Here We Go Again

 

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The debate about repealing the UN-affordable Care Act has rekindled once again. Democrats are determined to keep the crap they invented going for as long as they can. Their hope is to stall the ACA act into bankruptcy, and to then foster a bill to push money into its entrails to keep it alive. In the meantime, the millions of people who have not been able to afford it go without any health care at all. Those who can buy it will have crappy care, and go bankrupt because they won’t be able to afford it either.

Years ago while traveling in Canada I learned that the Canadian government has universal health care for all the provinces. In their wisdom they invented a scheme which paid each province the same amount of money. It was up to the province to spend it however they wished on meeting the needs of their constituents health needs. Canadians were happy. I don’t know if that is still the case, but that is what it was back in the eighties or nineties when I traveled there.

The company I worked for decided how much they could afford to spend on health care without going broke and subsidized our company policy to that tune. If we demanded a stronger policy, the dollar difference came out of our paychecks. We grumbled a bit about having to pay more, but overall we were happy with the situation. I was lucky, I had a job, but there were still too many people who didn’t have insurance at all. Yet, none of them with a serious illness was ever refused by a hospital because they didn’t have insurance. They wound up paying the bill on an installment plan.

Currently, the Democrats are fighting against a plan similar to the one I described Canada to have. To me, granting the same amount of money to each state to take care of us makes total sense. Each state has the freedom to decide what kind of system it will have to care for us. If Illinois, a totally blue state wants to venture its bankrupt ass into a single payer system let them have at it. If Indiana wants to come up with something more cost-effective let them invent it. In either case any over-cost will be the burden on the residents living in the state.

A popular argument against the latest system proposed is that there is no provision to include insurance for customers who have a pre-existing condition. This is a very popular feature of Obama Care. It is also one of the reasons the Affordable Care Act evolved into the UN-affordable Care Act. My opinion on this matter is an argument addressed to insurance companies. Isn’t being born a pre-existing condition? When we are conceived we get a blueprint from our parents called DNA. As I understand it our DNA has within it all the reasons we get sick. Somewhere inside that helical ladder of the DNA molecule lies the nucleus for every genetic reason to get sick in a life time. After that we add into the mix the way we choose to live, eat, rest, etc. to make our health or unhealthiness more under our control. I have never heard a definition of what a pre-existing condition is. I think it means that if I apply for insurance and know I am a diabetic, that diabetes is not covered. What happens if I have diabetes and don’t know about it like too many people in the world have? Does the insurance lapse because it is discovered? Jimmy Kimmel’s argument about his son being born with a heart murmur keeps him from getting his son insured. If Jimmy was on a family plan doesn’t that include any new child born into his family? Of course if he wasn’t on the family plan and he had to purchase a separate insurance policy for the new-born I guess the kid is out of luck if Jimmy waited to buy it until he knew of his condition. It is my logical thinking that the difference between being insured, or not insured was the knowledge one has before the condition. What that leads me to is a proposal to insure your child as a fetus with a lifelong pre-condition policy. This policy would cover any pre-existing condition throughout one’s life from the instant of conception until death.

Well Grumpa Joe, how the hell am I going to do that? Does it mean I have to call my insurance agent from the bedroom, the back seat of my car, or the tent immediately after doing the deed? Of course not, you would call him upon learning of your success.

I am shocked that the insurance companies have not offered this kind of policy or policy-rider before. One can buy a life insurance policy at the time of birth, and I would say death can be defined as a pre-existing condition. We all know it is going to happen we just don’t know when. Isn’t the same true with diseases, viruses, or other conditions? Insurance companies argue that they will be taken advantage of by patients who are dying of some terrible disease, and will wait to buy insurance at the latest moment possible to cover their costs. Often they use the example of the man who crashes his uninsured car, and calls to buy insurance from the scene of the accident. I agree that scenario is not fair to the insurer, but I could buy a new car, and buy insurance from the dealership and crash the car on the way home, and the insurance company would have to cover me. I could argue that the accident was a pre-existing condition that one had by virtue of driving on any road. Diseases are no different, and insurance companies are going to have to deal with the facts and offer products for us to cover those situations.

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You may choose to buy my arguments and proposals or not, but I recommend we all push for a practical resolution to the health care problem, and not some utopian country-bankrupting system like Obama Care is intended to be. The Bill currently being proposed by Congress labeled Graham-Cassidy appears to be the most logical approach to something that will work for all of us. Call your Congressman ans Senator to vote for this bill. Imagine 50 states working independently of one another with insurance companies from all over the USA and possible from outside to brainstorm how to meet the needs of each state population. The power of that number of teams working to find solutions is unimaginable. Certainly, it will be stronger than a bunch of bureaucrats working in the walnut paneled rooms of Washington, D.C.

