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AARP Cheat Sheet: Friday, December 10

(AARP CEO Barry Rand with Dr. Maya Angelou at AARP’s Inspire Awards last night. Dr. Maya Angelou is the 2011 recipient of the Andrus Award, given to an individual who embodies the principles of AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. Photo by Tammy Gordon.)
Medicare “doc fix” is patched again – this time until the end of next year: “The House gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that would avert a 25% cut in Medicare payments to doctors by freezing reimbursement rates at current levels until the end of next year ”
“The USPS’s problems are well known: More customers are paying bills online and choosing FedEx (FDX) and United Parcel Service (UPS) to send overnight packages. Labor and retiree health-care costs are exploding: The service has a $50 billion obligation to its retiree health fund and is in a dispute with Congress about who should pay that balance. When the USPS reported a record annual loss of $8.5 billion last month, Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who will chair the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, warned that the Postal Service must trim costs to match revenues so ‘taxpayers don’t get stuck paying for a bailout.'”
Deja vu: “Florida seniors are again getting phone calls from scammers trying to steal personal and financial information, this time by claiming a Medicare HMO owes them a refund. The callers in the latest scheme claim to work for insurance giant Humana or its CarePlus subsidiary, and say they need the senior’s birth date, Social Security, bank account and Medicare numbers to arrange the refund, Humana officials said.”
Sunday crossword, in just five minutes and twenty-nine seconds:“His brain is jammed with factoids: the names of songs and rock bands that lived and died before he was born, far-flung rivers and capitals, foreign sports equipment, dead astronomers, fallen monarchs, extinct cars, old movies, heroes of mythology, dusty novelists and the myriad other bevoweled wraiths that haunt the twisted minds of crossword constructors. He has learned their wily tricks and traps, like using ‘number’ in a clue that most people would take to mean ‘numeral’ but that really meant ‘more numb.'”