Dish: Health Insurance Reform

WHHHOOOOOOOOOO! Health Care Reform for white men has passed! The most historical event evah in the history of historicalness has occurred! A Democratic Congress and a Democratic President has made a Republican Healthcare Bill Law!  Insurance companies will be able to not provide helpless children with adequate care at last!

All this change! All this hope! I can’t take it! I’m going to spontaneously combust!

The world is going insane, and while normally I like insanity, this is not the good kind. Obama has just passed national RomneyObamacare–a Nixon wet dream originating from the Heritage Foundation in the 1990s in opposition to Hillarycare, and yet lunatic “Tea Partiers” are running around vandalizing the houses of Congressidiots who voted for the heaping pile of shit, screaming that they are “socialists?”

Obama signs an executive order restricting women’s access to abortion, and so called “progressives” and “feminists” are having kool aid induced orgasms as they compare the passage of a Health Insurance Reform Bill that would be better served as toilet paper to the Civil Rights Act? What the fuck?

Well, maybe I’m being unfair. The Bill IS Historic. Historically shitty.

I find myself–and we all must admit that I am normally so cheerful and chipper, yes, you know you all love me– I find myself feeling gloomy. I’m walking around campus with my hands shoved in the pockets of my fake leather jacket with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth–and I don’t even smoke! Security officers are mistaking me for troubled youth and are performing random searches on me.

Well, I am troubled. I’m troubled about a lot of things, but in terms of politics and current events, I am troubled about the fact that, as MYIQ said a few weeks ago, there appears to be no end in sight.

But what really has me bummed out right now is the realization that there is no end in sight for the mess this country is in. The single biggest problem facing our nation is the illness in our political system. When I say “illness” I mean the equivalent of an inoperable cancer that has metastasized. If we fixed our political system then we would actually be able to do something about those other problems.

For most of my adult life I believed that the Democrats were the good guys so even when they were getting slapped around by the Republicans I could support them and hope that after the next election they would grow a pair and start standing up for the liberal ideals they campaigned on.

I finally realized that the majority of the Democrats who hold elected office are not only corrupt but they have the same agenda as the Republicans. Oh, the say they’re on our side, and when it’s time for them to represent us they might make some speeches andr play some parliamentary tricks but when the nitty meets the gritty they lose on purpose. Lots of times they don’t even bother to put on a dog and pony show anymore, they just vote to bail out Wall Street or take away our civil rights as if that’s what we wanted them to do.

Now as far back as I can remember the Republicans were corrupt and they tended to be pricks or assholes, and sometimes both, but they weren’t insane. Nowadays there’s a lot of GOPers that are crazy as shithouse rats. That not only includes the elected ones but the voters too. Then you got the tea baggers who don’t think the Republicans are crazy enough.

I can’t believe that I am living in a country–I country I have grown up loving with every fiber of my being despite its flaws–where this is happening. The passage of a bill that bails out the Health Care Industry is historic! And in honor of Women’s History Month we passed it on the backs of women and their reproductive rights! Cats bark! Fish have tails! Catholic Priests are ethical in their treatment of young children!

The whole world is going mad I tell you! MAAAADDDDD!

Of course, intellectually I understand, there is always hope. Democrats are going to lose a lot of seats in November and while the Republicans that come into office will be even worse, the door will open for real liberals, not phony “progressives,” to show Donna Brazile and Howard Dean’s “New Coalition” to be ineffective and thus we will be able to take our party back.

But sometimes, in this Golden Era of Hope and Change, politics just isn’t enough. For once in our lives, we needed policy. Good policy that would actually have given broke-ass students like me real Health Insurance. Just a few weeks ago, before my spring break, I came down with the flu and missed a week of classes I’m still making up. If I had insurance, I might have been able to get antibiotics and missed only one day, maybe two. This bill does nothing to help me. For one thing, I’ll be done with my undergraduates and possibly even my graduates by 2014. At this rate I’m going to have to start stripping for my ‘scrips, just like a number of poor senior citizens who will shortly be facing cuts in medicare due to this lame-assed bill.


Sometimes, I get tired. Sometimes, I don’t want to live life day to day anymore. Sometimes I think things will never get better. Trying to get something to eat, trying to fill up my gas tank–always being hungry, worrying about my mom, worrying about my friends, worrying about all the people around me at my school who are going through the same thing.

