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I knew I had to leave America when I was no longer able to go to the county fair.

by Democrats Ramshield Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 12:10:31 PM EST

(This diary was cross-posted by author from the Daily Kos and was rated as the number #1 diary on January 14th 2012 as indicated at the link below.)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/15/1054991/-High-Impact-Posts:-January-14,-2012

(Written by an American Expat living in the E.U.)

That's when I knew the America I grew up in was gone for good.  

For me leaving home, family and friends was easier for me to live with than watching the America that I grew up in die!

In order for me to stay human! I couldn't allow myself to become desensitized and assimilated to the hunger, fear and suffering. I knew for me to not be assimilated and stay human I was going have to leave America for good. I had to leave America! It was just too painful to stay and watch the America I grew up in die!

There's something deeply medieval about neo feudal America as 132 million Americans who can't eat normal food because they can't properly chew anything because they have no dental insurance. While some people like to wake to music from their clock radios, these Americans can't really appreciate the rendition that you and I hear fully, because they have ringing in the ears, that's what dental pain does, and too many of them millions, many of them children live that way everyday in the richest country in the world which doesn't really give a shit about them!

As an American expat people tell me I'm a brave soul to have left America, home, family and friends, that people like me are a brand of the new American pioneer, who no longer just go West but every direction of the compass now. I realize I had to leave America when I saw I could no longer go to the fair. The America that I was raised in, county fairs were a big event. They had rodeo's and clowns. The future farmers of America had events where they could win prizes. The fairways were busy with people and eating wonderful things like cotton candy in big reddish orange plumes, and laughing and going on bumpy rides to the cheers and screams of delight echoing through the fairgrounds.

Now the fairgrounds of America from sea to shining sea are regularly turned into what some are calling the nightwalkers' waiting room, who stand in long lines sometimes all night to get urgently needed dental care. They don't mind staying up and standing out in the cold, in the dark often times with their family members, because they and the people around them live in chronic pain, probably almost everyday. These people are desperate and they are too afraid to go to sleep, because they know that with first come, first serve, people will be getting turned away before daybreak. Some have been quoted as saying that farm animals are treated better than they are.

In the America I grew up in we used to care about each other.
 What the Hell happened to us? Where did America lose its way?


Here is a story of a young woman who is a great American! An American mother standing in line all night to get free dental care, when her water broke and guess what that brave American woman didn't want to get out of line because she had obviously been in sooooooo much pain for so long. What kind of American family values are these that we're promulgating? How could we allow this type of barbaric inhumane treatment to befall a brave American vulnerable young mother, in what is suppose to be the richest country on earth. (While we're at it let's ask, especially in her condition what the hell was she doing in that line in the first place? Did being in that line cause her to go into labor on that day?). America for which with all of its vast wealth has nothing to give to millions like this young mother. Isn't that truly the definition of poverty. Who is defending THIS American mother. Is it the U.S. Military? Is it the U.S. Congress? Is it you? We are spending billions of dollars on what, and we let this happen to a vulnerable young pregnant American woman, who is a great American. Shame on us all! There is no other major industrialized country in the world where this is allowed to happen. Doesn't that give new meaning to the words ONLY IN AMERICA!!

Free Health Clinic Need Persists Along With Recession
 By Tom Sullivan

WISE, VA: A pregnant woman's water broke as she awaited free dental care at the Wise County, VA fairgrounds on Saturday. She had stood in line in hot and muggy weather with over a thousand others to get a numbered ticket at the 12th annual Remote Area Medical (RAM) Health Expedition. According to RAM staffer, Jean Jolly, she didn't want to leave and lose her place in line.

http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2011/07/26/free-health-clinic-need-persists-along-with-recession/

I want to recognize TeacherKen who is featured as a volunteer in the above article from which I offer a short quote.


"People wait overnight for free dental clinic in Springfield
ORGANIZERS HAD TO START TURNING PEOPLE AWAY AT 5 A.M. FRIDAY.

