Healthcare a right, a privilege or a responsibility

Health care has been on my mind a lot for the past several days and it really hit home when I watched a bit of the debate last night and heard McCain and Obama speak on the issue.

See, I have a confession to make, I am a college educated, middle class person with no health insurance which makes the fact that I might be facing some health issues pretty damn scary in our current climate. Back when the spousal unit and I lived in Chicago and had traditional jobs, almost 7 years ago we had good employer sponsored heath coverage, at that time our cost was minimum and the care was excellent. However things changed when we moved to Maine and started down the road to self employment, we bought our own coverage but the only thing we could reasonably afford was a high deductible policy because Maine is a screwy state when it comes to health insurance. (long story short, because insurers here can’t turn down folks all but 2 companies pretty much pulled out the state so the only real company providing coverage is Anthem and it ain’t cheap)

Now the high deductible policy wasn’t too bad up until last year when our income nosedived and in order to meet our mortgage and other critical expenses we had to let the insurance go. We hadn’t planned to be a year without health insurance but I had no idea that I wouldn’t land another gig soon, instead ending up going the self employment route myself which means our income has peaks and valleys coupled with the fact that expenses like heating our house and food costs have soared.

Reality is there are millions of Americans out there like us and most of the time we don’t share our story, since who wants to admit to not having health insurance especially when you are a respectable member of society. Instead we hide that fact but no more, perhaps more folks like me will speak up which is how I will now get back to the presidential candidates plans on health care.

Truthfully we are a point that if it were up to me we would have some form of universal coverage yet I know right now its not going to happen. Now McCain wants to offer a credit so folks can buy the coverage they want, problem is and I guess when a man has 7-8 homes he has no basis in reality but true family coverage in my state on the current open market would cost me $13,000 a year, yes $13,000 a year!! That means that funky ass $5000 credit I heard mention of wouldn’t do jack aside from the fact that how would I afford the monthly premium until I get my tax credit? See, these folks don’t know what real life is like, if you are just keeping the food on the table and the bills paid an extra $1000 a month ain’t easy to come by.

Now Obama wants to make it that all children must be covered which I agree should happen but unless he raises the income requirements so that more middle families can get their kids covered the by the SCHIP program, it means imsurance is still gonna be hard to come by for my darlings.

Guess my problem is the policymakers and folks with ideas are just too damn removed from reality, I know my Obama started off broke but at times I do feel its clear that its a been a while since my boy had to sit and do the bill shuffle. You know who can I put off now to pay later.

Folks, when did we stop caring about one another? Or did we ever really care about each other? Health care should be a basic fucking right, as someone staring down health problems its a scary thought to think if my problem is not as small as I am hoping I could die because I am too fucking rich to get state coverage and too poor to afford a plan. All that said, I am biting the bullet and hoping to get coverage that starts next month (of course a definitive diagnosis if its a major issue could be bad because then there is that pesky pre-existing clause but we will cross that bridge when we get there), have no idea how to pay for the premiums but I have gotten good with the juggling act so I will just have to juggle a few more balls.

I think its also important to remember that the economic tides are changing so fast in this country that the distance between middle class and comfortable and middle class and scraping is really not that far of a drive these days. In fact it might only be a 5 minute walk to middle class and scrapping…

Wow….folks really are simple

Today I had a client meeting with one of my clients. At the end of the meeting, the presidential election came up since they had a board meeting scheduled for November 4, and I replied that they might want to reconsider. Now generally I don’t talk politics with clients since I never know what anyone’s political leanings are, but there is one woman, an older white woman on the team that I deal with, who during primary season was gung-ho for Obama. So on my way out the door, I started making small talk about Obama figuring it was safe to do so.

