exactly that

Posts tagged ‘Health Care Reform’

Dear Lieberman and Wishy-Washy Dems

Image of a neon sign, with yellowish orange letters spelling out "FUCK YOU" agains what appears to be a newspapered background.*

This is not reform.

*Why, yes, I have been holding on to this for a while.

My Congressmand Does Not, In Fact, Rock the Casbah

Yoshi, a green dragon like creature, falls to his demise as Mario, a white man dressed in red, bounces off of him to safety. The de-motivational poster reads "Betrayal. You traitorous swine."After almost a month of correspondence and petition signing, Congressman Stupak finally got around to having one of his aides respond to me. In fairness, this letter is fairly well tailored based on what I actually wrote, and yet, it is ridiculously condescending, and predictably skirting of anything that I said. Thanks for that.

It should also be noted, that my Congressman hates me. Yes. Me, specifically. He hates me as a Native Woman. There is no place for people like me in his world, because my health care needs won’t matter to him. Lest he forget, also, that there is a whole bunch of Michigan yet above the Mitten. “Northern Michigan” isn’t “above Traverse City”. There is a whole Peninsula left. It’s on the quarter and everything. HA!

So, Thanks for nothing, Mr. Stupak. Thanks for mansplaining that one. I’ll be sure to include this as the intro to your new Broadway show “Fuck You!: The Musical.

Letter after the jump. (more…)

Deflection

In hockey there is a term called deflection.  According to Wikipedia *tosses poppy petals* it is a shot which redirects a shot or a pass towards the goal from another player, by allowing the puck to strike the stick and carom towards the goal.

Got it?

It is when you attempt to achieve something by bouncing it off of something else in order to get it to the same place.

I wrote to my Senators this past week about some shit you may have heard of. Yeah, Stupak. He’s mine. Representative of my district in Michigan and I feel personally responsible, Readerland, as I didn’t see that one coming. Guess I was not as up on my Rep as I thought.

So I have been writing to my Senators about the clusterfucktastrophe that is this Stupak/Pitts Amendment and urging them to rally the defenses to make sure that it isn’t part of what comes out of the Senate. It seems that in the fight to get decent health care reform people are forgetting that women actually need health care from the waist down. Sorry everybody, we just do. I know y’all get hung up on our boobs and all, but we got some other parts that some of us are real fond of, and we’d like to keep them working, and have a say in what happens with them and when. But see, Mr. Stupak doesn’t think that should be part of health care. And I reminded my Senators, Carl Levin, and Debbie “Your Mom” Stabenow, of just that fact.

Well, Levin got back to me, in a great play:

Dear OYD: (He really calls me that, yo)

Thank you for contacting me regarding health insurance reform. I appreciate hearing from you. I have long supported the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to stable, reliable, and affordable health care.

An untold number of Americans live with intermittent or insufficient health insurance, and nearly forty-seven million Americans live without any health insurance at all. Rising health insurance premiums and unemployment have contributed to the continuous rise of these numbers, and it is now more important than ever to create a stronger, more efficient, and more secure health care system.

The Senate Leadership is working to merge the two bills recently reported by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee into a single bill for the Senate to consider. The goal is a bill that will strengthen America’s health care system by preserving personal choice, ensuring people can keep their health insurance, and reducing cost through competition. The bill hopefully will eliminate existing insurance company practices that discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions and will impose annual and lifetime limits on benefits. These limits on benefits have allowed insurance companies to simply stop paying for an individual’s medical treatment if that treatment is costly. I am hopeful the legislation will eliminate fraud and reduce waste in the health care system, as well as increase administrative efficiencies like providing the support and incentives necessary to ensure that health information systems are interoperable.

I will keep your views in mind when the bill comes before the Senate. I am hopeful that on a bipartisan basis Congress and the President will come together to enact health care reform this year.

Sincerely,

Carl Levin

Do you see what happened here?

There are an awful lot of Democrats who just want to put this ugliness behind us and pass this thing.  Health Care Reform is important, you see, and we don’t really care how exactly we get from point A to point B, but we are going to get there, no matter how many stick we have to carom from to get there.  He cares about Health Care Reform.  It’s important.  It’s our goal.

I am not sure that I want to scrap the whole thing altogether, but I sure as fuck do not want to see any kind of bill passed that forgets that women have health care needs and that some people need to take their morals and move on.

I am counting on Stabenow to be my Enforcer.

Because, personally, I don’t care if we have to pull a Gordie Howe hat trick* to get real Health Care Reform. I am tired of “in the name of bipartisanship” and all of that crap. I want someone who remembers that we are here to get this done, and that sometimes you have to play ugly to do it. This is hockey politics, not High Tea, and sometimes there is a little bloodshed and sometimes someone is going to do a little slashing and boarding. Because you do shit the way you have to do it when it matters enough. Sometimes you get emotional because you fucking care about the game.

And my body, all of it, and The Kid’s, matters.  All of it.

*Anna, I am still waiting for that autograph, eh.

Things I forgot…but shouldn’t have…

When I was discharged from the military I worked a brief stint at a popular coffee company as a Supervisor.  We’ll leave it at that, shall we?  I ended up quitting because despite begging and pleading I could not get off of the opening shift, which required me to get up at about 0245, and that fucked with my sleep schedule beyond belief.  That lead to a lot of pain issues that I don’t need to get into right now…the manager was not understanding of my needs.

