why are we perpetually punished by politicians over healthcare in this country?

I just completed my open enrollment for next year’s health insurance. My premiums will double each month starting in January, 2020.

Double.

I am literally back to the pre-Affordable Care Act premiums yet the Affordable Care Act is still in place. I don’t live below the poverty line yet I am punished for being solidly middle class and these premiums make you feel like you are dancing on the edge of precipice of living at or below the poverty line, and why? Why does it have to be this way?

I didn’t necessarily wish to embrace the Affordable Care Act at first if I’m completely honest. But it did make it much easier as a self paying insured to get insurance that was a bit more affordable for a couple of years.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, I was self-pay. The reason I was self-pay in corporate America is because my employer at the time was not required by law to offer employees insurance. Before that job I was always covered under employer plans. Now as a self-employed person I continue to be self-pay. I’m fine with that. But whether you are self-pay or through an employer plan health insurance is crazy expensive. And does it have to be?

Now before I became self-pay, the employer plans had already started to slip. We were paying more and getting less. And that has nothing to do with what the employers actually allowed to be covered via the underwriting. It has to do with what the insurance companies gave us out of the generosity of their hearts. Their hands are outstretched for premiums, but what about the quid pro quo? Do we fairly and equitably get what we pay for? And what about the medical providers? Have you ever looked at what they actually receive versus what is paid into the insurance companies?

We have had a healthcare system in this country that has continually broken down by bits and pieces over the decades because there is one consistency that is never addressed: the insurance companies themselves. There have never been any comprehensive reforms of the insurance companies. Yet corporate executives keep their private jets and other perks, right?

I will pay my insurance premiums. I always do. But I will be forced to economize in other areas.  I have no other option for benefits, so I will make do. I am a rule follower not a rule breaker, but I don’t think the rules are fair and equitable with regard to health insurance in this country or in Pennsylvania.

I don’t cheat at life, I pay my fair share. But when it comes to health insurance in this country I feel like I am cheated at times, don’t you?

As a cancer survivor and still active cancer patient I have paid extraordinary amounts of healthcare related expenses for many years at this point. And that is in addition to monthly health insurance premiums. And I’ve paid it all off. It takes time, I have to do payment plans, but I’m not asking for handouts. But year after year when open enrollment rolls around I feel like Sisyphus with the healthcare rock to roll up the damn hill.

I don’t think as Americans we should be punished every open enrollment period for having health insurance. We are told by law we have to have health insurance, I also always had health insurance before it was the law to always have health insurance.

Yet, I look at elected officials on both sides of the aisle fighting about health insurance and everything else in this country. As taxpayers we pay towards their health benefits that they don’t really pay for. But they want to tell me how I’m supposed to spend my money on health insurance just like they want to have control over a woman’s reproductive rights? And I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, that’s bullsh🤬t.

Americans, average everyday Americans, are the perpetual pawns of politics and politicians. Depending on which party is in power, you get something for a few years, then the next administration takes it away and so on and so forth. It’s a vicious cycle without end and there should be an end to it.

We didn’t ask for political parties to battle it out and for politicians to beat their breastbones telling each other how fabulous they are at our expense.

Elected officials aren’t so fabulous because they won’t sit down and figure this out. It is just a perennial game of whomever gets all the toys wins with regular every day Americans as the losers in perpetuity.

I am grateful I am able to get health insurance. But not everybody can. And the prices go up but the services don’t necessarily coincide do they? 

I will note for all you far more conservative than me, I have never ever expected someone else to pay for my health insurance. I just would like it to be priced fairly and consistently.

We need real and lasting healthcare reform. Not more extremes in politics.

Rant over.



playing politics with the deliberately uninformed

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Until the last U.S. Presidential Election I was a life-long registered Republican.  I even took my corporate vacation during the RNC 2000 in Philadelphia so I could be a media relations volunteer the entire duration of the convention. I loved that experience. I met so many interesting people, and even lent a Congressman who was a platform speaker of some level cab fare so he could get to the Philadelphia Convention Center when he came to Philadelphia on Amtrak but forgot his wallet.

But the Republican party changed.  And maybe I have changed too, but if I am honest with myself and you my readers, the majority of my life I have always been a ticket-splitter.

You see, I do not subscribe to the quackery that if a candidate is of a particular party they are a bad candidate and I can’t vote for them.  I look at the candidates themselves NOT the political party to make my decision.  I have no misplaced sense of obligation to either political party, which is probably WHY I became an Independent.