Sometimes, honestly, I’m just tired. And today, forgive me, but I have to lament over the fact that politics took precedence over policy. Sorry.

Tonight’s Dish: Health Fail Reform

FDL’s Fact Sheet on the current Health Care Bill being put up for vote in Congress tonight:

1. This is a universal health care bill.
The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance.[snip]

2. Insurance companies hate this bill
This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.[snip]

3. The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.
The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that the President promised.[snip]

4. The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.[snip]

5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.
Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it.[snip]

6. This bill provide health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured.
This bill will mandate that millions of people who are currently uninsured must purchase insurance from private companies, or the IRS will collect up to 2% of their annual income in penalties. [snip]

7. You can keep the insurance you have if you like it.
The excise tax will result in employers switching to plans with higher co-pays and fewer covered services.[snip]

8. The “excise tax” will encourage employers to reduce the scope of health care benefits, and they will pass the savings on to employees in the form of higher wages.
There is insufficient evidence that employers pass savings from reduced benefits on to employees.

9. This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.
This bill does not bring down costs and leaves out nearly every key cost control measure, including: [snip]

10. The bill will require big companies like WalMart to provide insurance for their employees
The bill was written so that most WalMart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage.

11. The bill “bends the cost curve” on health care.
The bill ignored proven ways to cut health care costs and still leaves 24 million people uninsured, all while slightly raising total annual costs by $234 million in 2019.[snip]

12. The bill will provide immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.
Access to the “high risk pool” is limited and the pool is underfunded. It will cover few people, and will run out of money in 2011 or 2012 [snip]

13. The bill prohibits dropping people in individual plans from coverage when they get sick.
The bill does not empower a regulatory body to keep people from being dropped when they’re sick.[snip]

14. The bill ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to challenge new insurance plan decisions.
The “internal appeals process” is in the hands of the insurance companies themselves, and the “external” one is up to each state. [snip]

15. This bill will stop insurance companies from hiking rates 30%-40% per year.
This bill does not limit insurance company rate hikes. Private insurers continue to be exempt from anti-trust laws, and are free to raise rates without fear of competition in many areas of the country.

16. When the bill passes, people will begin receiving benefits under this bill immediately
Most provisions in this bill, such as an end to the ban on pre-existing conditions for adults, do not take effect until 2014.[snip]

17. The bill creates a pathway for single payer.
Bernie Sanders’ provision in the Senate bill does not start until 2017, and does not cover the Department of Labor, so no, it doesn’t create a pathway for single payer.

18 The bill will end medical bankruptcy and provide all Americans with peace of mind.
Most people with medical bankruptcies already have insurance, and out-of-pocket expenses will continue to be a burden on the middle class.”

…Why? WHHHHHYYYYYYYYY? Goddess help us all! I think I’m hyperventalating! Breath! Breath!

*writhes on floor*

Find a happy place! Find a happy place!

…okay, I’m good now.

In Honor of Women’s History Month

Back in February I did a post about gender based violence and I mentioned prehistoric egalitarian societies that centered around life or earth based religions. I got some shit for it, which is perfectly okay. Usually if you’re not irritating someone then you’re not actually accomplishing anything.

In a post on Tuesday, Violet Socks had Artemis March write a guest post about an exhibit on prepatriarchal “Old Europe” in New York City in honor of Women’s History month. She explains:

To appreciate the enormity of what’s at stake here, I invite you to read Joan Marler’s summary of Gimbutas’ work discovering and reconstructing Old Europe (OE), and another about her interpretation of its demise and the prehistoric transition to patriarchy in Europe. Marler is executive director of the Institute of Archaeomythology, dedicated to developing interdisciplinary approaches to the study of prehistoric and present cultures.

The disappearing acts perpetrated through the OE exhibit are hardly unique. Another example is the archaeological team at a key Neolithic site in Asia Minor (Çatalhöyük). Marguerite Rigoglioso exposes the strategies and tactics through which they deny evidence of, and even the possibility of, prehistoric female deities and female authority, and try to marginalize and discredit Gimbutas and others who have the courage to name what they see rather than project a patriarchal pattern onto every prehistoric society.

Marler’s and Rigoglioso’s work helps to bring home an appreciation of the some of the layers and complexity of the struggle to reverse millennia of female invisibility and the intense political struggles over the all-important issues of patriarchal origins and its finite existence rather than its alleged innate nature. Male entitlement, sole male authority, and male control over women are not god-given or “how things are,” but integral to an historically finite, socially constructed type of socio-political system that’s been around for only a few thousand years.

