Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why?

So why do I prattle on aimlessly in here? I don't know really, I guess it's because the only person I know who wants to talk politics is my boy friend and we agree on most things, so it's not exactly a debate or real conversation. I am genuinely concerned with what is going on around me... I should have been more concerned years ago but I didn't think one person could make much of a difference so I didn't even bother paying attention or trying to understand. I rarely bothered to vote, did not watch anything to do with politics on TV, and so on. But now that I have 3 children and am older, I guess it's becoming a concern. I have also lived in 3 countries (Germany, England, and Canada) and have experienced varying levels of govt control and am not just talking out of my ass when people ask me my opinion. I have also used the social programs for myself as a single parent, so it's not like I'm some rich chick born with a silver spoon in my mouth and proposing to tell everyone else what to do with their lives. I grew up with a stay at home mom and a full-time working father, mom voting PC, dad voting Liberal. I have been a union member at two jobs. I worked for 14 years with other people who used social programs such as Welfare and Subsidies (childcare, health care, etc). I have also worked with parents who made decent cash and had to fork out full fee for everything. I've had friends who put themselves through university and came out with 40,000/yr jobs immediately, but who had less cash than me after paying top fees for everything. I've seen all sorts of perspectives, and lived them directly. So I guess I feel that I have a bit of a say afterall. And an informed one.

I am seriously concerned with what is happening here in Canada, and especially with the US. I also get the distinct feeling that if I tell someone I am leaning Conservative in my views, they automatically think I believe all poor people should live in a cardboard box with no aid, and that I don't believe that we should be respecting the environment. That is such a total crock! I just don't believe that people should be SO reliant on aide, and I don't believe we should be forced to change our ways in order to follow unproven theories. Is that so terrible? Why? Geezus.

I try to sit back and look at things around me, remember people's opinions and views, and watch how they magically change with the current 'trend'. For example, I've watched people quote 'Iraq is an illegal war! There were no WMDs! It was a lie!' but then turn around and support troops being sent to Afghanistan instead. Okay... so if Iraq was illegally entered, what's different about Afghanistan? How is that not illegal too? Are there WMDs there? I haven't heard anything about that... has Afghanistan attacked the US? No? Then why is it okay to send soldiers there instead? I ask people these questions and they completely ignore me. I do not get an answer at all. It drives me insane! It's like they totally refuse to admit or acknowledge that they simply jumped on the nearest bandwagon again and are spouting their rhetoric without actually thinking about it. Oh wait, I did get one answer - someone told me it's okay because the Taliban is in Afgh, not Iraq. Oh are they? I thought they were actually all over the place including Yemen, Saudi, Pakistan... but there are none in Iraq? And it's okay to send thousands of troops to Afghanistan but not to Iraq? Come on people - just seriously use your brains for once and think about what is being said. If someone gives me a good answer, shows they actually put 5 seconds of thought into it, then I'm fine with that. If they still hold that opinion, that's okay with me, it's just an opinion afterall. But it's the non-thinkers that drive me batty. They have the power to Vote, but do not think about it thoroughly. Is that not scary?

And then it reminds me yet again on some of my US friends' opinions on universal health care. When I ask how they think it will be funded, they just pass it off as 'taxes'. No wonder on how MUCH tax they would be willing to pay, or even some flippantly saying they would pay 50% if it meant everyone got care. But these very same people already cannot pay their bills - how on earth are they going to pay for their homes, food, car, etc if they get taxed a whole whack more? THAT'S what I mean by not thinking. It's easy to say the words "I would pay 50%" but it's another thing entirely to actually have to do it. To me, that is people simply talking out of their ass and that is dangerous business, it really is. And when I say "don't forget it's not just the doctors and the treatments that would need funding, it would be the whole hospital building, cleaning staff, desk nurses, orderlies, supplies, record keeping, etc etc etc that would need money from the taxpayer", people just go blank on me. Well duh - how do you think the day-to-day operations of any clinic or hospital would be paid?

I think something serious needs to be done for the cost of health insurance, I've met people in the states who pay $300 a month... that's insane to me! I think something also should be done about the cost of some treatments because it does seem to be getting out of hand. But is it really the right thing to do to go a full 180 degree turn and go Universal? Or would it make more sense to take the system as it is and do a shake-down to try to stream line things more and set some boundaries along the way? I think that can be problematic too if the govt gets TOO involved with deciding who can charge what and how much, but we need checks and balances every step of the way. I have heard several times that in the US, since about 2000, 65 million dollars in equipment has been ordered by doctors who are actually DEAD now (kind of like those mysterious dead voters, eh?). Those kinds of cleanups would free up a lot more money, but no, instead it's just going to flop around and face the other direction and go 'free'. Which of course, is never FREE. But in the end, people just need to THINK. Yes it sounds awesome to have care and never worry about a bill - but it's not that simple and certainly not with a country of over 300 million people! I have been told about France's great system but when I looked into it, I saw many references to how the country has been running a deficit since 1985 and they fear it's only going to get worse. How long before their system isn't as awesome as it appears now?

I had good care in England but I only really needed it once and that was for maternity, and in most places I have seen a pregnant woman gets good care anyway. In Germany I saw military doctors most of the time but again did not need much because I was young and fit, not old and falling apart like now LOL. The one time I had to go to a local clinic, I felt like I was transported into the 1950s and I left there totally confused and felt like they did not take enough time to listen to my symptoms, so I went home with no treatment and got over the illness on my own. My neighbour across the street's baby boy died at 11 days old after being pricked with a dirty needle and contracting Septicemia. That's about the only experience I had with that medical system and I was glad to get out of there. Maybe it's an unfair assessment but I remember clearly how upset the British wives were when they were told they had to birth in German hospitals instead of the base one (it was closing down). That's all I can tell you from my personal experiences there.

In the US, there is talk of even having prescriptions, eye, dental covered --- that does not happen in any of the more socialized countries I have been to... you always had to pay something and/or wait a very long time to be seen. I paid a set rate of about $20 per prescription in England. I paid for my eye exams and glasses in Germany - and I do it here as well (full prescription fee on top)... so why does the US think it can cover all of that? Like seriously - oh my god that would take a completely insane amount of money!!! Why aren't people thinking about that? It's on everyone's wish list to be able to afford everything and not have to worry about your family - of course it is! But is it actually even possible? On top of all the other money that is being thrown around right now? That is just plain terrifying and I don't understand why others are not worried about it too.

On a side note, I was looking at my local health authority's website yesterday to see if any doctors are taking patients yet (No) and I noticed that it listed we have 73 doctors covering about 112,000 people in the region. That's almost 1500 patients per doctor - wow. What a caseload. No wonder it takes us weeks to get in sometimes, and especially because anyone can go to the doc at any time for any ailment, for no cost, so that clogs up the system too. But when you look at the numbers again, you realize that a lot of those 73 docs are specialists and pediatritions, so I would like to know the number of actual family doctors. If it's about 50, then that's about 2000 patients each. Wow.....

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These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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