Saturday, April 3, 2010

A healthy outlook

Approved You all know me well enough by now to know that even while I've been trying to cope with feelings of loss and sorrow, I've still been paying attention to the news. I can't help's just my nature. (Thanks, Dad! Mom, too--she's a lot more interested than she used to be, and she pays attention to what is going on.)

I missed some when everything was so hectic, but I've been watching closely lately. I watched as the vote passed the Senate and cheered when it did; I watched as a jubilant President used 22 pens to sign the bill into law. I was grinning right along with him. I've gotten into debates online with some local folks, including one guy who seemed to really dislike me. He called me an "old school hippie," and when I flashed him a virtual peace sign, he flipped me a virtual bird. Where's the love, man? He said that I seemed to think I was a great writer; I said I'd made no such claims, and what I wrote there is just the way I write; he said that I had insulted others on the forum and that he would make sure to speak up in any further threads that I "corrupted," although I had insulted no one, and I fail to see how voicing my opinion is in any way corrupting the thread. I could only conclude that when it came right down to it, he just didn't like me because I was an uppity woman who dared to voice an opinion that was different from his. When he tried to browbeat me into accepting his opinion, I stood my own and would have none of it, and he didn't like that, either. How many times do I have to say it? Don't fuck with me. Seriously.

Anyway, what I saw there was someone who, when they didn't get their way initially, resorted to bullying and name-calling. Oh, did I forget to mention that he said that I had my head up my ass? Yes, that too. I think my experience on a local thread was a microcosm of what we're seeing on a national level. When certain types don't get their way, they resort to hurling insults and epithets, and as we've recently seen, they aren't averse to launching a loogey now and then. There is a word for such behavior: childish. I guess when you can't get your way in an argument by using your own reasoning, you have to go to your fallback position of acting like a brat throwing a tantrum. It's amusing to watch, but it really is rather unseemly and doesn't further your argument at all.

I've also enjoyed some much more satisfactory discussions with Cousin Curt--at least we can argue our points without resorting to such tactics. That's what happens when you've got a couple of intelligent people who understand that true and productive debate is based upon facts and reasonable hypotheses, not simple gainsaying (think Monty Python's Argument Clinic) or petty insults. In these discussions with Curt, I returned to my underlying theme about health care, which is that I feel that it is our moral obligation as a country to provide for all of our citizens.

Obama Clinton hug I realized that as long as we have that dichotomy in our country, there will be no resolution and no real agreement between those who supported insurance reform and those who opposed it. For the opposition, it will always be about cost/timing/entitlement, and in the case of the crazy opposition, it will always be about socialism/death panels/handouts. For supporters, it will continue to be about compassion/logic/cost savings.

Isn’t that a great picture of Secretary Clinton giving President Obama a hug after the bill passed? It must have been so gratifying for her to see it passed after she tried to get it done twenty years ago.

A common argument is that everyone can get health care here, they just have to go to the emergency room. I'm going to say it flat out, right now: that is a retarded argument, and stop using it. Just stop it. ER costs are outrageous, and when you've got people going to the ER for non-emergency situations like sore throats and minor infections, or for complications from treatable conditions that they aren't seeing a doctor for regularly, it drives the cost up for everyone. Everyone. See what I'm saying? It causes insurance to be higher for all of us when people are relying on emergency rooms for general health care. If I hear anyone use that argument again, I'm going to issue a well-deserved smackdown, and it won't be pretty, because I'm getting sick of hearing that ridiculous argument. Fair warning.

It all comes down to that moral obligation, at least for me. For those who would deny coverage to all, I wonder how you would feel if you had loved ones with a serious condition who couldn't get coverage. I wonder if you would help them with their medical bills? How would you feel if you lost your job and your health care coverage, and then found out that one of your kids had leukemia? It happens to people all the time, and I suppose it's easy to sit back and say "We can't do's too expensive" when it's someone else's loved one. Maybe if it were yours, you might feel differently. For all those Republican legislators who opposed, to a person, the bill, but maintain that they care about everyone, they really question is if you cared about us all so damn much, why the fuck didn't YOU do anything when you had the majority? You cared but just didn't care quite enough, I guess. Maybe you need to shut up and stop being sore losers, quit talking about repeal, and for crissake, stop talking about Armageddon. Seriously.


  1. Love the picture, and love the outcome. Using ER for minor things means that someone with a true emergency may get delayed. Just wrong and so many fronts.

  2. A healthy society is a more productive society and leads to dispoable income to be spent and more employees contributing to the GNP.

    Many of the illnesses that run health care costs up can be dealt with in preventative treatment. So I can't understand what is not to like about Universal Health Care?

  3. Hi Beth,
    Actually, to their credit, the Republicans have tried to do something about healthcare in the past and in my opinion that's the greatest irony. The bill which passed is filled with Republican ideas -- ideas that they, themselves proposed in the past, almost using their exact language verbatim (such as the need for mandatory health coverage which was actually a Republican proposal originally). However, now the same politicians who proposed it are against it, calling it "unconstitutional." Like you, I don't mind having a healthy debate on the issues -- I look forward to it, actually -- but it's kind of hard to have a meaningful discussion with someone when their opinion changes with the political breeze!

