A Bad Case of B.S. in Las Vegas

I just read an article about a Las Vegas employer who has fired a bunch of “Hispanic” employees following Obama’s re-election, because “Obamacare has forced me to do so due to the added expense of providing health insurance” or some bullshit like that.

And yes, it is bullshit.

FIRST OF ALL this particular bullshit has been going on for decades…since WWII.

PRIOR TO THAT a lot of people were going bankrupt and/or were dying without health insurance.

SINCE THEN it has continued to happen.

AND ANOTHER THING: for decades, employers have been (1) importing workers from overseas, paying them in pennies and not offering them benefits, and/or (2) exporting jobs overseas, and/or  (3) employing people part-time to avoid having to pay for health insurance costs.

All this tells me about the Las Vegas employer is that s/he had been guilty of least two of the three offenses in the previous paragraph.

It also tells me that this is going to be the latest Republican Bullshit to hit the fan, and that we’re going to be hearing a lot about it in the near future.  Whenever you do hear it, dear reader, remember and try to educate on the points I’ve just made.  And I’ll add one thing further:

Making employers responsible for providing health insurance is one of the WORST ideas in history.  Why?  See above.

In the absence of socialized medicine, health insurance needs to be a shared responsibility, much like automobile insurance.  Period.  Too many employers are too irresponsible to be trusted with such a huge responsibility.  We have to do it ourselves.

Now, no more bullshit.  Please.

Highly recommended further reading on this subject: History of health insurance and Nixon/Kennedy plan.

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A comfortable hell

First, enjoy: Freakout Over Obamacare

I had actually just about retired this blog.  It took the Supreme Court finding legal justification for Obamacare to shake me out of quitting from sheer boredom and frustration in dealing with Stupid.  Sadly, Stupid continues its Fox-induced reign, and so here I am again to help combat it.

On Facebook I am “friends” with many people I have never met and actually, barely conversed with.  However, the recent pro-healthcare ruling by the Supreme Court certainly showed a few of them for what they are: stupid.  Consider the following quotes:

“This is the end of the U.S. as we know it!”  “Say goodbye to lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps, hello to handouts!”  And so forth.

Um…people….

Nobody’s asking for free healthcare except, possibly, the millions who have been put out of work as the end result of 30 years of Reaganomics.  Obamacare does not establish socialized medicine.

Very few people are going to get free healthcare except for (most of) those who were already getting it.  The rest of us will be expected to find a way to pay for our healthcare so no one else (i.e. the taxpayer) has to; that means, buy insurance.  And the insurance companies will be expected to stop toying around with our lives and actually offer viable health insurance at a reasonable price; i.e., they’ll have to show their more overzealous actuaries and underwriters, and the resulting death panels, the door.

That’s it.  Nothing else has changed.  Nor will it.  The government, or certain people in it, will continue to be able to pass laws that curtail women’s healthcare and reproductive rights in the name of “religious freedom,” which is mainly for men who do not pay taxes and like to abuse little boys.  And your doctor will still be required by law to ask you stupid questions about whether you’ve grown recently (when you’re in your 50’s).  And you’re still protected by HIPAA unless you’re female.

Actually with the few Obamacare changes that have already been implemented, health insurers are reporting an increase in profits.  So anyone concerned about the insurers’ bottom lines and their ability to continue to pay their executives tens of millions of dollars need not worry.  Life-sucking capitalism as it applies to your health is alive and well.  However, a relative who sells health insurance informs me that premiums are actually going down.  Yes, that’s at the same time that profits are going up.  May the problem all along have been a faulty business model?  Very likely.  Too bad it took legislation to slap some sense into the insurance companies.

Still want a businessman in the President’s office?  Think again.  The U.S. economy has been running on shitty business models for 30 years now, and look where it’s got us: in health insurance, it got so bad that the government had to intervene to save large numbers of people.  I have no doubt that the religion of outsourcing is the next target.

So dears, get this straight: if you’re getting your health-reform news from Fox News — and it’s either from them or from the Fat Man or his countless imitators that you’re getting this shit — you’re not getting any information at all.

