Monday, July 9, 2012

Passing Thoughts

[Image from here.]

You'd think, as we read of astronomic and repetitive contributions to Rs by a small cadré of very wealthy men (in amounts that make George Soros, over whom the RWS™ were apoplectic, look like a piker*), that normal people would wonder what it is those guys think they're getting for their money. Wonder how likely it is that they have the good of regular people in mind. Wonder what it means for democracy if it's in the hands of the very few and the very rich. I'm pretty sure they're not in it to tighten controls on emissions, hire more teachers, or for rules to prevent banks from ruining us again. Yes, you'd think people would wonder...

But, it appears, you'd be wrong.

Meanwhile, I'm pondering a conversation I had the other day with a friend who happens to be a cop. He's concerned about health care because, in his forties, he's considering retiring and finding a new job. About to have an operation, he's also worried about future insurance coverage. I mentioned that, absent the ACA, he might have had trouble getting insurance again in a new job. When I referred to what I assumed was known to everyone, namely that the ACA is based on Romney's plan in Massachusetts, which, in turn, came from a powerful conservative think-tank, he said he hadn't heard that.

Being one, and hanging with people who are immersed in political news, it surprised me, and I've been wondering what it means. Is it a sign of how ill-informed people are; does it mean, like so many voters, he gets his news from a dishonest non-source like Fox? Or is it just that normal people aren't paying attention yet. If not, will they at some point?

What I'm thinking is maybe the situation isn't as irreversibly dire as it appears. A guy like that -- he's thoughtful, kind, a family guy, honest, does what's right, a good neighbor -- might indicate there's still an opportunity for Obama and Ds to educate people. In a sensible world, having truth on their side ought to be an advantage. So maybe it's just a matter of getting the message out, wider and deeper, more clear and concise.

Which comes back to rumination #1. That's what those plutocrats have in mind: drowning out the truth, blanketing the airwaves with misinformation so that guys like that cop will never know what's going on. Well, that, and buying economic, environmental, education, and energy policy for this and generations to come.

Based on history, there's not a lot of reason to believe that Ds are capable of coming anywhere near the unified and simplistic messaging behind which every R falls in, word for word, bumper-sticker ready. I've seen studies that show when people are actually informed what's in the ACA, for example, they like it. But the explanations take more breath than "socialism" and "government takeover;" and, whereas unlike those cute phrases those explanations happen to be true, they aren't nearly as catchy. Hard to get the message out from under the cash in which The Rominee will be rolling.

But it's not just about health care reform: it's about pretty much everything the right-wing scream machine and Mitt Romney say about President Obama -- he's a socialist Nazi Muslim America-hating anti-capitalist plant who's making things worse, sent to destroy us all. Even their strange-named party chairman has bought in; has been bought, paid to descend to the depths along with the worst of them. Can there be any doubt about today's Republican party and its mendacity?

Meanwhile, lingering above it all, there's the age-old question: if the truth falls in a forest, will a teabagger hear?
*Let's not forget that, unlike The Rominee's billionaire string-pullers, George Soros was giving his support to ideas that went against his singular interests. He was for regulations, for environmental protection, for universal health care. Stuff that would take money out of his pocket. For the -- what's it called again? -- oh yeah. The public good.


  1. Umm Sid, I happen to know a few Cops myself, comes with ownin a Pawn Shop...
    And no offense intended, but at least down South, these aren't the kids who were in the Science/Debate club...
    They were the kids beating up the kids in the Science/Debate club...
    And Not a Trick Question/Extending the Hand of Non-Partisan-ship(without the Stink Finger)
    How do you add 30+million Peoples to the Health Care Market(I mean in actually being able to see a Dr. in an Office, not the ER)with the same/or less # of Physicians..
    I mean I'm only 50, and I'm already 1/2 retired..
    I sign so many charts even my calluses have calluses...
    So where do these Doctors come from?
    Mexico? already here, Iran? ditto,
    Nurse Practitioners? yeah, right...


  2. A well-used talking point, Frank. I guess the answer is to let 'em die. Or just let 'em keep piling up in ERs. Or keep ignoring the problem.

    Or, maybe, to keep looking for efficiencies (yes, including nurse practitioners, of which my former clinic -- the one asked to testify before Congress about how it's been so successful in providing high-quality economical care -- has several), preventative measures, and how about this one: increasing the number of docs.

    I guess that'd mean increasing the number of slots in med schools. But since that might require spending money, maybe not.

  3. Speakin of spendin money, saw MY Urologist the other day, She's a pistol..
    That's right SHE, and you know how hard it is to find a SHE-Urologist?
    And she's "Out of Network" so I just paid with cash, like she was a hooker..
    I WISH I could find a hooker who does what she does...
    And my PSA's fine, just gettin the annual Oil/Lube/Massage
    And don't want the HIPPA Police knockin down my door, but she treats a certain ELTON foreign JOHN celebrity ELTON who JOHN makes the A-T-L home..
    and just knowin her finger's examined Captain Fantastics Prostrate.. makes ya think..
    it's like that whole "7 degrees of separation" thang, but more disturbing


  4. 1. Most "regular" people are NOT well informed about political issues.
    2. Therefore commercials, TV,print, web, radio etc. does impact what people believe.
    3. Likewise, this pervasive Lack of Information pertains to health; does the average American know:
    a. What type of food contains protein, fat, carbohydrates? And how much of each should we eat daily?
    b. Why an antibiotic isn't appropriate for a viral illness?
    c. How you get MRSA? How do you prevent it?
    d. How you get HIV? How do you prevent it?
    e. What is a good way to control hypertension? diabetes? asthma?
    f. What is the number one preventable cause of death in the US?
    g. Where can you get help with smoking cessation?

    You get the idea--the ill-informed average person relies on outside sources for assistance with many aspects of life including their health. Whether you (Frank) agree, nurse practitioners can effectively provide that type of assistance in many settings.
    The lack of access to care for the huge number of uninsured people (til the ACA) resulted in chronic problems (like HTN, DM,COPD,asthma) getting worse and causing more hospitalization, more trips to the ER and ever escalating health costs.
    Knowledge, in politics as well as health, is power. The more people know, the better decision-making ability they (should) have.
    Considering the dwindling numbers of physicians willing to go into family practice, let us hope that enough "mid-level" providers are available to step up, provide education, manage care so that the medical paradigm can finally shift from treating disease to prevention.

    DD, Nurse Practitioner


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