Jun. 18th, 2017

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*cries* I just want to stop coughing, my everything hurts, and I want to stop coughing *cries more*

whyyyyyyy did they lieeeee to meeeee about having health insurance 

*cries more*

Real talk though, I just went to my posh-ass high school reunion at my elite fancy private school and the four of us there from class of 97– so, not young alums– all sat around and swapped horror stories of being unable to access medical care for ourselves or our children, and we are priveleged folks for the most part– the one woman was like, “This is disgusting and I hate that I resorted to it, but I eventually got the doctor who didn’t take my insurance to look at my sick baby by crying and telling him I was Dr [X]’s daughter because it was the truth and I was desperate.” (Her father, Dr. X, by the way, is a health insurance plan’s CEO. The doctor in question had been his golfing buddy for years.) Another woman hit the $10k deductible for her health insurance three years running, and was forced to declare medical bankruptcy (at the time, her annual salary was $40k and she was supporting a part-time-working wife and had a baby during that middle year). We’re upper-middle-class, professional, well-educated well-connected white ladies, and we’re desperate and terrified about the ACA, to the point of tears all around at one point. And this is how we spent our high school reunion.

(You bet your ass I sent a postcard about it to Gillibrand, who went here too. [they do the 7′s and 2′s together; hers is a ‘4 so we’d never be in the same group as her, and i doubt she has time to attend, but surely she’d look at a postcard from the school bookstore??])

It’s shocking and horrifying and at least, I guess, I’m glad it’s not just me.
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The entire game has changed so much so fast, though. The whole idea of HMOs was new when I was a kid. The idea of deductibles– that’s since I became an adult. The idea of needing a referral to see a specialist– I remember when that idea was first introduced. Doctors being out of network, and not accepting all insurances– I mean, I’m sure that sort of thing has existed a long time, but the idea of certain plans just not having any doctors on them, which I’ve started to hear about, is new. 

The world of health insurance is changing so rapidly that anything you learned would be completely outmoded within the decade. We’re living in an era of a lot of upheaval, that’s for damn sure. 

 tl;dr there are no fucking basics, it’s all basically the Purge. How is it possibly ethical for insurance companies to offer plans with $10,000 deductibles? How is it even ethical to put a cap on people’s lifetime medical expenditures? Why is medical care just fucking unattainable for anyone but the lucky? How can we call ourselves a civilization? It’s the fucking Dark Ages and I’m trying to keep myself alive with borrowed fucking inhalers containing a substance not available in generic even though it’s the same fucking inhaler I took when I was first diagnosed with asthma in nineteen fucking eighty-four. 

How can we call ourselves a civilization? What the fuck. What the fuck? I’m so upset about this, I can’t even tell you.
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19 Real Life WWI Heroes Who’ll Inspire You To Find Your Inner Wonder Woman
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Oh yeah. I was trying to explain it, and it’s kind of hard– it’s not like it’s made me blasé, it’s just that I’m both better-equipped to appreciate things, and less wowed by them, because whatever it is, I probably encountered at least a mention of it, or something related. Like having had all-school Passover seders; now I just know what one is and how to act and there’s no confusion or mystery. We never had cocktail parties, of course, we were a high school, but we had tons of receptions and such, and I learned how to stand around in an Appropriate dress with a glass in my hand and a little napkin and how to make conversation and overcome my natural awkwardness enough to at least vaguely understand how things are supposed to work. I know what the waiter can and cannot be expected to do, I know what to do with my napkin, I know which fork I’m probably meant to use in general, and whose glass is whose, and how to pass a pitcher with the handle positioned for the recipient. A lot of it was just being surrounded by people bred to that sort of shit, though– tons of that was taught by peer-pressure or absent-minded correction from faculty. 

It’s privilege, is what it is– that’s what privilege is, it’s not like they gave me a ton of stuff or actively equipped me with overt tools and things, it’s just that they steeped me in an atmosphere such that I’d seen all that before and won’t ever be intimidated by someone’s Fancy Manners or whatever. I’ve known More Important People than you, you’re not that special, Mister Whoever You Are. 

That’s expressly what fancy private schools are for. You make connections, you learn how to hobnob, you become unintimidateable. 

It was academic too– the group of us bonded over getting to college and being presented with advanced-level course reading lists consisting entirely of books we’d already read and done papers on. But a lot of it was social. You get inoculated against being intimidated by a lot of the stuff that intimidates people, because you’ve seen it before from a perspective where it wasn’t being used against you, so you’re not concerned by it.