But politics, including in Chester County, has continued to disintegrate since he who shall not be named took the Oval. Sorry, not sorry, it is the unfortunate truth.  And my opinion. This country is now like a daily episode of the now defunct ABC series Scandal.

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No longer does political civility exist.  Republicans think Democrats are evil and Democrats think Republicans are evil.  It is the theatre of the absurd. You can’t discuss the merits or lack thereof of ANY candidate.

And heaven forbid you not act like a perfect little political Stepford wife and share an article you find interesting. Like this one:

Philly-Area Media Chain Tells Readers: Don’t Vote for a Single Republican
“There are some Republicans that do a good job and should be taken seriously,” says the editor. “But they are sort of sacrificial lambs, unfortunately.”

by VICTOR FIORILLO· 10/31/2018, 9:12 a.m.

With the most contentious midterm elections in memory coming up in a matter of days, news publications across the country are publishing their endorsements of their chosen candidates. But one group of media outlets outside of Philadelphia has taken a much different approach.

West Chester–based Brandywine New Media, which owns the Times of Chester County, the Unionville Times, the Kennett Times, the Coatesville Times, and the Downingtown Times, has run a staff editorial telling readers that they should “not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot.”

Here is the Times of Chester County original editorial:

Editorial: An electoral shock to the system needed to save GOP
Oct 28th, 2018

As has been the case since the earliest days of The Times, we had planned to make endorsements in all of the 2018 elections….

But 2018 is a unique time in the history of American politics.

While some would try to paint a false equivalency that both of our major parties are bad, lacking ethics and are slaves to electoral expediency, we find ourselves unable to agree.

One party has been gripped by a mania, a cancer, and seems unwilling or unable to return to its roots, and instead panders to fear, anger and the worst instincts of a minority of its members: the Republican Party…..America needs two functioning parties to provide political balance and steady leadership. America needs a healthy Republican Party, as a counter balance to the occasional excesses of the Democratic Party — something sorely lacking now. If the current path continues unabated, we will see the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

….we suggest that you do not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot. We know this is a difficult ask for many, but these times and our democracy cry out for a reset and only staggering losses will get the attention of elected officials and the party’s voter base in a meaningful way.

I have provided but an excerpt of BOTH the article and  editorial, but I strongly suggest no matter what your political persuasion you should take the time to read BOTH pieces in FULL.

I wasn’t going to write a pre-midterm election post, but when I shared the Philadelphia Magazine article by Victor Fiorello on Facebook a woman piped up and said because I shared the article and suggested it was an interesting read that I was making a political endorsement.  Allow me to quote her directly:  ““Well worth taking the time to read” is a political endorsement. Your message is not sharing information but suggesting endorsement of a political view that many in Chester County find reprehensible.”

Can I say WTF now? I mean WTF?  I am NOT suggesting endorsement. IF I was suggesting endorsement of candidates, I would say so. Suggesting an article about the current state of politics is an interesting read or a good read is NOT an endorsement of anything other than the actual article!

I actually would like to say thank you to Victor Fiorello for writing about an editorial I saw but did not take the time to read until he pointed it out. And I would like to say thank you to Publisher and Editor of Brandywine News Media Mike McGann. Mr. McGann that editorial is nothing short of honest and spot on.  And a little bit sad.

I am truly sorry that so many lack intellectual curiosity about the political times in which we live, or are afraid to check things out lest they turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife (Genesis 19).

I am so sorry so many choose to be deliberately uniformed. It seems to me life is more interesting when you don’t behave like a veritable ostrich and bury your head in the sand, but what do I know, right?

I also realize some love to hate me because I speak my mind and am a blogger and am just different from them, but lordy. I fully accept although I find it fantastical at times some people (even other women) cannot handle women who do not conform to some pre-conceived set of notions that remind me of 1950’s housewives wearing kitchen aprons. These people should keep their own side of the street clean and do not presume to tell me or anyone else what to do. Because in fact, THAT is what is reprehensible here.

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Being American means freedom of choice when you vote. It means being your own man or woman and voting your conscience.  Being American also means you have the freedom to read a couple of local articles without fear of being put in the stocks like some renegade 17th century New England Puritan. (calling Hester Prynne and all that)

Grow up and remember your collective pride in what it is to be an American and to enjoy the freedoms our forefathers fought and bled and died for.  We have the right, actually a duty to question the political status quo as Americans.  Right now the status quo has some major suckitude going on.  The political process is at present so incredibly contorted that our country is to be succinct, MESSED UP.