Renee Owen, 42, of Willard arrived at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds just before noon Thursday with an aching mouth and an umbrella to guard against the late morning drizzle.She and her younger sister, April Thompson, 35, waited outside for about 17 hours in the parking lot. About 940 people joined them as the night wore on, all hoping for free dental care".

"Owen, who was wearing two sweatshirts and multiple T-shirts against the 46-degree chill, said she had been living with pain from a bad tooth for about two years. Her husband, Shawn, is self-employed as a homebuilder, and business is slow. The family doesn't have dental insurance..............."

"It actually got so bad that I went online and read that you can put Bacardi on it with a Q-Tip," Owen said. "It helped. My husband went to the liquor store. We don't drink booze. The woman asked him, 'Are you going to drink this or put it on a tooth?' I guess a lot of people use this."

http://www.news-leader.com/article/20110924/NEWS01/109240368/People-wait-overnight-free-dental-clini c-Springfield


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Serious dental pain is a terrible thing, for anyone who has ever had this knows what it's like when you can't eat, can't sleep and you feel tortured. Now imagine you can't be seen by a dentist for weeks, months or even years, and then you get discriminated against because you have no teeth and people can see it every time you open your mouth. Life then for you becomes one big exercise in pain and humiliation, because dental care and medical care in America, unlike every other major industrialized country in the world is not a human right, therefore we don't treat these people like human beings. In fact for the most part we don't treat them at all, except at the fairgrounds!

When I knew that, I was unable to enjoy myself at the fairgrounds anymore, because I realized that this was nothing less than a crime against humanity, that the people perpetrating this weren't Americans, in fact they weren't even human, they are the 1% who are the plutocracy, the overlords as it were of the neo feudal America! How else can we describe people who want to profit from your pain. People who don't believe in human rights. People who don't believe in dignity. What they believe in is the criminal enterprise in America known as for profit dentistry. It is a subset of criminal enterprise known as for-profit medical which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.

So the next time you go to a county fair please think about America's nouveau poor and America's traditionally poor and disadvantaged who populate the ranks of the dentally uninsured in America, and there is 132 million of them and millions of them tonight aren't going to be able to get a good night's sleep, because they live in chronic pain. Those of us who allow this to happen ought to live in chronic shame. But the truth is pigs have no shame, nor do they have any humanity, and their goal in life is to dehumanize the rest of us through a process of insidious assimilation. That's why I had to leave America. I didn't want to be assimilated into indifference and experience the loss of that humanity like the people around me, who are busy joining the Tea Party.

So we step over the medically/dentally uninsured in America, just exactly the same way we step over the homeless lying in the steets with a complete callous disregard for their humanity. We have allowed ourselves to become brainwashed and desensitized ourselves to the point where we no longer see these people as people, and in the process thereof we ourselves have become dehumanized. Now as an American expat living in the European Union, how is it that you think that Europe sees America? There's a shame in America that comes with knowing that no other industrialized country treats its citizens like this.

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Welcome to the 1%er's neo feudal America!

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Free medical and dental care clinic at South Florida Fairgrounds canceled

By Andrew Marra
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kaplan said he needed 50 volunteer dentists, but only had a dozen or so. He was disappointed but said he would try to organize another clinic.

 "I can put up with this," Kaplan said. "This is another day."

