Quit the Bullsh*t–Public Option Now!


This is my seventh year teaching for the University of South Dakota.  I’ve taught every semester, summers included.  Last year, I finally got health insurance, which I’d been without for five years even while working full time.

I’m told it’s very good coverage though I wouldn’t really know–mostly because I don’t often have occasion to use it.  But last year, after my coverage started, I went to the chiropractor to have my neck and back adjusted.

I’d just started a full course load (all online), and returning to the screen for so many hours a day had cramped me up to the point where I could hardly sleep, work, or do much of anything else.

But now I had health insurance!  So I could go and get fixed up and get back to working normally!

It took several visits to the chiropractor–five, I think–to really get me back in line and back to work.  And then I found out that my coverage wouldn’t cover me because I hadn’t been covered before I got coverage.  And they called it a pre-existing condition because I’d had a neck/back adjustment before.

I called the insurance company. The receptionist at the clinic called the insurance company. The assistant called the insurance company.

Then, the chiropractor himself called the insurance company–all to explain to them that it wasn’t, in fact, a pre-existing condition.  That, in fact, it was a condition caused by the work I was assigned to do by the employer who was paying for my coverage.

Well, turns out my excellent coverage didn’t have to cover me at all–not at least for a six month window except in case of being smeared across the highway or some similar terrible accident (are you sure that’s not a pre-existing brain-splatter?)–all because I hadn’t had insurance before I had insurance.

This is the kind of thing that people who are fortunate go through with their insurance providers (or deniers, as the case may be).  Then there are those who have no coverage at all-whether they work full time or whether they’ve lost their job or whether they work very, very hard at their own entrepreneurial dream.

I’m sick of this attitude I hear from so many these days–the intense fear that someone, somewhere might get something for nothing, and that the only proper way to get anything is, of course, the way they got it, which is to work harder than anyone else on the planet to get what is now theirs and only theirs forever and ever.

I call bullshit.

We’re all working incredibly hard–look at the statistics.  We’re working hard for our employers; we’re working hard for ourselves and our families.  And if you’re constantly looking around for some example person or group to pick on for not working hard enough–then maybe you’ve got a little too much time on your hands.

And while we’re all busy working, we ought not have to worry so damn much about losing everything we’ve worked for because we got sick or because we got hurt.

Government exists, in part, to help us provide for ourselves collectively the things that are too much of a burden for us to get individually.  It seems a no-brainer to me that health insurance is one of those things.

The people who shout socialism about a public option for health insurance ought to have their nearby roads and bridges privatized, turned over to them, and then be fined every time there’s a crack or pothole–maybe then they’d get through their dense skulls what the hell government is for.

You know, By the People? For the People?

I voted for what I hoped would be some positive change in the way our country is run, but I also knew that there’s a lot that can happen between the ballot box and the change that was promised.

There are always a lot of other parties in the way–parties who will fight like hell against anything changing that might not turn out exactly perfectly or that they might get blamed for, or that they might not get enough credit for if it does turn out well.

We need to quit being too scared or too proud or too goddamned obstinate and petty to bring about the change we need–the change a clear majority of us asked for last November.

Instead of acting like a bunch of dysfunctional toddlers who won’t take our medicine, we need to stand up, be adults, and see that all of us get the medicine we need.  We need a public option for health insurance.

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jacksmith on September 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith — Working Class

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.

    THE REASON THE PUBLIC OPTION IS ESSENTIAL:

    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers!

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.

    BUT WE MUST ACT!

    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.

    SPREAD THE WORD!

