Horror in Las Vegas

We all know the problem. The world we’ve built – the human civilization we’ve built – it’s making us insane. The pressure is too much for simple primates like Homo Sapiens – ding ding goes the car alarm, the phone, the app, the timer on the fridge, and everything else.

We have this awful tribalism going on. Us and them, them and us. Sorry, it’s just us and let’s face it – some of us, many of us, are just plain assholes. We could all be nicer – if we just took the time to put our ideas and thoughts in the head of those around us.

I don’t know what caused that guy in Vegas to snap…I don’t even know that the guy in Vegas did snap. He’s the Lee Harvey Oswald of October 2nd, 2017. A dead perp. The guy with nobody to really defend him. The guy nobody expected it of. Not an overt anything. Just a rich white guy with a bunch of guns that no one knew about.

What he did – or what was done – whatever it is – was awful, is awful. I don’t think it’s fake news…but I don’t know anymore. I just know that when I let that lady cross the street in front of me today, she waved and smiled and it didn’t make me late. I gave that stranger a ride today and she gave me high five and five stars on Lyft. I kissed my wife today and told her I love her. And I got to talk with my daughter about God and love and rainbows.

It’s these little things we can do in our lives that counteract this Las Vegas mass shooting suicidal horror…and Tom Petty died today, so I have the song You don’t know how it feels to be me…..

No, I don’t. We don’t. But we know how it feels to be human.

WTF America? Health care and Hip Replacement

I was speaking with a friend yesterday and mentioned how I’ve signed up for Obamacare twice but am still not in the system.  I admit it, I was complaining a bit about the high cost of insurance premiums for a young family like mine – we are young, we don’t go to the doctor very often, and when we do – we usually make it the last resort.

The cost of health insurance premiums come out to about 2/3 of our monthly rent – and then it’s a $5000 deductible which means that all of our normal doctor visits – we’re paying for out of pocket anyway.

My friend lives in California. “Why don’t you get on MediCal?” she asked me. I explained that it was Medicaid in Oregon and that I earned too much to qualify but not enough to be able to afford Obamacare. “That’s weird” she said. “My coworker earns $90k per year and she’s on MediCal.” My jaw dropped. That’s part of the fucking problem. Right there.

I’m lucky if I earn $40k per year and it’s more likely to be $25k most years. That’s the life of a self-employed writer. So, maybe I would qualify – but really? Do I have to go show how poor I am to the state in order to get healthcare coverage for my family? I have to jump through hoops showing I’m unemployed or be able to show I don’t earn enough? I have to put myself in the system because otherwise the system doesn’t believe me? This Obamacare is among the worst legislation the US has ever produced.

My mom got her hip replaced yesterday. She’s a senior so she’s covered by Medicare – thankfully, because a hip replacement in the USA costs over $40k, which is more than the equity they have in their house.  A hip replacement in China or Spain would cost you about $7k out of pocket. In Thailand or the Philippines it would cost you about half that. I saw a graphic here that broke that down…you could buy a ticket to Spain, get your hip replaced, live in a nice apartment in Spain for two years, learn Spanish, run with the bulls, break your other hip, get it replaced and then fly home and still have money in your pocket for the same cost. What the hell is going on? Here is a pretty good video about why our healthcare here costs so much…

Yeah. There’s part of the problem. Here is another part of the problem:

And guess what? That’s not it. That’s not the end of it. But there is more later…there is always more.