Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quick Hits: Now With a Dose of Irony

Hot Dogs

First, before you start hating me for this, just know that I have had dogs all my life. I have two beagles right now. I found this to be a sad story. But seriously, it just begs to be here!

Robin Star, the CEO of the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals accidentally left her 16 year-old deaf and blind dog in a hot car for 4 hours and it died. Apparently her hubby put the dog in the car before she left for work and didn't tell her. The temps that day hit 91 degrees. She took the pooch to two clinics but it died of kidney failure.

Okay, I have real sympathy for the woman. The dog was 16! That's like 112 in people years. It had a good, long life. I hope everyone will leave this lady alone, I'm sure she feels crappy enough already.

SPCA exec's dog dies after being left in hot car

Class Action This!

Remember that nice movie about Erin Brockovich, the woman who worked with the local small time lawyer to sue the shit out of the utility company that had poisoned an entire town? Well, that was a true story and the firm, Masry & Vititoe was recently forced into bankruptcy defending itself against lawsuits by the estate of Edward Masry, the name partner.

That's right, Edward Masry died in 2005, but from the grave he has continued to be a litigious guy and has taken down his own firm. I guess six feet wasn't deep enough.

Lawyers and Firms Stake Claims in Masry & Vititoe Bankruptcy

"I don't drink...pass that joint."

According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, 51 percent of Americans rate alcohol as more dangerous than marijuana. And only 19 percent rate it the other way around.

Duh. This just goes to show you that at least half of the people in the survey have smoked pot at one point in their life. Anyone who has ever pulled the stem with a great inhale knows that drunks are dangerous, stoners are only going to hurt those two little M&M guys, the rest of us are safe.

51% Rate Alcohol More Dangerous Than Marijuana

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why Public Option Opponents Are Hypocrites.

You know why the bought and paid for politicians against real health care reform are hypocrites? Because they don't believe their own talking points. That's right. They are flat out lying about what they believe.

Have you heard Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee or House Minority Leader John A. Boehner tell you that Medicare is wrong and should be dismantled? No, you haven't. You know why? Two reasons:

1) It works. That's right, you don't see the streets filled with dying old people so you? No, because a public option for health insurance exists out there that provides for their care.

2) Old people are a growing segment of our population and they have nothing better to do than to watch Matlock reruns and vote. So no one who wants to get re-elected is going to tell you that Medicare is wrong.

To add insult to injury, the opponents to health care are telling everyone that if we pass reform, it will result in managed care where someone besides your doctor and you decide what kind of care you get and what doctors you can see. Actually, that's exactly what we have now.

In 1998, 73 percent of people were covered by conventional insurance where you could see any doctor and the two of you decided on your care and, except for the co-pay, the insurance company paid the bill. Now, as of 2008, only 2 percent of people have that kind of insurance. Now we are all in HMO's or Preferred Provider networks where the insurance company is deciding who you can and can't see.

To make it worse, these same insurance companies that take our money employ tens of thousands of people whose job it is to figure out how not to pay your full benefit. That is how they make a profit, by charging a premium price to cover marketing and other administrative costs while working as hard as possible not to pay the full amount.

If that doesn't convince you that they are hypocrites, then let's take a quick look at the cornerstone of our laws and government, the Constitution of the United States.

The preamble reads:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
What could be more basic to "promoting the general welfare" than making sure all of us have access to quality health care?

Frankly, I would much prefer my health care be provided by an institution devoted to that ideal than by one committed to profits and stockholders.

Don't Want a Public Plan? Well, What Do You Think of Medicare?

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm back...

I was on a much needed vacation but now I'm back. Just a one thing to say before I sit down for some real writing.

Health care is a right. It is that simple. Just like a public education is in the best interest of the rest of society, so is quality health care. To that end, a public option is what veterans and seniors have and I think the rest of us should have one too. It works for them and no one calls it "socialism." Why should access to health care for the rest of us be any different? You know who doesn't want a public option? The health insurance companies, and they are paying millions of dollars to lobby firms to make sure that you don't get it.

They are making money on your fear of illness and on not paying for health care. They have thousands of people on the payroll whose job it is to make it hard for you to collect on the insurance for which you have paid. Don't let the republicans or the insurance lobby bullshit you, you deserve access to health care. If adequate health care isn't an innate part of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", then what is?