I wasn’t expecting this to turn up for a while longer, so it was surprising when the UPS guy turned up today with a bunch of copies of my book.
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Life in the US is often interesting, from an introspective viewpoint anyway. Yesterday, I decided that this sore throat wasn’t going to get better on its own and needed some antibiotical assistance. So, I figured it was about time to register with a doctor and take care of all that jazz. Actually finding a doctor wasn’t too bad – I just used my health insurance provider’s website to find one down the street, called and got an apointment a few hours later. But when I got there, there was more fun to be had:
Thank goodness I only had a sore throat. I hate to think how bad it would be if I actually had anything particularly wrong with me. It’s not that any one thing was annoying/excessive, it’s just the overall experience that’s typically overblown and rediculous. Anyway, they’ve even more than in the UK, convinced me to avoid seeing a doctor here again unless I really feel like hours of fun and enjoyment just to deal with a trivial sore throat
Irony of the day: being asked a bunch of times for your “social security” number and thinking to yourself “that’s right, social security, because the government here really provide for the people”. I like a lot of things about the US, but nobody is ever going to sell me on how healthcare works here…and now I’ve briefly experienced the whole broken mess for myself. People here do know the healthcare system is broken, it’s just that nobody can agree on how to fix it (read: rightwing types unwilling to pay higher taxes for universal healthcare benefits to wider society).
The number one reason I’m pissed off? Because of the disparity. I get good coverage through my employer, but so many millions of people don’t get anything – I hate to think about their experiences. Health should not be about who you work for, what job you do or how much you can afford to pay…not in an advanced society, anyway. I wish people who vote for fucktarded losers would finally realize this. But they won’t, because it’s not in keeping with unrealistic, unmaintainable tax cuts and general cuts to federal programs in order to spend more on fighting daddy’s war…
It’s interesting (to a limited subset of the populous) how my musical tastes have changed over the last few years. For example, a few years ago, you wouldn’t have seen me in a Borders picking up miscellaneous items from the Coldplay backcatlogue, or listening to Radiohead. But there you go – I guess we all have grow to up, eventually
So, I’m in Borders earlier listening to random stuff, figuring what the impulse purchase du jour is going to be, and decide to go grab a coffee. And, of course, there’s a complete waste of space in the line. Seriously, this guy had “allegedly” been given a stale carrot cake last Thursday and turned up (sans receipt, stinking of booze) to demand they give him items equivalent in value to said item. When they only offered him a free $2.something cake, instead of the $3.whatever he’d apparently spent, he went apeshit. People are great, aren’t they? I mean, seriously, FFS.
The BBC have an article up on Bush’s penultimate budget (he can’t piss away money so easily after next year). No real surprises so far – I’ll do a little more digging into the finer points for my interest – in that he’s squandering billions on pointless wars while screwing the young and the old out of social medical welfare programs (Medicare) as a means to cut spending in order to avoid future tax hikes.
This is a followup to his laughable provision in his State of the Union speech to not tax those earning under $15,000 (those who already can’t afford healthcare and who won’t be able to) so that they can somehow find money to spend on getting healthcare when, in reality, they need the money for more immediate and essential provisions – healthcare is a luxary to many on very low incomes, one that we should provide as part of a fair and balanced democratic and advanced society.
But Bush isn’t a complete fucktard. No, he’s able to see that the books (he doesn’t read books, but let’s just assume he does for a second) don’t balance in the longer term. So he wants to cut federal welfare program spending in order to avoid tax hikes. Unwilling to allow sanity and reason to interfere (those tending to suggest that one less Iraq war could lead to universal healthcare) – the only solution here is an increase in taxation to provide for the needy – he’ll happily squander billions on fighting his daddy’s war, while ignoring the millions of his own citizens who face the more tragic immediate danger of poor education, disproportionate medical treatment for rich and poor and a widening gap in social classes within US society. But then, only sane people see these real problems.