic downturns and 12 Presidents. Coach McKissick coached the game in the midst of great social changes. He coached Summerville as a small 1-A rural school through its growth to a suburban Big 16 school. He influenced literally thousands of people for the better.

Along the way McKissick won, and won a lot. The record speaks for itself. McKissick went 594-143-13 over his sixty years. No coach, at any level of football, has ever won so many games. McKissick also won ten state championships. He won state championships in five different decades, and led his team to the playoffs to contend for state championships in seven different decades. McKissick won at different divisions as Summerville grew. He won numerous region championships.

But, most importantly, John McKissick won with class. There was never a hint of scandal around his program. He spent sixty years teaching young folks that doing the right things and winning the right way pays off. For that, we at VUI, not only as lovers and coaches of the game of football, but as South Carolinians, say “thank you John McKissick.” You showed that a guy, who graduated from Kingstree High and Presbyterian College, can show the nation that doing the right things can win and can work.

We will miss Coach McKissick this Fall. But, Coach McKissick’s legacy will go on through the players and coaches that worked with him. This state should be proud that John McKissick is from it.

Monday, February 13

La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix--Restaurant Review

La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix logo
Address: 53 boulevard de Grenelle, 75015
Nearest transport: Dupleix (6)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Not accepted
Telephone: 01 45 75 98 00

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; $$$$ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on plats--main course)

1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

  4 - Stars............................................. (a la carte)............................................3 - Bell
This restaurant has only been open for little more than a week.  As a general rule, I don't go to new restaurants, but made an exception. Our friend Mary, who is visiting from the U.S. and with her limited availability, we were able to set a date for dinner with friends, but dinner would have to be on a Sunday night.  For the uninitiated, Sunday night dinner out in Paris for a “good” meal is like looking for a needle in a haystack. So, I went to my favorite “go to” place, "Paris by Mouth"  which lead me to "John Talbott's Paris"  review,  who I trust explicitly and to my surprise John recently went to La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix and highly recommended it.

Fancy napkins with their logo

The restaurant does not take reservations, so we decided we’ll show up at 7:30 pm and hope for the best.  The Restaurant is literally a block away from Metro Dupleix (line 6) in our own neighborhood. We notice as we got closer that it was pretty crowded and our other friends were already waiting. Fortunately, they already told the wait staff that there would be six of us and they were able to secure a table for us.

The restaurant is quite tight, there’s an area for coffee and apéros, than they have a long restaurant area which dead-ends to their kitchen.  You can actually watch the Chefs prepare your meal. So, it was good to know that I didn’t see any frozen packages being re-heated.

With the exception of Just Jack who had beer, we all started with a kir.  We perused the menu, to me it was quite confusing. Some seemed more like appetizers rather than plats and also the reverse. I think the intent was to give the restaurant a more “tapas” atmosphere.  Oh well, it just confused me and the waiter couldn’t really explain to us the differences. 

Afterwards, our waiter came and told me that 2-items on the menu were no longer available.  He sort of seemed young and inexperienced, and it dawned on me it is a relatively new restaurant.  First he went around and asked us for our entrée order, and it turned out several items were also not available such as the “couteaux à la plancha" (razor clams) that I was so looking forward to, oh well.  So, we had to rethink our orders.  Then as we proceeded to give him our “plat” order, turned out that they were also out of more dishes such as the cabillaud, but fortunately Steve who ordered it was able to replace with a espadon (swordfish).

So, we concluded that Sunday night probably wasn’t a good night to go. Regardless, we were excited to try the dishes they did had:

Oreilles de cochon grillées

Marie had the Oreilles de cochon grilles (grilled pigs ears). Those of us who like pigs ears tasted it and it  was delicious, served over a bed of greens with a little citrus in the salad to cut out some of the fat.  The meat and cartilage was quite tender. The cartilage lends itself to creating a sort of gelatin effect, but in no way made it gelatinous.  A hit.

Salade de St-Jacques

I ordered the Salade de St-Jacques, parmesan. It was a very, very simple dish of pan seared scallops with a nice accompanying salad.  It didn’t wow me, and it was nothing out of the ordinary, but it was good and well executed.

Terrine de boudin

Jack had the Terrine de boudin, although the name implied that it’s a form of blood sausage it didn’t have the familiar strong flavors of a traditional boudin.  Jack actually found this entrée quite boring and uninspiring. I liked it, since I would find the traditional boudin too heavy for a first course, and this seemed a little lighter.