 Remote Area Medical criticized state restrictions that bar out-of-state doctors and dentists from volunteering in Florida, arguing that repealing the prohibition would increase "the likelihood that a sufficient number of volunteers would be available to staff such a clinic."
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Where did America lose its way?
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People who are in need of urgent dental care who cannot access it, often are forced to turn to hospital emergency rooms to receive prescriptions for antibiotics in order to treat raging oral infections, where no dental treatment is available, only to have that infection reoccur again in the foreseeable future. This over-prescribing of antibiotics has far reaching deleterious effects on the patient whose immune system gets somewhat suppressed and leads to drug resistant bacteria. Also long term antibiotic use can create serious stomach problems for people, as the antibiotics kill the good bacteria needed for digestion in the intestinal tract. This can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This can be particularly worrying in vulnerable populations, but it can affect any age group. Also chronic tooth pain can cause chronic headaches and depression in people of all ages. Some antidepressant medications can also have substantial side effects. Lack of dental access in America is definitely nothing to smile about. It is instead an international badge of shame, as all other major industrialized  countries on earth offer dental and medical treatment as a human right that all are entitled to.  blockquote

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Allegany County Fairgrounds Free Dental Clinic
October 28, 29, 2011

 October 28th, 2011 - October 29th, 2011
 11490 Moss Avenue Extended
 Cumberland, MD - 21501
 301-777-7749
 http://www.westernmdmom.com/#PATIENTS

The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is a two day free dental clinic that provides free services to people who could not otherwise afford dental care. Our clinic is a community partnership of several local organizations that include the Allegany-Garrett Dental Society, Allegany Health Right, County United Way and Western MD AHEC. At our first clinic in 2010, we served 810 people from 7 states and 23 counties. We provided $700,000 in free oral-health care.

http://www.freedental.org/freeclinic/13
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In the America I grew up in we used to care about each other.
 What the Hell happened to us? Where did America lose its way?

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Free Dental Clinic To Be Offered At Fairgrounds
A group called the Kansas Mission of Mercy is planning for a large turnout at its free dental care clinic this weekend in Hutchinson.
Reporter:  Associated Press
Email Address: news@kake.com     

 Story  4 Comments
Font Size:    

Monday, January 17, 2011
 The fairgrounds will open the Sunflower south building on Thursday night for those who want to wait overnight. About 1,000 people will be seen each day.

http://www.kake.com/home/headlines/113876714.html


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Where did America lose its way?
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Kansans lining up for free dental clinic at Fairgrounds
Published: 1/20/2011 4:15 pm

It's estimated 1,000 people will be seen each day of the two-day event getting their teeth cleaned, filled or pulled.......................
There are no appointments. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis.


http://www.ksn.com/mostpopular/story/Kansans-lining-up-for-free-dental-clinic-at/YOBqVawmLkOn3WevEhE rYA.cspx

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There's something deeply medieval about neo feudal America!
Isn't this the same type of dental care that people in the Medieval era received. That is to say no dental care at all except to pull out bad teeth!

For me leaving home, family and friends was easier for me to live with than watching
the America that I grew up in die!

---------------------------


This goes on an issue of what we MBA's call, the assumption of risk. In America so goes the conservative philosophy "we are a land of rugged individualists", which means that it's every person for themselves and God for us all. Ergo, the GOP led class warfare wherein we are all pushed to assume individual responsibility while at all costs avoiding collective responsibility. The only problem with that is as a tenet of basic economics, if we do not work as a collective we cannot leverage economies of scale. In other words, Americans pay more about 15% or 16% for health care because not everyone is in the system and therefore while Europe pays about 9% of GNP for medical, America pays about 16% of GNP for medical and we have shorter life spans as well.

No wonder the American for-profit dental and health care model does not allow itself to be exported outside the captured market of the United States.

------------------------

This action diary asks in the comment's section of this diary if you would like to exercise your generosity by helping someone with urgent dental care needs feel free to contact them directly to offer any help that you may be able to.

P.S. UPDATE I have added a comment from the diary posted by teacherKen below:

I am just an ordinary volunteer (3+ / 0-)

I was posting a comment that seems to get lost.

Until November 2008 I did not know about the problem.  Then my cohort of the Political Leaders Program at Sorensen Institute voted to have a reunion in July 2009 at the Wise health fare because two of the cohort had been there in July 2008.  The following day the Washington Post Magazine had a featured story about which i wrote in This will break your heart  - and it should.

