Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Healthcare: Spadoman Checks In

Look, this is a tough one. There are so many people in this country and you'll never please all of them. There are some that will never want a plan to insure everyone no matter what. They will continually want the pharmaceutical companies and large healthcare HMO's and the like to make huge profits. They will never agree to having the healthcare industries CEO's make less money than the obscene millions they already make.

Then, there are those that think everyone is entitled to have health care and that we should raise taxes and make sure every American, and even those in this country to pick lettuce, have access to get medical care and treatment. There might be a few that would or could be swayed to change their minds. Those thinking people who seek out the facts and measure the talk and decide to do the right thing.

You have these folks, and every scenario in between. The legislators vote, supposedly, as the constituents want them to. Their ways to measure what the people want is by calls, e-mails, letters and polls, so they say, but how do we know for sure? I have healthcare. I am a disabled Veteran. I was promised, in 1968 as a nineteen year old kid when I got drafted into the US Army, that I would never have to worry about health care the rest of my life. They were telling me that the VA would cover me. I went to work when I returned home and the job I got offered me healthcare as a benefit to working where I worked. I was in a union at first, but managed to get jobs that offered me healthcare that weren't union jobs. I also had jobs that didn't offer me any healthcare benefits over the years.

Later in my life, things started to change and health care was not offered with every job, and if it was, you had to pay some out your own pocket to cover your spouse and children. Then, copays started and you had to pay a premium for your spouse and children and have a copay when you went to see a doctor. Slowly but surely, it changed from getting healthcare as a benefit for a job you held to having to pay for healthcare because you had a job. If you were out of work, you had to continue to pay the premiums or your healthcare would be cancelled. Also, if you had some malady, you might not be covered because you had a malady. The health insurance companies wanted to cover only when you got sick, not if you were sick and recovering. I don't have, nor can I get, life insurance because I had a heart attack when I was 36 years old.

This played out to where many places where you went to work didn't offer healthcare insurance at all. In the 1980's there was talk of an all service workforce by the year 2000. This has manifested itself as truth as the manufacturing segment of the United States of America went down the tubes and with it, millions of jobs. Jobs that offered healthcare insurance to its employees on a regular basis overt the years. When goods were made overseas, the corporations didn't have to pay healthcare costs for workers in Taiwan, for example, and healthcare companies were starting to make less money. So, they charged more and gave less to make sure the bottom line for the shareholders was up to snuff. Corporations took over the corners where retail used to be. Now, not only do all towns look the same with their strips of Office Max, McDonald's and Wal Mart, but they all hire predominantly part time employees, and the corporation policy dictates that you must be full time to get healthcare benefits.

Either there is no healthcare plan that offers healthcare to everyone, or there is a healthcare plan that offers healthcare to everyone.

It's simple, really, either you are a Capitalist or a Socialist. There is no Republican and Democrat on the health care issue. No gray area. Black and white. Oh, by the way. The people who want NO healthcare plan that covers everyone, they don't want Medicare either, unless they're on it. Medicare is the epitome of socialism, but they, the die hard people who think they are in the right wing, won't ever admit that as the elderly, those on Medicare, are usually the most conservative of voters and hold the old fashioned notions that the corporation lovers beat on day in and day out.

Me? I'm a socialist. I'm not registered, but I think that way. I read this article about Denmark and their healthcare system. they pay a lot of taxes. They have healthcare and job security and a good honestly livable wage when they retire with their social security. You get what you pay for. Every politician touts the idea that you'll pay less taxes. If this country was so fucking great, wouldn't you stand in line to pay your fair share of taxes to keep it great? I would and I do. I pay tax on my social security. I have no objection to doing so.

The last thing I feel the need to mention in this rant is that the people on the talk radio shows, the Rush Limbaughs and the Glenn Becks, are entertainers. They say things that are outrageous. They get attention. Advertisers buy time on their shows because they get so much attention and so many people listen to them. Sure, some big ads were pulled from Glenn Beck, but how many new listeners heard about the outrageousness and tuned in? The ads will be back at some point. For every scrupulous corporation that has a conscious, there will be ten that want to make more money and will advertise. The bottom line here is that they are entertainers in an entertainment industry and we pay them so much attention that we cheat ourselves out of paying attention where it would do the most good towards your agenda.

The time spent writing blogs and commenting and bitching about the healthcare issue and this guy and that guy and what he said and what she said could very well be spent writing, calling and generally putting pressure on your elected officials to tell them how you want it to be, or by talking to your neighbors and seeing how they see it and getting them to do the same.

Personally, I think it's too big. You are not going to dismantle the whole healthcare industry and the billions of profit dollars they generate. Just like you are not going to stop war and the billions in profit there, and all the other spendful wasteful things this country has perpetuated to make the American way of life, like the drug companies and the chemical manufacturers and polluters. You close down the war machine and healthcare and pollution and pork and this country would be on its knees. Each and every one of us has a great way of life compared to so many others because of the above mentioned, and other, industries.

