Sunday, October 28, 2012

Who Will Make Insurance Companies Happy?

With the 2012 Presidential election just a little over a week away I can't help but wonder the fate of the Affordable Care Act.  I also can't help but wonder who some of the heavy hitting health insurance companies are hoping will win.

I read an interesting article today:


The article began by saying the health insurance companies are afraid of a Romney win because he has guaranteed to overturn the law--without saying how. The fear is the insurance industry would lose the potential profits to be made from the individual mandate.  Along with the fear of not knowing what a Romney administration would do with health care because there has been no plan laid out for when they pursue repeal.

However, I can only imagine the uncertainty of an Obama win. Keep in mind the health insurance industry was not happy about this new law, they found ways to work with it, but they weren't fans.

I think deep down the industry, and most of us understand

This law is not in its final form. It is a starting point.

There's no putting the genie back in the lamp. Health Care IS a topic that will be addressed and addressed again over these next several years.

For now we all must vote for who we believe will do the best with our country and then sit and wait to see what will happen. If I were to guess, I don't think the health insurance market is too eager for either candidate to win this election. Their situation is on shaky ground.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Book is Now Available on Kindle!

Big News!

As of this week, The Malformation of Health Care is now also a book! 

If you have enjoyed reading this blog so far, I encourage you to learn more by downloading the Kindle version via Amazon.

Here's the link:

Feel free to share it with anyone you think may be interested in delving more into a discussion about our current American health care system.

Thank you for your continued support!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On A Personal Note

Many of you know that there are four states (Washington, Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota) that have referendums or initiatives on the election ballot for November regarding equality. 

I usually keep this blog relatively specific to the public situations of health care. 

This year has been a real journey for me, however. 

I think I've been afraid to speak up about my sexuality and spirituality where backlash was potential, for a long time. Speaking about my health care journey at the Seattle Women's Choir Equality rallies and shows was easy because the supporters outnum
bered anyone who might disagree. 

Playing my music at GLBT affirming clubs and churches was never a problem, because everyone understood. This year particularly I've had to make some choices. I was conflicted about discussing sexuality and spirituality in my book about health care, even though both are huge parts of my life. I ultimately decided I needed to be honest and tell it all. I'm not ashamed to be a spiritual, faithful, believer in God. It's not a contradiction to love and believe. This year has been filled with baby steps that I didn't even realize I needed to take.

I thought I was "out" but I was only "safely out." Sometimes we have to speak up even when we're uncomfortable, even if we're scared--- because the only way things can be better for all people is when individuals come forward and tell the truth. Domestic Partnerships are separate and not equal in health care and many other ways. I know this, not from research, but from my own life and the lives of my friends.

These votes are not about my relationship. They are about all relationships. It's hard to know what life would be like to not have to fight for something like this. It's hard to know what it would feel like to not have groups dedicated to making sure others look at me as an abomination. It's hard to know what it would be like to meet someone, fall in love, and simply start planning a wedding with no legal barriers.

I'm less thinking about myself and more thinking about the children who come after me. Wouldn't it be nice if they never had to feel like their love was "less than." Wouldn't it be nice if everyone understood that God is love, and therefore real love, can never be "less than".

Link to my speech about Health Care and Referendum 74

Link to something else that touches my heart:

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Power of Your Words: Phonebanking

We aren't all lucky enough to find a public platform to share our personal experiences with large audiences.... however...

This week has been eye opening for me.

I've been blessed several times this past month to talk a bit about my health care journey in conjunction with the Seattle Women's Chorus during some of their performances. Due to this exposure, I've been freely given the immediate feedback of kind faces, and gentle hands placed on my arm as soft words thanked me for my courage to speak up.

I like face to face interactions. I like the power they have. I like the energy in the room.

Then last night a friend told me a story about phonebanking.

I will 100% admit I'm uncomfortable with phonebanking. Despite the good I've been told it does, I've always looked at it similarly to telemarketing---which actually caused me to disconnect my house phone awhile back.

I'm bugged when I get political phone calls on my cell phone where someone asks me if I have time to talk and then asks me one question. When I answer the question in a way they weren't hoping for, they don't continue the dialogue they simply say thank you and hang up. What is the point of that?

A little background before I begin the story:

My friend now lives in a wonderfully diverse urban setting. Her entire family, however, lives in small town rural America. From the stories she's told me, many of that family just simply hasn't been exposed to as much of the diversity that my friend has, and this has caused frustration, confusion, and even all out angry fights.

There is nothing wrong with these people. There is nothing evil about these people. There is nothing hateful about these people. It is simply a matter of exposure. When you never meet an actual person that falls into a category others tend to criticize, how would you know anything other than the critical words?

As my friend was at work on Friday she received a phone call from her mother saying she had made a decision to support a local referendum. A referendum my friend was certain would not be supported by anyone in her family. This, quite frankly, FLOORED my friend.

She immediately called her mother to find out what had changed.

Turns out, another small town community member was a part of phone bank that day and happened to be the one who called my friend's mom. He was polite and genuine and simply had a heartfelt discussion with this woman.

After the call ended, my friend's mom changed her mind on the referendum... because she took the time to really think about her vote. She realized how much power her vote had in the lives of "others" she's never even met.

While I am glad to be able to share my story with the crowds of people I've spoken to, I've really had more of a "preaching to the choir" effect. The people in the audiences do have reach to others, but mostly those listening already understand my point of view.

This one phone banking person, on the other hand,  was able to reach the unreachable.....

now that's saying something.