When Will it Stop Being About the Money?

ID-10020673

For a long time our healthcare in this country (US) has operated more like health(s)care. This is not a reflection of the doctors or nurses who invest so much of themselves into helping sick people get better. I have had the great fortune of having wonderful doctors with tremendous bedside manners watch over my health, as well as caring and devoted nurses who have made my time spent in hospitals as comfortable as one could hope for.

The problem with America’s healthcare is the system. It’s all about the money, and when the bottom-line is always priority, sick people lose. This is a sad and dangerous sentiment when we’re talking about people’s lives. Those who need their medical treatment and medications to keep their hearts beating, or their lungs filled with air, never really have a decent night’s sleep because they know if God forbid they, or their spouse, loses their job, and subsequently, their insurance coverage, they will never be able to afford the outrageous price of insurance on their own.

No one can be assured the next job they apply for will have good insurance. Strong health benefits, as well as pensions and 401(k)’s, are slowly disappearing from employers’ packages to workers. There are many claims that companies like Walmart are deliberately cutting weekly employee hours so their workers won’t qualify for health insurance. Why? Because Health insurance is expensive and, like everything in business, it’s all about the money.

Up until a few short years ago a person could be denied insurance coverage just for being sick. Pre-existing conditions is what they called it. Insurance companies didn’t want to offer insurance to people who might actually have to use it. So the unlucky millions of Americans who had the audacity to get sick while not having insurance, (didn’t matter if they lost their jobs through no fault of their own like a company closure, or mandatory lay-offs) those individuals were deemed “uninsurable.”  At the same time, a stigma was placed on people without insurance as being “irresponsible freeloaders.”

During the 2012 presidential campaign, health insurance was a hot topic (still is) because President Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare (Yes! Obama Cares! Thank you Republicans for a great nickname). I remember vividly Republican Presidential candidates Gov. Rick Perry and Gov. Mitt Romney expressing their opinion that people needed to keep continuous insurance coverage to assure coverage when they suddenly got sick. The issue of hard-working people losing their jobs, and not being able to afford programs like Cobra, never came up. If one couldn’t afford high premiums it seemed to be their own fault for being poor.

Obamacare gave us some well-needed regulations in the practices of insurance companies. One practice Obama put an end to is the pre-exisiting conditions clause. Insurance companies can no longer deny a person for being sick. Alleluia. My only wonder is why the hell did the American people put up with this kind of a system anyway? Obama cited watching his mother fighting with insurance companies when she was diagnosed with cancer as his motivation for taking on the healthcare in this county, and thank God he did.

How many sons, daughter, wives, husband, mothers, and fathers watched their loved ones die because either insurance companies denied them, or the companies had found ways not to cover the treatment needed to save their loved-one’s life (yes, insurance companies were (are) very good at finding reasons to deny certain procedures).

Why did it take so long for something to be done? Easy. Insurance companies are powerful. According to ThinkProgress.org, United Health Group made a profit of 2.1 billion dollars in 2013. Two billion dollars buys a lot fancy lobbyists with plenty of incentives to offer members of congress to vote for policies that favor insurance companies.

Insurance companies are powerful, and, when standing alone, people are weak, but standing together…?

I don’t know why we, the people, never stood together as a country to put an end to the greed that lines CEO’s pockets off the backs of sick and dying people. It’s quite repulsive when one imagines a wealthy CEO making hundreds of millions of dollars a year (base and stock options), flying in private jets with all the luxuries, while a family huddles around the bedside of a dying loved one who possibly could have been saved if not for the unscrupulous practices of some insurance companies.

When sick people are deemed “undesirable”, a lack of human compassion is expressed when decisions and policies are made that affect sick people’s lives.

Take the profit out of healthcare. A single payer system is what we need.

ID-100188393

Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Love Won Today

Keep in our hearts today all those who have passed never knowing their love was equal. Never again will a gay person worry they will be denied at the bedside of their dying partner. Never again will a gay person lose their home because they have no inheritance rights. We are now protected. Gay marriage is now simply marriage.

    Embedded image permalink

Embedded image permalink

Embedded image permalink

I don’t own the copyright to these images. If it breaks any copyright laws, I will take them down.

Looking for Someone Other Than My Wife.

On March 26, Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law. There was no secret that this bill was being voted on in the Republican-controlled Indiana House of Representatives. The only question was whether Gov. Pence would sign it.

And the answer is, “Yes. Yes, he would.” And he did. And then the $hit hit the fan.

Pence attempted to extinguish the outpouring screams of bigotry by stating that this was the same bill President Bill Clinton passed in 1993. No, Gov. Pence. It is not. Under the law Clinton signed, a “person” doesn’t include a business or a corporation, whose rights of religious freedom are protected from being oppressed and thus, can use the law to protect itself while denying service to a customer based on religious beliefs.