Yeah. It’s among the poshest, I think. It’s funny, though, because it’s gone beyond posh into so-fancy-we-can-be-casual-about-it. There’s no uniform and only the most rudimentary dress code (the students vote on it) and all kinds of informality, and the more I think about it, the more it’s an ostentatious display of overwhelming fanciness. We’re so fancy we don’t have to look fancy. You know? 

No, it’s not surprising. The middle class has eroded a lot since we were kids, and one of those things is being able to take your kid to the doctor when she’s sick, and know that if you get in an accident, you won’t lose everything.

My one friend said that since she has a high-deductible plan and has to pay everything in cash until the deductible kicks in, she notices more stuff on the bill. One thing? The pediatrician’s office charges fifty dollars more on weekends. So she’s made her daughter, her beloved 2-year-old precious gem, the main source of joy in her life, wait out an ear infection or a fever or similar until Monday, because it’s an extra fifty dollars they can’t afford. It’s agony for her to do it, every time, but it’s happened more than once, because fifty dollars is a lot of money. 

This is a civilized nation. This is 2017. 

This same friend, her wife started a business, and it’s really taken off, she’s doing really well at it. It’s been brutally hard, but they didn’t lose it to the medical bankruptcy, thank heavens. They didn’t lose it to nursing the wife’s mother through her terminal lung cancer, or taking in two severely disturbed foster children, or having their own baby. It’s been great, and it’s doing even better.

But she really ought to expand, and my friend would love to, in a couple of years, quit her regular job, and work for her wife, so they can drastically expand the business. 

They won’t be able to do that if the ACA is destroyed. 

My day job, the camera store, is such a small business that the moment the exchanges were available through the ACA, they stopped offering health insurance plans of their own. The plans had become so expensive, and didn’t offer the employees very good options (that was the plan where i couldn’t have asthma medication because only generic prescriptions were covered and there are currently no generic inhaled steroids on the market because of some chicanery circa 2013 with getting a patent renewed for no reason)– so they said, we’re not buying these anymore, and we’ll give you all raises to cover the costs of buying your own plans on the market. 

So we all did. There aren’t any plans through the company anymore.

How many other small companies do you think did this? And how many people quit their jobs and started businesses or freelancing gigs, and now can’t go back to what they were doing before? 

Nobody’s done a study on it because nobody wants to know, but this is going to just absolutely torch a lot of people’s lives, and probably destroy the economy, and I can’t believe anyone seriously wants this to happen.

But apparently, Republicans do.
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p.s. i’m sitting in a pile of diatomaceous earth being flea bait at my parents’ house while the washing machine runs on its third load of the day, because there was a flea infestation suddenly in their vacant house while they were traveling, and i’m determined not to leave it for my poor folks to clean up when they get home– if for no other reason than I know the next day after their arrival is chicken slaughter and they have to watch Farmbaby, and I can’t imagine trying to clean this place with Farmbaby “helping”. 

I’m going to make a goddamn mess when I stand up, though. But, for the record, no fleas have touched me since I got here, so my crazed vacuuming yesterday must have paid off somehow. 
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I saw this going around and saved it to watch later for a couple of reasons, but the main one is that I knew this ship, it belongs to the Norwegian Naval Academy, and my late uncle used to teach there, and sometimes went out on this ship for various reasons. 

Sure enough, it’s the Staatsrad Lehmkuhl all right, and it turns out one of the professors at the academy has a particular interest in sea shanties, and studied their uses and such.

I was also wondering what song this is, and it turns out it’s the old classic South Australia. A clearer recording with lyrics is here, for the curious. 

Most surviving shanties are in English. It’s likely the Nordic peoples including Vikings would have had their own, but they have not been preserved, so it seems the shanties the Lehmkuhl uses are all in English.

I also wanted to see the harbor, which I’ve visited– Bergen has a stunningly beautiful and very ancient deep-water harbor that’s usable year-round (there’s another video of this same ship and same shanty that’s dated December 2015), and it’s lovely to see it.
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A post shared by Bridget Kelly (@bomberqueen17) on Jun 18, 2017 at 2:01pm PDT

Went out on a little visit to the waterfall on the farm’s back forty. (at Laughing Earth)



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