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Universal Healthcare – why it’s like giving your kids candy

This has been bothering me more and more. I’ve been silent long enough. I just sent the following letter to both Senators Casey and Spector of Pennsylvania:

Senator,

Recognizing that the current system in place to provide healthcare to Americans is flawed is no reason to adopt a system that promises to be even worse.

I keep hearing three constituencies being blamed for our current, flawed system; 1.) Trial attorneys, bent on ‘unfair’ lucrative lawsuits; 2.) Pharmaceudical Companies, raking in huge ‘unfair’ profits, and 3.) Healthcare providers, who routinely and ‘unfairly’ turn away needy patients, and employees who lose their jobs or change jobs wind up with huge COBRA payments if they want to keep their insurance.

The smokescreens that so-called consumer lobbyists are throwing up even now to confuse the issues cannot hide a few simple facts:

1. Today’s lack of portability in healthcare is the fault of the government, not the healthcare providers, any more than it is the fault of employers; remove that barrier by shifting the tax-benefit from companies to private individuals, and let the health insurance companies compete for our business as consumers, just as auto, homeowners and renters insurance companies do.

2. Patients are constantly barraged by patent-holding mega-pharmaceudical corporations to buy the next wonder drug, and the costs are exhorbitant. a.) The FDA is already in place to regulate what they can and can’t say and do. Let them do their job, and stop interfering by legislating more and more bureaucracy, and b.) the costs will go down if the pharmaceudical companies know that consumers will be paying out of pocket instead of getting ‘entitlements’ from the government. Costs ALWAYS go down when companies have to compete. The current system under which regulations require insurance companies to pay specific costs to doctors for specific medications undercuts the natural and good market order under which prices would settle to something reasonable.

3. Legislators are fond of blaming Health Insurance companies, when their own branch of government has left the industry little room to do much else than they are doing. DE-regulation of the industry, as I mentioned above, is the answer – not MORE stifling regulation.Supporting this bill is a sure way to remove yourself from public office; the general populace may not be paying attention now, but once this already bad environment gets worse, you can believe you will be rightly blamed for pandering to the polyanna expectations of a willfully ignorant constituency.

I have supported you in the past. If you support this ridiculous bill, I will be unable to do so in the future. I pray you will continue to earn my support.

Sincerely,

Tim Blosser

NOTE: We do NOT live in a democracy.  There’s a good reason for that.  The intelligent people who founded our great nation knew there is real danger in governments which pander to popular opinion, which is frequently ignorant of the facts and is capricious.

The job of our elected representatives is not to stop the car and buy the kids candy every time they whine.  The job is to make informed decisions in this greatest legislative institution of our time, and if that means informing constituents why ‘public opinion polls’ are wrong, I expect my representative to do the honorable thing and make a wise decision on our behalf – despite ourselves, if necessary.

Parents understand this.  Young, single knuckleheads frequently do not.  Why?  They’re too busy whining for more candy.

Posted in News and politics | 1 Comment

A time to boast

There is a time for everything, said Solomon (wisest man of his time… and probably ours as well).

And this is a time for boasting.  Let me tell you a little bit about my wife.  While I was away from home, en route to my current military deployment, she too was preparing.  She, however, was enduring the acute pain of endometriosis, traveling to see me one last time before my departure, preparing for the most invasive surgery one can imagine, maintaining the household, finances and property chores alone, as well as fighting ‘empty nest’ depression (yes, the kids are gone too, for the most part).

Since she knew she wouldn’t be in any condition to do very much at all immediately following her surgery, she began writing letters to me ahead of time, sealing and packaging them together to send, with clear instructions to open just one each morning.  She then rallied friends on the home front and arranged a schedule whereby she could continue her regular routine of sending me care packages using friends as surrogates.

The letters were sometimes cards, sometimes brief notes, and other times excerpts from one of two books she’s writing (oh, yes, in case she had nothing else to do, she decided to simultaneously take on two writing projects).  More often than not, though, the letters were hand-written, thoughtful, heart-baring letters that hearkened back to another era; an era where no telephone or email existed, and where the art of communication via the written word was at its height.

This woman, who should by all rights be demanding my return from this war to care for her during her convalescence, instead thought only of providing for my well-being.  I, therefore, am compelled to boast about this amazing woman’s perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials she is enduring.

2 Thessalonians 1:4
Therefore…, we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

Te dua, bukarosha.

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Away from home… once again

Once again, courtesy of the United States government, I am on an all-expense-paid year-long holiday to exciting destinations.  The only catch, I have to wear the clothing I’m issued, eat the food I’m issued, and live in the tin can I’m issued.  I can’t take my family with me (nor would I necessarily want them to experience what I am experiencing), although from time to time I catch myself saying something like, "I wish Shelley and the kids could see this…."