Many who point to the probable existence of Egalitarianism prior to and during the early parts of the bronze age are accused of “Red Tent Feminism,” which isn’t even feminism, IMHO. A feminist believes in the social political and economic equality of men and women, not the social, political and economic superiority of one gender, be it male or female.

The truth is that the existence of such evidence that points to prehistoric cultures that were not patriarchal is not useful because it somehow validates the superiority of women over men or a “separate but equal” nonsense mentality. On the contrary, it is useful because it shows us that patriarchy is not just “the way things are.” It is useful because it validates patriarchy as being detrimental to the evolutionary progress of human beings, rather than beneficial.

As SOD has explained in many informative ways via her posts about social dominance, BMSD sexual fantasies aside, it is partnership between men and women that makes progress for humankind possible, not the dominion of one social group over another.

A lot of people have trouble believing that patriarchy isn’t the norm, and that doesn’t make them anti-feminist, it makes them observant. Patriarchy is ingrained into our psyches not only because it is currently the cultural norm, but because it is drilled into our heads by the media, the entertainment industry, and most of all by religion.

Christianity, by all accounts a fairly new religion, tells us through canonical scripture that man is inherently evil because he took the apple from the tree of knowledge from woman (and a serpent or dragon, which was a symbol of feminine divinity in prebiblical times) and therefore he is condemned unless he accepts the son of a male God who dies on the cross for the original sin in his nature perpetuated by woman and her seductive serpent as his savior and lord. As a narrative it gives us no other option than patriarchy, because not only is mankind evil because of women (after all, isn’t everything a woman’s fault?), GOD isn’t even a woman.

The Bible is the world’s number one best seller and is put forth as the absolute truth by many. Even as a very young child, I could never embrace or even wrap my head around that way of thinking because to me it made no sense. For one thing, it is fairly obvious that the Earth is not five thousand years old, and for another, it didn’t add up that man could be created first when women were the ones who had kids. That still does not make any sense to me and it never will. Hence part of the reason I only talk to my parents twice a year.  But I digress.

Human nature is of course, imperfect. By pointing to evidence of prehistoric egalitarian civilizations, no one is saying that it isn’t. The people who lived in those cultures felt pain, sadness and anger. They mourned at the loss of loved ones and sometimes, they failed. Just like the rest of us. No one who recollects those times through archeological evidence recollects them for nostalgic purposes. But how does that saying go? A person who doesn’t know his past has no future. As Artemis explains:

As Mary Daly used to say, by distorting and disappearing our past, they have ravaged and purloined our present and our future. Disappearing acts have gone on for millennia, and they are going on right now, right in front of us. They can be blatant and concrete, as in the absence of women on our currency, our stamps, and the paucity of female statuary in our public life—a situation Lynette Long has recently taken on. They can be as elemental and profound as changing cosmological deities and their stories from female to male—a transition that the late Paula Gunn Allen tracked in numerous Native American traditions, and observed is still taking place. Disappearing acts can be far more devious, complex, and multi-layered as is the case with bringing these Old European artifacts forward.

As we go through Women’s History Month, it is important to remember that our history did not start with the suffragist movement. It did not start with Joan of Arc or Catherine the Great or Rosa Parks. As someone we know and love once said back in a speech in Beijing in 1995, Women’s rights are Human rights. And by extension Women’s history is human history.

Human history started way before any of us could remember it or write it down. And the knowledge that women might have and in fact probably made the very first doctors, priests, writers, artists, and yes, leaders is knowledge that should stay with us all through Women’s History Month. Because those nameless women and American Sheroes like Susan B Anthony and Shirley Chisholm and Margaret Chase Smith aren’t just our past. They are our future.

