Saturday, February 27, 2010

Whelmed

Obama health summit Maybe not overwhelmed, but definitely whelmed.

I've noticed that I'm not the only one whose blogging has decreased. I was shocked to see that it's been a week since I wrote--I was pretty prolific for a while there! There are multiple reasons, including a general malaise that has been with me all winter, as well as a preoccupation with Facebook friends and what is being discussed there. There is a pleasant little group of us that share political and religious articles and opinions, and sometimes just fun things. I think that's another reason I haven't been writing much lately; sometimes I just need a break from the serious stuff, and I'm not one to write here often about my latest trip to Wal-Mart (unless it's to write about something weird/funny/annoying that happened). Most entries lately end up being serious and lengthy (sometimes seriously lengthy), and I spend two or three hours putting them all together. So yes, I'm whelmed.

I'm not stopping--you can't get rid of me that easily--but I'm not going to feel guilty about not writing daily or even every other day. It will happen when it happens.

I did spend several hours on Thursday watching the health care summit. I was doing other things, too, but I did have it on all day and it was pretty clear right off the bat that nothing was going to come of it, other than a clear indicator of just how deep the partisan divide is. A never-the-twain-shall-meet sort of divide. The GOP immediately called for the complete scrapping of the current bill and to start over. The Democrats said no, there are good things in there that we both agree on, and starting over will delay this even more. You can guess which side I came down on. Anytime someone issues an ultimatum, you know there are power issues there. I've always found the attitude of "Do this or we won't cooperate" to be bullying tactics.

An even bigger difference, to me, was the deep and abiding difference in philosophies. The GOP seems to believe that it's okay for tens of millions of Americans to be uninsured. The Democrats believe it is a moral obligation to care for all of our citizens, or to at least make a concerted and serious start on getting there. Again, no surprise how I feel about it. I've written about this numerous times. To me, it's not just a matter of making sure that everyone has access to affordable health care; it's a way to bring about lower costs for everyone and to break the stranglehold the insurance companies have on our entire country. Someone brought up one of the standard GOP arguments, that everyone does have access to care in our emergency rooms. It can't be any simpler: such visits drive our costs through the roof, and it's something that is passed along to each and every one of us. I would be happy to pay a little more to ensure that people get preventive health care so that they don't have to make visits to the emergency room.

Someone else brought up the recent news item that one of Canada's provincial premiers came to the States to get a heart procedure. I'm not sure of the entire circumstances of why he came here for the procedure, but Obama's response was the same as mine was when I heard it. Sure, it's great that someone can afford to go to another country for a procedure he needs, if that's what he desires, but a Canadian premier is far from an average-income American worker. People like that don't have the money to get procedures here. That's the whole fucking point! There are some people that save up to travel to Mexico or India to get procedures that they can't afford to get in their own country. We do have great health care here...but what good does it do people if they can't afford it, or lose their home in order to get a life-saving procedure?

I still say we need to look to the north and model our system after Canada's, but I'm afraid that will never happen. The insurance companies are too firmly entrenched as the arbiters of who gets care and who doesn't (talk about coming between you and your doctor!), not to mention firmly entrenched in the deep pockets of some lawmakers. The GOP doesn't seem overly concerned about trying to get more people insured; their plan would add an additional, whopping three million to the ranks of insured. I guess the other 27 million can go fuck themselves, eh? Oh, it's okay...they should be fine. As long as they don't get sick.

I find it all very disheartening and very frustrating.

Canada women's hockey So there's the serious stuff for today. In the not-so-serious arena, I've been enjoying the Olympics immensely, and speaking of Canada, I'm really looking forward to Sunday's gold medal game in hockey between the US and Canada! It's going to be so exciting, and just between you and me and everyone who read it on Facebook, I'm kind of cheering for Canada. Hockey is their game, man, and it's their Olympics...how awesome would it be for them to win the gold? I wasn't upset when New Orleans beat my Colts in the Super Bowl because I knew how much it meant to NOLA; I have the same feeling about this hockey game. It would be a wonderful ending for the host country, the cherry on top of the whipped cream for them. Or maybe the maple leaf on top. :) I've really been enjoying the hockey games, and I never thought I would get into the game that much. It's a lot of fun!

There was controversy on Friday when the Canadian women's hockey team won the gold, then after the medal ceremony, were photographed on the ice smoking cigars and drinking Molson and champagne. Haha! I have no problem with that, and thought "more power to you!" To me, it's a non-issue. You see all kinds of celebrations after big wins in baseball, football, whatever, with champagne spraying everywhere. Women do it and it's tacky or undignified? Really? Winning a gold medal is a big deal (especially if you're Canadian and win it in hockey), and I say have a ball and celebrate your victory. If you want to do it with beer, champagne, and cigars, I dig where you're coming from.

Speaking of beer, champagne, and cigars (or at least the first one), it's a Rock Band party at my sister's tonight. I'll have my game on, as well as my Cowbell Hero T-shirt. Should be a good time, and if necessary, I've got Bloody Mary fixins for tomorrow. ;)

12 comments:

  1. between the health care debacle and the unemployment thing not getting extending i am becoming a news junkie.

    xxalainaxx

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  2. I wish they would find a solution for health care. I know the suffering I went through being uninsurable for 8 years. I was only able to get hospitalization insurance and it cost me a fortune!

    Fortunately, now I'm elegible for Medicare....Unfortunately, I'm 65 years old! Oh my........but I'm sleeping better just knowing I have health insurance. Paying high medical bills just to see a doctor for a pap test or a mammogram was hurting me financially. Not to mention the high cost of prescriptions.

