Does wanting affordable health care make me a Democrat?

No, and yes.  Wanting a national healthcare policy stems from my paying attention to rising costs and exclusionary techniques used by the health insurance industry.  I have a better than average health care plan that will last as long as I live, if I can make the payments.  If I fail to make those very reasonable payments, of course, I’ll lose my health care plan and be forced to find a new provider. Both my wife and I have pre-existing conditions (because we’re in our fifties, because I broke my back while ditching my plane). Several pre-existing conditions.

So, I’m currently without a paycheck because I’m a public servant, and the Republican Party is out to make sure I pay for my pre-existing condition, no matter how much my provider wants to charge, and because barring that, they want to pretend that downsizing me out of a job will make enough difference to the national debt that the can re-balance the budget.  Forget or ignore the fact that only a Democrat has managed to balance the budget in my lifetime. Remember that the Republican party has never allowed any national health care plan to reach a floor vote, even though some of them have proposed or cosponsored national health care plans.

AARP has endorsed Obamacare, and I’m assured that this makes them an arm of the Democratic party.  I’m not so sure.  I think they’ve recognized that A Plan is better than No Plan.

WebMD has also answered some questions about Obamacare in a positive light.  Does this mean they’re also a bunch of commie Democrat sympathizers?  Probably only on the issue of health care.

I’m registered as a Dem, even though I have unregistered guns in my house and don’t intend to stop.  Perfectly legal in my red state.  If the Republican party ever came up with a comprehensive health care plan more inclusive than “Nooooo……” then I might register with them to support a specific candidate.

But for now, I’ve had my life saved by my health care program.  I want everybody in the nation to have that buffer against disaster, and I’m willing to call availability of health care a right, and not a privilege of wealth.  I guess that wanting everybody to have affordable health care has made me a Democrat.

I’ll probably be jumping parties when the issue at the top of my agenda becomes gun ownership.  But until everybody has health care, and can afford it, I won’t know, because that will the top, middle, and bottom of my political agenda.

Affordable Health Care is possible, and can be done by this generation.

Certain people are paying large sums of money to front the bald-faced lie that health care should not be available to every person in the U.S.

Time to remember why we are fighting for Affordable Health Care.

Here’s one reason: Prescription Medicine. http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/harvard-medical-study-links-lack-of-insurance-to-45000-us-deaths-a-year/?_r=0

Here’s another, more personal story.

Medical indigence.  Interesting term.  It applies to millions of people who work more than one job.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1495228/

Here’s a look at several more issues.v http://www.healthpaconline.net/health-care-issues.htm

It isn’t a question of whether the Democrats or Republicans have the moral high ground. It’s a matter of making sure that my children can have a health care plan even when they don’t turn out to be millionaires.  About 15% of Americans have no comprehensive health care, and the percentage climes each year.  We start fixing it with this generation, or it will be 30% of us without a plan in the next generation.

And the politicians who tell me that it can’t be done, or that it will bankrupt the country, or that the time isn’t right, are either lying or just plain wrong. I’m voting for lying, because they are politicians, and they are moving their lips. It can be done, and it can be done by this generation.

I’m not welcome at either the liberal or conservative tables.

I’m a gun owning machete wielding landowner (Haven’t found a better cure for devil’s club on a steep slope than a big knife).  I live on a ridge line in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska.  I believe that the TSA should be constrained, the Patriot Act should be eliminated or critically rewritten by people who value their rights more than their safety, or even my safety.  I think that every hospital and medical clinic in the US should be able to fearlessly take in every American patient that comes through the doors without worrying about who is going to pay, because they know that the bill will be paid.  Medical care costs have grown beyond the resources of the middle class, and yet the country only exists as a country because of the efforts of that middle class.  We build the chips and datasets, cars and trucks, and the economic environment that allows the rich to become rich.  We do have the right to expect healthy lives, considering how much we participate in empowering this land, for how little of the pool of money, and there is more than enough money in the medical care system to ensure that all of us can. Just the money wasted on insurance overhead and caregiver financial administration would more than care for a sturdy health care system for the currently uninsured.

You might say that I’m an independent voter.  I believe that the banks, not President Bush, took down Wall Street and created the mortgage crisis for a clean and continuing profit (take over a mortgage, foreclose when the owner is one or three payments behind, take the mortgage insurance, sell the house for it’s full market value, never repay the insurance payout.  What’s not to love about that?).  The national debt was created to fund a war half-way around the world that we won, but whose outcome was never going to create any greater good in the U.S.  Why? Weapons of mass destruction?  Not bloody likely.