And to other women out there:  it took until 1920 and when 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Oh and another fun fact? Women in the state of Georgia could not vote until 1970.

Read up and vote next week people.  Vote for who you choose, not who some political party bobblehead from either party tells you to vote for.

Thanks for allowing the rant and Happy Halloween.

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#dearcongress and mr. president

Taken by my friend Amy.  Obviously this guy needs spell check and has a lot to say, but it seems to sum up the stupidity Americans are currently being forced to deal with

Taken by my friend Amy. Obviously this guy needs spell check and has a lot to say, but it seems to sum up the stupidity Americans are currently being forced to deal with

#DearCongress and Mr. President,

Hi it’s me, the average American. I am Republican but don’t blame me for the current brand of Republicans as I think a Tea Party is best for little girls, teddy bears and dolls.

(And I am fresh out of pink ties and hankies for the ever tearful John Boehner and wow, I should have taken that photo of him smoking cigarettes and drinking red wine when he came to PA to stump for Gerlach in August 2010.)

You all claim it started over Obamacare. Well…Democrats you can’t blame everything you don’t like on Republicans, and Republicans you can’t blame it all on Obamacare. And while you puff, preen, and posture, we are still waiting for you to do what? Oh yes demand reform on the part of the insurance companies. While you all fight, they just get richer and nothing changes.

Anyway, I don’t care if you are Republicans and Democrats, I am over, yes o-v-e-r this Government Shut Down. It was a dumb ass idea that should have remained a Walter Mitty moment that never, ever happened.

We hold the following truth to be self-evident: we didn’t elect any of you people for this. And while you puff, preen, and posture on Capitol Hill, with an occasional scripted quip from the White House, ordinary people suffer. And pay for your mess.

Also, this whole idea of government shut down has roots in a guy from the Carter administration named Benjamin Civiletti. (Just thought I would toss that in there)

Now people are freaking out about the US defaulting on debt and investor confidence is shaken seriously by the government shut down. Well wow, what took them so long?

And when we are talking debt and stuff Mr. President and Congress, can we quote Mr. President before he was President?

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasi…ng America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

America does deserve better. And I think any politician taking part in this farce known as government shut down should be voted out of office. I guess my sentiment is not so unusual because I noticed my Congressman Jim Gerlach has stepped away from the pack, hasn’t he? He joins Meehan, Dent and Fitzpatrick, right?

I want to believe in our party system of Republicans and Democrats but I do not see any of them doing what they should. I see both parties as having been marginalized by extremists, extremism, corruption, and special interests. And it doesn’t matter what any of us regular folk believe or want. The only ones BOTH parties of elected officials in Washington listen to are the super rich , well connected, and the very powerful. The proverbial political king makers. No one else matters.

You have closed our parks and monuments. Including Valley Forge Park. Public roads run through the park, will we get fined for being on public roads? Apparently you are fining everyone else who goes to land technically owned by the people. Maybe you should fine all the deer too?

VF closedI find it ironic that you can pay the park rangers to fine runners like John Bell of Chadds Ford, but you can’t get back to the business of government? Mr. Bell has now retained a lawyer and will fight the $100 ticket in Federal Court and who can blame him, except we all will end up paying for all litigation that this government shut down results in, won’t we?

Which brings me to the heart of the matter. I have to ask Mr. President and Congress why this government shut down is not a tax-free event? After all, we as every day Americans have nothing to do with this and I think this should be like when Comcast and Verizon and PECO screw up and they have to adjust your bill. Why not adjust our tax bills accordingly? I see no reason why we should pay for your foolishness anymore then we already have to.

And let’s talk salary and benefits Mr. President and Congress ok? I pay my own health benefits. As Americans, we all pay for YOU as a collective. That’s a great deal being a politician. You can declare war on each other and do less than you usually do, and we have to pay for it. You aren’t living up to your job descriptions and if you were in corporate America you would be what? Oh yes, oh my, you would be fired.

The Government Shutdown stinks. Why should we all be paying because you can’t get along? Has it ever occurred to you or do you care that you make us all embarrassed to be an American at this point on some level?

How can we take pride in a government that is no better than a bunch of kids fighting on the playground?

With all due respect #DearCongress and President Obama? GROW UP. Running this country needs to stop being about the agendas of politicians and special interest groups from BOTH parties.

Let’s end this #AmericanHorrorStory .

Love,

Me