The country didn't want to take a chance on a downward spiral, so they gave money to the largest banks so they wouldn't fail. They gave money to the auto manufacturers too. As I see it, we are all living on the skin of our teeth. Money is paper. Wealth is on paper. If you have to live in your house, what difference does it make how much it is worth? If you can't sell it, what does it mean to own it? Healthcare is the same. No matter what, the largest profits, those to healthcare providers and their bosses, will not be compromised. The people in power now in the white house want more of the regular rank and file to have healthcare, and that will probably come, but don't expect any big changes in how it gets administered.

By the way, in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the states I've lived in for the past 35 years? They have social programs that make healthcare available to those that need it and can show the need financially. They've always had it that I know of. We used it in the 1970's when we were expecting a child and had no insurance. Either from the County administered state and Federally funded program to the Catholic Charities and Lutheran Brotherhood.

Now, I'm gonna call Russ Feingold's office and tell him how I feel about it. The motorcycle ride I was going to be on fell through. My friend in California isn't coming back to ride any time soon. His wife, also my close friend, is awaiting a kidney transplant and they are on call. He will wait until she receives a kidney and is on the mend before coming back to ride. They have insurance because she is offered it, at a premium that she pays part of, and the company pays part of, as a benefit package where she works.

I wonder how someone would feel that doesn't have a job that offers insurance, even at a shared cost between employer and employee? How would they feel if a kidney wasn't available for them or a loved one and they had to watch them die.

Peace. Try it, you'll like it.


billie said...

wow- you hit that one right out of the ball park. well said my friend.

Spadoman said...

Batmo, I learned from the Batmo school of protocol. Tell it like you see it!

billie said...

guess you had a good teacher then ;)

Fran said...

Hmmm go figure.

I'm feeling like an angry villager, next meeting I'm bringing a cardboard pitchfork & a paper torch.

I'm tired of these money grubbing bastards playing our lives health & well being like pawns in a chess game.

Will people snap the hell out of their apathy if just to save themselves???

Roderick Robinson said...

What this long post proves is that healthcare in the US (probably anywhere) is a far more complicated issue than the partisan headline-writers would have us believe. I find myself in a difficult position. During six years spent working in Pennsylvania I paid federal and local taxes, obeyed the law (more or less) and felt I was entitled to mouth off on the US's position in the world. Now, back in the UK, retired and enjoying a small US pension (among others, thank goodness) I no longer feel that entitlement. Americans must paddle their own canoe although they have the right not to be misinformed. The stuff you were all being told about Britain's NHS was a shocking slander and I felt I had to set the record straight. Other Brits added their comments and we're all more or less agreed: it's not perfect but it works most of the time. However as far as my wife and I are are concerned it has worked perfectly. The most poignant comment on the whole sorry mess came from an American academic working in London whose wife became terminally ill. His NHS family doctor used to call round regularly to talk to them both and to discuss the latest drug possibilities. The American's comment was that when you fell ill in the UK it didn't bring the extra fear that falling ill in the US generated.

This is a story that will run and run. But so will motorbikes (well, some of them). I'm a bike nut though at 73 I no longer own one. If I did, and if I had suicidal tendencies it would be a Fireblade. Now what does that make me?

Spadoman said...

BB,, Thanks for your British perspective, one that actually lives and uses a National system. As I said, some will understand and others will not, no matter what. What social system anywhere in the world works perfect for everyone and has 100% pf the people satisfied? None!
By the way, I ride a British motorcycle, Triumph Tiger, but you probably saw that on my avatar pic.

Thanks for stopping by.

Betmo... Thanks for helping me be who I am and seeing the light! And for stopping by. Glad you liked my post.

Fran.. Good to see you here, Thanks. That's my point, I wouldn't waste time going to a town hall meeting. I'm sure I'd get into a fight even though I profess peace and try to live in a calm peaceful nonviolent way. For me, It would be hard not to pound sense into some heads!

Peace to all and Thanks again for stopping by the Round Circle.

Mel said...

Himself marvels at the speed in which we receive services.....and then gasps at the cost.

I marvel at the amount of service the mum (his mother who had a stroke) is no or little cost to her.

Today it is what it is. Where it'll go tomorrow, is where it'll go. I have a voice which I've made heard in multiple places.

It's the responsible thing to matter the end result.

As my daddy so lovingly said "If you don't vote, don't bitch".

If nothing else, I've now earned 'bitching' rights. ;-)

Spadoman said...

Mel... Thanks for coming here to the Round Circle. There is no speed in the VA system where I get health care. And I won't complain because there are so many that need services, the VA system is just to gigantic to quickly do anything. I have waited as long as 6 months for a dentist in the past. And my cost is free for me, free of money. I paid an enormous price and it took 9 years to get health care through the VA for me, (That's another story.)
Reading at your p[lace, sounds like the Mum is going to get through this just fine. Hope the time goes quickly for you. I gotta get over to your place for a good dose of inspiration.


The Crow said...

Joe, I'm going to add a link to your post back at my blog. This is well written, backed up with thoughtful insight and your own experiences.

Thanks for speaking up...good stuff, as usual.


Spadoman said...

I would be humbly honored Crow. Thanks for stopping by my place.


Anne said...

You said it. Love to the Spados!

Spadoman said...

Good to see you Annie. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you had a happy birthday. See you again some day.