Archive for August, 2009

2009.08.14

Poor Dead Seal

I’ve had this past week off and have been trying to fill the days with something more interesting than sitting on my butt dorking around on the computer. To that end I rode the motorcycle down to my old workplace to visit friends there on Tuesday and on Wednesday I took the curvy smooth Coastal Highway up to Bolinas. It was a great ride made much better by the fact that the roads were mostly clear of traffic.

I haven’t been up to Bolinas in a long time. I didn’t have my surf stuff with me (hard to strap a nine foot surf board to a motorcycle) I really wanted to get in. Maybe this weekend. Instead I took a walk along the beach and was going to go sit on what I thought was a log and watch the surfers. It wasn’t a log, though. I have no idea what killed the poor seal as aside from the seaweed conspicuously around its neck (but loose) there was no obvious cause.

Still, what a great day. The only thing that could have made it better is if I weren’t out alone. It’s hard to have time off and not be able to spend it with RMCA.

Dead Seal on Bolinas Beach

Comments Off on Poor Dead Seal | Catergorized: life  motorcycle  photos

2009.08.13

“Socialized” Medicine

I am a proponent of universal health care. Let me tell you why.

When I was kid growing up in the military we had a sort of universal health care. I say “sort of” because it only applied to military families. It was, within the context of the military, completely universal.

Whenever I would get sick, there was a hospital my parents would take me to and that would take care of me. We would go in and my parents would show their ID and that was it. Later, when I had an ID of my own, I could do all of this myself.

Military doctors, as I recall, aren’t necessarily the best doctors in the world. They aren’t called in to Harvard or Stanford to perform surgery on world leaders, for example. However, they are smart, efficient, concerned about your actual welfare as just an ordinary person. I hate hospitals. I have in innate fear of medicine. It’s completely irrational and based on a nurse who couldn’t find a vein in my arm to get a blood sample and took a few too many tries. Aside from that, though, military hospitals were the best. They take care of you. They help you because that’s their job and they can focus on that instead of insurance paperwork.

The United States military medical system is the greatest socialized health care system in the world.

When I finally got out into the civilian working world and had to face the civilian health care system I was completely overwhelmed. PPOs, HMOs, each from different providers with different kinds of coverage (and no coverage) based on the chance that you might get sick or injured. Worse, if anything goes even slightly wrong with the piles of paperwork you’re screwed because your health care insurance provider may cut the amount it pays or simply not pay. $5,000 may not seem like much to have to cover on your own for major cancer surgery, but you’re just as likely to have to pay $5,000 for a simple blood test if you’re not careful. Meanwhile the insurance company pockets your money. Cha-ching for them and bankruptcy for you!

Personally I live in fear of our civilian medical health care system. I know we have excellent doctors and nurses but what’s the use if the insurance, that I and my employer have been paying into regardless of having needed to use it, won’t cover my needs? Universal health care alleviates this problem. I walk into the hospital, I show them my ID, and I’m taken care of. That’s it. How much more simple could they make it?

3 Comments | Catergorized: political  thoughts
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