Saddam Hussein and his minions were never a legitimate threat to the U.S.  I’d like to know what the real reason was, but I’m betting I’d disapprove.  Western cultures have been trying to remake the Middle East for more than two thousand years and it always ends poorly.  Maybe the U.S. really shouldn’t go 11,000 miles away and exercise American dominance games.  I’m not sure who it’s helping.  I know it isn’t me, and I know it isn’t my country’s economy.

Window Dressing

Republicans jumped on a bandwagon to pressure the president to approve a proposed oil pipeline through 1700 miles of the interior, and have gone all crazy when he did’t do that within a 60 day notional deadline the Republicans created from whole cloth. Ignore the fact that major construction that has a significant possibility of causing substantial environmental damage to the areas through which it passes.  Reducing or mitigating environmental damage isn’t on the Republican radar this year.  But the legal requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement, and the near impossibility of producing one of those that will stand up in a district court under those sort of time constraints would be on the Republican radar if they actually wanted the pipeline to succeed.

The Republican big-brain trust thinks that they’ve got a win no matter what. If Obama approves the pipeline, but the approval falls apart in court, then Obama is wrong.  If Obama refuses the stupid Republican deadline, then he doesn’t believe in progress, or finding jobs for Americans.

I hope that Obama will commit that unthinkable third act, getting it right the first time, so that we don’t have to do it over.

No, I don’t think that my president needs to be a millionaire

Aside

I know a surprisingly large group of people who’ve put their lives into public service, but never took the time to make themselves millionaires.  I have no problem with somebody who has made themselves a millionaire, but much rather vote for a public servant who considers supporting the nation to be more important than making millions of dollars.

One of my state’s recent senators made himself a multimillionaire during his first term in the Senate, many years ago.  I don’t consider that laudable in any way.

Health care. Mine is taken care of, why should I care about you?

My uncle forwarded me an e-mail claiming that the Obama health care reform legislation will secretly bring about a 3.8% tax on sale of all houses, starting next year, in 2013. The thing that this misses is that the 3.8% tax only applies to home sales profits that are in excess of $250,000 or 500,000 in the case of married filers.  I’ve never made $250,000 profit on reselling a house, but I suppose you might have.  Still, the base price of the house plus $250,000 is not taxable under this law, nor are expenses that would directly impact the profit line.  Here is a link to an explanation that seems fairly complete.

In other words, it’s a long term capital gains tax, and doesn’t have any impact at all on somebody like me, whose house is only worth $300,000 and has only appreciated by 50% since I bought it. Even if it had doubled in cost, and I had to pay tax on the profits in excess of $250,000, then I’d be paying 3.8% of $50,000 minus my expenses in owning the home and depreciated value over the last ten years.  If I wanted to ignore total expenses on the home over the last ten years, and pretend there was no depreciation, and paid the full amount of the tax, it would come out to $1750.00 on my house if sold at $400K, which is about $100k more than it is worth.

http://www.kcmblog.com/2011/01/26/7074/

Yes, I am willing to see my taxes go up some in order to bring about universal health care. I honestly believe that if we don’t bite the bullet and make health care available to all citizens now, the costs will continue to skyrocket until the 44 million of us with no health care insurance, and the 38 million of us with inadequate health care insurance, which brings us to almost a third of all US citizens who are financially unable to weather the storm of a major medical emergency, will be joined by basically everybody who isn’t actively employed by a major corporation, the government, or a land-grant university. This info below is ©2000.

http://www.pbs.org/healthcarecrisis/uninsured.html

Numbers continue to get worse.  In 2011, the uninsured went up to 49.9 Million.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/13/news/economy/census_bureau_health_insurance/index.htm

Universal health care isn’t pie in the sky, it exists in many first world countries, and has been tested thoroughly in the last 50 years.  Switzerland may have the best plan, and it’s privately funded by each person.  But that required, and requires, complex regulatory control and cost controls.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2011/02/15/to-see-the-health-costs-in-front-of-ones-nose-is-a-constant-struggle

The Swiss method is impossible in the U.S. because it would be implacably fought, regardless of proven success, by both sides of our very skinny political spectrum. Liberals would hate it because it isn’t friendly to the uneducated or the addicted spend-thrift, conservatives would hate it because it should somehow magically self regulate, and still cover everybody. Well, conservatives generally seem to feel that it just won’t be available to everybody, and that it shouldn’t be.  From a certain conservative perspective, if you can’t afford a health care plan and you get sick, you should accept your mortal fate, and get the dying over with.