Mary and Steve ordered the “crevettes à la plancha” this seemed to be the big entrée hit of the night.  It was DELICIOUS.  It was coated in a nice flavorful oil, not spicy. Although it was “à leur façon” (their way), my guess is that it was quickly sautéed in “piment d'espelette” a typical basque pepper used in that area. 

Crevettes à la plancha

Remoulade de céleri, gambas

Davis had the “Remoulade de céleri, gambas” she loved the dish and those were not just gambas, they were the size of chicken wings.  For some, the head is quite tasty and can taste like the “mustard" or "tamale” found in crabs or lobsters. It’s not for everyone, it was definitely a strong, strong flavor, but I loved it.

Onto our plats:

Chou farci pied de couchon
Marie and I had the “Chou farci, pied de cochon” (pigs trotters stuffed in a cabbage leaf). We loved this dish. The trotters were deboned, which made it easier to eat. The meat was quite tender, and not at all “rubbery” which can sometimes happen if not cooked well. Pigs trotters are not for everyone because the textures can be strange for some, but we thought it was not only delicious but well executed.

Tartare de saumon

Just Jack had the “tartare de saumon vinaigrette d'agrumes” (salmon tartare with citrus vinaigrette.  He felt the same way I felt about my entrée. It was good, it didn’t wow him, but it was good, well executed dish.

St. Jacques céleri

Davis and Mary had the “St. Jacques, céleri” (scallops on a bed of puréed celeriac).  Davis liked the dish, since she’s a big scallop fan, and the puréed celeriac was good, but she thought it was lacking texture.  We all agreed it could’ve used another layer like a few watercress or maybe even some greens.  But overall, it was a good dish.

Steve had the “espadon” (swordfish). It was a very good dish. I found the tomatoes a bit on the tart side and felt it could have used maybe a pinch of sugar to tone down the acidity; however, Jack, Marie and Steve liked the little tartness of the tomatoes. Steve did think there was too much of it and overwhelmed the fish. 
We had heard that their fries were really good, so we ordered a large plate of it to share; unfortunately, the fries came as we were finishing up our meals, oh well.

Onto desserts:

Fromage des Pyrénées, configure de cerises noire

I had the “fromage des Pyrénées, confiture de cerises noire” (cheese from the pyrénées with cherry preserves). I am a big fan of a semi-hard cheese a little on the salty side with jam or preserves, so this was a hit for me.

Davis had the “Clafoutis ananas” (pineapple clafouti). It was not at all what she nor I expected. It was more like a brulée with pineapples than a true clafoutis. If it was called a brulées ananas, then I would have said it was excellent and delicious. But a a clafouti, I think not! (Note: I forgot take a photo of this dessert)

Gâteaux Basque

Just Jack ordered “gâteaux Basque” (Basque cake) which can be made with either pastry cream, cherries or with both.  In Jack’s he had cherries, it tasted more like a clafoutis.  In fact, Jack thought it tasted more like a cherry pie with a lot ofbeurre salé” (salted butter caramel). And, he said the crust was a little on the stale side. He was not a fan of this dessert.

Riz au lait
Mary and Steve had the “riz au lait” (rice pudding with a little cake).  The both liked their dessert; however, on the one hand Mary thought that the pudding could have been a tad sweeter.  Both like the accompanying “buerre sale.”

Bol de fruits

Marie had the fruit salad with an accompanying cake.  Marie thought the fruit dessert was a perfect ending to her meal. And, it looked like there was a lot of it.


In summary:

It’s a neighborhood restaurant, and lucky us it's in our "quartier."  One out of six of us thought the food average, while five of us thought the food was excellent. It was a good deal for the money.  With apéros, 3-courses, and 2-bottle of house wines at 20€ each, we paid 44€ a person. 

It has only been open for a little more than a week, considering this, they're doing an excellent job.  I'm confident they'll work out some of the kinks, especially their service.  

We all agreed we would definitely go back, and for me I'd go back just for the shrimps, but probably not on a Sunday night, since week-end deliveries are non-existent, so your choices will be limited. 

Chapeau to Chef Christian Etchebes!

Sunday, February 12

Medicare advantages and What was original medicare.

Original Medicare is a safety net, but does not pay 100% of charges incurred for covered services. In addition, Medicare doesn't offer coverage for other services such as routine dental, hearing and vision. Cost sharing with original Medicare includes hospital deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance for outpatient services. Medicare beneficiaries often say that they just cannot afford the 20% that Medicare does not pay. Of course they are referring to the outpatient co-insurance.