But I was still not prepared for what i encountered when I showed up at the Wise County Fairgrounds the following year.  After my first day I poured out my heart and soul in A different perspective on the health care debate.  Since then I have attended 7 additional events, each time volunteering in dental triage, always writing at least one and sometimes more diaries about the experience, once even taking two students (both seniors for whom I have been honored to write college and scholarship recommendations) to volunteer with me.

The Affordable Care Act has made a difference, but it is not enough.

Thanks, for this diary.

We should remember that we have those who have gotten obscenely rich while devastating the lives of others.  King Coal did that in much of Appalachia.  Those who have gotten rich should remember that all of us have paid taxes for so many things that have enabled you to benefit, and as Elizabeth Warren reminds us, we only ask that you give something  back in taxes for the benefits you received.

ACA made a difference.   But before we can truly address the magnitude of problems like this - and dental care is far from unique, although it is almost unique in its devastating effects - we will first have to fix our broken politics.

"what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

by teacherken on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 02:13:34 PM CET


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After reading teacherken's comment if you can shed a tear as did I, then you will know your still human and the 1%'s media have not brain washed you! Thanks teacherKen!! We love you man! Kaplan said.

This diary is dedicated to all of the dental volunteers all over America. Thank you for your humanity.

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(I invite you to please join or follow us at the Class Warfare group here at the Daily Kos.)

Please feel invited to follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
 http://twitter.com/#!/DemsRamshield/followers

http://www.facebook.com/people/Dems-Ramshield/100003405330425

(This diary was cross-posted by author from the Daily Kos)

Display:
How long have you been here?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 12:42:44 PM EST
Thank you! I'm been here for 3 years. But I'm never going back. (smile) This is now my home. I just love it here. Thank your for the kind welcome. Jim
P.s. If you or other members would like to write to me
here is my email.  democratsramshield@yahoo.com

Also here is a link to Authors page at the Kos.
http://www.dailykos.com/user/Democrats%20Ramshield/

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 05:37:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure that saying "I enjoyed" such a heart wrenching diary is appropriate, but thanks for posting.  I live in a town where at least 25% of the population don't have health insurance, and therefore little health care and no dental.  It's appalling that a so-called first world country cares so little for it's people.  
by ElaineinNM on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 06:18:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On a recent trip stateside I had a few long discussions about health care and dental care, the latter because an implant broke. After a quick check up on costs I let it go until my return to Europe. What amazed me about health care was that a person with insurance would have to shell out a lot of money before insurance stepped in to foot the rest of the costs. Many employers simply can't handle the steep costs of insurance and go with a lower option. Break a leg and you cough up the first $15,000 regardless if you're insured or not. But the dental care stumped me. A friend has been putting away money to take a Costa Rica vacation and get her teeth fixed. Another friend, once a long-time resident abroad, comes to Europe for regular checkups.

Insane differences: if you've got a chronic condition in the States, the prime rate will go up on that if not an outright refusal to insure it. In Europe it's the other way around; a chronic condition could qualify for free coverage.

Now as far as political discussions went, not many were impressed by Obama's reform because it apparently didn't go far enough. I don't know enough about it to form an opinion. Others on the contrary pulled off some spiel about loafers and commies. It must be that manifest destiny clause. I personally have no time or energy to waste with anyone bent on defending a system that's iniquitous and degrading. But an important issue is terminology. What's lambasted as state assistance is simply an inalienable right.

On a personal note I trust you also have positive reasons to go abroad.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 04:51:47 PM EST
If you're insured, you don't cough up that amount out of pocket at all. I'm not certain who was giving you this information.
by Upstate NY on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I texted the person for more info. No answer yet. In the meantime I recall it concerned deductibles and coverage. The company the person was working for didn't carry top notch insurance. Nor did the accident occur on work.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 08:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dental in Sweden is covered by the state above a certain fee. Recently saw a tv-program that followed up a story on the backside of society. If you are so poor that you can not pay the fee, in theory the local gocernment has your back, but in practice this is apparently not always the case. This tv-program had got a tip on an aborted program in Malmoe and decided to check it out.