If I may quote Forrest Gump’s mother “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” In this analogy our illnesses, accidents, conditions are all chocolates in the box and we have no pre-knowledge of which situations we will get in life. few of us dies of old age. As my mother used to counsel me “we all have to die from something.” Life is a pre-existing condition.

 

Heroes

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When I first learned of President George W Bush’s hobby of painting portraits I was amazed. This was not what I expected from him. I guess not too many people did. I wanted to see his work, and to decide for myself whether he was an artist or not. I have seen his work and have decided he is an artist.

In his book Portraits of Courage, A Commander In Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors ninety-eight US Military personnel are depicted. Bush has written a short bio based on the warrior’s injuries and the path to recovery. There is a distinct similarity among all of them. They all lost limbs, suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress. Yet, each of them is distinctly different looking just like they are in life. President Bush captures not only the faces but also the look of the soldier. As an artist he is fully aware of the fact that no human being has a symmetrical face, and it is the asymmetry that defines all of us. He has captured the gaze of the eyes and more deeply into the soul of the subject.

A few years ago, while researching President Bush’s portraits of world leaders on the internet I read a series of comments regarding his work. I remember one in particular where the commenter sarcastically criticized Bush’s ability to paint by stating his amateur work was the opposite of an accomplished and seasoned portrait artist. I wished an evil act to befall the critic. His dislike for Bush as President showed.

All my life I have been a closet artist, and I can attest that drawing and painting faces is not easy. Capturing the lines, shades, values of a person’s uniquely distinctive facial features takes a ton of practice, and patience. Hell, I couldn’t even draw my own portrait to resemble me. I give George Bush five stars for his ability, and desire to do something radically different from what he did all his life, and to succeed in making people look like people in his work.

Civil War?

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While Obama was running for his first presidential term I predicted that there would be civil war fought in our country. The division that occurred between the left and the right without any middle ground seemed to be too huge to keep it from happening. The war has not happened, at least not a shooting war, but we are still divided even more so today than in 2008. The democrats had all the power; a leftist president, and Democrats were the majority in both houses. There was no stopping them. The unaffordable Care Act was approved by bull dozing through without any prior review by either house. We as citizens criticized our leaders for not reading the bill. The plain and simple fact was that they were not given an opportunity to read it. Had they the chance there would have been public outcry to stop the bill before it came to a vote.

Currently, the Republicans have the power, and I fully expect them to squander the opportunity to do some real good for the country. How many of you remember Obama putting down John McCain by Obama for daring to present an argument against the ACA. Obama very arrogantly told him the elections have consequences and I won you lost. The democrats rallied around that audacity and steam rolled the country into believing their bill was the salvation of the country. After the ACA passed and it became obvious that it had major problems, Obama again arrogantly changed the law to his satisfaction without any notification of Congress, a violation of his authority and against the law. The Democrats totally supported him because he was the Messiah and the ACA was to magic cure-all bullet.

This week, I heard Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer from New York cry that  Republican Senators  won’t compromise and allow the Democrats to ruin new efforts to make the bill into something that could work. What upset me was a lack of outrage by Republicans. I never heard any of them say that elections have consequences, and we won, you lost. I have this feeling that Republicans still think the Democrats are willing to compromise for the good of the country. They are not willing to do anything but to win for their corrupt party.

It is sad that the press, and the Democrats get so worked up when President Trump fights back against some of the BS they throw at him. The Press truly get upset that anyone should treat them in this manner. What they don’t fully understand is that the civil war I have alluded to is taking place, and they are the enemy. They lament that they are only trying to do their job, they don’t deserve to be denigrated and on. They still don’t get that they are the problem, and when they spew there falsities as fact we the reader have no fact checker to check them with. To them I say, get over it, we won you lost. If the want us to treat them appropriately, they can begin by reporting fairly and honestly without bias to either side. Instead they choose to be on the side of the enemy. I say to you, keep plenty of fresh kleenex in your pockets to catch the alligator tears you will shed when recoil against you when you spew lies at us.

Another point that has me upset is that there are factions within the Republican party that fight against their own people. The Congress resembles the war in Syria; Syrians against Syrians, rebels against Syrians, ISIS against everybody, the USA against ISIS, and the Russians against the rebels. Mark my word, there will soon be a video game depicting this scenario. I hope the developer sends a free copy to every member of the Senate so they can learn from it.  What a mess.