    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith — Working Class

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

  2. Posted by Connie Hageman on September 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I have also had problems with health care. We were paying $8,000.00 a year for $5000.00 deductible insurance because I had a hydronephrotic kidney discovered on a somagram that had never caused a problem, not even one abnormal lab. We did this until we could no longer afford the premiums and we used our VA option at that time.
    The answer is not a government option for insurance. We will end up with a rationing like they have in England and Canada. Obama wants to use saving medicare costs to pay for the program. There is no way to save on medicade costs without limiting who can get what services as more people are getting to be medicare age all the time. They talk of saving money by encouraging people to not want to have medical saving procedures in the last six months of their life. These are freedoms I do not want to lose. When I was young and not going to get old, I doubt if I would see things the way I do now.
    There are other ways to save our medical problems. Right now we need more medical providers to provide services period.
    There are many services available to people in SD that they are unaware of. Like All Women Count. The CHIP insurance for the kids.
    The fact that you did not have prior health coverage and it is used against you should be changed, as well as the pre-conditions like my hydronephrotic kidney. We need to get the malpractice premiums down so Dr. do not need to pass that cost along to the consumers. OB Docs in some places are paying over $5,000.00/mo. for their premiums.
    Not taking care of these issues just makes the government option such a high cost that it could mean less medicare care for many of us.

  3. Posted by Connie Hageman on September 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Sorry about the typos. I said medicade when I meant medicare, 2nd paragraph, 3rd line.
    3rd paragraph, 1st line should say, solve not save medical problems.
    Heaven only knows what other errors are there.

  4. Posted by flyingtomato on September 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    How much do you know about healthcare “rationing” in Canada and Europe? What sorts of services are being “rationed”? Who is the “they” in the “they talk of saving money by encouraging people to not want to have medical saving procedures in the last six months of their life”? You the mean Sarah Palin and Fox News “they”?

    Economically developed and humane countries have socialized (oooh–did I say it?) medicine because it’s the humane thing to do. To have a public option for health insurance is at least a start–a safety net for all as well as a help for those who want to start their own businesses but are scared to lose their coverage, such as it is.

    What is happening now is a bunch of bullshit–and there are plenty of people who don’t have a choice about getting or declining that life-saving procedure right NOW! The free market is not the place to get a medical procedure covered in the last six months of life. That’s where WE band together as a people to provide humane care for everyone.

    Typos and grammatical errors excused–you’re not in my English class. Parroting the Fox News/Sarah Palin line not excused. Health care is a right–stand up for it, and quit standing up for the free market insurance providers that’d love to write you and your kidney off.

  5. Posted by redhatterb on September 8, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Flyingtomato, I agree with you 100%. We already have rationed healthcare in the US, in the way that insurance companies, not the doctors, decide what treatments are covered, what tests can be run, and as far as that goes, what medical professionals you can see. I know a woman who has insurance through her employer and she lives in a town that has a hospital, several clinics, several good doctors, plus several specialists, including an oncologist, and when she has to see a doctor, she has to drive 50-70 miles to Sioux Falls, in order for her insurance to cover it. That is a bunch of BS.

  6. The public option is the least the Democrats can do on healthcare. They should have all gotten behind single payer from the beginning.

  7. I am my own employer. My high deductible insurance and tax deductible HSA have been serving me well. When our daughter was born, we paid out of pocket via the account, and if anything had gone wrong, we were assured that the insurance would’ve kicked in. (we checked) Now the girl is doubly covered via wife’s employer care, and the HSA.

    As for privatizing the roads? If only… we’ve been effectivly keeping up our own roads and ditches for a couple of years now, otherwise we’d never get from the ‘farm to market’.

    One sized fits all / top down solutions never work. If they did, decades of ag subsidies would’ve given us a diverse and dynamic food system. Actually that’s what we have, because people are still free to choose whatever food they want, from whatever sources they choose. Ala your beloved farmers’ markets. Those farmer’s market exemptions make legal and easy for you to sell your food direct. (yay capitalism!)

    Now the ‘Plan’ says that I can keep my coverage for a five year grace period, after that I must pick a different plan that conforms to the new standards, or take the public option.

    Any legislation that makes my HSA obsolete is akin to any new food safety legislation that burdens your farmer’s market. Would you support a similar legislation that mandated you must buy your food from bonafide, certified monolithic USDA sources? I think not.

