Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Government-Run Health Care Plan

In the current debate over healthcare reform, much is being said about the "spectre" of "government-run healthcare". To hear some talk, it would be the end of freedom and the birth of government-mandated euthanasia. Once the tinfoil-hat brigade is done, though, there are many who are unsure of such a thing, mainly because of the unknown.

Well, I have been on government run healthcare for almost six years now. It's called being broke (even though I work 40+ hours a week) and being on Medicaid. Let me tell you about my government-run healthcare system, and why you should be so lucky as to have something just like it someday.

Of course, I pay nothing for it (but taxes). I also pay nothing for doctor's visits, hospital stays, or specialist care (in addition to my GP, I also see a cardiologist). No co-pay, no deductable...nothing. I pay nothing for tests, and I've had a lot of them in the past year. I also, by the way, have never been denied any test my doctors have ordered.

I also pay nothing for medical equipment. This includes my breathing machine (I have sleep apnea), an oxygen machine (which I got before being diagnosed with the sleep apnea), and a whole host of diabetic testing supplies. This last one is important, because 100 test strips for my glucometer would cost me over $100 if I were uninsured. Now, does my insurance limit what kind of glucometers and supplies I can get for free? Sure. But my OneTouch meter works great, so I don't really need any other kind. Same goes for my insulin syringes...I get the store brand (in this case Walgreen's), but they deliver my insulin just fine.

Oh yeah...my insulin. My long-acting insulin (Lantus) would cost me over $100 a vial without insurance. My cost? $2. And that's only because it's name-brand and not a generic. I take nine kinds of medication a day (if you count both long and short-acting insulin). I get two name-brand medications that cost me $2 a month (that's a total perscription cost of $4 a month for any teanaggers reading this). All of my generic medications I get for free. Don't ask me how much I'd pay for these life-saving medications without insurance...I don't do well with mind-boggling numbers.

I have had three hospital stays in the last 9 months. Two included cardiac catheters and stent placements (for a total of five stents). Those were the short ones...my Januaruy stay was for 9 days, with tests and labwork every day. No test was ever denied or delayed. My cost for all three hospital stays?


I'm starting cardiac rehab (a doctor-supervised exercise program) in two days. I'll pay nothing for it. Because I'm diabetic, normal diagnostic tools (like stress tests) can be inconclusive. So, to make sure my latest stent is doing well, I will be having another cardiac cath in six months. I'll pay nothing for that as well. In fact, my biggest expense due to my hospital stays has been time missed at work.

Need I say that the only reason I can be dropped from my insurance is if I start making too much money? Oh, and I also get dental and vision care as well, with new glasses every two years.

Now, I'll be honest...there ARE some things that private insurance covers that mine does not. Most cosmetic surgery isn't covered (though reconstructive procedures after a catastrophe would be), nor are things like Viagra. Hold on...being diabetic, and with erectile dysfunction being a common side-effect of diabetes, if I ever need help along those lines, I may very well get it (I've never tried).

This, my friends, is the reality of government-run healthcare. No death-panels, no absurd delays, and no screaming at insurance companies to get a doctor-ordered procedure.

Sound good to you?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Great Profile of a Veteran Pagan Musician

Paula Jean West has a wonderful profile of kenny Klein and his new band Odd's Bodkin at the examiner. It's well worth checking out if you've never heard of this veteran Pagan troubadour and his great new band (longtime fans will enjoy it too).

Check it out:


Monday, August 3, 2009

Wiccans In The Military

The First Amendment and the U.S. Military: Discrimination Against Wiccan Military Chaplains

The Orlando Examiner has a great article about the problems Wiccans have in becoming military chaplains...here's a taste:

Though somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 Pagans serve in the United States Armed Forces today, there is not a single chaplain to represent them and the diverse faiths that fall under the Pagan umbrella. Comparatively, there are approximately twenty Jewish chaplains to accommodate its 4,000 adherents, and about a dozen Imam chaplains for approximately 3,500 Muslim servicemen and women. On a smaller scale, some faiths with smaller numbers do have chaplains, including six teachers for around 650 Christian Scientists, forty-one Mormon chaplains for the 17,500 Mormons in uniform, and one Buddhist chaplain for around 4,500 Buddhists.
Read the whole thing here

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Beginning

Hello all...

Welcome to my blog. Here, I'll be posting my thoughts, ideas, and interesting bits of information I run across on the net. I'll also post news about new articles, workshops, and public appearances. Most of all, I plan to inform and entertain. Let's have fun!

Blessed Be,