I have health insurance.....Anthem has doubled the costs in the last three months, but I have coverage. For now.
$1000 deductible, no dental, no meds, I pay 20% over and above the first $1000....and it caps out after a car crash, but way before cancer or anything really bad.
And it is now more expensive than my rent.
For that shit.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago I broke a tooth.
The nightmare people who now run the Library insisted that I come to town to have a meeting about a party we have done for free for 30 years....to critique my performance and menu selection. Only in Carmel would you have to drive to an hour to town to be bitched at for giving away food....not just for giving away food, but for not giving away the right kind of food.....Too many carbs...not enough sensitivity to wheat alllergies.
Fuck me silly.
I took the dogs along as wingmen....The same way that if you hire a stripper on-line to jump from your cake, she comes with a giant Samoan wingman with no sense of humor. To protect her "honor".
By some miracle we arrived early on the day. No lunch, because believe it or not my day is usually too busy to actually eat. Energy flagging, depression mounting, blood sugar plunging. I stopped at Nielsen's for Diet Coke (caffeine) and Swedish Fish (sugar). Green food coloring (anti-depressant). The dogs howled in the car during my transaction, causing all the LOL's (which used to mean Little Old Ladies) at the Carmel Seniors....... to glare at me as if I were a child molester.
Note the use of subjunctive case....
Anyway....back at the car with the howling Pointers.....I gobbled some Fish, and washed them down with Diet Coke. It was cold day. The fish were stiff.....I broke a tooth.
I drove to the Library, found a parking place, left the howling hounds, ignored the broken tooth....on time for the meeting.
Wrong locale. Wrong Library.
Move the car. By now the dogs are going bug-fucky and clawing the walls, windows, ceilings....and me. I no longer hear the howling. I used to slaughter hogs....and I raised three screaming boys.
I run into the other Library, five minutes late. Wrong place, you have to go around back.
I run around back.....
The Library: "Oh....I am sorry. I forgot to call you. A board member was a little under the weather, so we cancelled the meeting. I hope this didn't inconvenience you......."
Fuck me silly. I am used to it. The Irish were niggers before they even invented the word to describe black people.
Meanwhile the dogs did not give a rat's ass about my broken tooth or my wasted afternoon. They can smell the beach. So, we drive there.....
And...there is no beach.
Proof that there is a God.....and She hates me. And German Wirehaired Pointers are her choice of weaponry.
Meanwhile, as a guy who spent 10 years in Europe in countries where there is no dental care....a busted tooth doesn't worry me.
I call my dentist.
Appointment in March.
Fine. No worries.
I start losing feeling in the right side of my face. And, I can't smile very well, because the muscles over there don't move. And my sinuses start tanking.
Now....I am scared. But, no room at the Inn. March is a ways off.
Luckily, my mad dogs are so nutty that they charge into inanimate objects for fun.... at speed ....on a daily basis. They have better health insurance and health care than I do, and we all spend lots of time at the vet's. I have bottles of antibiotics and painkillers around for the hounds...pills and injectables.
Can't get in till March? No worries. Got Doggie Downers.....Puppy Uppers.....Puppy anti-Buggers......We can hang in.
Boxes of Vicodin.....which actually don't matter, because the infection is destroying the nerves.
There is no pain....just a sense of loss.
And...we are oddly busy: in January, in a Depression.
So....no time to argue or seek alternatives. Shoulder to the wheel.
Meanwhile.....in an Alternate Universe....
That is: the Entire Rest of the World Who Don't Know Water Buffalo Personally......
This would not be an issue.
In Spain....where we go for culinary and cultural inspiration....and which country was run by an outfit crazier and more vicious than Hitler or Mussolini and which insane outfit survived 40 years after the war....has universal, single-payer health care.
Hitler thought he had an infinite supply of Jews, homosexuals and Slavs to grind down and burn up to run his industrial empire. Francisco Franco.....the twisted fuck who invited the Guernica massacre as practice genocide and inspiration for Art....realized that he needed functioning, healthy working class slaves to feed his industrial machine.