I have friends now who are paying $1800.00 per month for their family of four to have health insurance, since the wife has a minor, non-life threatening, preexisting condition.  I know a good, multiply published, writer who is only alive today because she had major surgery on charity, about a month ago.  We aren’t taking care of the poorest 30% of us, and we’re putting that group into the reality that if they do get sick, they lose their homes, jobs, and generally whatever health insurance they do have.  Americans die in the tens of thousands every year because they can’t afford health care, and can’t find somebody charitable enough to front the bill.

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/deaths-rising-due-to-lack-of-insurance-study-finds

An average waitress in the U.S. makes $20,380 per year.  She can’t afford to have a family or a health care plan.  She almost certainly works two or more jobs, or her boss would be forced to pay her a benefits package, and restaurants just can’t do that for most of their people.

http://www.myplan.com/careers/waiters-and-waitresses/summary-35-3031.00.html

What I’m saying is that regardless of political convictions, millions of Americans cannot get health care packages because Obamacare was castrated before it began, and that most of those millions, if they do suffer catastrophic illness, will die.  26,000 people in that category die early every year, and the vast majority of them are productive, employed citizens until they have the bad taste to contract a major illness.  We could do something, we can afford it, but a lot of Americans have been hoodwinked into believing that it would be the end of America if we actually fixed the clearly broken and getting worse health care system. Obamacare is a start, which the Republicans flatly refused to make. But Obamacare will never actually accomplish the goal if it isn’t improved.  Dropping Obamacare is going back to square one for 16.8% of us.  Fixing Obamacare, even if it requires a complete overhaul, is the best way to go.  Don’t back down.

Bill

US Post Office and other inefficiencies.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want the US Postal Service to run at a profit. See here. The profit is entirely in maintaining a cohesive country, and part of that is making sure that my cousin in Fort Benton, MT, can send a birthday card to my uncle in Carlsbad, NM, for the same price that my uncle in Sacramento, CA, can send a sample contract to his business associate in New York. (Sacto to NYC has efficiencies of volume that Ft Benton to Carlsbad will never have. Pure business practice would have people competing to mail between Sacto and NYC, but dropping the flow between small communities entirely, or making that sort of mail an inefficient cottage business. Small towns are already hurting enough, throughout the country.)

Yes, I think there is plenty of room to raise the price on first class mail. I also think that there is a large and sneaky group in congress who’re perfectly content to run the USPS into the ground legislatively, and claim that congressional ineptitude proves the the USPS isn’t effective, efficient or necessary. That is all founded on a lie, that makes a certain kind of reactionary voter happy, by enforcing a surreality in place of actually making sure that the country’s needs are met.

The US Army is also not run at a profit. I really don’t think that it should be, regardless of a Milo Minderbender‘s opinion. Like the US Army, the USPS may not be the best possible Post Office – just the best in the world, by a very large margin.

It’s time to stop screwing around with the things that make the US one powerful country instead of a whole bunch of city-states, which is exactly and precisely what the blind allegiance to teabagger protocols will net us. Us. One country, not 308 million countries of one.

Bought and Paid for

Gotta hand it to the Republicans on the supercommittee. Even the millionaires are coming out of the woodwork to tell us that they’re willing to pay more taxes in order to get the country moving, but the Republicans are going to hard line that one until they get thrown out for refusing to join the big-boys table.

Too bad, really. Before they started the lock-step dance, I used to vote for some of them. Now? Doesn’t matter what they look like, their going to vote as they’re told by the RNC. Who owns the RNC? Somebody does. It certainly isn’t making the Republican Reich vote for the public good. They’re voting directly against the public good when they screw the poor to protect the rich.

Whigs.

BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

Quote

Originally posted by lj user write_light at BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

Website Blocking The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users.

Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook.

Chaos for the Internet Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn’t be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

Read this analysis from boing-boing.net

Get on the phone and call your representative. Express your disapproval. Tell him or her exactly how you feel, and that you don’t support this. Tell your friends to call their representatives, their Congressperson, and complain. Mention that you are a registered voter that takes your civic responsibility seriously and that you will use that vote to express your feelings about this.

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_60/Intwbr /ernet-Companies-Boost-Hill-Lobbying-2103wbr /45-1.html

“We support the bill’s stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the Internet companies wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.” The chamber-led coalition in support of the bill includes Walmart, Eli Lilly & Co. and Netflix.

Google and other opponents of the legislation argue that restricting the Internet in the U.S. sets a bad international precedent and that the language defines infringing too broadly.