Had I not been on my TA 180 benefits from the military (180 days of benefits to allow me to transition to civilian life after a medical discharge) I might have paid more attention to the insurance options available to me through not only the company, but through the State of Hawai’i.

Hawai’i does this awesome thing (IMNSFHO, and you are welcome to disagree with me), that employers are required to offer health insurance to anyone working 20 hours or more per week.  Everyone who works gets insured, whether it is through the employer itself or through Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i.  I am not intimate with how the breakdown of money works out, but it is incredible to know that you can do things like go to college full time, work 20 hours a week, and not have to worry what will happen to you if you get sick or injured.  The flip side of that coin is that you must enroll in a plan.  I remember getting a notice informing me that if I was required to enroll in one plan or the other, and if I refused coverage I had to provide proof of coverage by another insurer (which at the time, and still is, TRICARE).

The linked article is correct (thanks, Wonder), there is a lot that lawmakers on the Mainland could learn from the Hawai’ian system.  There is a lot to be said for this type of system, that a person receives health care as part of their benefits package through work, and that is reasonable.  There is also a lot to be said for some small businesses who might be burdened with having to pay for it, but there should be oversight on that threshold, and it should be reasonable for everyone involved.  This, however, is why I am a huge fan of adding the public option and making health care a right for humans everywhere, and not a privilege of the rich and powerful.  A public option would allow people to choose a government plan rather than an employer plan…or possibly eliminate the need for those small businesses to have to provide one…

There is a lot I don’t understand economically about small businesses, but I do know that health care is expensive in the system we have now, and that there is a lot of misinformation being spread around out there that is meant to scare us from embracing the idea of Health Care Reform and the Public Option.  I encourage you to not believe everything talking heads tell you, and read some facts for yourself.  Even if we passed the Health Care Reform Act the way it is being introduced now, we have a lot of catching up to do before it is nearly as good as the Hawai’ian system.

Health Care is a human right…or at least it should be if we valued lives over dollars, and people over corporations.

Photo of the Day

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Representative John Lewis of Georgia speaking at the Washtenaw County Democratic Party’s Annual Dinner about how health care is in fact a civil right.  I have nothing else intelligent to offer, just that this picture of a man who has been beaten, and jailed over 40 times for his views and actions concerning civil rights, speaking on behalf of health care as a civil right blew me away.  Humbled me, a little, actually.

Photo by Anne Savage.  Story at Eclectablog, via Pam’s House Blend.

I want to live in her fantasy world…

Only on Planet Couler (via Crooks & Liars, click over there to watch the video):

O’Reilly: But every problem wouldn’t go away. The one thing that I would like to see the federal government do is strict oversight on the insurance companies when they hose people. I mean, I don’t think they should be throwing you, Ann Coulter, off the rolls if, God forbid, you get MS or something.

Coulter: That will not happen. But Bill, that will not happen under competition. Look — [Crosstalk] — no, no, let me make this point. No it will not. The government was regulating, the SEC was closely watching Bernie Madoff. Government regulation doesn’t stop that sort of thing. What stops it is, people knowing you’re investing with this guy at your own risk, and then all these private organization develop. Competition is what enforces that.

O’Reilly: Yeah, well, I don’t believe that. I think competition can drive the prices down, but it cannot make an insurance company honest. Only a federal oversight committee that says if you don’t do it, we fine you.

Coulter: Yes it can. Yes it can. Otherwise, what about the SEC with Bernie Madoff?

O’Reilly: No, Bernie Madoff got away with it because the SEC, under a Republican, Christopher Cox, simply wouldn’t investigate him. That’s why he got away with it.

Coulter: That’s the government regulation! Why do you keep thinking a different regulator will be better? Government regulation does not solve these problems, competition does.

Because if I belonged to a health-insurance company that threw me off when I got sick, people would hear about it. There would be magazine articles. And I don’t mean to be me, I mean people —

I don’t suppose she’s heard of a Congressman named Bart Stupak?  Who deals w/ insurance companies doing this very thing to literally thousands of people every day?  She is either a moron or intentionally obtuse.

I want whatever she’s drinking.

The Military Service as Privilege

Hear me out.

Not so long ago I would have argued that joining the military is in no way a privilege.  Not when they prey on the underprivileged to entice them into service, and not when most of our wars are fought not by those who decide we should fight them, but by the people already existing on the fringes.  Love him or hate him, Michael Moore’s documentary showing recruiting in Flint, MI was pretty close to the mark.  You literally sign your life and figuratively your soul away for anywhere from 2-6 years with one signature.  You are no longer the captain of your fate.  You, and in many cases your family, pack up and move where you are told, with minimal, if any, choice in the matter.

But recently on Facebook I engaged in a discussion that became very heated over Health Care Reform, where a friend of mine insisted that she was not privileged because she made choices in her life that led to her having a stable job and insurance, and that she doesn’t believe that we should just hand out health care when she has had to work for hers.  It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that just how much privilege is involved in being able to sign that contract in blood. (more…)

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