The aborted program started with a group of homeless alcoholics and drugabusers got (through a shelter) an offer to have proper dental done. Somes teeths were so bad that they had to be pulled and ambitious reconstruction was planned, but then suddenly it was aborted and the homeless was left even worse off then before.

In the course of the tv-program it turned out that the public dental clinic had had a boss that took the law seriously and thus started this program for homeless with bad teeth. However, the politicians saw it as unnecessary costs and fired him and aborted the program. The homeless entered a bureacratic no-mans-land as to who owned the bill and they were in no shape to sue anybody.

Anyhow, halfway through the show - where nobody in power wanted to accept any responsibility - they had located the ex-boss and let the ex-homeless person they had started with call him on while taping the conversation in secret. It went something like this:

  • Hi, its X. Do you remember that I participated in a dental program when you were boss there?
  • Sure I do, how are you?
  • Well I got an apartment and kicked my habits but I never got any teeth.
  • That sucks, but you know what? I can fix that, I have my own clinic now.
  • But I got no money.
  • Don't worry, I wont charge you, I'll just fix your teeth.

And later on, they did. The dentist (and ex-boss) admitted to the crew that he hoped he could find some government part to stick the bill to afterwards, but anyway he would not starve and he had part of the responsibility so hey.

It was just so nice to see someone take responsibility for a messed up situation for no apparent gain (he did not know the conversation was taped until he had already offered) just because he saw a wrong and he had the means to fix it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 06:50:11 PM EST
The fee I pay at Folktandvården ("People's Dental Care", yeah, it sure sounds commie, doesn't it? :D) charges me about €50 a year for all my dental needs. This is basically an annual check-up, where they look for holes and remove dental calculus. Further, if anything goes wrong with my teeth I can just give them a call and they give me a time in a day or two where they check what's wrong, free of charge.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 07:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same in Finland, though I now go private because our commie state pays for a portion of it, it's easy to get an appointment, my dentist has all the latest hi-tech, and he loves to speak English. I pay about 220 € total for my biannual check-ups and clean-ups.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:54:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To A swedish kind of death

Thanks for sharing that amazing story. It was a real eye opener. In America it would have been generosity beyond belief just to have all the bad teeth extracted. The problem is in America people are left with rotting teeth that causes huge raging infection in the bone requiring extensive oral surgery for which there is no money either. So just getting a patient stable to the point where they are out of pain and don't have any raging infections in the bone, or that extend up into the sinuses is in itself substantial reason to be grateful for what is nothing short of a miracle.

Getting actual teeth for someone in that condition in America would be beyond hope. The best they could hope for is to get full or partial dentures if they had all of the decay and infectious issues addressed and were actually stablized. It is really sad and in fact quite dehumanizing. Some of these people do have drug and alcohol problems but most of them are regular working folks who are just too poor to pay for treating. It is quite sad to see.  

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

by Democrats Ramshield on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 03:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the reminder.

What greatly concerns me is that I have no doubt that here, in the best of all possible countries, these health care problems are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better as our economy crashes to third world levels.

Hopefully the 1%s will provide some relief before the military is deployed to quell the inevitable and justifiable "disturbances."

(Hi to TeacherKen, miss you at BT.)

NVA, a viable option when the political process fails.

by NorthDakotaDemocrat (NorthDakotaDemocrat at gmail dot com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 11:44:14 PM EST
to NorthDakotaDemocrat

I will pass your greetings onto teacherken as I communicate with him often. Thanks for the post.

