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Talk about irony?

3 Jun

This has got to be some sort of perverse irony, after 40 years of marriage, Al & Tipper Gore decide to split. Yet the man he served as Vice President for Bill Clinton, remains married to Hillary despite his philandering & public affair. Talk about irony? In today’s society how much does faithfulness really matter?

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Elderly Crusade

16 Mar

From a David Brooks column in the NY Times:

“The research paints a comforting picture. And the nicest part is that virtue is rewarded. One of the keys to healthy aging is what George Vaillant of Harvard calls “generativity” — providing for future generations. Seniors who perform service for the young have more positive lives and better marriages than those who don’t. As Vaillant writes in his book “Aging Well,” “Biology flows downhill.” We are naturally inclined to serve those who come after and thrive when performing that role.

The odd thing is that when you turn to political life, we are living in an age of reverse-generativity. Far from serving the young, the old are now taking from them. First, they are taking money. According to Julia Isaacs of the Brookings Institution, the federal government now spends $7 on the elderly for each $1 it spends on children.

Second, they are taking freedom. In 2009, for the first time in American history, every single penny of federal tax revenue went to pay for mandatory spending programs, according to Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute. As more money goes to pay off promises made mostly to the old, the young have less control.

Third, they are taking opportunity. For decades, federal spending has hovered around 20 percent of G.D.P. By 2019, it is forecast to be at 25 percent and rising. The higher tax rates implied by that spending will mean less growth and fewer opportunities. Already, pension costs in many states are squeezing education spending.”

In other words my friends elders are still in the drivers seat of this country.

I have insurance …

14 Mar

Yesterday, I caught one of my favorite movies on TV & the scene captured a moment that no one should endure in America. More importantly it touched on a debate that has been going on in Washington for more than a year now, in actuality its been going on for decades.

In this scene John Archibald’s son is dying, and like most people he pays for health insurance. Yet somehow his son’s operation will not be covered by his employer sponsored plan.  A point to consider is that he is not on Medicaid (government healthcare for poor).  Yet, the life saving heart operation is deemed “elective”.  Since when is life or death elective?  No one in their right mind chooses to be sick!  It is morally reprehensible to deny coverage, especially when it makes the difference between life and death.  Which brings me to our current political debate & why at a minimum insurance reform is a necessity.

Even if Congress does not overhaul the entire health care system and expand coverage to all, the practices of health insurance companies are murderous at best.  I’m not even going to speak on the rapid inflation of health care costs & how they can justify their ridiculous cost drivers. Let me be clear…If you pay for insurance, everything should be covered.  The primary argument against reform is the car insurance analogy: you get don’t everything if you only pay for liability coverage. My rebuttal is that unlike tumors;  operating a vehicle is a choice.

Pre-existing conditions are another issue that must be addressed. As I stated earlier, no one chooses to have an illness and most are willing to pay for coverage.  So for companies to deny service because of a prior ailment is discriminatory.  Being sick does not make anyone less of a person, so they should be treated like everyone else & have accessibility to the health care coverage of choice.  This practice of exclusion and selective coverage is commonly used by insurance companies and often forces people to go broke in the event medical catastrophes.  Let’s be real how many people can pay out-of-pocket for cancer treatment?

All that being said, the most disturbing part of all this, is that politicians vote to protect these companies in name of big business & campaign donations.  Yes, healthcare does account for 20% of the US economy and insurance profits maybe squeezed. But my question to them is what is the cost of human life?  How can they sleep at night knowing people are paying for a service they’ll never get and in turn might deliver their death-blow?  This not a political argument, it a question of morality, and brings the hierarchy of our values to the forefront.