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A Death in the Family Reminds of ObamaCare (plus, Time to Vote!)

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, January 28, 2013

Lefty 9/11/06 - 1/24/13 (RIP)Last week was a tough week for me. My poor cat “Lefty” died on the operating table Thursday after suffering from the fastest occurrence of cancer I’ve ever seen in my life, going from perfectly healthy on Halloween to violent convulsions two weeks later to his death just two months after that. What made it all the more painful is that an unnecessary delay due to a nurse telling me (incorrectly) that I had to wait ten days for the next appointment, which may have been the difference between life and death for my friend. The struggle to keep him healthy for that period of time was emotionally draining as well as rough on him. But just as draining as it was emotionally for me, it was just as draining of my wallet. Thousands were spent on his care in those two months (including his initial misdiagnosis). Long gone are the days when vets were cheaper than “people-doctors”. Today, most vets charge every bit as much as any “specialist” that you or I might go to. Worse, far fewer people actually carry “pet health insurance”, so for the most part, veterinary care is a cash business, and EVERY visit to the vet was a guaranteed $150 minimum, with $400-$800 charges being the norm. It is easy to understand how many people, faced with such crushing frequent charges, are forced to make the crushing choice between treating an otherwise completely curable pet and putting them to sleep simply because they can’t afford the treatment. Fortunately, I had a bit of money set aside for emergencies that I burned through rather quickly, and my father & step-mother willingly covered the bulk of the bills. But try to imagine that instead of a sick pet, it were a sick child. Putting a child to sleep due to an inability to pay just isn’t an option (even if Rush Limbaugh once seemed to think it was.)

(And in case you are wondering – as I was – there is no NHS in England for pets. Taking your pet to see a veterinarian in the UK is the same costly insurance mess than we endure for human care in the U.S.. That’s right, the American health care system is on par with how dogs & cats are treated in the UK.)

On the first day of the new Congress three weeks ago, perennial nut-job Michele Bachmann actually made her first bill yet-another call to “repeal ObamaCare”. The country just reelected the man that gave us “ObamaCare” (by a wide margin), and the Supreme Court already declared the program “Constitutional”. Even if by some miracle the GOP-controlled House passed a repeal, it wouldn’t get past the Democratic Senate nor a presidential veto, and Bachmann knows that, so it was clearly her just tossing a bone to her insane wingnut/Teanut supporters to let them know she would continue to be every bit as BSC* in the 113th Congress as she was in the 112th. But more to my earlier point, none of these “repeal ObamaCare” zealots have ever explained what they would replace it with, nor express a word of compassion for the people faced with the devastating consequences of illness without insurance (or just-as-bad, having insurance but then being denied care.)

*Bat $#!+ Crazy)

ObamaCare won’t be fully implemented until next year, but a key stage… the “health insurance exchanges” that force insurance companies to compete with each other on the same playing-field, begin October 1st of this year. Several Republican-led states are fighting creation of these exchanges… which would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. The very centerpiece of the Republican plan to “reform” health care called for “interstate competition” to bring prices down, which is EXACTLY what these exchanges are. So any call to block them is purely partisan politics at the expense of people’s health & wallets. The great irony is that, if a state refuses to create an Exchange, the people of that state will have the option of being covered by Medicare… which is the largest, most successful, single-payer health care system in the country. By blocking the very exchanges Republican claim to want, they could very well end up pushing millions of Americans into “single-payer” health care… something that ranks somewhere between “arugula” and “The Holocaust” on the list of things Republicans believe will lead to the downfall of civilization.

Health care costs are bleeding this country dry (as I can personally attest to on a half dozen different levels), and getting those costs down will pump Billions back into the economy. And THAT is the GOP’s TRUE fear, dear readers.

But, on to less depressing fare:

All this month, I’ve been toying with the idea of giving “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet” a face-lift, testing out new looks using different themes, and then giving everyone a chance to vote for their favorite. Keep in mind “readability” and “ease of use” in your decision (click thumbnails to enlarge):


Original RapSheet
Original RapSheet
Emerald Stretch
Emerald Stretch
Easel
Easel
 
Box of Boom
Box of Boom
Ahimsa
Ahimsa

 

Vote for your favorite new theme:
Original MRS Black
Emerald Stretch
Easel
Box of Boom
Ahimsa
Results

The winning new theme will be in place when you return next week along with the results of the voting. (In the advent of a tie, I will cast the tie-breaking vote. And for those concerned voters, the “snow” effect so many of you complained about in an earlier theme, that was an add-on I have since removed and was not part of any of the themes I used. - Mugsy)
 



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Filed in General, Healthcare, Money January 28th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 2 comments | Add/View