Thursday, October 3, 2013


For lack of a better term, last Palm Sunday Mass i had a medical episode primarily involving blood chemistry, and its glucose concentration. Everyone who encountered me when it hit thought i had an heart attack, or possibly stroke. An ambulance came, and the paramedics told me i had a cardiac event (after administering an e.k.g.). A friend accompanied me to Cleveland Clinic's Main Campus emergency room. I still believe, he thought i might die. I was checked every four hours for the presence of a hormone in the bloodstream which would confirm an heart attack. I resisted, to some degree every additional step. I was thirsty, very thirsty, and i wanted to sit down. I believed i would recover enough, if that was allowed.

The oxygen they administered during the ride, pepped me up. I am not going to dig up the paperwork and confirm the terms and amounts of everything, so the figures are 'off the top of my head'. Instead of a physician, i was examined by a nurse with physician prerogatives (i forget the term). She was quite attractive. I was to stay over night, and was to have an m.r.i. for my heart. I was to be the first in queue at 7 a.m..

Now, every one was convinced all these measures were prudent. Even afterwards, some people still thought i had an heart attack. I was under medical care for just under 24 hours. Now, i am getting closer to my point. I was rather confident that i had insurance. If i thought i did not, i would not have permitted a damn thing at all. I told a few people the dollar amounts involved, it was a multiple of what people thought. 

I had an UNION negotiated insurance plan at that moment. I just qualified a few months before for a year's coverage, which ended on Monday. My local union does not personally like me, and they allow the employers to do as they will in many regards. I am virtually blacklisted. Well, Cleveland Clinic's first bill was $18,000+ (in the last twelve months i made no where near that amount, i have worked four days and received no other pay of any kind). Well, the Clinic accepted some $8,000 as full payment on that bill. Now, this is (in my mind) the foremost reason to have medical insurance. If i did not, i would have been on the hook for the huge (and inflated) amount, and they would make my life hell. Now, if i did not have insurance would the Clinic accept my personal payment of that lower figure? Certainly not. What did my insurance bill me? Less than $50.. The city ambulance service wanted $500 even, and the insurance paid it all. And there were some other bills.

Now, every one would think that i would have been foolish, extremely, not to accept medical care. I was the only one, who thought i was not suffering a medical emergency. If i did not have insurance i would not have gone through with any damn procedure. Some how i would have staggered to my car and driven home to sleep.

Now the federal government is shut down because the Republicans do not want the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is better known as "Obamacare". They won the House and state governments in 2010 because the Congress passed the Act, and the President signed the law. It was brought to the Republican controlled Supreme Court and ruled constitutional. The Republicans ran against it last November and their Senate, House and Presidential candidates lost the combined national vote; only through the gerrymandered constructed House districts written by Republican state governments after their 2010 victories permitted them to hold the House, and create this impasse. Republicans are relentless. Win they win, they push their entire extreme programme through. When they lose, they expect to have their entire extreme programme pushed through. This budget battle is supposed to be a formality, they in exchange for their 'co-operation' want total victory of their defeated platform. And why do they so hate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Because it will allow insurance to the uninsured! The petty viciousness of the Republicans has no limit. Any action of government that would help the non-rich they will not permit. It is not just the national health insurance, but it is Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, and every other such program they would abolish; for besides mendacity, hypocrisy, stupidity, insanity, and other such viciousness, they are plain mean and greedy. Their arguments reduce to the principle and cry "the rich are too poor, and the poor too rich; we must rectify this by all means". They worship Mammon, and hate the poor.

[supra] from Senator Harry Reid's wallet

[borrowed images]

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