Many things are unlike the last deployment.  While the changes ensure a lack of boredom, it would be a test of my veracity and a question as to my integrity to suggest the differences are positive.  While I have placed my foot in the political arena, I have never experienced politics to the degree of gusto with which it is wielded here, at many levels.

It is safe to suggest that nothing short of a land-grab is afoot which would make the US Westward Expansion in the early to mid 1800’s appear as nothing more than a picnic.  I’m speaking figuratively, in case you think I’m making some allusion to actual real estate acquisition here, although when it comes to work-space, on a somewhat smaller scale than full-scale invasion, the demarcations couldn’t be more clear than if the Alphas marked them with their own urine, in the manner of the canine.

Missing my wife and kids (all four) aside, the hours are long, but productive, and all-in-all, I feel as though I am contributing to a greater good; a sentiment that seems at odds with that of the majority of my compatriots within our little unit.

Since the Air Force mishandled three of my bags on the way here, I am sans camera, among other items, so I am alas unable to share with you vistas of Mesopotamia, and Ur.  You will have to be patient until I can acquire a suitable replacement.  I’m sure I will make up for lost time then.

Until that time, stay tuned (as they say in radio) for more updates.

A preview of coming attractions:

Encounter with a camel spider
The joys of the combat shower experience
TCN’s and the decline of the responsible soldier

… and more!

Until then, ma’a sala’ama (peace, out)



Posted in Travel | 2 Comments

The Potter’s hand

On my last deployment, my cousin sent me the following poem, which I pinned to the wall above my desk and read every morning for the rest of that year.
 
As I was packing up and getting ready to leave on this deployment, I found it in a pile of papers and salvaged it to once again adorn my workspace.  Here it is for your benefit:
 

Whom God Chooses

by Henry F. Lyte

When God wants to drill a man,
and thrill a man, and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man,
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man,
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch his methods; watch His ways.
How He ruthlessly perfects
When He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay
Which only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying,
And He lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When His good He undertakes.
How He uses whom he chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
But every act induces him
To try His splendor out –
God knows what He’s about!

Go then, earthly fame and treasure!
Come disaster, scorn, and pain!
In Thy service, pain is pleasure;
With Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, Abba, Father;
I have stayed my heart on Thee.
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

 

Posted in Health and wellness | 1 Comment

The bottom line – how you live your life

I’m fascinated by how easily opinions of ethics students are swayed with the reading of each new assigned research paper.  It makes me wonder how many of us have actually taken the time to ask ourselves not only what we believe, but why.

I enjoy asking people what they believe about, oh, say – ethical relativism versus a universal standard of right and wrong, and then ask for reasons.  The response I usually get is a lot of hemming and hawing, and very little in the way of a coherent thought.

As they stammer around, I begin wondering whether they’ve gone through the exercise of reconciling their new-found belief with its practical application.  We all (with few exceptions) live within a society, and within that society, within any number of cultural groups (work, religious community, family, social).  I’m struck by how much of our activity is the result of our understanding of expectations within those groups rather than any deeply held convictions.  Within those groups we act certain ways – sometimes (maybe often) – dramatically differently than we do in other groups.

It’s one matter to gush about the latest study results which suggest this or that ‘truth’ about ethics.  It’s quite another to live consistently.  Do you know what you believe?  Do you know why?  How well can you ‘defend’ your point of view – or do you prefer to believe that the professionals (clergy, psychiatrists, anthropologists, sociologists) will come to the rescue, and save you the trouble.

More importantly, how consistently do you live your life with the theories you espouse?  In other words, how well do you practice what you preach?  It’s far easier to blow with the latest breeze than to set a deliberate course and commit to it.  The world is full of followers, and always in need of leaders (good ones, that is).

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Beachside wedding

Here’s the update:

We were married at Myrtle Beach – literally on the beach – with both her kids and mine present (see attached photo).  The minister was Lamar Boulware, a good Southern Baptist with a real soft spot.

We enjoyed a week there with our kids, combining holiday with honeymoon (more holiday than honeymoon).

Because of my pending military deployment, S will stay in Maine until my return, although she will be coming down to Pennsylvania as frequently as our finances permit until my departure.

We know that the challenges we face are unusual, what with the military deployment, our shared custody arrangements, and the 10 hour distance between us. But we also know that these are minor inconveniences in the big picture.

We are both content.

Thank you all for your wishes and regards.

Blessings to all,

Tim

  

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