“When I moved to Canada at the age of 23, and was forced to experience Universal Health Care and found that it was actually a good thing for pretty much every person I came in contact with, I began to question what else I had been told could be misinformation. Even the very conservative people I came in contact with in Canada were happy with their Universal Health Care. In Canada large secluded religious sects had all their health care needs met by the government and had no problem with that. The stuff I had been fed was purely propaganda. There was no cap on how many children you could have, no older people left to die, no forced abortions or elimination of special needs people. Even when Canadians complained about wait times and talked of maybe running to the states to get a service faster, after finding out that it would cost them tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket, most chose to wait instead. (And yes I am aware that optical and dental care are not covered, I wear glasses myself. And since I wasn’t spending years paying off emergency room visits or the leftover costs of my children’s births, I could actually afford to take my kids in for dental care every 6 months.) The system wasn’t perfect, but it was a decided improvement on what I had observed and experienced in the USA.”
“Rick Perry is not alone. Ever since the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the law’s expansion of Medicaid without forfeiting all their Medicaid funding, at least five other Republican governors — led by Tea Party darlings like South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, Florida’s Rick Scott and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal — have summarily refused to implement the expansion on the grounds that their states just can’t afford it. They’re as wrong as Rick Perry. The federal government covers 100 percent of the expansion in 2014 through 2016. In 2017, states begin sharing the cost, paying 5 percent; that share grows to 10 percent in 2020. States are never on the hook for more than 10 percent of the annual cost. To put that in perspective, states currently pay between 25 to 50 percent of current Medicaid’s costs.
“If you are a so-called job creator in the country, even if the jobs you create are in India or China, you are legally entitled to wonderful things like offshore tax havens…or $77,000 in business deductions for dressage horse competition expenses. Yeah $77,000 tax break to send your horse to the fucking prom. Here’s what Romney doesn’t get. Nobody cares that Mitt Romney is rich. It’s Romney’s inability to understand the institutional advantage that he gains from the government’s tax code largesse, that’s a little offensive to people, especially considering Romney’s view on anyone else who looks to the government for things like, I don’t know, food and medicine.”—Jon Stewart
There is a difference between a condition and a problem. We put up with all manner of conditions everyday: bad weather, unavoidable & untreatable illnesses, pestilence, poverty, fanaticism. As one lobbyist said, “If you have only four fingers on one hand, that’s not a problem; that’s a situation.” conditions become defined as problems when we come to believe that we should do something about them.
—John W. Kingdon
“Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies”
I have no idea what message the U.S. Constitution really wanted to relay to the American people about health insurance –and, honestly, I don’t think any Constitutional scholar, President, or other Political figure knows either. The fact is, there was no health insurance when the Constitution was written…and you can’t defend something that is non existent or was never there. So, my best guess about how the Constitutional defines healthcare, what is right and what is wrong…it is just as good as anyone else’s….and my best guess…well it isn’t much.
I have the strongest assumption that the interpretations of how the Constitution pertains to the Obama Administration’s health reform package have more to do with political affiliation than any irrefutable position embedded by our Founding Fathers. We are most definitely on our own. Maybe the founders did not anticipate drug-eluting coronary stents, chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, or the costs, co-pays, and deductibles that come along with them. Maybe we need to use our own common sense, rather than keep telling one another why long-dead people meant to say what our particular team wishes they meant to say.
However, even I can admit that common sense can take opposing people in opposing directions…but mine takes me here—healthcare is not your average commodity by any means.
The center of the Constitutional debate appears to be whether or not the federal government can compel us to buy any commodity through mandatory tax impositions…what my common sense tells me is that in the case of healthcare, it is not the government, but the processes and consequences of unpredictable fortune that compel the purchase.
If you can’t afford a car, you can get by without one. If you can’t afford nice clothes, you can manage with Good Will. If you don’t golf, there is certainly no reason to buy $1200 golf clubs, or pay $100 for 18 holes. It just doesn’t makes sense…these are remedial choices…common sense.
However, if you are hit by a bus, or you fall from your roof, or drive a shovel into an underground electric cable, or have a heart attack, or get struck by lightning, or develop Pancreatic cysts… you will get treated. The only option is for observers to leave you lying, writhing, seizing, or bleeding –because you have not expressively, in advance, chosen to “purchase” health care. The odds are, if you were conscious while seizing or hemorrhaging, you might want the opportunity to reconsider and “purchase” that healthcare.
But there is NEVER opportunity to reconsider priorities, commodities, or purchases during a calamity. During a calamity, the default judgments and actions of a society of fundamentally decent, compassionate people are … to treat the individual first and then ask questions about insurance status and credit later. I mean come on, would anyone really want this to work differently? Can you envision the world where you are left on the sand to bleed after a shark attack until we verify your financial assets?
Now let’s consider the heavy hand of government against which the Republican version of what the founding fathers meant to say protects us…
Maybe you, the one bleeding, seizing, or dying—are not compelled to “buy” health insurance…because nobody is the boss of you and you can make your own decisions. Maybe you get treated for your calamity, and simply don’t pay the bill. But then I, and everyone else, are compelled to “buy” what you did not. We pay more taxes to support the public provision of care. We pay higher insurance premiums to cover higher hospital charges to account for the fact that a certain percentage of customers get care they don’t pay for. If health care is a commodity, then by not requiring some to buy it, we are requiring others to buy it for them. Where’s the Constitutional protection against that?