Why the fuck did I do that? It seems this woman was now on the fence, as she told me she was confused, not sure she could trust what Obama was talking about anymore and she really liked Sarah Palin. It took everything in my being to not go are you fucking crazy? So we continued making small talk and she confessed its not that she liked McCain but that she really though Palin brought a lot to the table but at the same time she thought maybe Sarah might be playing political games. Um….hell to the yeah. Apparently this woman had watched the debate last night between Biden and Palin and was really wowed by Sarah. I must admit it took everything for me to not ask this woman what her IQ was, yeah, I know I sound like a asshole but having watched that debate, I still don’t know much about Palin. Since it seems she don’t like to answer questions at a debate, instead she does her own thing which might have been cute until she hinted at the fact that like Cheney she wants a lot of power.

Let me say this one time loud and clear, folks this bitch is nuttier than a fruitcake, she has now tasted a bit of the power trip kool-aid and she wants more. She wants her and First Dude to fly first class and be treated like royalty along with that passel of rug-rats and and grand rug-rat on the way. This bitch wants power and that is scary, I hate Dick Cheney, he is evil personified but I swear folks, if that bitch gets elected whose to say she won’t throw some poisoned moose meat on McCain’s plate so she can ascend to the throne. Yeah, I know I sound crazy but that bitch got the crazy glint in her eye and the fact that when she answers questions referring to the founding fathers scares my black ass.

Kids, we got to vote, we got to get every eligible human who can vote to vote and vote for Barack Obama. No, I don’t think Obama is going to be super savior, frankly I think if he’s elected he won’t do half of what he thinks he will but I feel reasonably comfortable that we won’t end up in more wars and that at least we might start repairing the damage done by Bush-Cheney. Yet you can bet on this, if McCain-Palin win, we will have more of what we have lived with and maybe even worse. Since heaven help us if McCain kicks the bucket and Palin takes over she may start saying God has called her to wage war against who knows who. Not pretty.

As for the woman I was talking to, I reminded her that unless she makes a ton of money (she doesn’t) she won’t have to worry about paying more in taxes. Fact is this very organization which is a non-profit could be fucked under McCain and the fact that 2 other staffers there have McCain leanings is pretty damn scary to me. Working in the non-profit sector, dependent on grants and government funding should make folks realize that certain folks if elected could jeopardize their very livelihood. We are truly a nation of simple minded ass folks. No ability to connect dots or think critically.

Anyway that’s my Friday public announcement, have a great weekend!

Rough times a coming…

So no bailout, and yesterday’s market took a serious dive, I have been working today so I haven’t heard how today ended as far as the markets. I daresay rough and tough times are heading our  way. Now technically its been a tad rough at my house since last year when my former employer and I went our separate ways and our family income did a fancy nose dive. Needless to say we have been surviving with belt cinching and my decision after months of a not so productive job search of going into business for myself, making us a family of two self employed adults. The perks are when client business is good, then life is good here but there are those times when clients are slow to pay and an outing involves a trip to the library and maybe a stop at Starbucks for a coffee. That’s about where I am right now.

Anyway I have been noticing everyone’s wondering what happens if…. you end up jobless, or inflation drives us the cost of goods so high that everyone will be googling bean dishes since for the average Joe, a pot of beans will be about the only thing we can afford if shit gets any rougher. Bye-Bye soda, Cheetos and all the good extra tasty shit we are used to throwing in our carts. Of course, when I joined Weight Watchers 2 years ago, I had to give up the goodies, so nothing new for the kid.

No, seriously at least 2-3 of my normal blogs that I visit have posed the question of what will you do if we are thrown in to some fucked up third world status. Once upon a time this line of thought would have seemed silly, but maybe not so much anymore. I am intrigued by how many folks are starting to prepare for a worse case scenario by planning gardens, learning to make shit… all that shit we used to do years ago before we all caught a case of afflueza and shopping became our national religion.

As for the kid, I must admit I am thinking of taking up sewing and while I don’t think I can grow much right now with the cold weather coming, I am planning to buy some bulk items from some local farmers to put into a root cellar. In our case knowing that if our clients suddenly can’t pay, as contractors I know we won’t be at the top of the payment line over employees so I figure having some spare items will be good. Plus truth be told, I hate shopping anyway.

So, do you have a survival plan in place for a worse case scenario?