When comparing these two options, Medicare Part C offer:
  • Co-pays for many covered services, such as doctor's visits, testing and emergency room visits.
  • Part D drug coverage is often included in a Plan C, potentially resulting in some cost savings.
  • Advantage Plans often include coverage for additional services not covered by Medicare, such as; dental, vision, hearing and sometimes even health club memberships.
  • Some people with special needs may find Advantage Plans more focused on their individual situation.
  • Advantage Plans offer beneficiaries an annual maximum out-of-pocket amount. With Medicare your amount of cost sharing is not capped on an annual basis and with an Advantage plan, if you reach a certain thresh hold, you will have your costs covered 100% for covered services.
Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare supplement insurance :
Medicare supplement insurance policies have been around for about 40 years. As you know, an insurance company receives a premium in return for filling in the gaps that original Medicare does not pay on covered services.
Not everyone can qualify for a Medicare supplement and an Advantage Plan may be the solution. Reasons a supplement may not be feasible include:
  • The premiums for a supplement are not affordable.
  • The beneficiary is dual eligible, qualifying for both Medicare and Medicaid, and as such, doesn't qualify for a supplement.
  • The beneficiary may have missed the guaranteed enrollment period for a supplement and cannot qualify medically due to the policies underwriting requirements.
Medicare Advantage vs. employer group insurance :
Many people who become eligible for Medicare are able to maintain coverage through the former employer or are still employed. Having insurance in this situation is often seen as a benefit in return for the years of service with that employer.
Often, those eligible for coverage will opt out and choose an Part C. Some reasons for doing so may include:
  • The premiums required for the employer plan are not affordable.
  • Deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance may be considerably more than what could be had with an Advantage Plan.
  • The employers plan does not offer coverage as comprehensive as an Advantage Plan,
  • The employers plan may be restrictive in its network and not meet the needs of the retiree who wants more flexibility.
  • The beneficiary may find that due to the employer's volatility in the current economic climate, it's uncertain for how long the benefit will be available and the beneficiary wants some certainty.
It's your choice
There are many reasons that you may choose an Advantage Plan over other options available. Ultimately, you need to weigh your options, and armed with knowledge make your best choice.

Saturday, February 11


Medicaid have both good aspects as well as bad aspects.First we look at the good ones and than moves on to the drawbacks.
Advantages :
Medicaid has a number of positive aspects to persons with low incomes, as well as to people with the inability to acquire medical insurance on their own and having a hard time getting medicaid doctors. Several states present Medicaid at no cost to the individual or persons on the medical program. You have no deductibles to pay towards or co-payments at the doctor's office. If you are sick and require surgery you don't have to worry about high medical bills.
Young kids benefit essentially the most from Medicaid; most states give one of the most rewards for young kids. Parents can ensure their young youngsters have every and every will need met medically. Youngsters get cost-free dental exams twice yearly and preventive care for their teeth. If a child wants a root canal, or a cavity filled it can be covered at no extra cost to the parent. Kids also can get eye exams, and glasses under Medicaid. They can just get the medicaid doctors they want.

Drawbacks of Medicaid :

Medicaid isn't for just about every person; you should meet particular requirements set by the federal government and state. The application process is lengthy, and tedious also as highly individual. It is best to report every single small factor of value that you or any person you live with owns, or any money you've. Depending on the state the approval procedure can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months leaving you with no coverage.

It could be difficult to get a physician who takes Medicaid that isn't a primary care physician. Dental clinics will commonly be over crowded and not family members practices. They'll not allow parents to go back and be with their youngsters within the course of routine exams, or if any procedures have to have to be performed.

Medicaid covers your prescription medications, but it varies by state as to just just how much you pay. Some states will cover all but numerous dollars, and some will charge absolutely absolutely nothing at all for your medications. An excellent deal of states have implemented a policy to limit the amount of prescription medications you may be allowed.

Medicaid is a great program that does have its draw backs and positive aspects, and is superior than no coverage. A whole lot of men and women rely on this program to acquire the medical attention they or their young children need to survive. Also as they are able to just get the medicaid doctors they require.