There is none and can be none, because health care is not a commodity. It is an event, a crisis, an occurrence. And paying for it…well it just happens. There isn’t much in the free market system that looks like this. There isn’t any particular reason why the founding fathers would have anticipated this issue.
The problem with debating how what the Constitution says about commodities applies to healthcare is that healthcare is not a commodity. It is, all too often, as unintended and unplanned as it is unavoidable. Health care is not a commodity, and the Constitution does not seem to have said anything in particular about whether or not to send out an ambulance to deal with someone who can’t pay for it, and then impose the bill on those who can.
My common sense tells me that health care is, and should be, a case apart. And therefore before we imagine different meanings in the words of those who never imagined health insurance, perhaps we should consider what would be the sensible way to handle a “purchase” the purchaser is apt to be in and has is in no condition to refuse—not because of anything the Constitution or Obama Administration did or didn’t say. But simply because the aftermath of unpredictability may fall on any of us at any time — and when they do, somebody will be left to pay the bill.
“In one sense, at least, it’s a game of equals; by broad consensus, the two most enigmatic phenomena around are human consciousness and the origins of the universe. The balance between them, between our curiosity and the universe’s mystery, is in every sense, a fine one.”—Kathryn Schultz
I live here. I breathe with these lungs. I feel with these fingers. I hug with these arms, I kiss with these lips, I think with this brain.
But when I was 18 years old, my body became not my own. Someone I had never met from a place I had never been to…that unfamiliar person took my body…my thoughts…my actions…my feelings…it took them from me….and ever since then I have felt like I had no control over the body I lived in.
Not when I was 18 and I first shoved my fingers down my throat…not when I was 19 and “controlled” my emotions by eating only 200 calories a day..if that. Not when I was 20, and weighed 89lbs. Not when I had to enter in-patient treatment because I was severely depressed. Not when I was 22 and every bite of food, every drink consumed, every calorie was counted…not today when every thought of a meal brings an anxiety attack. Not today when I wish I could live without food.
My body has been a thing I abuse, a thing I abhor, a thing that I am attached to and cannot be rid of. Never has it been a thing to protect, a thing to love, or a home.
I am 23 years old, and it’s taken me 5 years to realize that I will never be normal. That life will never again be normal for me. And that is not okay.
Every time I leave class, I leave so inspired…so motivated. It makes me realize how minimal my “problems” are & how massive my actions can be. How amazing is it that we have the potential to effect others? To be the solution, to be the counterpoint that emphasizes & highlights what is good & positive in this world. Problems are not problems, but they are our opportunities. Too often policy & advocacy are decoupled from reality..we should never let a crisis go to waste. Extract change from the problem & advocate for the “unexpected”, the “unrealistic”, & the “unimagined”.
Creating an entirely different system, no matter how difficult and visionary it may seem, is a more realistic alternative than a head-in-the-sand view that refuses to recognize the incompatibility between unlimited capital accumulation and limited resources, or that denies capitalism’s connection to social and ecological exploitation. Extracting the influence & control of capitalism from the most powerful economic and political forces and then attempting to institute strict controls without otherwise altering the system may help somewhat but still leaves economic decisions in private hands with profitmaking still the overarching goal —and represents at best a slower path to destruction.
A utopian reformism, which says you can fundmentally change the system without touching its power relations, is the greatest illusion of all.
The intensity, depth, and substance to your lies concern me. It worries me…it makes me doubt the human race.
It perplexes me. I am confused. I am confused as to how a person can intentionally treat another person so brutally—how the words that come from your mouth leak through the cracks of my fingers like water cusped in my hands. Is this really how we as a society..as people treat our own? Is this reality? Do words have no meaning to you? And if they do mean anything, do I not?
I will never understand that person who says and does things to hurt someone else intentionally. I was not cut from that cloth. I could never intentionally hurt someone…I could never be that selfish. I would never say things that I didnt’ mean and I would never promise things I know I could never give back. I would not accept something I could not return and I would not use a person as though they were a product to be utilized for my own good.
I could not. I would not. I can not. And I will not.
And although it has been done to me, even though I am hurting…I will learn from my naivness and I will make it a point to not return the “favor” to others.
Two lovers sat on a park bench with their bodies touching each other, holding hands in the moonlight.
There was silence between them. So profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it. And so they sat in silence, on a park bench, with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.
Finally she spoke. “Do you love me, John ?” she asked. “You know I love you. darling,” he replied. “I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life. my sun. moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being.”
Again there was silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench, their bodies touching, holding handls in the moonlight. Once more she spoke. “How much do you love me, John ?” she asked. He answered : “How’ much do I love you ? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the sea shore. Impossible, you say. Yes and it is just as impossible for me to say how much I love you.
"My love for you is higher than the heavens, deeper than Hades, and broader than the earth. It has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending except my love for you."
There was more of silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.
Once more her voice was heard. “Kiss me, John” she implored. And leaning over, he pressed his lips warmly to hers in fervent osculation…
»»>To be in a state where you are uneducated, unaware, and misinformed….to lack in knowledge or competence…to be blind and oblivious to reality…”The fault unknown is a thought unacted”…and the epitome of ignorance is always bliss.