Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crow in wonderland

Hello everyone. Crow here again and I hope you'll excuse susan's absence today but she's buried in a novel and refuses to come out until things are a little less strange in the real world. Speaking of that I fell down a rabbit hole myself this past week and thought I'd report an odd conversation I found myself involved in:

`No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw me coming. `There's plenty of room!' I said indignantly, and sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table. `

Have some health care,' the Mad Hatter said in an encouraging tone.

I looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don't see any health care,' I remarked.

`There isn't any,' said the Mad Hatter.

`Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' I said angrily.

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, `Why is a Crow like a writing-desk?'

You see, whether there are Mad Tea Partiers or not it seems to me the essential problem everyone should be focused on is the fact a law has been passed saying everyone must (obligatory, required, necessary, compulsory, mandatory) purchase health care insurance. This is not unlike the government passing a law to say that all children must be educated but not providing a public school system. It's also true that as soon as the new law appeared likely to be passed private equity funds began investing in and buying up American hospitals and health care institutions. They're already talking about turning these facilities into for profit ventures - a frightening concept.

Many people throughout history have taken politicians to task for actions that have not been entirely in society’s best interest. The reasons for this become clearer when one realizes that even in modern democracies, these leaders do not benefit the lives of the average person. Instead, they maintain their preferential positions in the established order. But rather than hearing that people are angry about the back room deals made with medical insurance companies and big pharma we're treated to the incoherent nonsense preferred by the major media corporations.

`Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Hatter said, turning to me again.

`No, I give it up,' I replied: `what's the answer?'

`I haven't the slightest idea,' said the Hatter.

I sighed wearily.`I think you might do something better with the time,' I said, `than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.’

Perhaps susan had the best idea after all. I'm going to pour myself some Remy Martin and have a look through her bookshelf.

(Apologies to Lewis Carroll, John Tenniel and Johnny Depp)


Seraphine said...

redefining healthcare in the united states is going to have to happen in small steps. the main thing is the first step has been taken. making health coverage available for people that couldn't get insurance is a giant step. the law makes it possible for people who are uninsurable to have insurance. it also removes lifetime caps on healthcare, so those who have had serious injuries or illnesses won't lose their coverage.

jams o donnell said...

For all its faults I am glad to have the National Health Service here in the UK.

I just don't understand the rubbish spewed by the American right on healthcare and certainly not nthe shrill rubbish sputed by Palin (sarah, not Michael)

Utah Savage said...

Baby steps, baby steps. It's basically a Republican bill with no Republican votes. How very odd.

The one very important thing it did was make it crystal clear that there has been a rising up of the gun toting, brick trowing, tea bag wearing KKK. And if the GOP remains in the cheering section, the sane amongst us will be quietly mobilizing our resources to get our timid but moderate neighbors rides to the poling places in November.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Crow, I always enjoy the world or worlds through your perceptions. I really liked it when you made the analogy of mandatory health insurance without an insurance system is like mandating education without an educational system. It's a great point to make when disagreeing with people who don't see it our way.

Susan certainly has the right idea but then again, doesn't she always? :-)

And the drawing! You must tell Susan how wonderful it is. I take it she has seen the new Alice movie?

La Belette Rouge said...

Crow, you have some serious magic. You calmed down the Mad Hatter. And, hey, I am noticing a theme. Me thinks someone likes Johnny Depp( Is it Susan?).

And I am happy something passed. I so hope that they go farther-much farther. But the first step of a long journey does require that first small step. I am trying to hold onto hope. Is that Mad?;-)

Crow said...

sera - Let me just quote my friend Chris Hedges opinion about this matter. Remember a model of this plan has been underway in Massachusetts for a while now with less than stellar results.

'The bill will not expand coverage to 30 million uninsured, especially since government subsidies will not take effect until 2014. Families who cannot pay the high premiums, deductibles and co-payments, estimated to be between 15 and 18 percent of most family incomes, will have to default, increasing the number of uninsured. Insurance companies can unilaterally raise prices without ceilings or caps and monopolize local markets to shut out competitors. The $1.055 trillion spent over the next decade will add new layers of bureaucratic red tape to what is an unmanageable and ultimately unsustainable system.'

jams - I'm well aware of the National Health Service and its problems but at least everyone in England has access - yet we know some countries do it better. In this country a simple solution would have been to offer Medicare to all. They could then have allowed private insurance to offer supplements at competitive rates.

utah - The American population isn't made up of infants and shouldn't be treated like idiots in general. The vocal minority you mention are the sadly deprived and uneducated pawns of the health care lobbyists who have once more betrayed the people for money. The Republicans have nothing to be proud of but neither do the Democrats who refused to discuss a single payer option. I'm not sure what the answer is but someone does need to frame the question about the entertainment value of politics in its current iteration.

pagan sphinx - It's a simple but entirely true analogy and we all know how education suffers when the money required is removed from the system.

susan hasn't seen the movie but she's always loved Alice. It makes more sense than the evening news on any given evening.

belette - susan is of the opinion Johhny Depp is a visitor from another dimension and has been following his career on Earth with great interest. Perhaps one day his people will reveal themselves en masse and all will be well with the world after that.

