February 24, 2010

You Want Obama?

Read this and go after him.

According to The New York Times:

"Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying-Medicare rates...or controlled by the secretary of health and human services. 'We have an agreement with the White House that I'm very confident will be seen all the way through conference', one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter...Industry lobbyists say they are not worried [about a public option.] 'We trust the White House,' Mr. Kahn said."

I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican, or an Independent. It doesn't matter if you are for or against a public option, or whether you care about health care reform or not. Maybe it's the lousy condition of the roads you care about, or the fact that your utility bills are shooting through the roof (have you forgotten Enron already?). What ever it is, some corporation is angling to make a big buck off of you. They are looking for the law to give them the power to take you to the cleaners. They go to the White House which is open for business (but not for you!) and is making deals with private entities long before the Congress even gets to pretend to deliberate on a bill as if they are making law. They are only going to rubber-stamp the decision made through the Oval Office. That's what they get paid handsomely to do. It has been this way for many years, and involves both parties. Where in this process is there any input from YOU, the voting taxpaying citizen of this nation?

Come November, if you vote for an incumbent, then you are voting to allow this sort of shady back room dealing to continue to erode your quality of life. Have you not lost enough already? Who is to say that this collusion between the public and private sectors won't be extended to limiting more of your freedoms and curtailing your liberty?

Many of you are gun owners. You fear that your guns will be confiscated. What if some corporation decides that you are a threat to them, or maybe decides that they can make big bucks if they convince the government that they can protect you better - For LESS! - than government entities like the police or the military can - as long as you are disarmed? How long do you think it would be before they come for your Glock? How are you going to fight them? And I don't mean with your little 9mm, either. I mean politically.

The Supreme Court just took all limits off corporate political contributions under a tortured definition of free speech, yet can you match the money it takes to turn your Congressperson dishonest if the corporation buys the necessary votes to take your guns away? Most of you don't make enough to have a very good life now, assuming that you are still employed! You know what talks and what walks, and if the last several elections have not yet convinced you that you are not important to the larger scheme of things, then you haven't been paying attention.

Maybe you were too busy trying to prove Obama was not a citizen, or that he was some kind of terrorist plant, or a Muslim. But while you were so distracted, he was at the center of a tug-of-war over which group of corrupt politicians was going to sell you out. He can do nothing without both groups agreeing on how they will divide the swag, nor can they do anything without him. Replace him with Sarah Palin, and what is really going to change besides the face speaking the lies? The purchasers of the law still win no matter which corrupt organization holds the reins. They just shift the money to one group when the other group pisses them off.

It's going on right now with the Wall Street banks now that they got almost $24 trillion of YOUR MONEY. Now that they are back in the plush, they are currently reported to have ceased donating to the Democrats and have shifted their support to the to the Republicans in order to keep what they were given, and using the money given to them from YOUR taxes which was intended to bail them out from their lousy gambling to do so. But you can be sure that YOU will be the loser.

The only way to fix this is to return control of the government to those who are supposed to be the government. That is you and I, the voters. This won't happen as long as a rich private entity representing some business, or industry, or some very wealthy individual can buy the law for their benefit under the mistaken legal notion that money speaks louder than the voice of the electorate. The Supreme Court Citizens United decision must be reversed, or else everything you hold dear about this nation will be taken away from you and sold to the highest bidder - and with your tax money loaned to them to do so. They can't be trusted to repay that loan, leaving you to have to pay the bill with your reduced quality of life one more time.

Are you going to let them?

Stronger together, but working individually.

