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Archive for August 24th, 2009

The following email msg was sent to President Obama, Sen Boxer and Feinstein and Rep Miller:
America needs health reform NOW!!
If you feel we cannot get a single payer, public option solution through Congress this year, I would propose the following (which will force the Republicans – and Democrats –  to vote against very specific bills that are clearly understandable to the American public):
Pass a separate bill specifically limited to just a single issue: make it illegal to have any form of “pre-existing condition” limitation or exclusionary clause in any health insurance contract or plan.
This will free the American worker from the shackles of their current employer’s health plan, which binds the employee to the employer.
Pass a separate bill specifically limited to just a single issue: make it illegal to have any form of “maximum liability amount” for any individual or family plan for any single year or the lifetime for any single (catastrophic) or multiple occurrence of any illness or injury.
This will remove the current fraudulent situation of people believing they are paying for adequate health care only to find when they really need it, it’s capped far below what they are expected to pay – and they are forced into bankruptcy.
Pass a separate bill specifically limited to just a single issue: make it illegal to have any form of “geographic” limitation or exclusionary clause in any health insurance contract or plan.
Pass a separate bill specifically limited to just a single issue: make it illegal to have any form of “prior-to-service notification” limitation or exclusionary clause in any health insurance contract or plan.
The reasoning for these two is to remove the “excuse” that the patient received care outside the covered area or without prior approval from the insurance provider.  Too often these are used to cover inflated prices in one area by forcing the patient to pay for prices beyond their control.  Patients are rarely in the position to “shop” for the best price when they are seeking treatment.
These four laws can each be passed separately and in any order and they have the added advantage of not requiring ANY additional funding by the government.
After that, you can go back and address the issues of a single payer system with a public option.
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Hil and I went to church today (it’s Sunday).  The first reading was from Joshua 24:15 and contained one of my favorite sayings – As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  I like it because it is a simple statement of faith.
Back in July of 2001, I got laid off from the company I was working for (Stockpoint).  I was unemployed until Jan ’02 when I got hired by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to answer their 800 line and respond to tax questions from the public.
That job was really just to get the health insurance.  When I got laid off I had a chance to continue my health insurance with “COBRA” – (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) – the fake health reform of the Clinton Administration.  But, to continue my health coverage, I would have had to pay $600 for myself and $125 for my family.  Obviously, being unemployed, I had to drop my coverage, but I continued it for my wife and kids.
Anyway, with a new mortgage and no income (unemployment insurance is another joke) to speak of I was desperate for ANY work.  I took the job at the IRS for 1/3rd the pay I had been making at Stockpoint and it had nothing to do with computers, programming or business management.
Even though “marginally” employed, we were still burning through savings like nobody’s business and I was feeling desperate.  I had been under- and unemployed for almost a full year and we were rapidly approaching the point of having to put the house up on the market before we started to miss payments.
I had applied for over 700 jobs in the year and had a total of five (5!) written responses (acknowledgments of receipt) and only three (3!) interviews.
I was out jogging and started praying…  I said, “God, I don’t know what more I can do.  I’m preparing customized cover sheets for every application and REALLY making an effort to spend all day looking for jobs I can both do and companies I can contribute to – but no one is even acknowledging they’re getting my applications…  I’m looking everywhere west of the Mississippi and there just doesn’t seem to be any hope.
“I know I haven’t always been the best Catholic, but I promise you, if you just show me the way forward, you don’t have to DO anything for me, just show me the way, I promise to go back to church, get the kids baptized and raise them in the faith.  After that, I will remain your committed servant.  I place my faith in you and am in your hands.”
The following week (I believe it was Thursday), I got a call requesting an interview.  I said I’d be happy to interview and asked when.  The lady said, “Right now.”
I interviewed for about the next 45 minutes and was asked to a 2nd interview the following week.  I went to that and was offered the job to start the following week (8 Aug. 2002).  I was hired and have now been there seven years.
We started going to church the Sunday before my second interview.  I joined the Knights of Columbus and we got the kids enrolled in Baptism classes shortly thereafter.  The classes took two years and the kids were Baptized and rec’d their 1st Communion.  After that, they came with us for another three years.
About a year and a half ago, our oldest started having a lot of scheduling conflicts between Church and her volunteer job.  While I was not initially in favor of it, I agreed she no longer had to attend Mass with us.  Shortly after that, I told the other two that if I wasn’t requiring the oldest to go I wouldn’t require them to either.  For the most part they don’t attend anymore.
The kids sometimes join us for Christmas or Easter Mass but the only one I require them to attend with us is the first Sunday after Easter.  That’s the Sunday of “Doubting Thomas”.
Hilary and I still go every week.  About a year ago we started driving an elderly lady (who no longer drives) to Mass with us.
If true faith requires public testimony – then God has blessed me with with it.  I have told this story often enough (to family, friends and co-workers) for it to enter into the mythology of my family.
Now, I know a rational agnostic would say it was pure coincidence and the law of averages and a matter of time and blah, blah, blah…
But as for me and my faith, like Thomas, I no longer need to “see” to believe.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
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