Tag Archive for insurance companies

Change: It comes from the bottom up

The deaths in Connecticut brought back the pain many of us have experienced after the death of a child. How much more is that pain when not only your child died but also the children of many of your friends and friends of your children? Those of us who have lost more than one relative to gun violence are sensitized to these violent events.

The responses to this and similar events have raised broader issues.

 

We the PeopleShould large corporations, organizations and people with large amounts of money be able to have more influence than individuals? Should partisan efforts be allowed to limit which U.S. citizens can actually vote? Can we get to the point where people with differing views stop talking past each other? Even within groups of largely like-minded individuals, there is too often disrespect for opposite views on specific issues.

The various responses to mass killings tell a lot about our society. I understand why many people want to own guns. The NRA’s callous response and the repetition of trite slogans have not helped at all. The NRA once supported a ban on assault weapons. Comments about not arming mental health patients, while appropriate, will not be effective. In Connecticut and New York, the weapons were bought by other people. There seems to be a fear that banning assault weapons or large magazines will be a step to ban all firearms. This is an unrealistic concern. The Arizona sheriff recruiting 500 armed volunteers to patrol around schools is much different from having trained and seasoned law enforcement officers, who have even recently killed bystanders. An effective solution requires listening to all positions.

As discussed in the Jan. 2 guest opinion by Gordon Pedrow, big money institutions have the ability to frequently negatively impact all of us, with practical impunity for those running these companies.

Several years ago the CEOs of the largest tobacco companies and large petroleum companies clearly lied to Congress. (Congress does, however, pursue athletes for lying.) Listen to the ads from the American Petroleum Institute and the natural gas industry. When they do not lie, they omit important information.

The banks and mortgage companies allowed home loans to be made that were guaranteed to fail then passed the cost on to others and eventually the taxpayers. Several banks have just agreed to pay billions of dollars for closing on homes that they did not hold the mortgage on or whose owners were not behind on payments.

Wall Street and insurance companies created risky investments whose risks were not always identified. Individual investors and taxpayers paid the cost. A few banks aided the drug cartels by laundering their illegally obtained money and indirectly supported numerous murders. No individuals or banks were charged with criminal behavior.

Thanks to the Supreme Court, large corporations, including those controlled from other countries including China, can now try to buy elections. Large corporations with lots of money, as well as very wealthy individuals, have entirely too much influence in Congress. It is hard to believe that votes that go against the interest of the residents of this country are not directly or indirectly influenced by big money interests.

How you steal and how much you steal is important. If you steal enough money you can afford the very best legal representation. As Mr. Pedrow so aptly pointed out, the very largest companies and their CEOs/board of directors cannot be punished enough to discourage bad behavior.

Try not fully paying your employees (an all-too-common practice) and you will not face any serious consequence other than paying the employee what they are owed, with a small penalty. However, the odds greatly favor that the result will be that the employee and her family will never see all or even any of what they worked for. (By the way, they will not be able to spend that missing money at local businesses including sales tax.)

These endemic problems are all too obvious. The solution is not. There are some things we can do. We can look at where candidates are getting their support from. We can learn who makes direct sizable donations and who is contributing to their PACs — oops, we cannot do that. Too bad. We can look at the behavior of the large banks and other companies to choose where we do business. If they have paid a fine, they are probably still behaving badly.

Collectively we can promote change.

The Far Wrong: the electorate lost what was left of its mind.

Don't like government? THEN STOP TAKING THE MONEY.

Teabigots need to stop the hypocrisy - and quit taking money from the government they despise.

Just what is a “union?” Those on the far wrong (I can no longer use the directional reference ‘right’) are fond of pointing out just what is a “marriage” (whether they cheat on their own), and they seem incapable or unwilling to recognize our national union. Pity over a million Americans died between 1861 and 1865, to meld this Union more securely.

More than a few states in this UNION are now led by the far wrong; nearly a dozen governor’s chairs “swung” last fall, when the electorate lost what was left of its mind. Twenty-six states have joined in one or more legal actions aimed at overturning the health-care reform so bitterly secured over the angst of the far wrong last spring. Don’t be fooled: the far wrong doesn’t give a camel hair that we are to be REQUIRED to buy health coverage. Do you think the agents of the billionaires really mind if granny can afford any sort of health insurance? Well, in case no one noticed, the insurance companies are huddling, looking for more pins to stick in the law. They admitted that their lobbying effort against it was huge, and just who do you suppose will pay for those millions in expenses?