Giant steps are more in order because you just know in your heart the powers that be will pervert the tiny ones to their own benefit.

Mary Ellen said...

For some reason the drawing isn't showing up on my computer...or is this a Mad Hatter trick?

Regarding health care, this argument that it's not perfect and will be made better later is crazy. For one thing, most of the so-called benefits won't take place until long after the Prez is out of the picture...a good way to avoid responsibility for his actions. Also, there is so much BAD in this bill it's almost impossible to find anything good.

This bill is corrupt from front page to last and there will be plenty of screaming and complaining about it when it effects those who are saying, "it will be improved later." They could easily have passed all that was good in small bills and left out all the pork, but that would be the honest way to do it and we all know that the intent was never really to help the American people in the first place.

Thanks for the post, Crow. Well done!

Crow said...

nunly - I'm sorry you missed the drawing because even though susan didn't think it was particularly good, it was pretty funny.

The new health care laws are neither good nor funny for the reasons I mentioned and so many more I didn't. These people don't play by rules that are accepted in society at large and furthermore have a grand old time perverting every law to their own benefit. Compromise is simply not an option.

Mary Ellen said...

Yay! The picture showed up this time. It must have been something going on with my computer. It is a funny picture! I love it!

I agree, compromise is not an option. Unfortunately, it's all about the politics and nothing about what's best for Americans. I remember a day when our representatives actually gave a care what their constituents thought. This whole thing was a shameful event in our history.

Liberality said...

Medicare for all makes so much sense so I suppose that is why we will never have it.

Spadoman said...

I'm not jumping into the healthcare discussion with anyone. Seems likeeveryone has a different explanation of every point on that bill. I just don't want to argue.
Now your drawing, that's something I do like, a lot! I saw the movie and loved it. Ypur little girls are different than the movie, but then again, if I saw this, I'd know it was an original susan.


MRMacrum said...

The way I look at it is at least there has been real change instituted instead of the years of lip service. Certainly it is imperfect, or rather maybe not even close to good. But is anything that comes out of DC good in it's first incarnation?

I come here for the images and stay because of the conversation.

Randal Graves said...

Lunacy yesterday, lunacy tomorrow but always mostly certainly lunacy today.

Mary Ellen said...


Lunacy yesterday, lunacy tomorrow but always mostly certainly lunacy today.

Quit hyping your blog already! ;-)

Nancy said...

I have felt the same way about this reform. I hope it is a start in the right direction. But I do have my doubts.

I totally agree with Utah.

I also think it's time to look for something other than our two party system. I like "alternative voting" - as it is in Australia. If you vote Independent and your guy doesn't make it, then your alternative vote counts, thus making sure you are not throwing your vote away.

Crow said...

nunly - The problem as I see it is that what we have here is an empire but no visible Emperor. At least back in the days when revolutions were common the people would know whose palace to target. It's more difficult when you're dealing with corporate boards of directors.

liberality - Exactly, my dear.

spadoman - There's no need to argue since the details will soon be apparent to all.

I'm glad you like the tea party picture susan agreed to jot down a few days ago. She seems to enjoy the exercise.

MRMacrum - There are too many wide open maws to make it likely we'll see improvement any time soon. I'm more concerned about the devolution rather than an ultimate solution.

Glad you stop by whatever your reason.

randal - You can say that again even if nunly says you shouldn't.

Crow said...

Nancy left a comment that didn't post:

I have felt the same way about this reform. I hope it is a start in the right direction. But I do have my doubts.

I totally agree with Utah.

I also think it's time to look for something other than our two party system. I like "alternative voting" - as it is in Australia. If you vote Independent and your guy doesn't make it, then your alternative vote counts, thus making sure you are not throwing your vote away.

Nancy - The whole thing is troublesome and one can't help but worry about the very obvious factionalism that's being promulgated by the broadcast media. The real arguments get lost in the fog of ignorant hostility.

The possibility of coalition government here would mean a complete overturn of the current system. The end result would likely be positive but the road would be rough.

Seraphine said...

next time susan, read a 200-page novel instead of one of those russian things designed to outlast a siberian winter.

Seraphine said...

crow: i agree insurance companies have too much power and they can be ruthless. you don't want to be on the wrong side of an insurance conflict.
but healthcare reform isn't going to happen overnight. politically, the change has to come in small increments or it won't happen at all.
i suspect the result will be a combination of costly private insurance for those who can afford better care, and a public option for those who can't. it will be a tiered system with private hospitals and doctors for those who can afford health care, and overburdened health clinics/public hospitals for the rest.
i hope i'm wrong.

Crow said...

sera - Actually susan's been re-reading Neal Stephenson's very dense, fascinating and sometimes hilarious 'Baroque Cycle'. I believe she'll be returning for the late cherry blossoms and a little conversation before she opens 'War and Peace'.

I've spent many a day with susan when she's been close to tears from her dealings with the intransigence of medical insurance companies. She's often said that if only all of them had to follow Medicare guidelines things would be much clearer for everyone. After all, banks all have the same rule books even if they also offer different rates and services.

I simply wish the change had been made years ago when people understood everyone who works (even doctors) are workers and not members of an imaginary middle class.