Skip to main content

Good Health To You

The United States Supreme Court today upheld the Affordable Care Act (known in some circles as Obamacare). It is a monumental ruling, one that will have ramifications for years to come (as did the original legislation). You probably won't be surprised to know that I am in favor of the ACA. Our healthcare system needed updating (to say the least). With rising costs, ever-increasing diversification of medical providers and services, and a populous that will continue to have aging and sick bodies, we need some sort of safety net to ensure readily available, humane care for all of us.

My support of the Affordable Care Act is not for purely altruistic reasons. My own life has been affected greatly by the lack of affordable health insurance. For six years, I was without health coverage. Note that I was working during those six years, full-time, but that health insurance was either not made available to me, or else all medical providers available under the (expensive) plan were out of town by a good 30 minutes, or I had to take a physical to join a plan, and had some strikes against me do to the pre-existing clause (for my high blood pressure). So, six years without coverage it was.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the human body does not respect its own lack of adequate medical coverage. This was the case when, in 2003, I developed a sudden, baseball-sized lump on my upper chest. This of course required a trip to the doctor, then a CT scan, then a trip to a specialist. The lump was determined to be a ruptured blood vessel/bleed-out due to an extreme coughing fit, but the CT scan found a nodule on my thyroid. The specialist I went to for this did a fine needle aspiration. The nodule was benign, but the specialist wanted to monitor it. After all of these doctors' visits and tests, I was thousands of dollars in the hole, so I told the specialist "thanks, but no thanks," and proceeded on my not-so-merry way.

Fast forward to late 2009. I had insurance with a full-time job at a university that gave me great health benefits. My throat started to feel funny, like there was something odd in it, and so, after several doctors' visits and tests, it was discovered there were three nodules on my thyroid, that they were cancerous, and that the entire thyroid gland needed to be removed. This occured in April of 2010, followed by a dose of radiation two months later that required being isolated from people and pets for 3 days. The costs for all of this approached $40,000. Luckily, I had insurance. Not everyone is so fortunate. I know, I've been there.

When relaying this series of events, in the Summer of 2010, to my cousin Toby, he gave a sympathetic laugh and said, "Better to die cheap, huh?" This, of course, is what happens to far too many people in our moden, 1st world society. It is, frankly, shameful. It's an embarrassment. And, it's often  a death sentence for the many who do choose to die cheaply, rather than incur a boatload of medical debt in order to have themselves checked-out for some malady that could prove fatal (or even just chronic).

Our system of coverage in the United States isn't perfect. Some on the political left have chided Obama and the Democrats for not going far enough with the Affordable Care Act, but instead I choose to go with the motto that 'Something Is Better Than Nothing.' And the ACA is better than what we had previously. Frankly, if it saves even one life, or improves the quality of life of just one person, then it is already a success.

Our heads should be held high on this proud day of our great nation. And no more should our fellow citizens be forced to choose between overwhelming medical costs without proper insurance, or to just die on the cheap. We're better than that, America.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.