And one more thing…answer me this: why did I not hear you screaming when state after state enacted mandatory automobile-insurance laws?

Stupid of the Day Award goes to anyone who prefers the poor comfort of the present-day healthcare hell to the promise of “Obamacare.”  Now let’s watch you run to Canada to get away from all this…and right into the arms of real socialized medicine.

Collision with Reality

Yesterday two elderly relatives, who are spending their retirement listening to right-wing radio shouters, came face-to-face with the fact that those shouters, whose every word they imbibe like a poisoned martini, are the same people who want to destroy them in order to save the wealthy from taxes.  But they still didn’t quite get it.

Why not?  Because the shouters are shouting louder than ever, blaming everything on Obama.  Remember, the louder you shout, the truther you are, even if you are spewing nonsense.  It’s the first law of the propagandist.  And because of the screaming propagandists, there is a contingent of about 30 million people in the U.S. who have absolutely no idea what is really going on.  The rest have a sort-of half idea of what’s going on, and it’s all because of the rest of the media.  (No, there is no mainstream “liberal media.”)

I did try to tell one of my relatives that if it weren’t for Obama, whatever Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits they are already getting would have been completely erased by Republican/Teabagger hands.  She sorta got it, but only after I lectured for about 10 minutes.  The other one remains hopelessly marooned in his easy chair next to the radio, swaddled in an inescapable cocoon of anger over the fact that there is a half-black man in the White House.

I gather that one message has reached through the loudly vibrating  cocoon, however: the message that Social Security, at least, has never been the cause of the government’s financial problems.  That much even these two folks get.  Apparently, however, the right-wing flapjaws have been concentrating their attacks on Medicare/Medicaid.   “But there’s so much fraud in Medicare!” protested my reluctant student.  I told her if she wanted to see fraud, she need look no further than your average private health insurer.  She agreed, but I believe it was only to keep from being forced to have to think.

(One upside: if Medicare/Medicaid are cut, it will only serve to demonstrate how badly a national health insurance plan is needed.  And maybe this message will come so loud and clear that the army of flapjaws will not be able to shout it down, quite as they were unable to shout Social Security down.)

Meantime I’ve gotten a few private e-mails from Teabaggers who are chortling that “this is the end of Obama” and “he’ll never be re-elected now!”  I usually don’t take the bait but this time I did write back to one of them and only asked the following: “and who will be blamed the next time?  Bachmann?”

In true Teabagger fashion, he hasn’t replied.

Death of American dream, 60 million no sick leave, 132 million no dental, 59 million without medical

Obamacare may in fact be the death of us all (I’ve yet to see proof).  But that will only happen if the status quo doesn’t get us first:

Death of American dream, 60 million no sick leave, 132 million no dental, 59 million without medical.

As I was saying

…and I have been, for a couple of years:
Slate

I’m glad someone else finally noticed that the Queen Ester/Sarah Palin thing does not have an unlimited success rate, if only because it is so contradictory.  In that blinkered corner of the world, it’s high time the little women shut up and went home, if only until the next time they are to be trotted out and served up as hyper-conservative fashion dolls.

As for the rest of the election, in spite of the media stating the merely obvious on top of the completely redundant without, apparently, doing much thinking in between, I still say that this week’s election was no mandate and no giant repudiation.  Anyone believing it was either is a fool.  All the election proved is that if you pass enough shit around long enough, people will start to cherish it — some people, that is, and sometimes enough to tip the scale one way or another.

Yesterday, for instance, I had a conversation with a coworker who was against healthcare reform simply because he knew nothing about it but Sarah Palin’s scare stories and numerous other media-based poisons.  When I explained to him that healthcare reform is actually beneficial, and that the teabaggers have vowed to get rid of it because their corporate overlords are afraid of it and thus are spreading lies about it, he came to this startling conclusion: Who knew that with healthcare reform, you won’t have to waste your time working at an $8.00 an hour job just to keep insurance?  I didn’t know that.  I’m all for it now.”

There you go: benefits to the economy and the American worker.  No death panels.  Who knew?  Almost no one, because the media were wasting time focusing on Sarah Palin and the Crazy Ladies.

