Monday, January 6, 2014

Pre-existing conditions


Always nice to kick off the new year with a political firestorm.

In all fairness however, the "firestorm" over the Affordable Care Act (no, there is no such legislation out there called "Obamacare") has been around since its initial round of voting through Supreme Court rulings to government shutdowns and most recently to a grievously flawed web site.  This issue of health care for the masses is not going away any time soon as anecdotes both pro and con ACA continue to fill mass and social media.

All I know is that I can finally go into a doctor's office and be covered for the medication I need due to a "pre-existing condition."  For the past two years, this has not been the case.  I can find no reason as to why my pre-existing condition could not be covered by insurance.  You see, I'm not one of the so-called "deadbeats" that the right wing decries.  I work.  I work all day Monday through Friday.  My employer provides health benefits and I help pay for them.  So why can't my "pre-existing condition" be covered?  It's not like I asked to have it.  The only reason I can come up with is insurance company greed.

So that's all changing.  I don't know how ACA will shake out in the end but perhaps it is a sign that many things are changing.  The way we do things needs to change as well.  Our political and societal pre-existing conditions may have already reached their terminus.

When President Obama was first elected to office, Jim Kunstler offered him a bit of advice.  Kunstler is a blogger and social critic and I remember the things he said back in 2009 mainly for how jarring and true they seemed.  He spoke of a society where consumerism was living out its twilight years as people continue to downscale.  He wrote:

"In the folder marked "unsustainable" you can file most of the artifacts, usufructs, habits, and expectations of recent American life: suburban living, credit-card spending, Happy Motoring, vacations in Las Vegas, college education for the masses, and cheap food among them. All these things are over."

Probably doesn't sound too good to many folks out there but I can't seem to find evidence to refute it.   Sure, Wall Street is doing better than ever but it's hard to see how that can continue if the other stratas of society do not similarly prosper.  Yeah, save me the Republican talking points.  I've heard them all before.

Could it be that we have no choice any longer but to work at building lives that matter?  Does this mean "living and buying locally?"  Does this mean taking care of things like the environment and people's health before other endeavors?

I don't know, but blogging about this is distracting me from the cold.  The Chicago area has seen about a foot of snow and the temperature is at about -45 with the wind chill.  Four people have died just from shoveling snow.  Ever seen The Day After Tomorrow?  Well, the weather right now is a good deal like that only without all of the stupid plot holes.


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