Tag Archives: The man

I write letters, White House Style

I wrote a letter to the president:

Health care reform can still pass, and the Democratic image can be regained after this Massachusetts election fiasco.

I would consider scrapping what you have, and throw a curve ball to take over the news cycle from the Republicans.

Pass a simple bill (through reconciliation) that expands Medicare to people 50 and over and 20 and under. Write simple rules for the insurance companies that cover what’s left: 1. no denial of preexisting conditions. 2. At least 90% of premiums have to go to health care. 3. No denial of pregnancy or birth control coverage, or unfair treatment of women.

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Thank you, Shark fu

What she said.

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Whole Fools strikes again

Argh, I wish I had known this earlier today, when I went to Whole Foods for the first time since John Mackey wrote this bunch of hooey that says we just need to deny more benefits to enable the insurance companies to make more money….huh, we were supposed to make it better for the public? Hey, look over there, FREE MARKET! *runs from room*

Well, apparently he is still a tool. He is instituting a program at his stores that gives 10% higher discounts to workers who pass certain BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, or smoking status targets. Don’t worry, BMIs below normal range are rewarded, just as long as you’re not a fatty boombolatty.

According to the Bloomberg article:

The offer reflects his published opinion that most health problems are “self-inflicted” and can be prevented through proper diet, exercise and similar lifestyle changes. Cost savings are achieved by “less government control and more individual empowerment,” he has said.

So, got familial hypercholestemia, idiopathic hypertension, hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism, a disability that precludes a lot of exercise, a genetic predisposition to a large frame, a prior eating disorder you don’t want to trigger, a current eating disorder, a medication that causes you to gain weight or retain water, or any of a multitude of other reasons why may not be able to make these cut offs?

You will be fined, slacker. That’ll learn ya.

Something tells me Mackey has got his empowerment mixed up with his control.

Hello, Trader Joe’s? Please build something in my town!

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Stopping by to say hi

I used to blog here, right?

I had company in town and a lot of social commitments over the Thanksgiving holiday. I have had a few ideas for posts, but no time to write them. In the meantime, in light of the total lack of any contraceptive coverage requirements in either health care bill, and the Stupak amendment, here’s a cartoon:

From In Contempt, hat tip to Alas, a Blog.

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Nice to find an uncracked pedestal

When I was a child, I had a book of Norman Rockwell’s illustrations art that I used to joyously pore over. I remember even doing a report on him for school, and I had to make sure he wasn’t too much of a commercial artist to qualify.

In my previous life before motherhood and medical school, I actually went to art school and was a portrait artist. I could never even begin to touch the hem of Normal Rockwell’s garment when it came to the emotional quality he could bring to his faces, much less his exquisite technical skill. I never, ever mentioned being inspired by him in art school, however. No one else mentioned him either. I was busy discovering other portrait artists like Francis Bacon and Sigmund Freud.

There is a Normal Rockwell exhibit at a nearby art museum, and I really want to go. I was listening to a story on it on my local NPR station (you guessed that I listed to a lot of NPR already, right?) and I was stunned and impressed by their coverage of his dedication to civil rights. I was also stunned and disgusted by their explanation why none of his pieces depicting civil rights for African Americans were ever in the Saturday Evening Post; they had an official policy that blacks could only be portrayed as servants: waiters, housekeepers, etc. This was in the 1960’s.

(Another example of very institutionalized racism, and why I had the “there is no such thing as a race card” this very morning. Before I heard this story.)

I am looking forward to seeing the exhibit, especially two pieces that I had never heard of until they were described on the radio this morning. It used to mildly annoy me when they did stories about art on NPR and tried to describe the works, but I am so happy they do, now. (Obviously, it is beneficial to the visually impaired, also). Here are internet versions of two of the pieces at the exhibit: (click to embiggen)

norman-rockwell1

“The Problem We All Live With”

This piece depicts four federal marshals escorting a black six year old girl (SIX!) to school in Louisiana. All the white parents pulled their children out of the class, according to the coverage. There is a tomato smashed on the wall behind her, as if it just whizzed past her head. And, the N word is emblazoned, lightly, on the wall above her head.

The second piece they described: (click to embiggen)

rockwell_mississippi

“Southern Justice” (Murder in Mississippi)

This hair raising image depicts the shootings in Mississippi during the civil rights era. I am fairly sure they are the shootings that lead to the movie “Mississippi Burning”. Only the blood on one of the victims is in color, and the rest of the piece is in black and white. According to the radio story today, he actually purchased a pint of human blood to make sure his portrayal was accurate.

It’s nice to find out more about someone I love (and may have been a little embarrassed for loving) and be even more in love with them.

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Right on, senator

“There is a very small chance any Republicans will vote for this healthcare plan. They were against Medicare and Medicaid [created in the 1960s]. They voted against children’s health insurance. We have a moral choice. This is a classic case of the good guys versus the bad guys. I know it is not political for me to say that. But do you want to be non-partisan and get nothing? Or do you want to be partisan and end up with a good healthcare plan? That is the choice.”—Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), on the necessity of a public healthcare plan and the futility of bipartisanship when it comes to doing the right thing.

(H/t Shakesville)

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Compliance is a tricky thing

I love Barbara Ehrenreich’s writing. I have a signed copy of Nickel and Dimed from a reading she did at a local bookstore.

She has a new post on her blog, which was printed as an opinion piece in the New York Times. Read the whole piece, it’s fantastic.

One part that leapt out at me:

What are the stations between poverty and destitution? Like the Nouveau Poor, the already poor descend through a series of deprivations, though these are less likely to involve forgone vacations than missed meals and medications. The Times reported earlier this month that one-third of Americans can no longer afford to comply with their prescriptions.

Sure puts this AMA resolution on patient non-compliance in perspective, doesn’t it?

(H/t on the AMA to Rixa at Stand and Deliver and Jill at Unnecesarean)

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