Comparing Apples and Fish

Something smells fishy, in the Great AmericanWealthcare Debate. The stench of something rotten--like day old fish wrapped in newspaper-- permeates the media reports.

From my point of view that's a bad smell. Because I can't smell, most of the time.

Following a head injury, my sense of smell is just about nonexistent.

No more inhaling the rich, sweet aroma of coffee brewing in the morning. No more enjoying the warm spicy perfume of nag champa incense. When the fire alarm went off in my building, it came as a total surprise. I did not smell the smoke.

You don't know how important your sense of smell is until you lose it. If there's a way to get it back, I wouldn't know: I have no health insurance. At the time of the head injury I had some kind of insurance. It's the kind of basic catastrophic insurance that will pay to haul you to an emergency room, mop up the blood, shoot some xrays/catscans, staple you back together, and then ship you back out to the same killing fields that brought you into the hospital in the first place-- whether those killing fields are an unsafe worksite, a crime ridden neighborhood, or icy hazardous sidewalks and roads . This is the kind of insurance most people have. Not preventive health care. Not health maintenance. At its worst, this privateer wealth care system destroys health; at its best, it's damage control. Our wealth care system is like driving a car for 2 years without ever changing the oil; then when your engine seizes up, you have the car towed to a mechanic and pay $3,000 for a new engine.

Is this the health plan that our Senators and Congress persons have?

SHHH....URE it is. (Not)

The signs are everywhere. At bus stops, plastered on walls and roadside signs. Printed on shopper flyers, newspaper inserts; ads hawking "affordable health insurance," listing prices for various types of "care," like the menu board at a fast food restaurant. One movie poster size sign proclaims: $100 for pain management, $60 for internal medicine, and get this: "NO NEW PATIENT FEE!"


How do you separate dental and vision care from health care? A man is removed from his workplace because of an absessed tooth that made his face swell to the size of a grapefruit and is brought by ambulance to a hospital where he spends eight days. When he returns to work, he is fired-- presumably for missing too many days of work. All this could have been avoided, if the man had comprehensive dental health coverage. Was his an isolated incident? A supervisor at the same job confided she "lived on" pain killers because she had a bad toothache she couldn't afford to get treated. In another job, at a major retail chain, I remember a co-worker with an eight year old child. The boy had a toothache, and while the father battled with the HR department to get his son included on his health plan so the child could get dental care, the mother came into our store looking for Ambesol to try to relieve the child's pain. Real people here, not Fred and Louise actors.

The only solution to this barbarism is a SINGLE PAYER HEALTH PLAN as outlined in HR 676 that covers everyone, from cradle to grave. Stop subsidizing private insurance companies. Kick the Medicaid/Medicare HMOs out. There's your savings.

Meanwhile...President Obama took to the road to appeal for support for his health care reforms. In a NY Times photo the prez is showm snacking on an apple.

I only wish I could do the same. A tooth, cracked for two years now, makes apples, carrots, and even bagels off limits to me. Even with the private dental insurance I bought, I can't afford to get the crown I need on this tooth. The so called dental "insurance" is more wasted money. Money flushed down the toilet in a wealth care system that flushes many human lives down the toilet.

The stench of some thing fishy rises from the stalling and deception and avoidance and corruption and influence peddling that piles up around the closed door debates on our American Wealth Care System. I don't need to be able to smell it to know it's there.

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