Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Short Rants

I’m awful about posting on my blog when I’m doing other writing. Mentally I’ve posted several times during the last almost three months.

I wanted to rail against the cost of medical insurance for those of us between 60 and 65 when I was doing my annual search for a new policy. My first policy in SM was $2,000 less than I’d been paying in the States—I was estatic—and it wasn’t limited to Mexico. I had the option of doctors and hospitals in the US. When I turned 60, premiums began increasing substantially each year. Several of my SM friends no longer carry insurance. Medical care in Mexico is good and generally about a quarter of what it costs at home. They put an annual amount in a savings account and pay out of pocket. If I’d gone their route, I would have saved $15,000 in these five years. I don’t mind paying something for insurance but $3,000 annually seems high for someone who hardly uses the system. Can’t we get a good health rebate at the end of the year?

I had numerous comments to make about the congressional circus that ensued while conservative Republican legislators held us hostage to their views by refusing to compromise during debt ceiling debate. These boys and girls played chicken on the playground so long that S&P downgraded our debt producing more financial insecurity and extreme volatility in the markets.

And this past weekend I watched the Iowa Straw Poll. Michele Bachman’s win frightens me. In a news clip that aired yesterday morning on CNN, she said, “We will take the country back.” Her we is the Tea Party, a minority opinion. And take implies force. That’s how I felt watching the debt ceiling debate, that the minority was forcing the majority to their outlook. What happened to consensus and compromise? Did that die with Ted Kennedy? This “my way or the highway” approach, typical of today’s conservative Republicans, is not what we need. It’s killing us.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about something Angela Davis said the last time I heard her speak in New York. I was during Mayor Dinkins’ era, uptown on Columbia University’s campus. Dinkins described New York’s diverse population as “a beautiful mosaic,” rejecting the more traditional “melting pot.” Angela commented on this. She said the problem with this idea was that we were all expected to jump into the pot and come out as white men. Bachman seems to have a similar one size fits all approach. It was impossible then, even less likely now. Wouldn’t the color be some shade of brown?