  4. You go girl! Your last two paragraphs were similar to my conversation with a girlfriend last night on the phone. She was complaining about the health care reform and doesn't want to pay for it...yatta yatta...and she is a nurse.

    I repeated almost your own words to her but she didn't want any part of it.

    Yet, this individual lied on her insurance application and claims that both she and her spouse are non smokers to get a cheaper rate when they both in fact smoke! Talk about stealing..........corruption...........Yikes.

    I want people to have health insurance. I personally know what it was like for 8 years without it and suffered because I was denied after I lost my job and when I applied to six companies.......I was denied over and over due to pre-existing conditions.

    I toast to President Obama! And, to you Sweetie!

  5. I'm going to borrow your words about ER care. You sum it up so succinctly. I love your eloquent and straightforward declaration of our moral obligation to provide a health care system that benefits all of us.

  6. We over here in the UK were shouting the loudest...well most of us...(believe it or not even over here people complain about paying taxes for the National Health Services)...
    I think I have said before that I will never to my dying day forget that family in hospital next to my Nephew in Florida who had been told to go home as their Ins would pay no more and the husband had a heart condition that meant certain death in a very few weeks without an operation that had been denied..and they had two wee tots all were in we were...
    where oh where is the compassion. I am only sorry to be still reading there is debate about exactly when it will all happen I think I read not till at least many poor folks will be dead by then.
    Love Sybil xxx
    PS I am glad you are slowly getting back to our own fiesty Beth xx

  7. using the er analogy to show healthcare is sufficient for everyone is no different than saying we have plenty of food in the US and no one goes hungry because their is a mcdonald's on every oorner.


  8. It is amazing how the conservative element continues to think that it is OK to leave some people behind. They think everyone can get healthcare, even without emergency room visits because for them everyone only includes those that already have it.
    They forget about our millions of homeless, because they want them to just go away. They forget about our millions of illegal immigrants because they want them to just go away. They forget about children from welfare homes, and people struggling with low paying, transient jobs, or jobs that don't provide healthcare, or with no jobs at all. It is their wish that these people would simply disappear because they don't consider them Americans.
    This has become apparently clear to me since now the Teabaggers are telling everyone to ignore the census! Let's not be counted by "the Man". WTF! They are crazy.
    I set up a new page devoted to the Teabagger crazies on my blog because I think they are not only stupid, but dangerous! This element of exclusionism which is fast turning into racism and bigotry against anyone and everyone who is not one of their crazies is a drumhead spinning out of control. They must be stopped. Our society is not educated enough to weather the storm if they take control, which they apparently are willing to do by force and killing, if necessary. Anger without intelligence is like rabies.
    Sorry for that hysterical moment. I agree with you basically. :) Welcome back to the "fight". We missed you, and need you here with us. :)

  9. A short conversation with an ER doc (when she's not representing the AMA or the NHA) would put an end to the ER-as-health-insurance tale. Those on the front line know that, no matter how well they triage patients, the constant strain of the non-emergent cases wears down the team and stresses the system. In the end, not even those who come with true emergencies get the quality of care the team shoots for. You can cross-section America's medical systems at any level, ask a couple of obvious questions, and quickly learn that passing this bill--NOW--was AN EMERGENCY!

  10. Thank you for pointing out the inherent retardedness of the ER argument. If you cut off a finger by accident do you really want to wait in line behind people there for general care??

  11. Now my dear Beth you shouldn't be worrying your pretty little head about these things wherever you have it. If reason and intelligence don't work then they have to be bullies in order to get anything undone. That's only natural for sub-adults. I bet some of those antisocialists will be quick to show up for health care if, heaven forbid, some awful emergency strikes them down.

    Great photo.


  12. PREACH IT, Beth Anne!!!!!

    The ones that are so upset about it are the ones that have good heath insurance. They would feel completely different if they didn't. I scratch my head and wonder why they don't recognize that themselves.

    Oh, and I see daily the misuse of the ER at work. Don't even get me started!

  13. Beth I love ur argument, and ur usage of language. I enjoy when u use the word fuck in ur statements. And like u I " feel that it is our moral obligation as a country to provide for all of our citizens." Last Thursday I had to rush to the emergency room because my toes were turning blue. I got so freaking scare I ran to the Yale Hospital EM and I saw exactly what the republican argument is all about. I saw people who in other words are milking the system, However, I am privileged, I have a job and I can afford my Health Insurance which by the way is full of shit But the point in here to be made is that if those that I witness misusing the EMR facilities were to be insured like I am. I wonder if they were, would they sit on those hard chairs for six even seven hours to get any
    kind of attention other that the triage. Cause I left and waited to see my doctor on Saturday, who told me that I have Gout.


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