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Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Monday, July 23, 2007

Preventive Medicine

I'm well, getting rest and packing and readying myself for the road which comes in a few short weeks. I'm looking forward to getting back out. Nothing else is happening with the exception of me possibly hooking up on a few short term assignments to gain a little loot before I hit the roadways. I haven't come close to piecing together a thousand words like I did last week. Oh well. I have gotten a chance to sit in the quiet with the TV off and unplugged from the internet and that's always been a good thing but after watching TV last night, I realized one certain thing about myself:

I am in my late thirties and am diabetic, and this has become both a personal and political issue.

For everyone.

Now I do not 'suffer' from this disease because I do everything in my power to function well, nuff said. I took the time last night to watch the YouTube/CNN you askem' Democratic debates and I tell you, I was overwhelmed after watching and taking notes during the replay later that night.

33 percent of all Medicaid, medicare and disability claims in the last decade and a half were diabetes related. After further research I found that the number is higher, Anderson Cooper, a few of the candidates and a whole lot of the civilian question askers confirmed that 33% statistic and that scared the shit out of me.

There were more questions asked of these candidates about health care than war, partisan politics or the economy. I've always wanted to say this since I arrived here, "Houston, we've got a problem." One of the reasons that I wanted to bail from Big Oil was the fact that they did not offer health benefits as a part of my package, and with the great state of Texas as a right to work state, and no one has to offer healthcare and that scares me because purchasing the proper coverages has been some of the most difficult murk I've waded through since being down here. I really didn't have that problem in Utah or Illinois, but it ain't where you're from...

It seems that less than 20 percent of us here working legally in the US have the proper health care benefits we need for ourselves and our families and I ain't talking bout' my ass going to the VA (and I do) or the free clinic (is there still a free clinic?). KRS One said something pretty profound a decade or so ago:

"See we don't need nothing else... But health, wealth and knowledge of self!"

As a man of Afrikan descent, most of my people are lacking on all three. As an American, the health and wealth part is really lacking something serious. I need to ask you, how are you planning to retire and how will you get coverages in the coming years, especially when you know you need it? The pharmaceutical companies are banking doo doo dollars, the health care systems have more than enough loot in the booty to function for the next 300 years and hospital systems have mostly went private and can exclude sick folk (nee: BROKE) at will.

My question to you on this Tuesday is not what should Hillary, Edwards, Barack or Biden should do, it is simply this:

What are you doing NOW to have the coverages you need?
What contingency plan do you have for the shortage of social security benefits?
What plans do you have RIGHT NOW to take care of you if Alzheimer's or a debilitating stroke sets in?
What equity, investments and property are you banking on to pay the bills (if and) when you stop working?
Have you even given thought to that moment in time when you need the fruits of your labor?


And I'm talking right now. I have my plans... I am looking right now to invest in a few foreclosed properties (taxes) in Chicago to sublet out to build my net worth and have equity for my hair brained schemes. The change of employer is for me to afford better health care and purchase real property so I can fall back on this twenty/thirty years from now. I also am taking herbs and gravitating more towards a vegan lifestyle in order to live and function longer and stronger in my later years. I still go to the VA for preventive maintenance health wise. I have to, it's me dammit and I like my ass (and the rest of me too). From tax lien certificates, to herbalism, I have a plan to be well in more ways than one whenever my golden years reaches me, lord willing.

What in the hell do you plan to do?

4 comments:

Gallis said...

This is why I'm glad I live in Canada where we have a public health care system. It's not perfect by any means, but I'd rather live in a society where families are not looking at a lifetime of debt or bankruptcy because their kid got cancer.

Yes we do pay more in taxes up here, but in return, we don't pay the horrendous societal costs endured by the U.S.

I remember when I studied in the U.S. in the 90's and ended up having to pay $120 a week to keep up with my allergy shots. You know what that per week cost was in Canada at the time? $16.

I remember waiting in my doctor's office lobby [which was in an apartment building] and at the time, the Clintons health coverage plan was front and centre. A couple came in and the woman actually said to her partner "Well if we do this tax funded thing, what's to stop somebody from going to their doctor just cause they're bored?"

Yeah, that's us up north here. When we need to shake it up, we hightail it to the dr's office.

Anyway, don't mean to rant, but the way I see it, there are some situations where the collective good does outweigh individual good and healthcare is one of them.

Everybody pays, one way or the other. Your country needs to decide what kind of costs it can live with.

princessdominique said...

It was a great debate and these are definitely issues they need to address. I worked in the hospitals for 15 years and I know the fast food service they dispense pills and give the patients. I remember when they introduced Managed-Care and patients were locked in, unable to go wherever they wanted to go for treatment unless the "main" doctor approved it. This is just so sick. That's why voting isn't an option.

Miz JJ said...

I am with Zesty. As a Canadian I do not have to worry about it. I have excellent health coverage...for now. But the evil forces of privatization are moving in. I do not believe in private medical care. People should not be making a profit off of people being sick. That is disgusting and unethical. Anybody with common sense should know that.

Anonymous said...

Health Coverage is horrible here in the states....High ass deductibles....its sad actually....and I would like to move to Canada for the great health coverage as well as the picturesque views of the lands