    This is not to call you out, just some honest points, we no doubt see the world differently. But I do see an inconsistency in trusting the state with your health care, and then not trusting them with the food supply.

  8. Posted by flyingtomato on September 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Vines.

    I am glad you’re satisfied with your coverage, but that does not negate the fact that millions have no coverage or are denied coverage even when they ought to be covered.

    I’m afraid you mis-characterize my stance on government involvement in food safety. Indeed, I do believe that where a long and complex farm-to-table chain exists with no transparency for the consumer and lots of chances for contamination and other problems, the government ought to be involved in monitoring–much more than in the current system (which is mostly self-policing). Many products sold at farmers markets do undergo scrutiny by the USDA, FDA, and/or State Health Departments, but the exemptions you mention are simply because the farm-to-consumer transaction is transparent and easily traceable.

    Comparing government oversight of direct farm-to-consumer sales and government involvement in helping to provide health insurance for those who don’t have coverage is an apples and oranges discussion. Very few of us pay for our medical treatment directly these days–maybe our animals’ vet, but not our own doctors and nurses and pharmacists, etc.

    Instead, most health care “consumers” enter a vast web of clinics and hospitals and staff and laboratories and pharmacies, all with separate billing processes and no clearly documented prices for treatment. Add to that the health insurance industry, beholden to its shareholders and notoriously stingy when it comes to actually doing what it is supposed to do–help pay for our medical costs.

    A public option for health care isn’t a one-size-fits-all top-down approach–it’s a safety net. The whole idea of an “option” is that it’s a choice, and if it sucks more than most people’s current coverage, then it won’t be used except by those who have no other choice. If it’s better than all the money-grubbing, coverage-denying insurance companies out there now, then they’ll either have to get out of the business or shape up.

    It’s dangerous to relegate something as important as health care entirely to the free market and expect that people who are ill, injured, and suffering will get fair and just treatment by companies that exist to make money. That system virtually guarantees the situation we have now–they love to collect your premiums if you’re healthy, but you suddenly become a “deadbeat” if you actually have to use the policy you’ve been paying/working for.

    I’m not an enemy of capitalism, but it’s not the answer to every question–and often not ones that require justice, mercy, and humanity.

    Best,

    Rebecca

  9. Posted by Vines & Cattle on September 9, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Justice, mercy and humanity are not the stock and trade of governments.

    Or as space cowboy Mal Reynolds said, “Governments are made up of men, most notably ungoverned.”

    Otherwise good response, you hinted at the problem without realizing it. Food transactions work because of the transparency that goes with direct payments. A lack of direct consumer involvement with health care costs is not a failure of capitalism, it is an affront to it.

    -Aaron

  10. Posted by flyingtomato on September 10, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Aaron (though it was fun calling you “Vines”)–

    Government programs can be designed to provide some relief from the inhumanity of free-market systems, which have nothing but profit as their motivation. While some companies have embraced the idea that justice, mercy, and humanity may make for better profits and a better planet, they are notably few.

    That transparency is lacking in the current healthcare system wasn’t a hint–I thought I was pretty direct in indicating this is A problem, but it is by no means the only problem. I would think that in a capitalistic society, the more people need healthcare, the more expensive it will become–and it has. Should healthcare be a supply and demand commodity?

    –re.

  11. […] title to this piece is “Quit the Bullsh*t–Public Option Now!“  I should say first that I am unfamiliar with this author, found her blog via Madville […]

  12. Posted by Kelli on September 21, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I don’t read your bog everyday, but when I do.. .I just can’t stop…

    I want to comment on nearly every post and say, “Right on! Way to Go! I agree!”

    In general, just thanks for being here!

    And I love the garden info and pics!!!

  13. Posted by flyingtomato on September 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks!

  14. […] flying tomato of Flying Tomato Farms with Quit the Bullsh*t–Public Option Now! […]

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