Health Care

cropped-cropped-we-stand1.jpgOK, we all know what’s at stake here with the new Trump NonCare.  They ‘guarantee’ everyone will ‘have access’ to health care.  “Access” to healthcare insurance is not the same as “having health care.”   The GOP cannot be ignorant of what they propose; these changes will hurt more people than it helps, especially with the MacArthur Amendment, which will let states obtain waivers that will allow health insurance companies in that state to:

  • Not cover mental health and substance use treatment (also known as letting insurers scrap “essential health benefits”)
  • Charge people with mental illness more

Many addicts are self-medicating because back when Oxycodone was being pushed by every doctor on the planet, some poor guy who has been taking this stuff for 8 years, suddenly he’s cut off because of new regulations.  These new regulations only made criminals out of people who are/were ill or hurting.  They can’t get a drug strong enough for the pain.  Of course not.  Oxycodone is strong and the guy’s got an immunity.  But the doc will only give him tylenol.

It’s hard enough for people with mental illness to get through life.  I’d guess more than 60% of all addicts have an underlying, undiagnosed mental health problem.  Mainly because GPs are not skilled in identifying mental illness.  They are also not trained in the best course of treatment for an addict.

So our poor addict is in  withdrawal and extreme pain.  He goes to the ER hoping for pain relief.  For 6 1/2 hours this poor addict lays on an uncomfortable, too small bed in a 60 degree room as he begins to withdraw.  When he finally sees a doctor, they view him as an addict and therefore will not provide him with anything stronger than tylenol for the pain.

What’s a guy to do?  He goes online where he can get anything from anywhere at any price at any time.  He finds a supply of his drug and finds relief at last.  But now he is using an illegal substance.  He doesn’t know how to figure out the proper dosage because the stuff comes in powder form and he has to fill his own capsules.  One day he takes too much and doesn’t know, he gets in his car and gets arrested.  Now he’s a criminal.  His boss finds out and he loses his job–no one wants a druggy working for them.  His wife leaves him, and he ends up homeless.  Now he’s “in the system.”  Now he needs a homeless shelter, Welfare, Food Stamps, job training.  Now he is trapped.

Why do we go to the ER for an addict?  Because we don’t have anywhere else to go, it’s not like there is an urgent care specific to addicts and the mentally ill.  Someone on Medi-Cal (and many other government programs) is extremely limited in their choice of doctors.  Finding a mental health provider is pretty hard when there are only two psychiatrists in your area and neither will take on a new patient.  Or worse, you find one and they turn out to be a quack.

You can’t get your adult child into a half-way house or outpatient therapy because he’s still using. You can’t get him detoxed because there is a wait list a year long.  I say that again for emphasis:  a waiting list a year long!  I guess you just let the addict in your life continue to use for another year in the hope that at the end of that year they will still be willing to enter detox.   ER staff do not understand addicts or recognize someone who is mentally ill.  They aren’t trained to.   That needs to change.  I know medical staff are always getting additional training and there is no reason that can’t include a crash course on the most likely cases they’d come in contact with.

 

Our healthcare system is very good at making us addicts, but really really bad at providing good complete healthcare.  I guess if the new health care bill passes with mental health provisions slashed it just makes our national insurance (DumpCare) as bad as our national insurance (Medicare).  Which begs the question: why are there three national programs: One for Congress, one for the poor or retired (which is often the same), and one for the rest of us.

I feel so defeated by this administration, but I’m not giving in.  I have to believe that the protests work.  They certainly get Dumpty’s attention.  He demanded there be a “probe” into the Tax March.  How do you probe a protest?  And the idea that protesters are being paid by Obama to undermine the new administration.  I don’t have to tell you how ridiculous and paranoid that sounds.  And as for protesters being paid. I’m thinking someone owes me money.  What is the going rate for a protester?  Is it by the hour, by the day, specific to the event.  Are travel expenses covered?  If so, I’m going to the next march in DC.

Don’t forget to call your rep and tell them to vote No on the new plan.

 

 

 

I Can’t Rant

Right.  It seems I’ve lost my passion for periodic rants.  I mean, they don’t do any good, so they?  Am I going to change the Meme2world, or even my little part of it, by ranting about how corrupt my government is?  Will that change anything?  NO.  A resounding, echoing, NO.  I’ve ranted about the school system, but I can’t change it.  That frustrates me.  I don’t like to be frustrated.  So, no more rants.  I don’t want to research things anymore.

I suppose it’s not quite that I can’t rant, so much as it is I don’t want to rant anymore.  I don’t want to read news stories about what Obama did/said/allegedly did/said, what sort of garbage Fox News is spouting.  It does me no good to pass along the latest Facebook meme which came from who knows who, who knows where, or for what reason.  I’m not going to change the GOP.  I’m not going to convert anyone to Liberalism. I can’t change the world–only my little corner of it.  It’s useless–wasted energy.  Energy I could put to better use.  Like finishing my novel.  Monitoring my jewelry site, my Facebook pages, now I have a Craigslist account to monitor as we sell off some of our unnecessary crap.

But finishing my novel and monitoring my various online projects is my focus right now.  We may move in only 6 months, and there is so much to do.  Like selling off our excess.  We have around 1000 comic books and another 200 vinyl albums* to sell first.  Then I start in on some of the artwork we inherited.  I have a closet just full of prints and gold paintings.  I have my own paintings and artwork that will adorn my walls, and I’m not into Mom’s style.  So there’s a bunch of stuff to be working on.  Time better spent.

Silver coils wrapped in gold
Silver coils wrapped in gold

So, fewer rants and less interest or need to spout my opinions means fewer blogs, it seems.  I struggle to come up with something to discuss.  Life is good!  I feel good about things.  I feel a sense of hope for the first time since I don’t know when.  Hope that is too important to me to be diluted by angry rants.  I heard a quote once, I think by the Dalai Lama, and I paraphrase, “does your action further?”  The meaning is does your action have a reaction?  Does your action further your cause? Will your action change the course of history?  My answer to all of those questions is No.

I suppose it’s a good thing, but you’ll probably see a lot more Haiku here.

*  For those of you who don’t recognize the term, it was a source of music before CDs and Ipods, traditionally made on vinyl platters and played on what was called a “turn table”.   Very tedious these albums, You had to get up and flip the album over to hear the other side.  Too much work, that’s why they invented CDs.  (Plus cassette tapes didn’t work out so well, as the tape became wrinkled, got stuck, stretched and broke.)

Bloggers For Peace

forpeace6As a nominal member of Bloggers for Peace, I try to do their monthly Peace Challenge.  This month it is to show how music and peace are or can be interrelated.  Music has always had a very strong influence on me.  I don’t know what I would do without it.  I particularly like music of the Vietnam protest era.  Of course, Woodstock was a huge influence of the anti war movement.  Country Joe and the Fish (link to the “Vietnam Song” click here), Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Richie Havens, to name some favorites.

I think music has always been able to speak to people.  My favorite all time peace related songs would be “With God On Our Side” (Dylan) and “Masters of War” (Dylan).  The best version of Masters of War would be the Pearl Jam version, of which I provide courtesy of You Tube here .

I think music is the perfect vehicle to speak to people about peace, and what better way than to protest war?