The intent of the RFRA Clinton signed was clearly to protect REAL people, the ones with a pulse, from being religiously burdened by the government. This act specifically targeted “Native American religions that are burdened by increasing expansion of government projects onto sacred land. In Native American religion, the land they worship on is very important.” (Wikipedia)

Only in Indiana did the law state a business is a person.

Most people saw this law for what it really was — a legal way to discriminate against the LGBT community. I need to point out that in all states that have passed a RFRA, all of them offer legal protections to gays and lesbians. Indiana does not, and Pence stated only days before he signed this bill that adding legal protection to the LGBT community was “not on his agenda.” So he signed a bill into law that would leave a group of people vulnerable to discrimination. And when the public, including CEO’s of major corporations, let him know how they felt about it, he promptly called for revisions to the law. He remarked that he was surprised the law created such an outrage, but what I believe he really meant is that he was surprised so many people cared about the rights of gays and lesbians — people Pence clearly has no concern for.

The revised law now denies businesses the right to refuse service to anyone based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but the act of discriminating against the LGBT community in other areas like Housing is still legal in Indiana, which is both sad and scary.

During this debacle, one of the owners of a pizzeria in Indiana called, Memories Pizza, announced she wouldn’t deliver pizzas to a gay wedding. The publish backlash was so bad, the company had to temporarily shut its doors. A fund was started by those empathetic to the establishment, and collected over 800,000 dollars in donations.

Obviously, there are many strong opinions on this subject from both sides.

I wasn’t going to write a blog about this law, despite how much it infuriated me. If I had intended to, I would have written one weeks ago when the subject was headline news. But a few nights ago, I was at a friend’s house and a commercial came on. A bunch of really happy guys were singing a song with overly, creepy smiles on their faces. My friend (who is married) sighed and commented how much she hated this commercial.

“What’s it for?” I asked.

“Ashley Madison,” she responded.

“What’s that?” I innocently asked.

“You’ve never heard of it? It’s a website for men to cheat on their wives.”

No, I hadn’t heard of it and the line these men were gaily singing was “Looking for someone other than my wife.” I couldn’t make out the second line, but I don’t think it really matters. It’s $hit like this that really pisses me off. Websites for cheating spouses, casual marriages (Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian), and shows like “How to Marry a Millionaire” take a big dump on the sanctity of marriage, yet, I don’t hear the outcries from people, concerned about preserving the purity and holiness of marriage, screaming about this as loud as they do when the words “gay marriage” are uttered.

The entire fiasco of the Indiana law really came down to businesses not wanting to be forced to provide services for gay weddings. Whether that be in the form of catering, providing flowers, baking a wedding cake, or designing a dress. Businesses wanted to be able to use religion and the Bible to turn these “sinners” away. How do these self-righteous companies feel about serving adulterers? I don’t know because I haven’t heard a peep about it. Crickets.

I have yet to read a passage in the bible that states clearly the way God viewed gays, but I sure know how he felt about adultery. THAT was pretty darn clear. The act made it into the list of Ten Commandments of what “thou shalt not do.” Nothing about being gay made it onto that Biblical list, yet, it seems people are willing to push this aside because NOT committing adultery doesn’t fit today’s lifestyle (for some people).

Times have changed, I guess. When the Bible was written, there were a lot less people in the world. There weren’t as many options as there are now. Men today are tempted in a way Adam never was. An apple? That’s child’s play.

Maybe God will understand the dilemma today’s man finds himself in. Women don’t look the way they did in Biblical times. They wear make-up, short skirts, stiletto heels. They get boob-jobs and tummy-tucks, liposuction and lip injections. All of this, to look sexy and appealing to men.

Come on, God. Change the rules for these guys, will ya? It’s tough out there for a married fella. Serpents are everywhere!

I’m being sarcastic, of course, but for whatever reason, committing adultery doesn’t come with the same stigma it once did. But I don’t see how one sin that was clearly written as a sin gets a pass, when a sexual orientation that was never clearly deemed a sin, creates so much hate that people have killed over this bigotry, and others have killed themselves because of this bigotry.

Today, the company Ashley Madison announced it wants to go public.The company declared it has over 34 million members worldwide. I’ll buy that stock and probably make a lot of money because it’s obvious straight people aren’t so perfect after all, no matter how much they (some of them) love to judge others.

ID-10011776

P.S I know women cheat, too, but men were the only people used in this commercial. Also, I know that not all people in marriages cheat. This post was not meant to generalize one group of people.

Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net