It is not a little thing.
If you are a Spanish 20 something.....if you have ever been hurt or sick, you go to the doctor and get fixed. Maybe you wait in a line for a few minutes or an hour....people tend to get hurt all at once.....but you are taken care of. Health care is not an issue in your life....more than the supply of oxygen or sunlight.
My 20-somethings know how to stitch up wounds with dental floss, and how to make butterfly bandages out of duct tape. There are even funny stories about my guys stitching themselves up with floss....and not noticing that is was green mint floss until too late.
And they all know where Hacienda Hay and Feed is.
Choice: you have an eye infection. Call Doctor Tocchet and ask for an appointment. Wait three days. Mom takes a day off from work to bring you. You get a script.....which you drive to Safeway to cash in. $80 for Doc, $80 for meds....Mom loses a day of work....you miss three days school. Or you go anyway, and give everyone else pinkeye.....which causes all of them to seek their private doctors and miss work and study.
Or.....you use the Otic salve from Hacienda.....$17 a tube....and you don't miss a minute.
The loss of efficiency, the loss of good labor, the loss of educational potential cannot be measured. Actually...it can be measured, but you don't want to know....any more than you want to know what is in that envelope the IRS just sent you.
Beyond that......is the concept that in Spain a child lives in an environment where she grows up with no question that the society and government are there to take care of her basic needs. No one is Spain has ever had to worry about missing work, or about how to pay for basic health care. It is part of the air they breathe. It is the wind beneath her wings. They think that the world around them values them....and their health and well being.
And, believe me....their kids fly on wings who take them to places of which our kids know not....
And this is a country run in recent memory by one of the top three most murderous motherfuckers ever to walk the planet.....and who cynically wanted health care for his people....
Walk the La Concha beach in San Sebastian today and be stunned by the beauty....and try to deal with the echoes of the daily executions that took place on that beautiful beach for twenty years. Franco was a cocksucker, but he was a realist. He wanted a functioning, efficient working class....so he could exploit them.
In our health care debate....which is really a health insurance debate....the main idea that Republicans have lost sight of is that everyone else in the world takes care of their workers as a given. Even insane fascists like Francisco Franco. The fact that America dumps health care off into ridiculously corrupt private cum buckets means that all of us business owners start off 20% or more short while trying to compete on world markets. Our national health policy has turned us into a third world country.
I own a shitty country store in Cachagua....a different sort of cum bucket. I have skills and visions of foods and service on a world wide scale.....and to implement them I have to count on only hiring kids who feel bullet proof, and who don't mind me stitching them up with dental floss if they fuck up....and don't mind cephelaxin from the vets if the infection gets out of hand.
You can get a way better deal in Kenya.....Don't talk about Spain.
Meanwhile....speaking of cum buckets....our national legislators have sold themselves against popular interests in a way that is unprecedented since Caligula stopped sending Legions to fight the tides.
More than 60% of Americans support single payer, and/or a public option for health insurance. Single payer works great in Canada, Mexico, England, France, Italy, Spain....fucking Costa Rica!!! and all our young people go to these places and understand that.
The medical insurance industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to pervert the popular will....and have succeeded. Did they think no one noticed? The guy getting the blowjob outside the bar thinks he is hiding in a bush?
I think that this epoch of supposed "democracy" and "will of the People" will go down as one of the most corrupt in two thousand years of studied, rampant corruption. People have been working at corruption, just like they work at internal combustion engines.
We now have Ferraris.
Republicans are obviously at fault....but worse are the Democrats who talk the talk.....and fail to walk the walk.
"Money talks....and bullshit walks. So...stop talking and start walking....."
It is inconceivable to me that our society could value the health of children less than the profits of oligarchs. Health insurance execs walk with BILLION dollar packages, while I shop at Hacienda Hay and Feed for antibiotics and eye medicine for six-year old soccer kids?
I think that our present legislators are the most venal and corrupt in the history of the world...
History will judge them....and us, for having allowed them power over us.