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

by Democrats Ramshield on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 03:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Switzerland doesn't have dental coverage - but check ups and cleaning cost me about $200 and I can deduct the amount from my taxes. Same with regular health insurance. Everything I had to pay out of my pocket last year, because of my broken knee cap I can deduct from the the taxes. And I was amazed, I expected to have much higher out of pocket cost than what I actually had to pay.

In Switzerland we have private mandatory insurance but it is strongly regulated and for the people who can not pay it there are subsidies.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 01:09:47 AM EST
I fell in love with Europe the first time I ever "studied" it, which was when I was 8 years old. Didn't get to visit until I was 39, but I sent my daughter several times before that.  I married a German I met in the USA when I was 43.

When I was 59, and watching the healthcare issues get "solved" in the USA, I told my husband "It's time to move to Europe."  So we did, moving to Germany, because I had no faith that healthcare in the USA would actually get any better. I wish I could say that I'm totally happy, but I'm not the sort who can be totally happy while so many others are still struggling. But I AM happy with the decision to leave the USA. It was time, it was necessary, and it has been an adventure.

Thanks for your painful but illuminating diary.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:20:43 PM EST
Sounds like you and I have a lot in common as fellow expats. Please feel free to send me some email at anytime. Here's my email address: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]
by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks! Will be in touch.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Jan 23rd, 2012 at 01:28:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in the (long) list of reasons we want to get our asses outta here.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:34:46 PM EST
(smile) Well said.

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]
by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:33:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read your diaries on dKos, but I always wonder what sort of reaction you're getting.

You're kinda beating them up cos they're in a country that treats them so bad and most of 'em can't escape, so do you get negative reactions from them ?

ps what part of Germany are you in ? And do you drink beer ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:45:58 PM EST
If you or anyone else wants to invite me for a beer, I will accept. Here is my email: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]
by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:30:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, according to this diary some of us will be in Paris on April 28th.

Lousy beer, but good food, wine and great company; political debate guaranteed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 08:27:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I work for a rich company in the US, they pay for everything.  (Thus I am probably in the 1%, but hey, I'm from australia, where everyone is in the 1%)  Thus, if I didn't hear these stories I could assume that everything is fine and feel perfectly satisfied voting for someone who likes the status quo.  (Interestingly, my colleagues who are american are aware of the situation and support fixing the US health care despite their privileged status)
by njh on Fri Jan 20th, 2012 at 01:12:53 PM EST
A lot of these rich companies aren't so rich anymore or may not be paying what they used to. You may be lucky to be in a company that still does that, but I suspect some of the push to reform the system is due to the fact that a lot of people who didn't care back in Clinton's time have now realized that they are affected as well.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 20th, 2012 at 01:57:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think profitable industries still have pretty good coverage. I haven't had to pay for much of anything working in the semiconductor industry. I even have really good dental coverage. As a kid my parents had no dental coverage - cleanings, fillings, and my braces ($5k, in the late 80s) were all out of pocket.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 20th, 2012 at 03:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well sounds to me like you're surrounded by human beings at your work place. My advice is don't change jobs anytime soon because what you have in your workplace in America is rare among privileged people.

As for Australia, it's a very civilized place. Most Americans I know would give their eye teeth to live there. So if you're single, my guess is you won't be single long. (smile)

sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:36:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew I had to stay in America because it still needs people like me.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Fri Jan 20th, 2012 at 11:25:58 PM EST
I'm still voting there and contributing to campaigns there, etc., but I'm not altruistic enough to go bankrupt for them, having reached the age when surgeries come along. I've also never been patriotic in the least; I feel like an Earthling, not an American.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Jan 23rd, 2012 at 01:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and yet 1/3 of Germans agree with the proposition that the nation is being drowned in foreign immigration, the ruling party is essentially Hayekian with a fat dose of xenophobia to keep it in power, the fiscal policy is imiserating a huge swath of Europe, the arms industry is rapidly expanding, the levels of child poverty are rapidly increasing, and the same security services that apparently cooperated with Bush's night-and-fog torture empire were either complicit in or winking at an organized nazi group that was serial killing immigrants ....
by rootless2 on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 09:25:39 AM EST
So, you're suggesting he move to?
by Upstate NY on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i'd move there.
by rootless2 on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 06:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't understand about the diary is this:

The America you "used to know" had no public health insurance, and frequently, families such as my own had absolutely no health insurance and had to pay out of pocket.

