10.24.2009

senator franken kicks more butt

Here's Al Franken again, this time on medical bankruptcies. For Canadians who are unfamiliar with that term - since it doesn't exist here - this refers to people who exhaust all their credit and savings, and are forced to declare bankruptcy, in order to pay their medical bills.

Franken is making a point we all know well, but he's just so much fun to watch. Plus I'm finishing a story and writing a paper, and of course working all weekend, so I need fallbacks like this.



And a related note that's been sitting in my inbox for too long: in eight states, plus Washington DC, getting beaten by your partner is a pre-existing condition - a legal reason to deny insurance coverage. This jumped out at me from the HuffPo story: "During the last health care reform push, in 1993 and 1994, the industry similarly promised to end discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions." Just ask the insurance companies nicely. I'm sure they'll reform themselves. That's generally the way things work, right?

Thanks to James for sending both.

And in case you missed the Senator kicking the butts of rapist-protectors: here.

28 comments:

James said...

In eight states, plus Washington DC, getting beaten by your partner is a pre-existing condition - a legal reason to deny insurance coverage.

That's out of date -- the latest outrage is that, in Florida at least, being a rape victim is a pre-existing condition

L-girl said...

Perhaps not out of date, but surpassed on the outrage meter.

James said...

Yeah, I meant "no longer the most obscene example of vile behaviour by insurance companies", not that it was no longer an issue...

L-girl said...

And people - other than insurance companies - would rather have THIS than a system that clearly designates what is covered, is the same for everybody and leaves no one without necessary care.

How can this be????

Don't answer that.

James said...

Becaues a "same for everyone" system might result in some of your money being used to help someone who might be slightly undeserving in your eyes.

I saw a great example of the bizarre mindset of the "self-sufficiency" types in an interview with Craig T. Nelson (who played the title character on the TV series "Coach"). He was going on about how, when he was growing up, his family was poor, but they didn't rely on government handouts! They made do with Food Stamps.

L-girl said...

A long time ago, in my theatre days, I worked on a two-character play with then-unknown actors Ron Silver and Craig T. Nelson. Silver was only known as "Rhoda's sister's boyfriend" - Julie Kavner was still known as "Rhoda's sister"!! - and Nelson was almost entirely unknown.

BOTH these bozos turned out to be arch-conservatives.

Dismissed as coincidence????

L-girl said...

But back to the topic...

Becaues a "same for everyone" system might result in some of your money being used to help someone who might be slightly undeserving in your eyes.

Even with a purely selfish worldview, does it never occur to any of these people that one day they might need an assist from someone else's money? Apparently not.

redsock said...

Even with a purely selfish worldview, does it never occur to any of these people that one day they might need an assist from someone else's money?

If they do need an assist, they will promptly loudly complain how "I pay all these damn taxes and what am I getting?" and then blame the last Democrat that was in office.

They may not be able to spell cognitive dissonance, but it's the way they go through life.

L-girl said...

I wish the people who don't want to live in a society would get the hell out of ours.

deang said...

Here's Al Franken again, this time on medical bankruptcies. For Canadians who are unfamiliar with that term - since it doesn't exist here

I wonder if that term and idea exist anywhere else but the US. As I understand it, the US is the only country in the world with an insurance-driven system of health care denial.

L-girl said...

As I understand it, the US is the only country in the world with an insurance-driven system of health care denial.

GNOTFOTE!

James said...

Even with a purely selfish worldview, does it never occur to any of these people that one day they might need an assist from someone else's money? Apparently not.

Another interview, this time with a random teapartier, quoted the guy as saying that he didn't want any of his hard-earned money going to pay to take care of some drug-addicted low-life. He works hard so he can afford the $60 visit to the doctor.

The idea that he might develope a cancer that costs a half-million to treat doesn't even come close to considering the possibility of entering his mind.

impudent strumpet said...

The idea that he might develop a cancer that costs a half-million to treat doesn't even come close to considering the possibility of entering his mind.

When the Toronto municipal strike was going on, I was trying to very politely, respectfully educate someone who is supposed to be smarter than me but, due to life circumstances, wasn't familiar with how sick leave works. So I give my usual example of how yes, there are more sick days than you probably need, but you save them up and then use them when you get cancer. So she says "But who says you're going to get cancer?" And I'm all "Well, not necessarily cancer per se, but you throw out your back or you get in a car accident or something." So she says "But that's such negative thinking!"

