Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Concerns about health care changes

I'm going to be honest and admit that I'm being selfish and thinking of myself first here, but just to get it out in the open:

1)Long term unemployed: the health care law provides for people between jobs, lost jobs recently, or for people under 26 whose parents have a plan. Long term unemployed from the homeless to those living in relatives in friends homes are not even considered. I don't expect the government to pay for my health care. Ideally I get a job and that would provide my coverage. But how can the government mandate anyone who has no money to pay for health care and the charge a fine if they don't? Are we going to see police rounding up people in homeless shelters and throwing them in jail? "Sorry you didn't buy health care, what you have no money? thems the breaks!"
Realistically the mandate to purchase health care will just fall through leaving a big budget crisis.

How this could be fixed:

The easy way
: Mandate for health care only applies to those making over 30,000 dollars. This would still leave hospitals with the problem of providing care for the poor and paying for it, but it would be a reasonable law.

The hard way
: Mandate that everyone be employed in some way and that the employer provide the health care. This obviously wouldn't be a mandate on the people directly but the companies employing people. The provision would state that if companies did not increase the amount of employees every year as to erase the unemployment percentage down to two percent the government would claim the right to tax these companies enough to provide government jobs for every person these companies refused to employ (did I mention this was the hard way?)

2)Health care providers are off the hook:
Health care is not comprised of just insurance. we have 3 separate entities involved that affect health costs:
a)health ensurers (government and private)
b)health care providers (doctors and nurses and the institutions that employ them)
c)medical schools

The first two's effects are obvious. the more profit an insurance company makes or the more income a doctor gets the higher the cost of the health care. Doctors expect a high salary range often because many have had to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay for schooling. If the schools were compelled to provide low and no cost education for qualified students doctors salary ranges could be greatly reduced and the doctors themselves would have more cash in pocket despite making less money annually.

But the real problem is in the health care providers. Without regulation providers can charge whatever the hell they want (pharmaceuticals as well) and let the health insurance pick it up. this is a subtle form of theft because no one notices what the provider is actual charging only when their premiums go up. I shutter when I think a doctor can charge a million dollars if they so choose for an physical and now the tax payers will have to pay it. the patient doesn't get better service the doctor simply gets richer. Why do you think the AMA LOVES this plan, they are thinking: "were all rich!"

3)End of life and quality of life
Everyone has a different opinion on quantity of life vs. quality of life decisions. One thing isn't debatable though: the country cannot afford to keep everyone alive till they're 90. the cost of health care is completely back ended. I'm not saying we should euthanize the old, I'm saying we return to the standards we knew 100 years ago when we new that if you lived to 70 you've lead a full life, and there is no shame in letting someone die natural, especial if they are in terrible suffering. we need to get over our own fears of death and realize that no one lives forever and their is no benefit to trying.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hell, Death, and Sin

I’m constantly frustrated by other’s conception of hell. When I say, “My day was Hell” people think I use a grandiose exaggeration to make a display my feelings of having a bad day. When I say “hell” I do not mean a fiery inferno that people go to be punished after they die, I mean emotional destruction of the mind, a total lack of and self value, and a complete break from any connections to others. That is to say: Hate is a connection that two may connect with each other, therefore hell is not made up of people who hate but rather feel apathy.

More specifically my hell is a world where no one cares about me or even acknowledges my presence. It is a state of the purest insanity. By nature every intelligent form of life is aware of its existence; however, this Hell contradicts this. The creature must exist to experience this separation but everything (or everyone) presents evidence that the creature does not exist.

I view death much differently than others. Death, simply put, is the permanent separation of one being to another. When put in this context, when a friend says goodbye to another, and never sees this person (or makes any form of contact) ever again, this person is dead. One might argue that the possibility of reestablishing the connection is proof of life even if that possibilities is never realized. I argue that emotionally the human psyche treats the improbable with the same discrepancy as the impossible (people don’t celebrate the moment after buying a lottery ticket). While less than a dozen people in my life have died in the traditional sense of the word, hundreds have died in my life under this new definition (and I have died to hundreds of others).

It is important to note that I do realize the great amount of physical suffering incurred by traditional death that I have been spared from witnessing and experiencing up to this point. My point is rather, that the emotional suffering remains the same in both “deaths”.

I cannot emphasize enough that all human happiness and mental stability relies on the connections he/she makes with others. Sin can only be the destruction, inhibition, or decimation of these connections. Unlike traditional views of Sin, my version of Sin the victim is punished along with the sinner. In the case where the sinner breaks a connection between two other parties (exclusive to himself/ herself) the sinner is not punished at all, but is very likely to repeat the same break to his own connections.

Forgiveness is a form of virtuous act where by the sin can be eliminated. Therefore the just man/woman seeks forgiveness always and grants it always. If this law is true for the rebuilding of connections it is also true for the building of connections. It is a virtuous act to forgive another or make a friendship; however, it is a sin to deny forgiveness or refuse a friendship. Because both active and passive action can (and often do) have the same affect in building or destroying a connection, the sinner is just as responsible for passive action as he/she is active. For example if telling some one to “jump off a bridge” has the same effect as not saying anything to a person’s relationship or possible relationship, both these actions are equally sinful.

Therefore, imperfect human beings are incapable of being sinless. Virtue lies on improvement in the form of knowledge so that passive action becomes active action to the highest extent possible for any given moment.

If I were to sit at a table with you talking for an hour within the course of our conversation whatever it might be about I will inevitably say many things that will strengthen the connection of our relationship (both intentionally and unintentionally), but also say many things that will make our relationship deteriorate (unintentionally). My responsibility as a virtuous man is to become aware or “awakened” to what words or actions are strengthening our bond (so to repeat this behavior) and what words were putting distance between us. This only can be achieved through mastery (after practice and reflection) of perception and solid lines of uninhibited communication. Since remaining passive inhibits the rebuilding and strengthening of our bond its is by definition a sinful act. So if I (or anyone else) do not reflect and learn from my perceptions and strive to improve to the maximum of my awareness (awake-ness) I live in active and conscious sin.