So, I've been absent of late, I know. Over the weekend it was because I was busy with my WIP, in which I got a total of 6400 words added from Tuesday-Sunday. Monday after work through until about an hour ago, I was away from home. Had some more hospital business to take care of. Don't fret for me, I'm totally fine. Well, as fine as I have been lately. I took a laptop to try to keep up with everyone, but that didn't work out well. The stupid space bar was a demon sent from Hell to torture me. Plus there's something about hospitals that makes me tired. I slept a lot and watched The History Channel.
I've been fretting lately. I try not to let reality cloud my life, but sometimes I poke my head out of my internal goings on and look around. I'm not happy, friends. Not one bit. This blog was created for the purpose of meeting other writers, and so far I think I've blogged about writing and other writers. I don't discuss politics or the tragedies occuring around the world. I watch in horror with the rest of you, but keep my thoughts to myself.
Tonight, I'm going to say a few things that have nothing to do with writing. If you're reading this for pure entertainment value, I fear there's none to find tonight. This post will be about getting to know me. Not what I like or what I enjoy, but what I care about most, second to my family. My country, the United States of America, and to my eye there has been little 'United' about us for some time, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.
To Nick's (and possibly Terry's) horror, I'm not 'into' politics. I'm not a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Montana Militite, Anarchist, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, or the like. Groups worry me. They always have. I understand the uses of government, and I've worked for a couple of them. I understand, and obey, the laws (speeding doesn't count. That's more of a guideline to me).
I am a patriot. If invaded, I would pick up arms and defend my country, my home, my family, my friends. I support our troops. My future son-in-law is in Iraq right now. I don't agree with the war, as a political tool. I agree with the war for what its purpose was to be: to find the bastards who killed so many Americans and tried to kill the rest of us through fear.
I remember September 11, 2001, don't you? Don't you remember where you were when you first heard the news? It was horrifying to think a plane could accidentally strike a Tower. Then the second plane struck, and we were a nation under attack. There was a mad scramble to find loved ones, to find other planes in the air. I was in St. Louis which was in an entirely different time zone, but military jets were in our skies for days, on patrol. Do you remember that feeling? It felt like everything would change, and it has. It has.
We have an Islamic president now. Not a single person would have thought that possible ten years ago, and certainly not after September 11th. I have no problem with his color or his faith. I have several friends who are of the same race and religion. I am only remarking on how strange it is that we, as a nation, as a group of people, joined together and looked past these things instead of condemn him. It is often in our nature to do that, to condemn those that are different than ourselves. I am happy, I truly am, that we did not do that. It shows great strides in our thinking, in our ability to rationalize on merit and strengths.
Here's what I do have a problem with: Healthcare Reform. Do we need it? Absolutely. Our system is broken. I know. I work for a health insurance company. Many people point there fingers at us and blame us for all that is going wrong with heathcare, but it's incredibly off the mark. I'm not a manager or higher-up. I have no influence whatsoever, and am not being a company loyalist. If you knew me at all, you'd know how I don't like big business. My dad calls me Flower Child half the time.
What I know is this: the average American cannot afford to be without coverage. Why? Because hospital and doctor claims are outrageously expensive. Often a patient goes untreated -turned away- if they don't have coverage. This is not the insurance companies' fault. Healthcare providers like to point their fingers at the big, bad insurance companies, but consider this: if they were less expensive, would we need insurance? They say they are expensive because of their malpractice insurance. This is NOT health insurance. This is an entirely separate issue covered by a different kind of insurance company. Doctors hike their rates to pay for their malpractice insurance rates, insurance that exists to compensate a patient when the doctor has made a medical mistake and endangered (or ended) their lives.
So, the healthcare providers make mistakes, which their insurance carrier pays for, then increases their rate to get some of it back, and the doctor turns around and charges the future patients. The bottom line is, you (and I) are paying for our healthcare providers' mistakes. That doesn't make them evil. Healthcare is a business. Shoplifting at Wal-Mart yields the same results. Customers pay for losses, not companies, not businesses. There IS something incredibly wrong with the healthcare system, I totally agree. But, like publishing, I defy anyone to find a better way to do it that doesn't cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Which leads me to my next soapbox moment. Unemployment. We're not recovered from the recession. We're barely holding our own. To dissolve insurance companies would put hundreds of thousands of people out of work. But it doesn't end there. $12 billion cut from our education system?? Seriously??? 100,000-300,000 teachers are getting pink-slipped in June. They've also put a dissolution of NASA into the works. There's tens of thousands more jobs in the toilet. So, healthcare, education, and space exploration (not to mentional all the techological advances we've NASA to thank, and so many more we'll never have). This one is also close to home to me. Robert Goddard was a great man, a rocket scientist, a pioneer, a relative.
Another couple of things to mull over: a bill has been sent for approval to give police the right to use lethal force during peaceful demonstrations if they feel they are in danger. They can fire into a crowd of unnarmed civilians if one trigger-happy nervous rookie so chooses. I love the police. I really do. Again, it's in the relations. But bad things happen when this sort of thing is allowed, and it goes against our Constitutional right to peacefully protest. Also in the works is for every American to have 'papers' in addition to a driver's license, to have a passport whether we want or need one or not.
Think about all of these things: socialized healthcare, dropped importance on education and research, increase on military, the loss of peaceful protesting, the mandate to have freedom of movement restricted without proper papers. I feel like the toad that sat in the pot too long to notice it has begun to boil.
If you made it all the way to the bottom, thank you for hearing me out. I'm a frustrated American. I'm not anyone special. My opinion is mine, and I love that I live in a country where I can share it without fear of persecution. I'm just afraid it's slipping away. There's something going incredibly wrong with our country. Can't you feel it? Are you afraid like me? Or are you clicking 'unfollow' now because you think I'm a whiny ignorant woman who is a Big Bad Insurance Tool? Can any of you make some sense out of it all, allay my fears?