Monthly Archives: June 2012

Universal Health Care: Well Done Supreme Court

I’m not a political or Constitutional scholar. I’m a social scholar. Maybe that’s why I find the motivations behind people’s political opinions to be far more fascinating than the opinions themselves. If you have read this blog before you probably well know that I am not a Republican. I have been lovingly (and not so lovingly) called a “bleeding-heart liberal”. I don’t, personally, take that as an insult. I think if more people had bleeding hearts we might be a little better off, but I digress.

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the “Individual Mandate” of the Affordable Care Act was met, as always and expected, with diverse reactions. And, lucky for me, I have diverse Facebook friends to give me the rundown of what those opinions might be! Yea!!

I generally abstain from making comments on things unless I feel I can do so in a temperate and non-judgmental way…or I particularly agree with the post. Usually, when things make my blood boil, I stay quiet. Right or wrong, I don’t really care. I don’t want to engage in caps-lock warfare online with people I don’t have similar conversations with in person. Therefore, I will put my opinion here! Ah, the joys of blogging.

I really only have one question: What is the big freaking deal? Besides people who have fundamental objections to any involvement in the healthcare field (i.e., Christian Scientists or people who rely on holistic remedies) or those who object to anything Obama suggests out-of-hand just because he said it (which frankly pisses me off with regards to the whole political system and makes me fear for the human race), why should anyone take issue with the idea of universal healthcare? We no longer have Sarah Palin spouting nonsense about death panels, so everyone should have had a chance to step back and think about it. What is so wrong with forcing people to have insurance? We’ve been forced to have “state-minimum” auto insurance for years, and that’s not a national controversy. I mean we have The General and Norm McDonald peddling SafeAuto. What could be better than that? I’m sure there have been lawsuits, but they didn’t make it to the supreme court (to my knowledge). So, on that logic, what is so wrong with “federal minimum” health insurance? Is it an adolescent “nobody’s going to tell me I have to wear a seatbelt” thing? If so, that’s lame. We are not on our way to becoming a socialist republic with a fascist dictator who raises communist statues to himself and forces us all to grow pot on our hippie communes. (There is possibly some confusion of political systems there, but who’s counting.) We are a democracy. We have a free-market economy, but I whole-heartedly disagree with the notion that whatever we do must serve the economy first. We must serve the people first.

If you are independently wealthy, good for you. If you have worked Dave Ramsey’s steps with gazelle-like intensity and have no debt and a fully-funded 6-month emergency fund, good for you. But I hate to break it to you, you are in the extreme minority. I have, thankfully, never been without health insurance. I have never been unwillingly unemployed. I have the terminal degree in my field. But if by some twist of fate I or my husband were to lose our job or become unable to work, we would be, for lack of a better word, screwed. The good-old-days that many look back to with fondness are gone, my friends (if, indeed, they ever existed). We cannot go back to the days when we didn’t need health insurance. There was a time when people just paid when they needed a doctor. The “free-market” healthcare system has killed that idea. We can’t go back. I don’t have $150 for a nurse to administer a vaccine to my child. I don’t have $200 for a doctor to look in my child’s ear and confirm the infection I already knew was there. I don’t have $50 for an ibuprofen in the hospital. What I do have, is health insurance. Even with it, I paid well over $3000 to bring each of my children into the world in the manner that our culture has deemed necessary. If, heaven forbid, I had not had insurance I would have had to declare bankruptcy.

Do you want to know what I see in the future if we have universal healthcare? Fewer cans on the counters of grocery stores asking for money to help a premature baby. Fewer parents who cannot support their families because they missed the early stages of an illness and by the time it was caught it was too late to do anything. Fewer people choosing to claim disability because they can’t afford the treatment for a preexisting condition that keeps them from qualifying for insurance in the current market. And more money being spent in the free-market because less will go to exorbitant hospital bills.

The final note I leave you with is a conundrum I feel with this whole mess: why are many healthcare professionals so adamantly against universal healthcare? Many of the provisions will make your jobs easier. You will no longer order unnecessary tests because you’ll have access to the MRI Joe Blow had 2 months ago because of centralized medical recording. You will know if I’m allergic to penicillin. You won’t have to worry about whether or not you can treat me because you will know that I have some form of health coverage. You will be able to declutter your waiting area walls by taking down some of the signs that tell us what insurances you take and don’t take. And you will be able to better carry out your oaths to do no harm and care for the ill and injured.

Will it be an adjustment? Damn straight! Will there be hiccups? Definitely? Can we as a nation continue to subsist in the current system? No way.

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What do you do when your kids annoy you?

Don’t pretend like your kids don’t annoy you. And if you don’t have kids, don’t pretend that some kid in your life (niece/nephew, sibling, student, kid you babysit) doesn’t honestly annoy the crap out of you from time to time. This e-card really got me thinking this week:

My kids are in weird stages right now. It could be argued that ALL stages are weird in their own ways, but having a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old is really borderline insanity.

I’ve just navigated the second night in a row of a screaming 5-year-old and a calm 2-year-old going to bed. No, I didn’t write that backward. Since the 5-year-old turned 5, about 3 weeks ago, she has been a certifiable nut job. She wanted to sleep with us. Apparently her bed, that she’s had since she was 2 1/2, is suddenly extremely uncomfortable. It took about 40 minutes to get her to calm down, and another 40 to get her to sleep. Twice in these last 3 weeks, I’ve had a teacher at school tell me that she spent the entire afternoon crying because she thought I was coming to get her early (which I actually did), but not early enough to suit her. She took a full 10 minutes to walk from the car to the pool Monday for her first day of swimming lessons because she was nervous, and then took another 10 to get into the pool (where she was actually physically placed by the swim coach), and then another 10 minutes to get into the car with her swim teacher who was taking her back to school (after being in the pool for approximately 5 minutes).