Today’s Dish: Celeb News

I’m sorry, but Politics is just so exhausting lately. Health Care Reform, Reconciliation, Sarah Palin on Leno… what a hot mess! I can’t TAKE IT ANYMORE! AAAAAHHHHHH! *Pulls at hair”

Random Hot Guy

…Phew. That’s better. Anyway, my point is, politics is so exhausting that I think I’m just going to dish celeb gossip today. Oh, except for this news article:

Naomi Klein: How Socialism Protected Chileans from Earthquake Fall-out

After the coup and the death of Allende, Pinochet and his Chicago Boys did their best to dismantle Chile’s public sphere, auctioning off state enterprises and slashing financial and trade regulations. Enormous wealth was created in this period but at a terrible cost: by the early eighties, Pinochet’s Friedman-prescribed policies had caused rapid de-industrialization, a ten-fold increase in unemployment and an explosion of distinctly unstable shantytowns. They also led to a crisis of corruption and debt so severe that, in 1982, Pinochet was forced to fire his key Chicago Boy advisors and nationalize several of the large deregulated financial institutions. (Sound familiar?)

Yay, Socialism!

But as I was saying!

Celeb Gossip!

Item Number One. I’m sorry, but I just can’t seem to be able to stop talking about Tiger Woods. Well, not him per say. I’m more interested in the sex angle. As in, give me a break. Tiger Woods is not a Sex Addict:

Say you have a guy pal, a handsome, charming, thirty-something, athletic, well-to-do gentlemen who does well with the ladies. In a little over a year he sleeps with 14 women. He occasionally forgets to use condoms. Perhaps you might sit down with your buddy and remind him that sex without protection is risky behavior. But would you go so far as to stage an intervention and have him committed to a rehab clinic — or does that seem a little extreme?

Now say that same gentleman is a famous billionaire golfer with a wife and two young kids. Suddenly the guy needs to call a press conference, issue a public apology, and enter treatment for sex addiction. Based on what has been reported about Tiger Woods’ behavior, if he weren’t married, he wouldn’t be considered a sex addict. An expert tells BettyConfidential that Tiger has joined a group of celebrities and regular people who grossly overuse the term “sex addict” as an excuse for behavior that may actually be caused by deeper underlying issues.

I hate being right all of the time. If you want me to be honest (you do) I don’t even think there is such thing as a “sex addiction.” The legit sex addicts mentioned in this article are also drug addicts. If you’re addicted to drugs, why care about anything else other than having sex? Your life is all ready messed up as it is, why fix what ain’t broke?

Is Hugh Jackman the World’s Best Dad?

He has said that “being with my family, definitely, without a doubt” makes him happiest, and that was crystal clear to all the bowlers who saw Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness and their two children living it up at New York’s Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge on February 26. “They were really happy, so normal and friendly,” an eyewitness tells BettyConfidential.

Answer: Yes!

James Cameron is actively pursuing the Environmental Message in Avatar:

If you have seen Avatar — and really, who hasn’t at this point — you probably couldn’t help but notice the beautifully captured yet surprisingly direct environmental message in the film. While the Navi people inhabit Pandora rather than Earth, the message director James Cameron delivered in the film was crystal clear: it’s imperative to protect whatever planet you’re on.Directors often shy away from actively promoting a cause like environmentalism in their films — likely concerned it might alienate potential movie-goers — but with record-breaking box-office numbers, Cameron certainly has the freedom to share his passionate message about saving the Earth, and how that message translated into a film that’s considered a front-runner at this weekend’s Academy Awards.

Megan Fox claims she has only had two sexual partners:

“I’ve only been with two men my entire life. My childhood sweetheart and Brian. I can never have sex with someone that I don’t love, ever. The idea makes me sick. I’ve never even come close to having a one-night stand.”

Its funny because I actually kind of like Megan Fox, but unlike most people, I think she is attractive but I’m not attracted to her.

Um… Can I just say that I love Lady G SO MUCH?

Lady Gaga has made an art form of skimpy outfits, but at the moment it’s all for show. The pop star says she is currently single and celibate.

“I haven’t got time to spend on the road to get to know anyone,” she told reporters Monday at MAC cosmetics’ Viva Glam event in London, reports the U.K.’s Mirror. “Even Lady Gaga can be celibate. You don’t have to have sex to be loved.”

[…]

“Sex should be fun, beautiful and colorful, but women get the short end of the stick,” she says. “We’re just receivers. We can’t talk about sex, we can’t sing about sex.”

To keep the loneliness at bay while on tour, she takes strength from her fans, whom she calls her “roommates.”

“When I see my beautiful fans I feel how much they protect and mean to me,” she says. “It would be irresponsible if I didn’t protect them and teach young people to be self-expressive, to love yourself.”

*Throws Lady Gaga to the Floor*

*Ravishes her*