I'll put this question to you in hopes of inspiration. What do we do about it?  In a nation that has always celebrated rugged individualism, how do we get people to realize that the Founding Fathers unified behind the thought that we all hang together or we all hang alone? To talk of the strength of the community acting together for mutual benefit is to surely raise the hackles of "every red-blooded true American" against the resurgent rise of "Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Maoism" and any other "-ism" that the Corporate Fascists can find in a dictionary. There isn't even a single unified front from the Left. We are a scattered gaggle, bereft of direction, vocation, and leadership. Progressives are left (if you'll excuse the pun) out in the cold for daring to be egalitarian in our goals, as "Liberals," so often in favor corporations and free trade as dearly as the wingnuts to the Right, hurl insults at us ala Rahm. Most of us would rather talk the talk than actually do something. I, myself, can be dreadfully guilty of this crime; held immobile by frustration and impotent rage. How, then, do we get people to listen to us when the facts bore the shit out of people and they'd rather drink a beer with a corporate fascist than listen to the rallying cries and wake up calls declaring our perilous situation? I'm at a loss, and I'm hoping you have some ideas. I'm just plain out of them.

February 7, 2010

It's Enough To Make You Sick!

There's a good reason why there's been such a large gap in my postings this last couple of weeks, and I've got the Doctor's note to prove it!

Simultaneously, I developed a couple of unrelated medical conditions that required immediate attention. I was in my doctor's office a total of four times across two weeks, saw a specialist once, was in various labs for testing five times, and spent a morning in the ER. I also have a total of seven medications that were prescribed to me as I got to experience "the best medical care in the world" that the Republicans fight mightily to defend against reality and reform.

They should have to endure my travails. Then we'll see if they still believe that Americans have "the best medical care in the world".

As the first condition erupted, and I had to get in to see my doctor without waiting the six weeks it now takes to get an appointment, I ended up seeing the Nurse Practitioner. She prescribed some medication (which did nothing but make money for Amneal Pharmaceuticals) and sent me on my way.

That night, the second condition erupted, and I was back to see the N.P. again. This time, Amneal again benefited, only they had to share the wealth with the Watson and Glenmark companies. But wait! That's Not ALL! I was sent out for an MRI which was to be processed immediately, and the results provided to my doctor by the end of that day.

That didn't happen. The MRI lab was backed up because the scanner was acting up and not taking good images. Then, the radiologist who was supposed to read the images and write the report didn't do so for several days, leaving me hanging without any real relief from the pain I was experiencing. For this my insurance paid him a princely sum, I'm sure.

The next day, I had pain so bad that I had to go to the ER. They wanted to access the MRI files and could not (which is how I found out that they weren't processed yet). Their MRI "ran slow" and was always backed up with immediate needs being plugged in between the scheduled scannings, so they opted for a CT scan. They drew blood for lab tests to check my blood sugar and maybe a few other things, but they didn't tell my everything. I guess that one of these things was to see if there was any good reason I couldn't tolerate the contrast dye necessary for the CT scan. Unfortunately for me, they couldn't do that until my doctor said that the contrast dye wouldn't cause me to go into diabetic shock. So I had to wait, holding my cranium in an improvised vise made from my hands to quell the pain. I was also to go have an X-ray taken to back up the CT.

Finally, everything they wanted to do had been done, and they handed me a prescription for yet another pain killer (which made Squib some money this time), and sent me on my way. I was under orders to see my doctor as soon as possible, which was two days hence due to the weekend.

Back to see himself this time. He goes over all the reports from the scans and the lab work and what not, and hands me yet another prescription for yet another pain killer -which made Watson a little richer- and a referral to a specialist for my first condition.

The specialist checks me out, and hands me yet another prescription to replace an earlier one, which brought Eli Lilly onto the gravy train. He also orders more lab work (not yet completed, so it doesn't get included in my out-of-pocket tally below) and a follow-up visit.

I had a follow-up scheduled with my primary doctor to see how I was tolerating all the drug changes, and he told me that one of my sudden conditions was being caused by arthritis, and that there isn't much they can do for me (meaning that my insurance company isn't likely to be willing to pay for it).

At this point, out of my own pocket, I've spent over $400 in copays and deductibles, an amount that roughly matches my payroll deduction for the coverage in the first place. My insurance company had to have paid about ten times that amount, and I am no closer to having either condition successfully treated.

So much for "the best medical care in the world" !