Sick and Tired

Sick and Tired

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I’m so sick and tired of being sick and tired.

A Real VirusHead Today
VirusHead

I’ve spiked a fever at 105 degrees, and hovered around 100-101 most of the rest of the time. Vertigo and light-headedness. Fatigue and balance problems. Coughing. Sneezing. Aching, but I can’t rest (and I won’t take that medicine). Crossing my fingers that it doesn’t go into bacterial pneumonia like in many other cases.

It’s been a week now, and I’ve racked up five sick days at work. That’s going to mean a lot of late nights toward the end of the year to meet deadlines, and give me even less time and energy to do everything else.

And there’s so much to do that I need to be doing and I can’t! Christmas shopping and preparations, housework, helping out with some family stuff – and I guess I’m probably not going to get the cards out this year. This is the first day I could really concentrate on anything and I’m getting weepy even trying to edit what should be a very straightforward document.

And of course this whole healthcare reform fiasco is very frustrating and disappointing. The way the bill is now, it just seems like a gift to the insurance companies.

Keith Olbermann’s rant on this last night was incredibly depressing, but it’s worth watching the video.

You have just agreed to purchase a product. If you do not, you will be breaking the law and subject to a fine. You have no control over how much you will pay for the product. The government will have virtually no control over how much the company will charge for the product. The product is designed like the Monty Python sketch about the insurance company’s “Never-Pay” policy … “which, you know, if you never claim — is very worthwhile. But you had to claim, and, well, there it is.”

And who do we have to blame for this? There are enough villains to go around, men and women who, in a just world, would be the next to get sick and have to sell their homes or their memories or their futures — just to keep themselves alive, just to keep their children alive, against the implacable enemy of American society, the insurance cartel. Mr. Grassley of Iowa has lied, and fomented panic and fear. Mr. DeMint of South Carolina has forgotten he represents people, and not just a political party. Mr. Baucus of Montana has operated as a virtual agent for the industry he is charged with regulating. Mr. Nelson of Nebraska has not only derailed reform, he has tried to exploit it to overturn a Supreme Court decision that, in this context, is frankly none of his goddamned business….

Which brings us to Mr. Lieberman of Connecticut, the one man at the center of this farcical perversion of what a government is supposed to be. Out of pique, out of revenge, out of betrayal of his earlier wiser saner self, he has sold untold hundreds of thousands of us into pain and fear and privation and slavery — for money. He has been bought and sold by the insurance lobby. He has become a Senatorial prostitute.

And sadly, the President has not provided the leadership his office demands.

I see the centrist Dems are trying to paint Howard Dean as a quack again – using energy they reserved from their lack of criticsm of Republicans – but check out Dean’s article in today’s Washington Post. I can’t say I disagree.

Real reform would insert competition into insurance markets, force insurers to cut unnecessary administrative expenses and spend health-care dollars caring for people. Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these. Real health-care reform is supposed to eliminate discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But the legislation allows insurance companies to charge older Americans up to three times as much as younger Americans, pricing them out of coverage. The bill was supposed to give Americans choices about what kind of system they wanted to enroll in. Instead, it fines Americans if they do not sign up with an insurance company, which may take up to 30 percent of your premium dollars and spend it on CEO salaries — in the range of $20 million a year — and on return on equity for the company’s shareholders. Few Americans will see any benefit until 2014, by which time premiums are likely to have doubled. In short, the winners in this bill are insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG. …

To be clear, I’m not giving up on health-care reform. The legislation does have some good points, such as expanding Medicaid and permanently increasing the federal government’s contribution to it. It invests critical dollars in public health, wellness and prevention programs; extends the life of the Medicare trust fund; and allows young Americans to stay on their parents’ health-care plans until they turn 27. Small businesses struggling with rising health-care costs will receive a tax credit, and primary-care physicians will see increases in their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Improvements can still be made in the Senate, and I hope that Senate Democrats will work on this bill as it moves to conference. …

I have worked for health-care reform all my political life. In my home state of Vermont, we have accomplished universal health care for children younger than 18 and real insurance reform — which not only bans discrimination against preexisting conditions but also prevents insurers from charging outrageous sums for policies as a way of keeping out high-risk people. I know health reform when I see it, and there isn’t much left in the Senate bill. I reluctantly conclude that, as it stands, this bill would do more harm than good to the future of America.

If the Dems push through a bill that will make things worse, then they’ll have to live with everything that happens as a result of not holding to a line of integrity. Don’t count on those votes next election.

Ooohh, it gives me such a headache.

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