Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Sunday Thoughts"

I can't ever recall me being claustrophobic.

Growing up in an area filled with literally hundreds of caves and caverns and water tunnels, I crawled thru my share of them. Some were so narrow that I could barely squeeze my sholders thru or not turn around, but I never had any real fear of being in any sort of tight places.

Until today. And it wasn't in some dark hole in the ground, but rather in an open, lighted area.

It was when I stopped by a local gas/grocery Quick Mart to purchase a few items while coming back from the flea market. I got in line with my newspaper, and "was" going to buy myself some breakfast and a couple other items, but everyone was so crowded up in an ununiformed line with only one cashier attempting to take care of everyone, plus the store has all of these racks right in the area containing gifts, and candy, etc.

The more I stood there, the more uncomfortable I became, like I was being closed into some sort of box, that when my turn finally came to be waited on I just paid for my newspaper and got the hell out of there back into the open space outside the store.

Then I went out of my way to another store just to finish my shopping. Such places are a real problem here, especially ever since the corner Quick-Stop closed some months ago. Locals have to either drive about a mile and a half out of town to such a place, or 4 miles to the next town to that afore-mentioned place, or yet another mile or two to the interstate area where there are numberous such stores. For a convenient "quick-stop store, the one I left certainly is not.

And it's not the employees fault, but those who own and operate such places. They pay their employees little of nothing to start out with, and many times hire unskilled teenagers, idiots or people who just don't care whether they have a job of not as cashiers. Their only advantage is that many of them actually do offer health insurance after you've worked there from 3 months to a year in a group plan that makes it affordable. I suppose that incentive is there to keep what good employees they can. I know personally that it meant a lot to me when I worked at such places. Where I am now, I make good money per hour; probably as much or more than others in the area doing twice as difficult labor (due to the length of time I've been employed at my current position), but there's NO health insurance. Working at the Quick-Stops I made less, but did have the insurance which made up the difference in salary, and it's the one thing I miss not having the most since I left them.

I've checked on health insurance (just for myself, mind you) and it was over $400. per month. When I had the group coverage at the Quick-stop, it was about 1/4th. that amount, and still only 2/3rd.s of that for coverage if I'd included my wife in on the plan.

We thought a president was going to finally have a National Health Care program in this country some years back. It was a promise Bill Clinton made (and never came thru on). But we can't blame Bill. He found that it was just too expensive an idea for this country to support. And, if you'll notice, no republican president has ever offered it to us, either.

The only problem with a National Health Plan is that your care and facilities are chosen for you, but anything is still better than nothing, and you could still have the option of a private health plan. And I think the government could probably still swing such an idea if they automatically took, say, $25. out of everyone's weekly paycheck.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Unfortunately, that'll never happen. There's too much money being paid to the goverment by those in the AMA for that to come into existence. Physicians want to claim their own rates of pay. They're afraid of malpractice suits. And, that's jsut a couple of the main reasons we have so many doctors from foreign countries which do have a National Health Plan, moving to this country, because they don't want to be told what they can charge for treatments.

The best policy to have if you don't have health insurance? Well, like me, it's probably just work until you fall over dead.


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