And now very few in the media — and consequently, the general public — are considering the basic truths, and the fact that a political Crazy Lady is a walking contradiction is one of them.  There are others.

Let’s stop taking the easy route and sit and consider that for a while, and then move on.

P.S. — As an aside, the vapid Mark Kirk proved once again that lying about your military record and working against the American worker and promising to gut healthcare reform are all not as bad as being a Democrat.  Looks like he studied George W. Bush and learned his lesson well.  As for the studied stupidity of Bill Brady in the governor’s race, the jury’s still out as of this hour; if Pat Quinn retains his office it will be by a mouse’s squeak only.  And that’s sad.

Good news is that Californians rejected the stunningly nasty Carly Fiorina (she even looks mean) who was running for the Senate post.  For once, some news out of that strange state makes sense.  Could they pass some of that along to us back east?

On balance, it’s fairly made up

Fox News creates its own alternate reality:

And for some facts these poor teabaggers definitely hadn’t been told by Fox, read THIS (click on THIS).

Reason I’m bringing this up is that some recent polls seemed to show that most people in the U.S. are “against Obamacare.”  Now, I question that since I don’t know how the polls were conducted or what questions were asked; I suspect that a lot of pollsters also create their own news by skewing things a bit.  But the thing is, if you’re an average American, “Obamacare” is a good thing; however, it appears that a lot of us have been effectively swayed by scare tactics.  (For instance, the main Republican line of attack on “Obamacare” is mandatory health insurance.  Now, we’ve had mandatory automobile insurance for some time in many states…why is that okay?)

To me, the only frightening thing about nationalized (or even somewhat nationalized) healthcare is Big Pharma’s increasing stranglehold over the availability of treatments in the entire western world.  They recently swayed the EU to ban all “herbal medicines.”  Now, this presents us with a tangle of problems because Obama is guilty of caving in to Big Pharma in a pact made before “Obamacare” was approved; it would seem that Big Pharma are above it all at this point and can do anything they want without even a government stepping in to stop them.  Them again, the relentlessly ill-informed teabaggers should be elated about “Obamacare” because of the corporate control that Obama gave Big Pharma in the U.S. as part of it, shouldn’t they?  Have they ever stopped to think about that — or about anything at all?

In spite of the increasing danger from Big Pharma, I still say that overall, “Obamacare” could help bail this country out of its economic pit by making U.S. citizens less expensive to hire.  If it’s allowed to fail merely because of fear of the unknown, and even one person goes bankrupt or dies for lack of insurance because of it, Fox News should be held responsible.  And they can take their blinkered teabaggers to hell with them.

It does not work, part II

Now about that Facebook petition advocating putting a law in place that welfare recipients have to be drug-tested…

3-2-1…think

Okay, so this petition was probably dreamed up by a teabagger.  That means that thinking is not part of the equation here.  Great; that explains some of it.

First of all in the “does not work” category is the issue of the assumption that everyone on welfare is also on drugs, which is as false as the assumption that everyone who is not on welfare is not on drugs.

Second comes the issue of socialism. You know, teabagger, that thingie that is commie and socialist and Marxist and takes your freedom to own a gun away.

Third, if you don’t want to pay taxes, who is going to pay for this and how?

HOW is a big issue.  I mean HOW are you intending to carry this off?  Mass round-ups?

And WHAT will you do with those assholes who are on welfare and also are on drugs?  Submit them to reprogramming? Isn’t that…um…socialist?

(Oh you say Reverend So-And-So can cure the drug addicts if you give him millions in donations.  No.  All Reverend So-and-So is going to do is buy himself a tv show, get his hair done, wear fancy rings, say stupid stuff, and possibly misuse your money and abuse minors as well.  If Reverend So-and-So is associated with the Catholic Church, most of the above has already been done for him, so why bother?)

Why are you so FOR mandated drug testing and so AGAINST healthcare reform?  Yes, darling, the two are related.

All I can say is, this petition is stupid.  And so, to all who dreamed it up and all who have signed it, I have the prize: a Stupid of the Day award.  Take a bow, morons.