Seriously?! What the frick is going on around here? I honestly think my child has cried more in the last three weeks than she did in her first 5 years. She has never been a crier. Even from birth she has never really cried much. Now, I will be the first to admit that part of why she didn’t cry much is because we didn’t let her, and I think that’s why she’s crazy now. If she started crying, I pretty much just stuck a boob in her mouth or soothed her in some other way. I’ve never been a fan of letting kids cry when there’s no reason they should. I honestly don’t have a problem laying in bed with my kids until they go to sleep. I used to. I used to think I was doing something wrong because “everyone else’s kids” just get into bed and go to sleep! Of course, then I found out that that was crap, and it made me feel better. I sort of figure, they’re only kids once, so why not soak up all the kid-dom you can. But mother-of-pearl sometimes I want to run away from home when they really get going.

Two weeks ago, we had a melt-down situation while heading to the doctor’s office for a check up. She had actually been looking forward to it, which I thought was weird in itself, but when we got there it was like her butt grew roots and she wasn’t going to budge. “I’m not going to the doctor!” It was quite hilarious to the people in the waiting room, and bless Little Bit’s heart, she just drank her juice and watched her “Big” sister like she was nuts. She threw in the occasional “She’s cryin'”, but that was it. I had to physically remove her from the car because it was well over 90 degrees, and Little Bit and I were in direct sun. The car was getting hotter and hotter, and I refused to even pretend like I was going to leave her there. I told her that I was going to cancel her appointment and we would come back another day, but that didn’t make a difference. Then I had to man-handle her across the street at which point I told her to sit on a bench outside the office so I could talk to her. She apparently thought I was going to leave her there and go inside which just started a fresh round of hiccup-crying. After telling her “there is NO WAY I’m going to leave you out here all by yourself on a bench!” I left her all by herself on the porch and went inside. She finally dragged her sobbing self through the door I had left open, and sat down on the chair next to me. Everyone in the waiting room was smiling and trying to hide it, but they didn’t do a very good job. Then, after about 5 minutes of ignoring her she grabbed my arm, snuggled next to me and said, “I’m sorry, Mommy.” Well, melt my heart! I said, “Thank you, baby. Are you going to be a big girl and go to the doctor?” Nods.

Almost immediately after that, the nurse came out to get us, and then Little Bit started! She had been cool as a cucumber the whole time, and then it was like someone flipped a switch. Luckily, Big Sister had calmed down enough to reason with her, and she agreed to go first. That was all it took. Everything went better than I would have ever expected after that. It was actually quite bizarre to watch. So, we just went through 10 minutes of complete crazy to be completely calm and cooperative at the place you said you weren’t going to go? Really?!

So, what is going on at my house? My hubby thinks Big Sister has been jealous since her birthday that she was no longer the center of attention. I think that has a lot to do with it, and it DEFINITELY has a lot to do with the last 2 days (Little Bit’s birthday was yesterday…post to come), but I don’t think it explains everything. Developmentally, she’s going through a lot…they both are! They are both capable of doing things they weren’t capable of doing in the very recent past, and that is a lot to adjust to. But seriously, if they don’t settle into some reasonable facsimile of normal human children very soon, their father and I will be forced to pretend that they do not belong to us which, considering that they are mini versions of us (Big Sister is my mini-me, and Little Bit is his), that will be very difficult to pull off.

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It’s Not What It Looks Like

Thank God it isn’t what it looks like, because THIS is what it looks like:

Like I said…thank God it’s not what it looks like. Little Bit decided she was going to paint her toenails. Yea! Now don’t ask me why she could reach nail polish because that would incriminate me.

I was in the kitchen recovering from a customer service call about something for work, and I started smelling nail polish. Unfortunately, it didn’t register what I smelling until Big Sister called “Momma! She’s painting!” I came in from the kitchen and what I was smelling finally made sense. I said a little prayer that she had just painted her nails and maybe gotten some on her clothes. I really didn’t expect what I found. Normally, her sister would have been on this like white on rice. She would have yelled “No! No nail polish! Momma!!!” But my extra set of eyes is not feeling well, so she was curled up on the couch and missed it all.

Here is the scene of the crime:

She was very thorough, as you can see. She painted herself, the chair, the ottoman, the couch, the floor, and even the poor hamster who was just minding his own business. She was so proud of her work too! She said “I paint!” In the interest of my own sanity, I took pictures instead of having a conniption. Based on her work I think she just poured the polish on her foot instead of taking the time to use the brush. She also added some nice artistic swirls! It was very impressive, actually. It took a LOT of nail polish remover, and she STILL looks like she’s been injured!

I’ve had a touch of baby fever lately. This is when it started after Big Sister, so I was sort of expecting it, but we have decided 2 is perfect. I think this was God’s way of reassuring me that 2 kids is, indeed, perfect for us. This second kid is going to be a whole different challenge than her sister was.

Here she is when we were about halfway finished with the cleanup. Look at that face. A chair is a chair. Our couch was already stained with the traces of living with children. This face is what I will remember from this experience. It’s hard to be upset with that face. I mean seriously…look at that face. Mwah!

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