Friday, March 19, 2010

The Crazy American Health Care Plan

Woman, 37, admits strangling
daughter, 18, because she
“pushed my last button.”

Welcome to the Crazy American Health Care Plan. I believe the Health Care Bill now under consideration and coming up for a vote on Sunday is going to pass. I guess, like many, in general, I think that is probably a good thing, barring any alternative. Let me review this business as I think I understand it. In the United States, roughly speaking, some 20% of the population suffers 80% of the health problems. The insurance companies do not insure the 20%, opting instead to only insure the 80% that is healthier. Then, when someone in the 80% does happen to develop a health problem, the insurance companies find a way to cut them off, either by claiming some previously undisclosed pre-condition or finding some other loophole. This is basically how insurance companies make their profits. Under this new bill this is going to change. Insurance companies will be forced to cover everyone, including the 20%, and they will be no longer be allowed to cut people off when they need it most by claiming pre-existing conditions or whatever. In order to make these changes economically feasible it is necessary to mandate that everyone be insured (or pay a fine if they are not). I am not enough of a mathematician or statistician to know if adding an additional 32 million people to the health care business is sufficient to make up for the profits that would otherwise be lost. I assume it would be or otherwise it would not happen. What I do know (or at least think I know) is that it doesn’t much matter, because as I understand it, the insurance companies will still be allowed to skim of some 20% or more as profit. This means that health insurance in the United States will still cost 20% (or more) than it would have to if we had a single payer system. If this is so, why do we allow it to happen? The answer, I guess, is that America is a capitalistic society that puts privatization and profit ahead of everything else, and Americans have been taught to believe that anything else is either socialism (an absolutely terrible, unthinkable, horrible thing), or that government is too incompetent to do anything right (like Medicare, Social Security, the Post Office, Public Schools, the Veterans Administration, and so on). Opponents argue that you should not want a Government bureaucrat to come between you and your doctor. They seem to believe that having an Insurance company bureaucrat, interested only in generating a profit out of your misfortune, between you and your doctor is fine. This is a view that to me is either totally irrational or a deliberate preference for profit over people (which is, I believe, a pretty standard Republican position). Thus, if a public option or some functional equivalent is not added to the current bill you can just assume it is a gift of billions to the Insurance industry.

Apparently some “porn star” is now threatening to make public some racy messages she received from Tiger Woods. This is, of course, after the worst of his scandalous behavior has been pretty much put to rest. So why would she do this? Either she is just mean, or she seeks publicity, or she thinks she will stand to gain monetarily, or perhaps all three, or more likely, the last two. I am always reminded of Somerset Maugham when I see things like this: There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror ( W. Somerset Maugham).

It is being claimed by Obama and Hillary there is no serious disagreement between Israel and the U.S. If that is so it means that the status quo will prevail, which also means there will be no peace in the Middle East and the U.S. will continue to scratch the back of Netanyahu and bow to Israel once again. Obama has it within his power to insist that Israel stop its slow genocide of Palestinians, stop building more settlements, stop their blatant racist imperialism, and make a serious attempt at peace and a viable Palestinian state. Apparently this is not going to happen. It has been suggested that there be a new “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy wherein no one is supposed to ask if Israel is violating International law as usual, and they are not going to tell. This is absolutely disgusting and means we will continue to participate in Israeli war crimes and be the major obstacle to peace in the Middle East. It has been said that Obama is going to be too busy to meet with Netanyahu when he arrives next week. I hope he is. I hope every leader of every country on earth will be too busy to meet with this racist warmonger until he gets the message: STOP YOUR OUTRAGEOUS GREED AND RACISM!!

An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.
George Orwell

The coyotes that have been missing for a while are now back, and close to the house.

No comments: