Monday, October 07, 2013

Red States Are Not Totally Red

Just a brief post while still on the road - well on an overnight stop on the road to be accurate.

I've just noticed a piece at Common Dreams and some of the comments proposing that, as a way of solving the current government impasse, so-called Red States be allowed to opt out of Obamacare. That is not a good proposal! Not everyone in Red States voted Republican, so why penalise the whole state's population? Even in the reddest of 'em there will be around 30% or so of the population who voted Democrat or 3rd party.

A better plan would be that if a person is a registered Republican, they can opt out if they wish to do do. That would not be possible, I guess.

Someone should do something though - and soon!


mike said...

Obamacare version 1.0 was much better than version 204.8 that congress finally legislated and passed. Then SCOTUS made additional upgrades, but upheld the basic legality. A basic requirement of AHCA-Obamacare is the FULL PARTICIPATION of all eligible citizens. not allow anyone to opt out by some new, contrived rule. If someone doesn't like AHCA, then they can abide by the current opt out rule, which is to be financially penalized for not enrolling.

I'm in Texas and Texans are receiving a bastardized version of Obamacare are many other red states. If this Republican showdown continues, many red states will soon be blue and that will take care of basics.

Hope you and Anyjazz have had a congenial, if not better, trip through the USA's heartland. Been there and done that too many times.

R J Adams said...

Have a good trip! Been so busy I didn't notice you slip away. No indication of how long you're gone, but you'll probably be back before the government.

Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

book publicity

LB said...

Hi Twilight ~ While not offering any short-term solutions, I ran across this article which pretty much sums up a lot of my own feelings about the shut-down and some of the issues leading up to it. People are suffering and for what?:

Hope you're enjoying the last leg of your journey.:)

LB again said...

Some of the comments following the article are worth reading too.

mike (again) said...

LB, I read your link and found it interesting. The American health care industry has many, many issues that will constantly demand high dollars unless we implement a sweeping change toward the entirety of health care. A single payer, Medicare system would eliminate the insurance companies (middle-men of health care), but doesn't address the total industry.

I don't know if you read Steve Brill's excellent "High Cost of Care" in Time magazine (March 4, 2013)'s an excellent review predominantly about hospital costs, but also addresses the inflated costs of medical prescriptions, prostheses, laboratory charges, diagnostic procedures, nursing, etc.

PBS' Frontline "Sick Around the World" is an excellent review of the much lower health care costs incurred by other industrialized nations.

Most medical doctors in the USA gripe about their high costs, but they too, command a huge salary compared to medical doctors in other nations. There is a newer trend in the USA to have doctors work for clinics, hospitals, and other health care facilities. These doctors make lower salaries, but have none of the expenses related to a private practice. The employing company now makes the big bucks and makes decisions regarding the patient's medical outcome, usually cost-driven and not in the patient's best interest.

I don't like the current PPACA (Obamacare), but it's better than what didn't exist for many individuals prior to implementation. I would prefer a socialist (Medicare) approach for all...maybe Obamacare will slowly evolve toward such.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Thanks - we're dragging our wheels a bit on the return - mirroring the government. Trying to stay off the interstates where possible, but it takes longer getting from A to B (or Z).:-)

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thank you, and for the link which I shall keep until we get home and onto a reliable connection. This one has been off all evening until now (11 pm).

Twilight said...

mike ~ Dang internet connection has been on the blink here at Paducah KY -something to do with ATand T or some prob with routers.

We're taking more interesting roads home, slower but better and more worthwhile. Interstates are like being on a train, with a similar claustrophobic feel, though they do get one there fast.

As for the shutdown and healthcare, I'm lost for words at the injustice of it all. You couldn't make it up!!

As you said at end of your last comment, single payer, as in many European countries and UK is what's needed, but the Repubs will never agree to that if they cannot agree to this, which is only a very small step forward from what was in place before.

It took WW2 to make Britain sort out the healthcare problem - surely it will not take a full-blown war and desolation to get these twits to get their act together??
For one thing there wouldn't be enough people left for it to matter, if so. :-(

Back into Missouri tomorrow - I think - after investigating a few antique stores here in Paducah. I quite like MO - their liquor laws are so easy! ;-) And the people we spoke to there so far, on trip outward, were really friendly and easy there an connection I wonder?

mike (again) said...

It should be noted that many political pundits have declared the current congressional chaos as an ideological stand-off between Democratic leftists and the GOP's T-party minority faction. In the article you linked, LB, McLarty indicates that this is a result of the GOPs conservatives, T-party, and plutocrats.

Chris Hedges states this is a result of the radical Christian right, specifically the Dominionists:

"U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz—whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher and the director of the Purifying Fire International ministry—and legions of the senator’s wealthy supporters, some of whom orchestrated the shutdown, are rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism. This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.” It seeks to reduce government to organizing little more than defense, internal security and the protection of property rights. It fuses with the Christian religion the iconography and language of American imperialism and nationalism, along with the cruelest aspects of corporate capitalism. The intellectual and moral hollowness of the ideology, its flagrant distortion and misuse of the Bible, the contradictions that abound within it—its leaders champion small government and a large military, as if the military is not part of government—and its laughable pseudoscience are impervious to reason and fact. And that is why the movement is dangerous."

LB again said...

mike ~ Agreed. It's a corrupt and bureaucratic system motivated by profit, one which many physicians find frustrating. Regarding Steve Brill's Time Magazine piece, the following excerpt is from a response I found on PNHP (Physicians for a National Health Program):

"At the end of his article, Brill seems to be advancing a non sequitur when he writes, “The real issue isn’t whether we have a single payer or multiple payers. It’s whether whoever pays has a fair chance in a fair market… We don’t have to scrap our system and aren’t likely to.” This certainly does not follow from what he had to say as the central theme of his article.

He then recommends some tired or inadequate remedies that would have very little impact on the problems that we face in health care. What is ironic is that he has built a tremendous case for the logical solution – an improved Medicare for all – and then he seems to dismiss it. You cannot read his article and escape the conclusion that a single payer national health program is an absolute imperative, that is, if we really do want affordable care for everyone." Don McCannee, MD

Many of us who advocate for a more universal system of healthcare (HR 676) also want to see changes in the current medical model. Compared to other industrialized nations, the US spends twice as much per capita on "healthcare" but with less desirable health outcomes. The Western (conventional/allopathic) medical model, sometimes referred to as "disease, drug, cure" (or "one cause, one disease, one cure") is ineffective since it fails to approach healthcare from a more holistic perspective. We don't teach or encourage people how to care for their health, nor is it practical or affordable for those among us who may have limited time, money and/or access.

Having said that, I'd still like for all of us, regardless of how much money we have, to be able to access affordable healthcare when we need it. One of the great things about single-payer national health insurance (and there are many) is that it wouldn't preclude other necessary changes from happening, whereas the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) perpetuates and rewards a sick and corrupted system. I'm not optimistic.

PNHP (Physicians for a National Health Program) has a number of great articles that address some of the other problems related to the way we deliver healthcare in the US. In one article, Dr. Jeff Gee discusses the documentary "Escape Fire - The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare". Dr. Gee seems to agree with some of the documentary's observations regarding our broken medical model, but also points out how the documentary doesn't go far enough in exploring solutions, nor does it address the issue of *how* to ensure affordable access for everyone. Our entire delivery system needs to be changed in order to be more *inclusive*, with clearer goals:

I'd encourage you and anyone else who's at all interested to check out PNPH's site. They also discuss the cost-effectiveness of a single-payer system more intelligently and with greater depth than I ever could:

A changed medical model won't help much if only *some* of us can afford to access it.

LB again said...

mike ~ I haven't read Chris Hedges article, though I agree there are many who read and misuse the Bible. I've even found that to be true in many of the more liberal-minded, "progressive" churches. It's why I rarely identify myself as a Christian anymore and instead usually just say I try to follow Christ's teachings. It bothers me whenever Christ's message gets twisted to accommodate self-serving agendas.

To be fair, I think the problems of our society and world extend far beyond our political and religious affiliations, though admittedly, they frequently get played out in those arenas, with one side claiming superiority over the other. I see it more as a fundamentally human problem and the reason we're all here in the first place.

mike (again) said...

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Ghandi

(this quotation is disputed as to source)

mike (again) said...

LB, I've long thought this Earth life isn't too real...looks and tastes real, but not somehow. I think that we are all just one...that's how "karma" operates...harm someone and I've harmed someone and I've helped myself. However, the realness of this life makes it so easy for each of us to be our own worst enemy and to others, as well. Apparently we all bought tickets for this voyage, so best to indulge ourselves and take-in the sights!

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Re the dominionism thing - yes, it also came up at the time Rick Perry was a presidential candidate. I remember doing a post on the subject. Scary, if unlikely, potentiality. I hope there are more of "us" than there are of "them".
We need to keep it in mind, for sure.

LB said...

mike ~ Is it that life isn't too real, or that life *is* too real? And I agree, what we do to others we do to ourselves, which is not only a good reason to do unto others but also a very good reason to forgive - even when there's (apparently) nothing in it for us.

If only more of us remembered how to row our boats a bit more *gently*.:)

Twilight ~ Sometimes not having an internet connection can be a good thing.