    I just don't understand why the USA can't take care of our people yet we send airplanes after airplanes to help people in other countries????? I'm all for helping others but we should come first in our own country.

    Hugs, Rose

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  3. And between watching the Olympics and fiddling on Facebook, no one is reading journals any more. Have I become an anachronism?

    And I think what the GOP thinks it's doing is saving the country from "socialism" at all costs, even to the cost of dying Americans.

    And let the Canadian girls smoke their cigars and drink their beer whether they win or lose and especially if they win.

    DB

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  4. I had a feeling you were pausing for self-preservation; sometimes lately the news is so discouraging, I can be neither funny nor serious. I just have to hunker down and distract myself for a bit.

    There WAS that totally IG'NUNT Republican comment at the healthcare summit about letting patients and doctors determine care instead of the government. I've been a healthcare provider and done my own billing; I promise you that care has been in the hands of for-profit HMO's for at least fifteen years. They determine every detail of care. What country do the Republican congressmen live in?!

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  5. For me, blogging is a bit like nausea: it comes in waves!!

    As for the Canadian women, I think part of the issue was they did it on the ice. I mean, that's the pristine surface that they cherish. I pool champ would never dance on a pool table! Go party somewhere more appopriate. And cigars? Ladies, really!?

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  6. I hope that we can get something passed in the next two months, because after that, it will be election posturing time.

    As for cigars and beer after a hockey game win, yea, what else :o)

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  7. {{{shedding a single tear}}}

    This is happening more and more ... yet another of my favorite bloggers becomes a casualty of the evil that is BookFace...

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

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  8. Hey Beth,
    Been awhile since I've been here. I haven't been posting much lately although I did a couple of quick posts this week.

    It's not the GOP that's holding up the health care bill. It's enough of the Democrats to keep it from passing. The Republicans have only a very small minority in Congress. If they all voted against it, & all the Democrats voted for it, it would have been passed long ago.

    As for the Canadian premier, here is a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Sally Pipes, a former Canadian & President/CEO of the Pacific Research Institute:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/EDVV1C6HTS.DTL&type=health

    Hope you & Ken are well.

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  9. Three months ago i went to the doctor to see what was going on with me physically. I had a few very serious and annoying problems. After VERY expensive testing, i found out i needed surgery. The surgery i need is common and probably runs in the $5000-$8000 range. I have been employed for 15 yrs at the same place and have paid very large insurance premiums the entire 15 years. My insurance denied this much needed surgery.
    the doctor also demanded a very large upfront cash payment. Again, i have medical coverage.
    so, i had to say fuck it. I can not get the surgery done and i can not fix my serious medical problem. I was going to contest it to these SOB's at the ins. company but even if they said ok, i do not have the large cash payment up front.
    and my medical problem continues. I decided to quit talking about it. No one wants to hear it.

    i have missed you and am glad you updated. I have decided to just lurk on FB instead of posting a lot because i have so many wanting to argue all the time about every fucking thing.
    i hope you have a happy Sunday.

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  10. Hi Beth,
    The whole political process these days is so frustrating. Personally, I don't think the divide between the parties on health care is as big as it seems. The republicans in the past have proposed all kinds of measures -- much of which was included in the senate bill -- to help solve the problem. So the whole thing leaves me to conclude that it's not that they don't care about the nation's uninsured, but that they're more focused on defeating the Democrats this fall and don't want to allow Obama to have any victories under his belt leading into November. In other words, they're putting politics ahead of the people who elected them.
    Best,
    Marty

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  11. If you look over the history of our legislature carefully, you will notice that you have summed it up perfectly with your main observation: Democrats want everyone to have access to everything we offer. Republicans want to limit access to those that can afford it. The philosophical difference is simple. Democrats support the general population and are inclusive and progressing (Progress to the future), while Republicans support only their own kind and are conservative (Stay/Return to the past ways). The problem is those past ways weren't really so great when you take off the veneer and actually look deeply at all of our people. Republicans profit from the suffering of others while Democrats want to proceed without causing any suffering (or at least limit the suffering as much as possible).
    Essentially, Dirk is right in his observation. The Dems always want to include everyone in their decisions. We're more intellectual and want to believe that everyone can see reason. That's why they want to include Repubs in their decisions. On the other hand, Repubs don't care about anyone but themselves. They don't care if they get bipartisanship or not. They use any method to pass legislation when they are in control, including Reconciliation, which they now claim has never been done before. In fact they have used it the majority of the time, mainly for passing ridiculous tax cuts for the wealthy in order to (as they like to put it) create jobs. Well, we all know how that turned out, don't we. The only thing those tax cuts did was increase our deficit and increase the private bank accounts of those who control our corporations (oddly enough, they are mostly Republicans).
    Democrats need to get a clue and stop worrying about bipartisanship and get these things passed by any means. And we all should contact our representatives in Congress and let them know how we feel. If we are just bitching here and not to them directly, we're siding with the Repubs and being obstructionist. We have to be more vocal and stop believing that our voice will never be heard anyway. It's a self fulfilling prophesy that the Repubs count on us all believing. I believe that we can solve our problems but we have to start taking a more active role in our government and continually tell our legislators what we want, whether we get it or not. It's our civic responsibility to let them know which side we support.

    Glad you're back Beth! :)

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  12. Does getting married and going on a two week honeymoon absolve me from making blog entries? Facebook is where I reconnected with my husband, so more power to that arena of discussions, updates, silliness, and junk entries. Glad to see you haven't quit the scene. I come and go as the mood strikes.

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?