Friday, October 17, 2008

Checks and Balances

Problem? Fury over the McCain "Health Care Plan." When Cindy McCain goes to a walk-in clinic, increased use of which is one of McCain's "solution" to the problem, for her pelvic exam, I'll be more inclined to listen. Not that I would agree, but I might listen a little bit. Or not.

Solution? Soothing sock knitting. Here's another Christmas recipient pair, from the Bloody Mary pattern (free!) and made in the discontinued KnitPicks Sock Garden, color Pansy.

When I left my State job a few years ago, I had to take COBRA benefits for a few months, and paid $450 a month for them. That's the monthly payment cost for a single person on a reasonable HMO, not one of the "Cadillac" health plans McCain says are the ones that cost more than $5,000 a year PER FAMILY. I worked in health care (first for the State, then as a hospital administrator) and have never, in my life, heard of a health plan that cost $5,000 per year per family. Triple that and I might listen. For a minute.

Solution? Spinning! Some of the brown fleece that was such a wonderful gift from my parents' neighbor, Ann. My spinning is getting more and more even and becoming a more and more calming experience. I see more of it in the near future, despite knitting deadlines. Besides, my right hand is cramping up from all my working for The Man.

Then I would think of my Dud and wonder what would happen if he lost his job. He's a paraplegic. His medical costs are through the roof. I absolutley could not imagine health plans "competing" to cover him, or even covering him at all. So I guess I wouldn't listen, unless the McCain's started getting their check-ups at walk-in clinics (probably wouldn't have caught that melanoma so quickly), raise the tax credit they suggest to three times the amount, and demostrate how someone in a wheelchair can get insurance for $5,000 a year. Or any insurance at all.


I splurged. Meet my new yarn for the next few months. Color group 1, extra small. I had to consult one of my friends with exceptional taste to reassure me about my choice... I don't tend toward pastels, but these are rich, multi-faced colors, even though they are lighter than my usual choices. I think it will make for more adventurous knitting.

Hope all of you are coping, too.


Emily said...

I'm sharing Color Group 4 with two friends (I'm planning a little grey cardi with the cashmere), but am so tempted by that Daffodil Aran Silky Merino in the color group you chose! That probably would have been my pick if I were up for an entire sweater sub on my own. I'll be excited to see what you do with it.

I'm glad we're careening toward the final days of this election. Everyone I know is near to losing their minds. I'm trying to limit my media intake and hoping that McCain continues to trip over his own scumminess.

andie said...

that was one of the more articulate and entertaining (in a worrisome sort of way...) anti-mccain health rants i've read this week. way to be awesome, ms. weaver
-a fan of your knits who you don't actually know :) (yay, my almost done tempest!)

andrea said...

I hear you on the health care. When I didn't have benefits in between graduating undergrad school and getting a non-waiting tables job (my benefits with my parents expired when I graduated, which I think is pretty common) I was actually uninsured. And scared out of my mind. I understand how scary it is for people to be uninsured and have something happen, from bicycle accidents to the flu. Yikes!

Anyways, McCain. Ppppffffftttt.

Love the spinning you've been doing. I splurged and joined the Sundara Seasons collection. Can't wait to see what you get in the sweater collection! That one was a bit too rich for my blood currently.

craftivore said...

I think McCain is seriously out of touch with what a middle income family budget is like. We buy our own health insurance, which is more or less non existant in benefits and are constantly terrified of having to go to the doctor, and everyone in our family is healthy. The healthcare system in the US is defunct. I think Cindy may be a cyborg so she probably doesn't need a pelvic exam.

I agree that more knitting is the answer to these times.

Rose said...

Great knitting, that's how I came across your blog. I am originally from one of the european social welfare states where just about everything is nationalized, including healthcare. Oh boy, this is a horrible system, worse than an HMO. Trust me, I know, my mom and a sister still live in Europe: Patient needs transfer from GP to see a specialist (i.e. internist), and is usually transferred to a hospital where patient is seen by whoever doctor works the shift on that particular day. This doctor more often than not says to come back in 3 weeks (and thinks to himself "let some other doctor deal with your problems"). You want better treatment? Easy, just buy medical insurance to be treated as a first class patient, and spend extra out of pocket money every time you see a doctor and every time you have a hospital stay. Well, financially, we are back where we are in the States. And I tell you, having lived under both systems, I much prefer the American one. Expensive, sure, but sooo much better than socialized medicine. I most certainly do NOT trust Obama's promises. Any extra cost to enterprises due to mandatory medical insurance will be passed on to the consumer, so you are paying more for most or all goods and services ... and you end up with a crummy insurance plan. I also don't like his spread the wealth intentions. I do not sit on my fat behind and rob other people of the fruit of their labor. Currently, UT Austin charges tuition of about $9,000 per year for engineering, nursing, and business. Housing in a dorm is another 8,000 bucks. Add books and clothing and you arrive easily at $70,000 after 4 years. I am not spending that kind of money just so Obama punishes me by taking away half of my income ... an income I would not have, had I not first invested 70,000 bucks out of my very own bucket (many times in form of loans that charge interest). Furthermore, based on the results of his and Ayers Chicago Annenberg Challenge with its concentration on afrocentric curriculum with dubious rights of passage rituals, I don't hold out much hope for an improved education system. Oh ja, and the 700 billion financial crisis, that we taxpayers have to foot, wss caused mostly by the 1992 CRA and by Acorn's demand of Ninja loans; and of course by Fannie CEOs Johnson and Franklin Raines, who is affectionately known as the 90 million dollar man (not a bad haul for barely 5 years as CEO). Fans of socialism/communism/maoism/black liberation theology etc may feel a thrill up their leg by Obama. I am not one of those. So, even though Obama does not thrill me, your knitting does.

knotology said...

Tell me about it. My company's on a High-Deductible plan to keep costs down and even THAT family plan, which has a $5700 deductible each year, costs $12,000 a year in premiums! When I heard his $5,000 number I thought it was a joke! If his plan went through, that's how much the gov't would be collecting in TAXES on our plan for some of our employees . . . how does that make any sense!?!?

BTW, it took me supreme willpower not to sign up for that Sundara club -- but I really want to get into one of her sock clubs, so I talked myself out of breaking my yarn diet with the promise of buying one of the future sock yarn ones!! Can't wait to see what you come up with for her gorgeuos yarns.

Mr. Snuffles said...

hey- it's sara shepard-- i've checked out your site occasionally for great knitting stuff and just had to weigh in on the health stuff. just so you know, if your dad lost his job, it would be doubtful if he WOULD get insurance coverage-- my husband, who's also a paraplegic, has this same problem. Because he's self-employed, he has to be on Medicare...and he's 31...and Medicare sucks and it STILL costs him quite a bit of money every month. The whole thing is disgusting, and McCain's plan seems blind to such a wide range of people. Obama actually has a health proposal where people with disabilities cannot be turned away from insurers. Hopefully it would stick...

Anyway, I'm totally with you!