Jerry Peace is in real political trouble

Eighth Circuit Solicitor Jerry Peace has had his detractors over his years in office. WSPA television reported on how Peace’s office moved along DUI cases in a dishonorable way. Various groups have had a problem with how he deals with other crimes. Some even contend that Peace and his office play favorites with clients of certain attorneys in the circuit. There are rumors of law enforcement being disgruntled at how Peace does things.
So, it is no shock that Peace finds himself opposed for re-election. Ben Shealy was the first to step up to run against Jerry Peace for the Republican nomination for Solicitor of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, which includes Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry counties. But, it was the entrance of David Stumbo that made the race one to watch.
Stumbo, who is a native of the area, is a man with true law enforcement experience, in that he worked for two Attorneys General and for legendary Solicitor Donnie Meyers in Lexington County. Stumbo is not only a man who has put criminals away; he has taught other prosecutors how to do the same.
Stumbo comes across as a man sort of sick of what he sees going on in his home area and willing to move back and stand up to set it right. That takes real guts and a real commitment to do what is right.
That sort of commitment to do what is right, no matter what attorney is offended, seems to have been lost over the last seven years of the reign of Jerry Peace in the Eighth Circuit. The entrance of a guy like Stumbo in the race is refreshing for folks in that area who want someone who prosecutes for justice and knows how to do it.
Indeed, Stumbo’s decision to move back home and challenge the controversial reign of Jerry Peace makes the Eighth Solicitor’s race one to watch. It is a classic race. An entrenched incumbent, beset by rumors of impropriety, is pitted against a man who came back home bent on setting things right. Such a scenario is not a liberal or conservative affair. It is shaping up as a battle of what is right versus what is wrong. And, those in the know know that Mr. Stumbo is on the side of right and that Mr. Peace is the symbol of what is wrong in law enforcement in Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens and Newberry counties.
Make no mistake, there are very well placed interests who want to keep Peace in his job. But, Stumbo presents a challenge like no other. Though they will not officially say so, there are real people with influence who are tired of Mr. Peace and how Mr. Peace does things. Mr. Stumbo, with his resume and earnest efforts, gives such folks a real choice in the Republican primary. They can either quietly or openly support a candidate who will actually do justice. As such, the antics of Jerry Peace have landed him in real political trouble. It is such a trouble that VUI sees Mr. Stumbo being sworn in as the Solicitor of the Eighth Circuit when all is said and done.

Friday, February 10

Medicare and Medicaid

MEDICARE AND MEDICAID are both the backbone of health in USA.Most of the people residing outside USA are not aware of this term.When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid lets start with some important distinctions.I hate to be basic, but I want to make sure that we understand the difference. Medicare is a national Social Security program while Medicaid is a state-run governmental program. Currently, most people receive Medicare benefits when they turn 65 years old. You can also receive Medicare benefits after 24 months of disability.Your current assets and income have nothing to do with Medicare eligibility, and everything to do with Medicaid. You can have Medicare without Medicaid, Medicaid without Medicare, and you can have both Medicare and Medicaid. I'm going to deal here with the last combination of Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare Benefits Combined with Medicaid Benefits
There are several levels of Medicaid depending on your state of residence as well as your income and assets. Medicaid helps pay some or all of the costs that Medicare does not pay. How much depends on the level of Medicaid assistance that you are receiving. In order to take advantage of both Medicare and Medicaid, you will have to use providers that will accept and file both. This is becoming more and more difficult as fewer providers are taking Medicaid now. The reason is that Medicaid pays a fraction of what Medicare and other insurances pay to the provider. Many Medicare and Medicaid recipients that were receiving care at no costs are starting to receive bills that they can not afford. This is why they are starting to look for other alternatives which they can use.

Do Medicare Advantage Programs Make Sense for People With Medicare and Medicaid?

There are Medicare Advantage programs that work with both Medicare and Medicaid. The important thing here is to make sure that you are joining a plan that is designed to work with both Medicare and Medicaid. If you don't you could end up receiving less benefits than what you currently have. One well-known company that offers these programs is Wellcare. Wellcare offers different programs depending on the level of Medicaid coverage that you qualify for. The advantage to these programs is more provider options as well as additional benefits such as dental, vision, and even transportation. Just make sure that you sign up on the right one. TIP: An easy way to get on to Medicaid is to apply for LIS which stands for Low Income Subsidy. When you do this, Social Security will send the information to the state to see if you qualify for assistance.

Albion -- Restaurant review

Albion's extensive wines
Address: 80 rue du faubourg poissonière, 75010
Nearest transport: Métro Poissonière (ligne 7)
Hours: Open lunch/dinner Tuesday-Friday
           Saturday dinner only
Reservations: recommended
Telephone: 01 42 46 02 44

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; $$$$ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on plats--main course)

1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

  4 - Stars............................................. (a la carte)............................................2 - Bell

At the suggestion of a good friend, we went to Albion in the 10eme.  Hayden Clout and Matt Ong are both graduates of the “Fish la Boissonnerie,” a restaurant where I’ve been to a couple of times and have thoroughly enjoyed. .