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Dear AARP

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I have several reasons for my dislike of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). You meddle too much in affairs you should stay out of. You are the antithesis of what you propose to be. You are a two-bit lobby group who believes it is your responsibility to care for retired people. I’ll give you one thing, you are a lobby group. You are no better than the charlatans who lobby and corrupt our Representatives for their socialist governments.

Today, I listened to a radio commercial in which you pleaded with me, and all those who qualify to be in your fold, to fight against all current proposals to reinvent the health care system. For one thing, you do not know what the new health care proposal is, neither does anyone else. You are reacting to hearsay and gossip. You did the same when Obama care came into being. Neither you nor anyone in our government knew a single thing about what was in the new law that the democrats shoved up our ass, but you promoted it as the salvation of the world. Later, after the stupidity of the bill became known you railed against it. During the George Bush years you promoted free drugs for seniors. What we got was more expensive than what was available to us on our own. The difference is that we now get six pages of non-sense from Medicare every month detailing the non-benefit. We pay for those pages of boiler plate, ninety percent of which is identical from month to month with a few basic numbers representing our expenditures thrown in. It is killing trees and not saving any lives. Keep your socialist empire out of my face. You are an insurance company, why didn’t you save the Obama care program? You didn’t because you also know it is a pile of crap. Yet you are telling us to defeat whatever comes out to replace it. Go to hell and stay there.

You may ask why am I so adamant about universal healthcare? Let me tell you in one word, SLAVERY. Universal single payer healthcare is a system that takes away all control  you have over your body. The government owns your body, and decides what it will do to care for it. You do not. That is about as close to being a slave as the slaves that were dragged here from Africa to work on plantations.

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Trump’s First Mistake

President Trump let me down. His attempt to ram-rod a faulty healthcare bill through Congress was terrible. Once upon a time Paul Ryan was my hero, only because he is the only Republican representative in the state of Wisconsin, and because he spent his formative years as a grunt working in Congress. Paul is also a dedicated family man for which I give him much credit. His ploy to get the AHCA approved was probably a good one, but knowing how Congress acts and thinks anytime you approve a plan that requires more than one approval it is dead on arrival. President Reagan made a fatal mistake when he approved the amnesty program during his term. Congress had promised to pass a border wall and immigration reform to follow. Of course we all know that a wall was never even started, nor was immigration reform. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.

No one knows what the final outcome will be, but at least we now have some time to figure it out. Of course the Democrats will lobby hard for a single payer government-run health care system. God forbid we fall for that BS.

Today,  I read about a fire that caused an elevated interstate highway to collapse in Georgia. The first thing that came to mind was how could that be? Concrete and steel are not fuel. In retrospect, my thoughts have been influenced by sixteen years of brainwashing by 911 Truthers that Twin Towers fell because of a government conspiracy, and not by a fire caused by thousands of gallons of burning jet fuel. This current incident shows the Truthers that concrete is affected by major heat. If I were an architect supporting the 911 conspiracy theory who argued that the towers could not have come down because of such a fire, I’d be headed for the underground, I’d grow a beard, I’d dye my hair, I’d change my name, I’d do everything I could to remove the stain of my fallacious support. These are the same kind of smart guys with lots of degrees, and educational letters after their names that are currently espousing man-made global warming because it is the thing to do.

 

PSA-170313-Liars Figure Figures Lie

 

In addition to what Tami has exposed about the Obama Care number manipulations remember a few more things:

  1. You have to vote for Obama Care to learn what is in it.
  2. A failed billion dollar computerized sign up.
  3. Multiple delays in getting it active
  4. Too many illegal changes to the law without the consent or advisement of Congress
  5. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
  6.  It will reduce your health care premiums by $2500 per

If ever there was a law that needed repealing, this is it.

My own personal experience up until now has been neutral. I’ve had an eighteen year  relationship with my doctor, I like him and want to keep him. His usual routine was to see me three times a year, first a blood test then a consult. Scheduling was easy, I call his office and get scheduled. Most times I dd it as I was leaving from my latest consult. Obama Care came along and now my doctor decided he didn’t want any part of it so he sold his practice to some humongous  doctor group. He is just another physician on the roster. He is in the same office, but he is scheduled by the central group. I’ve been trying for a month to get an appointment for a blood test which he prescribed six months ago. I can’t reach anyone in his personal office anymore. Now I have to complain, and say that all the crappy things we have heard about Obama Care are worse than true. Is this what America wants and believes is their God-given right?

