Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hoot and Holler.

In watching the two recent Republican/Tea Party debates I have realized that most of the things I am trying to accomplish with my life are opposite of the "conservatives" agenda. Because Republicans are more predominantly known as the "Christian" party, and I have many Christian friends who are really positive and excited about these candidates for presidency, I have felt a little outcasted from my Christian community lately.

It has been plain to see that Red America is clear about certain things in dealing with human life: It's okay to let sick people die on the street if they have no health insurance or are immigrants, it's a good thing that Texas has killed so many people under capital punishment, and that Ron Paul is cRaZy for caring about all of the afghan locals who have been killed in the war.

When I heard these things in the last two debates my heart literally broke.

It's no wonder that I face so much animosity in Berkeley as someone who calls herself a Christian. People might look at me and think that I have no value for human life. Mostly I think people look at me strange because I seem to be the polar opposite of what they know a Christian to be.

Studying Social Work has been extremely fascinating because the more history I learn the quicker I realize that it's Christians who started this whole "alms to the poor" movement. Well actually it started with a Jewish Guy - Jesus. You may have heard of Him...

After that it seems as if there was a big pattern of Christians being the first to help the poor. Christians were the ones who were adopting the orphans, starting programs, and preaching to the locals about how God has commanded us to care for the impoverished. They led the way in immigration reforms for the Irish who ran from the potato famine, and African slaves and their children. It was Lincoln who said that it was his Christian faith which compelled him to start tax payer funded schools for the recently freed Africans.

So when was it that we made a shift, as Christians, and as a church, to focus on money, worship sets, buildings and church politics instead of focusing on reaching out to our communities - the social gospel? When did this shift teach us to celebrate the death of human being?

I don't know about your Bible but mine tells me to love. We are to show people God's love just like He has showed His love to us. And oh my heavens, I really hope God doesn't hoot and holler and the thought of me dying' on the street...



Monday, September 12, 2011

At the end of the day...

The healthcare crisis in America is largely misunderstood and misrepresented by politicians. Does anyone ever wonder why Democrats and Republicans have such a difficult time coming to a similar understanding on this issue? Why is it that when they debate, they seem to be talking in different languages? I truly believe the reason for this is because half of the politicians in America are being bought out by medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies.

Here are the two problems that US citizens are just not understanding amidst the brain washing of certain medias and politics:

1) Government spending on healthcare is out of control. The way to fix this is with some kind of "universal" insurance program.

2) It's almost impossible to achieve number one because there is too much money and too many crooks in the healthcare business, who are buying the people we elect to protect us - politicians.

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Universal Healthcare - does your stomach drop when you hear this phrase? Do you think of long lines and bad care? Well guess what, there are already lots of long lines and bad care all throughout America.. it's called an HMO.

Countries that have Universal Government Healthcare are not perfect, and America's government healthcare system is not so great either. What I am proposing is to meet somewhere in the middle, and the focus needs to be on prevention.

In reality, every single person in America right now has insurance. Even if there is no insurance card in your wallet and you are homeless and living on the street, if you show up to the ER, you will be treated, and you most likely will not pay a dime for it. Some of these visits turn into long-term stays in the hospital due to serious illness. Lets look at two examples:

First, we have Olga Sanchez (not real patients, based off of true stories) who is a 60 year old female with high blood pressure. One month ago her husband lost his job and therefore lost their medical coverage. Olga had to stop getting her blood pressure medicine because it was too expensive to pay for out of pocket. One night Olga wakes up with a terrible headache and eventually passes out. She is rushed to the emergency room where the doctors tell her family that she has had a stroke. She is rushed into surgery to stop the bleeding that is in her brain, and is in the ICU for the next month. She then moves to a neuro unit for another month until she can get on government insurance, and is then transferred to a skilled nursing facility. The treatments for the rest of her life will cost millions and millions of dollars, and even worse, the heartache of her family. I told Olga's daughters that I want to help see it that no one else has to go through this experience. Olga should have been able to get her one bottle of medicine a month for a decent price (she would have had to pay hundreds of dollars for one months supply). As a taxpayer, I would much rather pay for Olga's medicines for the rest of her life than for her millions of dollars of medical bills.

Second, George Smith, homeless man who lives on the street. Alcohol numbs the pain, and also keeps him warm at night. His drug won't keep away pneumonia though, and he presents to the ER by ambulance, intubated, because he is so sick he cannot breathe on his own anymore. One month ICU stay, we finally get him better. Millions of dollars later.. we pay for something that a simple antibiotic could have fixed.

In the Republican Tea Party debate tonight, it was made loud and clear that their stance on this issue is to let the uninsured die on the street. And if you don't believe me, I can personally say that I have known people to agree with this. Christians(!), to agree with this. It's clearly unbiblical, but religion aside, it's morally unethical and Un-American. I can't imagine any president (no matter which party) having the ability to pass a law that leaves dying uninsured people out on the street. It's just not going to happen. So we need to come up with an alternative. To me, it seems clear. It's either we practice preventative medicine in America that will require some formalized use of universal type healthcare, or we stay in the mess we are in now.

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Tonight's debate made it clear as day to the American public about how big money has control of politics, and let me tell you, insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical companies have lots of money. Do you ever find it weird that Blue Cross or Aetna have advertisements on TV? Do you realize how much an ad campaign like that would cost?! No wonder our premiums are sky rocketing and our out of pocket costs are too much to handle at times. Why is it that over 30% of the budget for a standard insurance company goes towards administration, CEO, and publicity costs? 30%! In Canada it's under 5%. Last year Blue Cross' CEO salary raised 26% to $3.5 million. This to me is shameful and should not be something we put up with.

When Michelle Bachmann accused Rick Perry of signing a mandatory law that would require all girls ages 12 and up to receive the HPV vaccine, Perry had nothing to say but apologies for it. Right there on live TV, Bachmann accused Perry of being bought out by the medical company, and now the whole world knows that Perry received his donation the same day that his administration announced this new mandate. Perry tried his best to mumble his way out... of... this... he... doesn't... know... what... to... say... ummm..., "If I am elected there will be no more Obamacare", he shouts at the crowd as they scream with cheers. I am sitting by my computer screen watching in horror, trying to figure out if anyone realizes that this is how it works in Washington. "At the end of the day", Perry is a dirty politician, there is no doubt about it.

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"Obamacare" is not perfect, but it's the first step in the right direction for America. I truly believe that with a little bit of Obamacare, and a little more of my plan, that we can cut our healthcare costs by a significant percentage. Yes, I am trying to help all people - illegal immigrant, homeless, and the lazy, but I also desire to see this country save money. I don't see any other way to fix this system.

American Citizens - please, keep an open mind when thinking about this issue. Think of your own situation... how good is your insurance? Think of others - how DO we take care of those with no health insurance, and how much does that cost? And really research Obamacare so that you won't believe the lies that some politicians try to tell you.


FACT CHECKER - in reference to the Republican Tea Party Debate.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prayer Emails

I have been sending out prayer emails lately instead of blogging. If you would like to be added to the email list, please let me know :)