A lot of negative things can be said about Obama, but he did expend all his political capital to install a (very flawed) system that will eventually migrate into national health insurance.

So, instead of seeing a deterioration in health coverage, I see an improvement. Remember, Obama's own mother was denied treatment for a very treatable form of cancer. That's how she died.

In a decade, the recent changes will have transformed health care for Americans.

by Upstate NY on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:41:24 PM EST
A lot of negative things can be said about Obama, but he did expend all his political capital to install a (very flawed) system that will eventually migrate into national health insurance.

How? Wasn't the defunct public option supposed to morph into a national health insurance? Not that I have spent the time necessary to have an informed opinion about the subject but that sounds wildly optimistic.

by generic on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 01:17:54 PM EST
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The public option is irrelevant. Employers will buy in and pay the fines as they migrate workers to the Fed plan. There is a public option out there, but it depends on employers determining that the Buy-In to the Federal Health plan is cheaper than the private market. So far, it seems a good number of employers will opt out of insuring their workers.

This has always been the problem in the USA. Somehow the left has got it into their heads that the purveyors of cheap plastic crap made across the world at slave labor wages should be charged with the health and welfare of the families of minimum wage workers. Now, we have employers paying into the Federal system.

by Upstate NY on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:00:14 PM EST
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by Upstate NY on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:07:19 PM EST
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I still find the claims that this will lead to national health insurance wildly optimistic. Still hope springs eternal and there is no reason why I have to make up my mind before those changes are actually here.
by generic on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 07:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget Medicare for old people, Disabled Benefits SSI, Medicaid for poor and children, and emergency rooms, County clinics, veteran's benefits. The pressure is on to consolidate medical records electronically, and fold the whole mess into Single Payer.

This is the wish of the vast majority in the US, and only the lies of corporate entities like Big Pharma and Insurance keep it from being fulfilled.

I think the Occupy and Tea Party are scaring the Congress. They might throw us a bone.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 10:15:56 PM EST
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One of the really odd things about America's progressives is that they never get why nostalgia for the Jim Crow era is not taken kindly by some.
by rootless2 on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 06:20:16 PM EST
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"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 05:56:43 PM EST
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where is that photo from?
by rootless2 on Tue Jan 24th, 2012 at 01:50:54 PM EST
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looks like a still from ER. That's Dr Peter Benton in the centre

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 25th, 2012 at 07:30:29 AM EST
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Possibly, but likely? i don't think so, as it doesn't fit the demographics or the time of ER.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 25th, 2012 at 03:29:35 PM EST
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Another small point is that even if you have employer-provided insurance, prior existing conditions can keep you out of their program. My employer refuses me short term disability insurance for a condition that has been in full remission for 15 years. Since the one word shows up on my application, it is automatically rejected without further review.

So if I have a hospital visit now, I am required to use up any accumulated sick time, then vacation time, then rely on my kindly boss to continue my "salary." I am near enough retirement that this doesn't matter much to me, but for new entrants to the workforce, the situation now is completely intolerable.

I put the blame squarely on the unions in this country, who fought for 100+ years to build up a system of regulations that protected the workers, and then abandoned the whole thing in favor of Reagan's idiotic campaign rhetoric. When the air traffic controllers went on strike and he fired them, it should have triggered a comprehensive, global labor action. Instead, they folded up and went home. "I got mine" is the entire mindset of "the greatest generation," which if you ask me are nothing more than the greatest mooching generation.

by asdf on Tue Jan 24th, 2012 at 03:19:23 PM EST


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