Colorado’s attorney general (not capitalized, on purpose) joined one of these legal actions. Did he seek clarification, or express confusion over implementation? Naw; he says it’s “unconstitutional.” I worry when the attorney general, like a number of occupants of state executive mansions, is unaware of what the CONSTITUTION says. Try Article Six, where the “Supremacy” Clause is written. That, combined with the Fourteenth Amendment, says the United States laws and treaties are at the top of the pyramid. Period. Deal with it. Of course, every test of those two portions of the founding basis for our country was heard before ACTIVIST judges, so the far wrong is justified in ignoring them. Correct?

Not correct. Just today it was disclosed that some far-wrong governors have chosen to jump ship, refusing to move toward implementation of the health-care reform act, now that all of TWO US DISTRICT courts have ruled against all or part of it. District courts in the federal system are like Class “A” baseball — these are the bush leagues. Oh, I wish I hadn’t chosen THAT word.

Nevertheless, I now have a list. There are states I refuse to visit, even to change planes. I won’t allow one nickel to leave my pocket for Florida, Idaho, South Carolina, Georgia, or Wisconsin. Texas is teetering; I might have to sell some municipal bonds. Unilateral action on the part of the miscounterelected should have consequences. I am sickened, watching as we become two countries here in the USA, or fifty. Each of these, and anyone far-wrong outfit choosing to join them, should immediately have all its Medicare, Medicaid, FEMA, EPA, Transportation, Defense, Education, and Welfare largesse from the UNITED States terminated forthwith. You think it’s not possible? Look back at our vacation of Air Force bases in Libya, between late 1969 and mid-1970. We took out the very RUNWAYS, not just the buildings. It was quite something, to see operating, fully functional military installations returned to the desert in mere weeks. Why not here? That is, in Florida, Idaho, South Carolina, etc., etc., and any state where Haley Barbour hangs his overgenerous hat. Let’s see how these proud, loud, unbowed roosters who THINK they “know” and claim to support the Constitution (they’re so sworn), get along without dime one from Washington.

They’d SAY they love it. No Department of Education, no Health and Human Services, no EPA. And no Fourteenth Amendment. There’s been a lot of noise about repealing or eliminating all of those. Well, have at it. Just don’t any longer claim you’re any countryman of mine, and don’t even suck up a single penny of my taxes. You can form your own country or just waste away; I don’t care. And if we can build a fence between Mexico and Arizona, we can build one around the other three edges of the Grand Canyon State.

I’d really like to see if Washington has any testicles. It’s time to let these paper-hanging gong-show refugees lie in the bed they’ve made.

Is it really insurance?

Or might it be a fleecing?

I tend to be rather healthy most of the time. That may be a very good thing. There was a dental claim submitted from my household recently, to one of the major “insurance” carriers. I use quotation marks because real insurance would not have conditions. It would have a payment formula and scale, and perhaps — just perhaps — every doctor and practitioner in America would not need to hire people just to fight with “insurance” companies, but instead could hire persons who supply (can you stand this?) HEALTH CARE!

What? Health care? What’s that? Do I mean to say practitioners’ costs could go down, were there no need to go to war with these citizens of the sewer? You betcha. Thanks, Sarah. Our “insurance” carrier stated, in its explanation of “benefits,” that IN THEIR OPINION, there was an alternative to filling dental caries near the gum line. Like what? Leaving them alone? Then this “insurance” company might be asked to help pay for a crown, or extraction? Does that make sense? Some “insurance” executive must have some stock options creeping into the money, or there’s this second house in Aspen he’s eyeing. Whatever; this is precisely why RADICAL health reform was AND IS STILL NEEDED in the USA.

If tea-party types think the current system is so wonderful, I’d like to know where the get THEIR “insurance.” We could all benefit if they would stoop to share. But those who oppose this reform are blind, rich, or stupid. And I don’t think any of those choices appeals to me. So let’s start a real reform of the reform, and line up these “insurance” companies against the wall.

To do otherwise is to capitulate. Whether to the “insurance” companies or the tea party, doesn’t matter. But something RADICAL should be done, and NOW. I’m not to the point of Molotov cocktails, but I’m close. “Insurance” companies substituting their “judgment” for the professional opinion and training of medical practitioners is no different from the Taliban substituting their “way” for modern (Islamic) principles. I don’t know about you, but I’m THROUGH surrendering power to these charlatans who know about as much about health care as I do about dentistry. The fact that both hurt helps not at all.