Weekend Update 12-10-2011

Posted: December 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 12-10-2011

As usual, LaVonne Neff has some excellent observations on health care. I’ll not that up until the early nineties, when most of the US insurance plans and hospitals were non-profit, we had a somewhat decent health care system. There were still too many gaps in it, but it wasn’t systemically evil. It’s when the core of the system switch from non-profit (which is not the same thing as charity at all) to for-profit with little effective regulation that things went to hell in a handbasket. And it happened quickly — between the birth of my 20 year old son and my 15 year old daughter. And it has steadily gotten worse from there. I find the objections to an 80% or 85% medical loss ratio laughable. Before they converted from non-profit to for-profit, our private insurance companies routinely had medical loss around 95%. Still lower than Medicare’s, but an acceptable level. 80% is just a good start. It’s time to stop Wall Street financiers from profiting by gouging the injured, sick, and dying. They don’t create jobs. They just bankrupt and kill people.

I’ve seen this several times. On one level it’s pretty funny. But on another, it illustrates exactly why I’ve traced beliefs and assertions about God and Christianity historically. The farther to the right you are in that tree, the less likely I am to take you credibly if you contradict those to the left of the tree in the diagram.

Republicans don’t even adhere to their own loudly proclaimed “principles” in the current payroll tax cut debate. Frankly, they reveal that their only agenda is to serve a tiny fraction of the richest Americans.

Are the muppets communists? Faux News wants to know. No, seriously, that’s not a joke. They really want to know.

This is a good episode of the Hold the Gluten podcast. In it, one of the things they discuss was a recent episode of Man Up! in which they handled the subject of gluten intolerance in a particularly tasteless fashion. Frankly, my wife and I caught an episode of the show earlier this year and found it not worth watching, so I’m not surprised. However, I didn’t see the episode in question. From the description in the podcast, though, it sounds like ABC owes us an apology. Now, there’s nothing wrong with comedies tackling serious, chronic, even life-threatening illnesses. Often we need to find the humor in a situation, and sometimes a comedy can address a serious issue in a way that drama can’t. As they mention, Parenthood, another show,  has addressed celiac (with a presenting symptom in a child of a particular skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis), and found the humor while also being tasteful. Nobody would consider making a comedy that treated breast cancer the way Man Up! apparently treated gluten intolerance, at least in part because the audience wouldn’t tolerate it, yet many comedies have indeed covered the topic of breast cancer over the years. Undiagnosed and untreated celiac can lead to cancer, malnutrition, brittle bones, infertility, miscarriages, depression, or a host of other things. Ultimately, if untreated, it will shorten your life. And the only treatment is a strict gluten free diet. That’s difficult for an adult. It’s even more so for a child. My kids have done really well. I’m proud of them. My younger son has learned to cook and shop for himself. But even in college, when his friends want to stop at McDonald’s, he ends up getting a soda — because there’s nothing he can eat. My daughter has to take some of her own food to camp, and every school-related party seems to include pizza. She does really well, but sometimes she doesn’t go to things simply because she doesn’t feel like dealing with the food issue. Listen to the podcast. Watch the show if ABC still has it online. See what you think.

But this goes to the point of salvation. Salvation is not how to get people like me (or like you) into some place safe from the fires of hell. That is a transportation problem at best, or a legal problem, at worst. The point of salvation is how to change people like me (and you). It is about changing us such that seeing the resurrection becomes possible.Read this post by Fr. Stephen.

Eight year old boy tells Bachmann, “My mom is gay and she doesn’t need fixing.” According to the woman in line who took the video clip, the boy’s mother was in line to say something to Bachmann, but got nervous and wanted to leave. It’s the boy who grabbed her coat and cried, “No!” and insisted that he wanted to say something to her. Is there any way for us to know the truth with certainty? No. But having raised a bunch of kids, I find the video-taker’s story credible. My kids have often put me into uncomfortable situations over the years in their desire to act. Sometimes they have needed a bit of encouragement right at the end to do what they have been adamant with me that they wanted to do up until that point. I remind them of what they told me. Sometimes that nudge has been all they needed. Other times they have still backed away. I do hope the boy’s mother wasn’t using her son to make a political statement. I don’t jump to that conclusion, though, as many do, because I know how loyal kids can be to their family. Watch the video and read the statement by the woman who took the video and posted it and reach your own conclusions.

GOP busy reading the minds of apparently imaginary millionaire business owners. Who needs facts when you can just make up anything you want?

The super committee’s do-nothing path to success.

When health care bills are a bigger fear than dying, the system is broken. The problem is not that the ACA overreaches, but that it very possibly doesn’t go far enough. Still, it’s better than nothing, which is what the GOP and their health industry overlords. (How did we ever let our health become the basis for a profit-oriented industry anyway?)

Well, of course. Republicans are adamantly against anyone or any organization looking out for the interests of most of us who live in this country. What else is new? Until voters wake up and punish them for their blatantly anti-American attitudes and tactics, they’ll keep doing it. It’s as simple as that. I’m not sure how bad it’s going to have to get for people to reach that point, but the GOP seems happy to push the limits so it looks like we might find out.

Access to health care shouldn’t depend on luck. If you’re ‘against’ health care reform, then you and your loved ones are healthy or you happen to have access to good insurance right now. And in your opposition you are basically betting your life and the lives of those who depend on you that those facts will remain true. Personally, I’m not willing to wager the lives of my wife and children in such a gamble. And for what gain? The ACA, imperfect as it is, will save most of us money and provide us greater access to health care. But even if it cost me more money, the lives of my family can’t be measured in dollars. I’ve been pretty lucky so far. But anyone’s luck can run out, mine included. I’m neither naive nor shortsighted enough to believe otherwise.

Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly sparring by video clip over Jon’s “War on Christmas”. My thoughts? My kids, especially my youngest, have grown up in a pretty pluralistic environment. In elementary school, she had a Muslim friend when, for several years, Eid al-Adha fell in December. So she learned about it from her friend and came home to tell us about it. My kids have had friends in other religions and none. They’ve never felt restrained in their faith, but have naturally respected that of others. It’s not a great mystery. If you know and love the ‘other’, what else would you do? I do, however, appreciate Jon’s sacrifice. He watches Fox News so we don’t have to.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
War On Christmas – Bill O’Reilly Fires Back
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

And the Colbert Report on Rick Perry’s ad.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rick Perry’s Pro-Christmas Ad
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

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