Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caught in the Reform

Its just my luck that I would get caught up in all this health care reform mess. In order for me to accomplish my long time goal of a cross country bicycle ride this summer, I was forced to resign from my job because my company does not give leave for personal reasons such as this. I was offered a COBRA health policy but it was unbelievably cost prohibitive. So I was forced into the nightmare of shopping for a personal health policy. The choices were numerous, confusing and costly. Anything that was remotely affordable included very high deductibles and no prescription coverage. Since my bicycle adventure was a potentially dangerous feat, I finally purchased just such a policy - after all, it would only be temporary until I returned to my former job.

Two days after my departure, my former employer declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and many people lost their jobs. All those unfortunate co-workers were now in the same situation I was in. The Bankruptcy proceedings were completed just before I completed my journey. Fortunately for me, someone in my old position (but on 3rd shift) wanted to voluntarily leave and so I was able to get back to work (with a substantial pay cut). But because of the bankruptcy, the company was on a hiring freeze and I was forced to work as a contractor through an employment agency with no benefits. I decided to retain the health policy I purchased. The agency I am working for then offered a group policy for less than what my personal policy cost, but also includes high deductibles. That group plan also includes prescription coverage so now I'm applying for that policy which won't be effective for almost 2 months.

Through all this mess I've had to listen to angry mobs in Town Hall meetings scream about how there is nothing wrong with health coverage and there is no need for a public option. These people are likely in a solid job with a good group policy. But there are problems - big ones. Thankfully I didn't have a pre-existing condition which would have further complicated my situation. I can tell you with certainty, if there were a public option for health coverage, I would have taken it. It is needed.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Has anyone else noticed that ants seem to be taking over the world? I thought maybe it was just a Florida thing but they were everywhere on my trip across the USA this summer. It is amazing to me how something so tiny can be really big when they all work together. They would get nothing accomplished individually. I guess there is a lesson we could learn from ants - before they totally destroy us.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just Do It

It seems clear at this point that there can be no good compromise on health care reform. Republican suggestions at compromise completely take out any reform from the issue and protect the out of control profits of insurance companies and medical care. There is no regard for people in their plan - only profits. This is politics at its worst.

The issue of health care reform is so important in my opinion that I would rather see the Democrats lose the next election than bow to a compromise that does not achieve real reform. I think President Obama should take the bold step to make these changes as proposed with the public option even without Republican support. If possible it could be done with an Executive Order - done - period.

This action would be wildly unpopular for Republicans and even some Democrats, but the result would be real change. It may cost the Democrats the next election but would save lives, costs and the integrity of the Democratic party. This is no different than ordering a war against the will of most of America as President Bush did. But in this case it would save countless lives rather than kill countless people. President Obama was elected on the hope of change. Keep the hope alive - even if it may be unpopular. History will show it was the right thing to do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rescue a Child

Many precious and wonderful animals end up in shelters or pounds every day, but thanks to the kind hearts of good people many of these animals are rescued and become part of loving caring homes. I myself have rescued 4 dogs so far and they have been unbelievable companions and a big part of my "family".

What puzzles me though is why we don't show the same respect and love for children who also end up in shelters and orphanages every day. When couples find they are unable to conceive a child, they resort to all sorts of expensive fertility testing and sometimes ethically questionable means of artificial conception. Meanwhile, young human beings spend their entire childhood homeless and unloved. Why can't we show the same respect for children that we do for animals? Even gay couples go to extremes to have a "mini them" running around. I think it is tragic and selfish.

In my opinion, every fertility clinic should require their patients to first visit an orphanage before any procedure can be performed. Let the people see that there is another option - adoption. Maybe just seeing a child who needs a home would make some of them change their mind. Perhaps their precious child has already been born.

I believe childless couples, gay and straight, are part of God's plan. There will always be homeless children for many reasons. Rescuing a child should be the first choice.