Health Care is for Sick People Too
The Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act doesn’t protect those with pre-existing conditions. Instead of prohibiting discrimination against them, the alternative will give states only eight billion dollars to cover higher prices. True, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. They can, however, send your premiums through the roof. Americans should have health care that won’t disappear if they get sick. Here’s why protections for people with pre-existing conditions are important for everyone.
- The Declaration of Independence says that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are inalienable rights. Guess which is pre-requisite.
- There are lots of pre-existing conditions. Arthritis, sleep apnea, and pending surgery are all pre-existing conditions. You snore? Let’s raise your premiums to $25,000 a year.
- Many of these conditions affect women, including pregnancy and post-partum depression. Under the new bill, rape could be a pre-existing condition. Even without the proposed changes, the US’s maternal mortality rate is greater than any other developed nation. A 33 year old mother in New Jersey recently got HELLP Syndrome and died. She’ll never get to enjoy her child. Not coincidentally, the US is one of few developed nations without universal health care. Now Republicans want to take away the health care we do have.
- If you have a pre-existing condition, it’s not your fault. People don’t think to themselves, “Hey, I want to get raped. Sense of safety? Who needs that?”
- Part of civilized society is taking care of vulnerable citizens. We don’t leave them to the wolves. We’re better than that.
Or should be.
I hope to become a published author. In the meantime, I write short stories after work. I’ve been working on one story since January and gone through four revisions. My first and second drafts were awful. And, unless you have supernatural powers, yours will be too. But by the time you finish, it will be your precious little baby. Here is how to take a story from awful to precious.
- Write anything that can fill the page. It will be so bad you’ll want to burn it and stomp on the ashes. It will take all your willpower not to close the document and start something else. Again.
- Cut and trim. Go through and fix what bothered you in your first draft—like a gardener pruning hedges.
- Shake it up. Your story’s all dialogue and no action? Yeah, better fix that.
- Show it to someone else. Don’t hang over their shoulder while they read. It’s awkward.
- Final edits. Whoops, your first paragraph does have a typo.
When you finish, you will want to both hug your computer and never type another word (that story was hard!). But you will. Because that’s what writers do. We sit in front of our computers and jump whenever someone speaks to us.
I love sci-fi. I can use a phaser and I know to bring a towel when I hitchhike. These tips should help you survive the most dalek filled of sci-fi stories. Unless you’re in this one movie where they massacred everyone in the last fifteen minutes, then you’re toast. They even killed the funny robot. Who kills the funny robot?
- Never let the cyborg into your mind (duh). But there’s always one character that looks at the shiny microchip and thinks it’s a good idea.
- If something goes kaboom, ignore it. You’re explosion proof.
- If you go back in time, don’t kill yourself, parents, or grandparents. Because of the grandfather paradox, this makes things complicated for the writer and confusing for the reader. Also, you die.
- Don’t sleep or the pod people will get you.
- When the villain puts on a gas mask, don’t stare at them. Hold your breath and run.
- When an alien race comes to earth with a book called “How to Serve Man,” run away. They’re not talking philanthropy, they’re talking well-done or medium rare.
Finally, along with your towel you should bring a pocketknife, plenty of food and water (who knows what aliens eat), and a memento from home. These hitchhiking trips always last longer than you think they will.
Pictured: Me staring at Data’s head at the EMP Museum in Seattle.