So after I stand there aghast and agog for several minutes, I get the presence of mind to ask her if she has a contingency plan for if she gets cancer or something. And she says "The universe won't send me more than I can handle."

So because this one person has some special arrangement with the universe, she wanted to take away a safety net from hundreds (thousands?) of other people for the sin of not choosing to plug their ears and go LALALA at the possibility they might get sick.

L-girl said...

And she says "The universe won't send me more than I can handle."

Words cannot convey how much that attitude disgusts me. I despise it. And I pity people who believe such things.

Not generous of me, I know, but I'm just being honest.

I am trying hard not to rant!!!

L-girl said...

A long time ago, I posted this.

James said...

And she says "The universe won't send me more than I can handle."

It must be nice to have a special dispensation from the universe, but the rest of us have to live in the real world.

Of course, one of the things the real world has thrown at us is idiocy like The Secret (as shown on Oprah!) which claims that you can have anything you want by just wishing hard enough.

The author of The Secret is now under investigation after two people died in a pseudo-Native American sweat lodge he ran as part of a "Wellness Retreat". Apparently the universe sent them more than they could handle.

L-girl said...

I happened to catch a few minutes of a Daily Show re-run last night - Stewart talking with Barbara Ehrenreich about her new book, "Bright-Sided". Her jumping off point is from her own experience with breast cancer, so many people telling her to think positively, exhortations to always be cheerful, the "you can beat this if you try hard enough" mentality - and relating that to the financial crisis. The Secret was mentioned more than once. I look forward to reading the book.

L-girl said...

The author of The Secret is now under investigation after two people died in a pseudo-Native American sweat lodge he ran as part of a "Wellness Retreat".

I hadn't heard that. I hope the legal universe sends him something to handle.

redsock said...

I hadn't heard that. I hope the legal universe sends him something to handle.

I read some details yesterday. I know James wasn't going to quote at length about it, but "died in a sweat lodge" doesn't even skim the surface of what went on.

(3 deaths now)

L-girl said...

Uh-oh. I'll have to read about it. (A, please resist the temptation to post gory details!)

redsock said...

Saw something thru DU. Can't find it now.

James said...

There is now a triple-homicide investigation in progress, but James Arthur Ray, the "guru" in question, is still doing seminars. When confronted at one about what happened at the sweat lodge (there are reports that he actually prevented people who felt ill from leaving), the audience booed the people asking about it, who were removed from the hall.

L-girl said...

Wait, who is booing, his followers or his detractors?

I just read a bit about it. Horrendous.

impudent strumpet said...

I've got nothing but empathy for needing a bit of self-delusion to get through the day. I've been known to indulge in it myself. Just don't go hurting other people with it!

L-girl said...

I've got nothing but empathy for needing a bit of self-delusion to get through the day. I've been known to indulge in it myself. Just don't go hurting other people with it!

Or expecting other people to subscribe to your personal delusion!

On the Daily Show segment I saw last night, Ehrenreich was saying that there's a lack of empathy in our culture, that people don't want to hear your bad news or deal with your problems - they want you to be always cheerful, because it's easier for them.

I have encountered plenty of that in my own life, so I agree.

But it also seems like a lot of people have never learned that you can simply say, "I'm so sorry you have to go through this" or "I can imagine how bad you feel, I wish you luck" or "This must really suck". They think they have to say something to help you feel better, as if being told to look at the bright side will do that. Then in their ignorance, they end up minimizing your problems.

impudent strumpet said...

Off topic but natural tangent: I went looking for the Ehrenreich clip and found this (which isn't the Ehrenreich clip but might be the part of the Daily Show just before it, and probably can't be accessed from outside of Canada.)

From the brief snippets of what might be a US Senate committee vote, it looks like everyone gets to give a little speech when they vote for or against something. Is that true? Is that normal in the US?

James said...

The people who'd come for his advice on how to improve their lives were booing the people who were pointing out that listening to his advice got at least three people dead.

L-girl said...

The people who'd come for his advice on how to improve their lives were booing the people who were pointing out that listening to his advice got at least three people dead.

Morans.