Oops, I Did It Again

What did I do again? I misread one of the questions Melanie posed in her Share Your World prompt yesterday. Her question was, “What is your opinion of the state of health care in your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?”

I apparently had a brain fart and completely overlooked the “…of health care” part. So my answer was based upon “What is your opinion of the state of your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?”

I realized my faux pas after reading the answers from other bloggers, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer Melanie’s actual question about the state of health care in my country.

I spent most of my working life in health insurance and in health care benefits administration software solutions. And I can say with some degree of knowledge that the American health care delivery system is a mess. It’s great if you are wealthy because you can afford arguably the best doctors and health care facilities in the world. But if you’re not wealthy, it’s adequate at best. And if you’re poor, good luck.

I was thrilled back in 2008 when Barrack Obama decided to push the Affordable Care act (aka Obamacare). The idea was to expand health coverage to tens of millions Americans who did not have access to health car and to mandate a minimum set of coverage requirements. Obama wanted to creat a single payer system that would not depend upon for-profit health insurance companies to underwrite and administrate the benefits.

Unfortunately, those same for-profit health insurance companies pushed back hard and vigorously lobbied the Republicans in Congress, and the only way Obama could push through the ACA was to fold on the single payer approach and agree to keep the insurance companies in the game.

The vote in Congress pretty much went by party lines, with almost all Republicans opposed to it. But the good news is that Obamacare passed and about 20 million Americans who previously didn’t have health benefits enrolled in ACA.

It’s been 11 years since Obamacare was passed and, despite numerous Republican efforts to repeal it, it’s still here. But I think what this country needs to improve health care coverage is to embrace a “Medicare-for-All” system. Medicare covers senior citizens and some who are on kidney dialysis. It’s great as far as it goes, but it offers no vision, dental, or hearing benefits. And most people under age 65 don’t qualify for Medicare.

So I say offer Medicare to all Americans, regardless of age, expand benefits to include, vision, dental, and hearing benefits, and move to a single payer system.

Share Your World — 11/8/2021

This week, Melanie is bringing us another Share Your World edition without any Evil Squirrels involved. Here we go.

How many pillows do you sleep with? If over one or two, is it because you sleep better ‘propped up’ a little?

I actually sleep with three pillows. I start out on my back with two pillows behind my head so I can read until I grow tired. Meanwhile I have one smaller pillow under my knees. When I’m ready to close my eyes and go to sleep, I turn on my side, flatten the two pillows under my head somewhat, and move the smaller pillow from under my knees to between my knees.

What would be the worst thing you could put in a piñata?

Donkey poop.

What noise annoys you the most?

The sounds of someone — anyone — whining.

If cartoon physics suddenly replaced real physics, what are some things you would want to try?

Please share something good that has happened to you over the past month.

The birth of my granddaughter two weeks ago

Share Your World — 10/4/2021

It’s time for another one of Melanie’s Share Your World prompts. Let’s answer her “off-the-cuff” questions.

How do you feel about sharing your computer or phone password with your partner?

We know each other’s passwords so that if anything happens to either one of us, the other will have access to all accounts and websites.

What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome? (This isn’t meant to be invasive, just use general terms if you’d like. Or if not, feel free to pass on the question. That’s allowed too).

I have struggled with having rejected the religious beliefs of my family and most of my friends. I so wanted to embrace their beliefs, but my head and heart (and pragmatism) just couldn’t reconcile the mythologies they clung to with the reality I was experiencing. As a result, I have lost some friends and even alienated some family members. But I am at peace with my atheism.

If heaven is real and you died tomorrow, do you think you would get in? Why or why not? (This is purely speculation, no bias if you don’t believe.)

This is an easy one since I don’t believe in an afterlife and I believe that when I die, everything will cease to exists, at least from my perspective. So since there is no heaven, I’m sure I won’t get in to that “place” that doesn’t exist in reality.

What makes you feel like you really need to be alone?

After reading, watching, or hearing political news, I just want to be left alone to stew.

Do you have any traditions around this time of year?

October is the Major League Baseball month leading up to the World Series. The post season playoffs start tomorrow. Go Boston Red Sox. Go San Francisco Giants!

Share Your World — 9/6/2021

For this week’s Share Your World prompt, Melanie wants to know…

Do you believe in soulmates? (Melanie defines a ‘soulmate’ as the IDEAL romantic partner.)

This may sound antithetical to Melanie’s definition of soulmate, but I believe that finding your “soulmate” is a matter of timing, attitude, and situation. Your “soulmate” often turns out to be the person you’re with when you’re ready to make a “lifelong” commitment to someone, and when your attitude and situation makes that the feel like the right thing to do.

Of course, the sliver of romanticism that exists in me admits that such timing, attitude, and situation may come together because you have found your soulmate.

What are three scents you like?

Coffee brewing, fresh popcorn, and freshly baked goods.

What are some things that you might be considered too old to do, but that you enjoy?

So is the question about things I enjoy doing but I no longer can do because I’m too old? Or is it about things I still do — and enjoy doing — even though some may believe I’m too old to be doing them?

If it’s the former, most such activities involve a combination of diminished reflexes and potentially more brittle bones that old age brings. Things like downhill skiing or motorcycle cruising. If it’s the latter, even as a septuagenarian, I’m still into bicycling and hiking.

What is one food you absolutely refuse to share?

I have no food that I refuse to share with anyone else. In fact, if there is a particular type of food that I love, I will encourage others to take a taste. I’m just that kind of a guy. 😉

Share Your World — 8-23-21

Melanie has graced us with another installment of Share Your World. Here we go.

Can you parallel park (if you drive)? If you don’t drive, can you still skip?

I’ve always been pretty good at parallel parking, but with my brand new EV, when I shift into reverse, a rear camera comes on, displaying a color image of what’s behind my car on my “infotainment center.” So now, parallel parking is a cinch.

Do you prefer early morning or late evening? Or something in between?

I’m usually up between 6 and 7 every morning. But by around 10 at night I’m starting to crash. So I prefer early mornings to late evenings.

Do you like avocados?

I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.

Is mind or matter more real?

Everything that exists in the world and that we can see and touch is made of matter. How we perceive and feel about this matter comes from our mind. As to which is more real, without the mind, does it really matter? Does anything really matter if the mind is not there to perceive it? To see it? To feel it?

Bonus Question

Are people in this current generation less or more sensitive than people from past generations?

What is considered to be the current generation? My wife and I are Baby Boomers. My daughter is supposedly a late Gen Xer and my son is an early Millennial, although I consider them to be pretty much from the same generation. So which one of us, who is still living, is from the current or past generation?

My short answer to this question is that I have no idea. I think all generations are sensitive, but probably not to the same things or to the same extent. In the end, though, does it matter?