Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thoughts On Healthcare (Again), And Other Topics

Once again, another episode of random thoughts blogging, which always shows up when I haven't blogged in awhile for a variety of reasons, and end up with a more than a few blog posts in mind (but am too lazy to post multiple times).  So here goes:

Rancid Horse Anus:

Now, you may not know what the words "rancid horse anus" has to do with health care, but bear with me.  Currently, there is a kerfuffle du jour over the Affordable Care Act is over the fact that some health insurance plans were cancelled as a result of the new law.  Now, keep in mind these health care plans were substandard, and don't provide coverage for preventative care and prescription drugs, but some people actually liked their health care plans.

Additionally, people are upset because Obama told them last year that if they like the health care plan they have, they can keep it under this law.  But that assertion was based on a couple of assumptions, not least of which is that people wouldn't want to buy substandard health insurance if they didn't have to, just like people wouldn't want to buy rancid horse anus to eat if they don't have to.

Just as people are willing to eat rancid horse anus (because, I'm assuming, its a filling meal and has subtle barnyard aromas), some people are willing to buy crappy insurance.  But just because they are willing to do so, or even want to do so, preventing the purchase of such crappy insurance (or rancid horse anus*) is probably a good thing because in both cases, the purchaser will get very sick.

In the case of the crappy insurance buyer, one of two things will happen when said person gets sick - either the buyer is unable to afford health care, or the buyer will buy better insurance so that his new insurance coverage will cover him.  In either instance, we as a society are screwed.  If the crappy insurance buyer stiffs his doctors, they will proceed to raise their prices to get the money the buyer stiffed them from the rest of us.  If the buyer buys better insurance, that will raise the costs for the insurance company, which will lead to higher premiums.  And either way, we as a society, end up subsidizing the crappy insurance buyer.

So, by making sure that every insurance plan is not crappy, the hope is that we avoid things that raise medical costs or insurance rates.

*In case you were wondering, I came up with the term "rancid horse anus" from my descriptor of the Chargers' play during the Norv Turner years.  Actually, the term I used was rancid monkey anus, which I changed here because I'd assume that a monkey anus would be much smaller than a horse anus.

The Passing of Lou Reed:

Like a lot of people, I found myself somewhat shaken by the passing of Lou Reed this past Sunday. There has been a lot said about Lou Reed, that he was a bit of an asshole and a musical genius, and that is probably true (especially the musical genius part).  For me, "The Velvet Underground and Nico" album has been a part of my music collection since college.  They didn't, as Brian Eno once claimed, inspire me to form my own band, but that was because I formed a band well before I heard of them.  WOO! EDC!!!!

With that said, listening to the Velvet Underground was my entrance into rock as art.  Or put another way, everyone loves music and is into music.  But there are some people who's love of music is well beyond their friends, who take music very seriously.  And if those people are rock fans, they own a Velvet Underground album (or four).

But Lou Reed was more than just a rock star, he was the guy who sang about transvestites and doing heroin in explicit terms back in the 1960's.  Now, I don't use drugs outside of caffeine and alcohol, but "Heroin" is probably my favorite VU song.  Like Burroughs, Ginsberg, and the Beat Poets, Reed was a guide through worlds that my suburban, white, heterosexual ass will never know.   And that's a good thing, because hearing all voices is important. Neil Gaiman's obituary of Lou Reed is especially poignant on this point.  Go Read it.

Lastly, if you've never heard of Lou Reed or heard his music, go search it out.  Its really, really good.

On Other Passings:

I don't like really dwelling on personal things on this blog.  Its supposed to be about conversations, viewpoints, and the like, and not really about my personal life.  But I would be an asshole to not mention the passing of my last surviving grandparent.

Of all of my grandparents, she was the one I knew the most, and her funeral was an emotional one for me.  My grandmother was, as much as my mother is, a force of nature as much as she was a person.  She raised five children, four of which were her own, while working as a nurse at a time when women were not expected (or sometimes allowed) to work outside the home.  She was also a huge, huge partisan (a Republican!) who's force of will lead her husband to hide his Democratic leading tendencies (he was a Union guy) from the world.  And that's how I will remember her, not just as a person, but as a presence of will.  It is my hope that if I ever have a daughter, that she will have the same ferocity of spirit.

Goodbye Grandma.

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