Nice window frame into the kitchen

My first impression when you walk in, by Parisian standards it is a fairly large restaurant with tall ceilings and big windows along the side that gave it an even larger feel. As you enter there is a large bar to the right and a large wall of different wines along the left side of the walls, which by the way, you can purchase.  And, straight ahead was a short of peek-a-boo large pass-through window where you can see into the kitchen.

It was a cold day in Paris, and we got a table in the middle front of the restaurant close to the door. Not a bad table, but a bit on the drafty side.  We asked Hayden if we could switch tables as soon as one became available.  He accommodated our needs as one became available. .

Hayden is very, very nice and affable. Turns out he’s from Auckland, New Zealand. I mentioned to him I spent almost a month there, and in fact I have family in Christchurch. We chatted a little bit about the beauty of his country and the recent earthquake. And, then we progressed to a discussion of wines.  It felt like I was talking to a friend who I’ve known for years.

As we perused the menu, I noticed its simplicity.  They had a selection of 3-entrées, 4-plats, 1 cheese plate, and 2 desserts.  The menu changes occasionally.  Since Hayden knows his wines, we left the wine selection to his discretion, pairing it with dishes we ordered. I had a special request though, both had to be white, since although I love red wine, I cannot drink it for health reasons.

What immediately caught my eye was the entrée of “velouté à l'ail, palourdes, huile au curry,”(a creamy garlic soup with cherry neck clams in a curried infused oil).  It’s a personal thing, but I do not like foamy soups, but once I dug in and tasted it, I was in seventh heaven.  The soup was delicious. The chef definitely knew how to take out the acidity of the garlic and made it quite smooth.  I would venture to guess that he slow roasted the garlic first.  The curry infused oil was not shy, you could definitely taste the turmeric.  With our first course, we were served a glass of “Domaine de Villargeau.” It was a great pairing. The wine was a dry wine with enough acidity to balance out our creamy soup.

For our plat, my friend Marie got the “margret et confit de canard, purée de carrottes aux amandes, purée d'herbs,” (duck breast confit with a puree of carrots with almonds and pureed herbs).  Marie said the duck was delicious. At first we thought the pureed greens were spinach, because it was a dark, dark, green color, but it turned out they were herbs.  Not really sure what herbs though since there wasn’t one strong flavor.  Carrots were delicious, but not as warm as the rest of the plate.

I had the “foie de veau poêlé, purée de pommes de terre, sauce citron vert.” (liver pan cooked with mashed potatoes and a green lime sauce).  The liver was delicious, sliced very thinly and cooked perfectly.  The juxtaposition of the potatoes with the citrus was a nice “ying-yang” for the dish.  And, it was topped with a bacon strip, who wouldn't like that? Interestingly enough though, the citron sauce was a deep purple color and had a little cooked down grape size fruit, I’m thinking maybe currants? hence, the purple color, but I forgot to ask.  So, this dish was also a hit.

For our plats, Marie had a red wine “Saint Cosme, Cotes-du-Rhone.” I had a little sip of it and have to say it was a really nice wine. Not too heavy and not too light, so it was a good accompaniment to her duck. I had a white from Rousillon. It was a smooth, “wet” wine, but not sweet. It’s the kind of wine that would be great to drink just because you're thirsty.   

NOTE:  I’m not a wine connoisseur by any means, but I prefer dry over sweet and can go from acidic to “wet.”

We opted, since we were quite full, to share the cheese plate. Marie fell in love with the “branston pickles” which we were told was their chutney. I’m sure if they bottled it, Marie would’ve bought a dozen.  The cheeses were good.  What surprised us even more was that one of the cheeses was an “aged-cheddar.”  It just so happened it was my favorite cheese.

In summary: what a great find.  What’s even more shocking is that the restaurant has only been open for 10-weeks.  I asked Hayden how they were able to make it run so smoothly in such a relatively short period. He told us that since he and Matt worked together at “Fish” for the past 10-years, like a marriage they were well tuned and in sync, with running the “front of the house, and the kitchen.”

Our bill for 2-entrées, 2-plats, and 1-shared cheese plate, with 2-glasses each of great wine came to 40€ each. Before we left, we purchased some of the wines we drank. 

Chapeau to Hayden and Matt.  They don't have a "big" choice menu, I would have liked maybe a few more choices, but what they do have is executed well.  I would highly recommend this restaurant, in fact we’re going back next week and introducing it to some more friends!

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