Stirring Up Trouble

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This morning I did something I haven’t done in over two years, I ate breakfast at the countertop bar, and watched the morning news. Aside from remembering times past when Peg and I made this a daily ritual, memories of my work days stirred to life. How many times did I tell an engineer not to be feel distraught after presenting me with his proudly drafted report, and gave me a chance to critique it? My comment to them, it is a darn-sight easier to criticize something that already exists than it is to be the first one to draft the thing. What caused this recollection? The big flap about the new American Health Care Plan. So many of the people reading the drafts are being so critical of it being too much like Obama Care, Obama Care Light, etc. For Pete’s sake, it is about health care. For awhile I used a program called Grammarian, and another called Grammarly. One of them had a feature in it to check for plagiarism. I turned it on to check my work. After all, I didn’t want to add  plagiarist to all the many ‘ists’ I have accumulated. I quickly came to the conclusion that I had to turn the dang thing off. Why? Because it cited nearly every phrase uttered by man since he invented speech as a plagiarism.   I couldn’t  use any of my favorite phrases because they were used by someone before in a masterwork. So, what are the chances that a new document about health care written on the heels of an old document on healthcare  can be phrased completely different? Nada. I challenge the best grammarian, author,  writer in the world to take on that challenge. I’ll give them a rotten apple as a reward if they succeed.

Of course the first draft of the new health care act will sound similar to the Affordable Care Act it is all about healthcare, doctors, procedures, drugs, etc.  What I am afraid of is that the critics who wrote the ACA will never be happy until they see something that is like this, “Everyone in the world will have their health care paid for by the U.S. government with no questions asked.” To them I say, go jump into a very cold  lake, and wake up. The working citizens of this country are not slaves to everyone else. Here is what I want to see in the new program:

  1. Health care is not a God-given right, it is a benefit. If God had anything to do with it we would never get sick. God does give us free will, and free will dictates the choices we make. Go to any doctor and tell him you have a pimple on your ass and he will ask you if you smoke. Why? Because he knows that smoking has been connected to so many different outcomes that we can not imagine.
  2. Everyone has a choice to buy health care insurance.
  3. The choice is available anywhere in the country.
  4. I get to select the plan I want. If I chose to buy one that covers a pre-existing condition(pre-existing conditions are much like plagiarism phrases as cited above) then I will pay for it. If I am seventy-five and chose a plan with out pregnancy coverage, I will pay for it. Buying cheap insurance is like visiting a casino to gamble. Except in a casino you gamble your money, in healthcare you gamble your life. Since gambling is such a popular activity in the USA this should be an easy concept to accept.
  5. If an employer wishes to cover pre-existing conditions, and kids living at home until they are twenty-five let them be free to do so, but the employer will be in control of how much they will pay toward the plan.
  6. Doctors will not be allowed to invade our privacy by asking me if I own a gun. A gun does not have a damned thing to do with my health care, or a doctor’s treatment decisions.
  7. It will be the choice of the employer to offer a healthcare plan to its employees. If you are applying for a job because you need health care, and the employer doesn’t offer it, go work somewhere else, or buy insurance for yourself.
  8. Kids who are no longer covered by their parent’s policy and are too smart to buy health care insurance, will be cared for at the retail rates of the provider, and offered a plan to pay the bill at the going rate of interest. Maybe they will get smart and buy a plan or to work to cover themselves.
  9. People who have disabilities like Down Syndrome, Cp, MS, etc who will need lifetime care will be covered by a separate plan.
  10. People who choose to continue addictions like smoking, drugs, alcohol will be charged more for care than the un-addicted. Remember it is all about Liberty and freedom of choce.
  11. Each State will manage their health care systems using Federal Guidelines. If you don’t like what your state is doing with healthcare, move to another state. If no state offers what you are looking for then pay for what you want, or move to a country that does.
  12. If the Federal Government chooses to pay for any of the care it will do so equally to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

What people in the USA don’t seem to grasp is that the countries in Europe who offer what appear to be superior plans are also countries where taxes are very high. Sweden and Denmark for example have a seventy-five percent tax on their happy citizens. Think about that folks, that means you keep a quarter out of every dollar you earn.

What ever happens in the course of the next few months we will be having a debate about healthcare. My guess is that whatever the first draft is that we are criticizing today will not even be close to what finally passes. What is different already is that the project is transparent. Unlike the Democrat twelve hundred page plan which appeared out of thin air (I’m sorry for who ever coined that phrase ‘pulled out of thin air’ for plagiarizing ) and the Congress had little to no time to read it much less argue about it. Remember “you have  to vote for the plan to find out what is in it.” (Sorry, plagiarizing again)

We live in interesting times. (Sorry again, I just can’t seem to get out of the habit of using other people’s words.)

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