Thursday, October 2

Here come the politics, part 1 - Health Care

Okay, I'd like to start with each candidate's Health Care Reform plans. This is the most important issue to me because I haven't had insurance since Hurricane Girl was born. Gynecologists are kind of expensive out-of-pocket when you have to have labwork done every year for the rest of your reproductive life. On the flip side I am quite lucky that both my kids and husband have afforable coverage - I'm fine with using "hippie home remedies" on myself for now.

First, here are the things both candidates agree on:
-insurance should be available and affordable to every citizen.
-already have providers you like? Keep them! We'll just lower your bills with them.
-bringing in cheaper (but equivalent quality) medicinal drugs from other countries, as well as more generic options.
-if you have a pre-existing condition, you cannot be denied coverage from any insurer.

Now, the differences...
Candidate #1:
-wants more research for curing chronic diseases
-thinks every provider should be made accountable for, and responsive to, patients' needs
-wants to encourage each state to lower their costs related to Medicaid, without any decrease in coverage or availability
-wants to make public the information of treatment options, doctor records, quality of care, costs and prices (I don't see where it says it would keep your personal information private, although I imagine there is a protocol for your info remaining private.)
-wants to help senior citizens choose a representative - relatives or friends - to assist with personal health care decisions

Opinion: most of that sounds pretty good to me. No, I'm not telling you which candidate is which until the next entry.

Candidate #2:
-wants to help small businesses offer affordable insurance to their employees
-wants to 'even the field' by making large employers who don't offer insurance pay a fee toward the costs of their employees' health care, in effect keeping costs lower for every citizen
-wants to create a new publicly available plan based on the benefits available to Congress members (opinion: you KNOW they get quality care), and improve prevention and management of chronic diseases
-thinks it should be required that cancer screenings, flu shots and other such preventative care be covered under any plan
-thinks all insurers should charge lower co-pays and premiums
-requiring children be insured, up to age 25

Opinion: a lot of that sounds pretty good too.

Now, I want you to know that these above are just synopses. I've read both candidates' full plans (and you can too) and tried to choose a few important points that you and I can easily compare against the other candidate, on the same things (as in mentioning what both feel about chronic diseases.). There is a lot of good in both plans, and honestly, only a little that bothers me in both plans. Today I want you to decide which sounds better to you, based first on the points above, and second on your own research. Unfortunately most of you reading this are just voting party lines without doing any research. I was the same way for many years! This is the first year I'm paying attention, and enough of it is making sense to me that I feel I need to share with you, my family, who are just like me.
A woman I know online had the best idea in regards to elections, specifically Presidential: she said each candidate (Democrat, Green, Independant, Libertarian, Republican, whoever) should take a test, and vote how they feel on each issue. Those tests should be locked away until the general population can take the same test, without us ever knowing who said what to which issues. Then, match them up. Whoever has the most agree with him/her, should then become President.
Great idea, but we all know that would never happen. Not enough politicking if we took that route, and then what fun is it to bash your opponent?

{donning flameproof suit here}

The last thing I want to say, and this will likely offend a good portion of you, is something I've had to realize recently. Only one person has had the stones to own up to his racism in this election. If you're voting for (whoever, there are more than just McCain and Obama on the tickets) solely because s/he is white, at least admit that you're racist. I know that most of you likely are racist but you try to convince others that "that's not it", that you're voting for (someone else) because of (some other reason). I know and love you people, but I now realize that some of you are racist deep down. I really do not care who you choose in any election - that's your decision alone - but be honest about it. And be educated about your choices here! That's all I want to do with these next few entries is educate you. We should be voting for issues, not people, but especially not race. The Civil War - and slavery - ended a looooooong time ago, so let it go.

{flameproof suit off}

Over the next few days I'll be working on the next entry, which will be their Education plans. That is the next most important to me. In the meantime, I encourage you to see what both candidates think about everything. Time's running out but you only need to read a few opinions from each to get a feel for where they stand all around. And you can keep coming back here every few days, where I'll put what I can into little words so we can all understand it together. So, in alphabetical order, here are the campaign sites for John McCain and Barack Obama - happy reading!

~Amphitrite (without Poseidon's help this time)

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