Monday, May 18, 2009

WTF is going on with Obama's healthcare plan -- and the 2009 Netroots Nation convention

I just got an urgent request in my inbox from President Obama himself, asking me to support his new healthcare plan. Sure, I'm in. But just exactly what IS this new healthcare plan? Nothing in Obama's e-mail describes it. Apparently I'm not even required to know what the plan even is. All I am required to do is just send in money to support it.

Is it gonna be a single-payer healthcare system? Will every uninsured sick person in America be covered? Will the premiums still be coming out of the pockets of small business? Will there even be any premiums? I don't have a clue.

However, according to consumer health advocate Donna Smith, Obama's healthcare plan is a non-starter. "You and me and every middle class, working person in this nation is about to start handing over more and more of their hard-earned cash to the private insurance industry, courtesy of our own elected members of Congress and our very popular President." Obama is finally gonna represent the grassroots people that elected him? Fat chance.

According to Smith, "We're going to be printing and providing money for insurance companies like no bail-out we've seen yet this economic crisis cycle. The healthcare legislation under design and so far under wraps for the American people is slowly being leaked via carefully staged forum and meetings and a few well-timed hearings and grand press announcements." But according to Smith, that small bit of information that is being leaked sounds kind of bad for us taxpayers.

"First," Smith continues, "no matter what percentage of your take-home pay it takes, you will be legally required to buy private health insurance. Second, if all you can afford is a policy that leaves you financially exposed to bankruptcy and foreclosure, then you will still be legally required to purchase that private insurance product. Third, should you fail to buy a policy, you will pay a fine." Been there, done that -- when they tried to take a mandatory $98 a month out of my $380 Social Security pay and I had no recourse except to start eating cat food until I could get a Medi-Cal supplement.

And, according to Smith, "In order to make sure every single American buys the private products from insurance companies and knowing some families won't make enough to afford what is offered, we'll all chip in and pay our taxes to subsidize those who cannot afford to buy the pricey plans." So. The insurance companies will still be screwing us bigtime -- only now we taxpayers also get to chip in to make sure that health insurance companies' profits from being totally unnecessary middlemen are guaranteed. Plus us original policy-holders still have to pay through the nose. Got it.

"Costs will be successfully shifted even more heavily onto the backs of America's middle class workers." And all we will get for our money is the solace and comfort of knowing that more insurance company middlemen are going to be able to build more McMansions.

All this talk of insurance company bailouts is depressing me. Let's change the subject.

Last Wednesday, I got an application to go to the 2009 Book Expo in New York City on May 29. I love the Book Expo! When I went to the one in 2008, I came home with 70 pounds of free books -- but that was in Los Angeles. How am I going to be able to afford to get to New York? Later that day, however, I was cleaning up my apartment and found a free round-trip ticket to fly to NYC on United Airlines. I'm there!

And then I saw an ad for this year's "YearlyKos" convention in August in Pittsburgh (except that now it's called "Netroots Nation"), so I hopefully began cleaning my apartment again -- but couldn't find any more plane tickets. So I applied for a scholarship to go to Netroots Nation for free, but they want people to endorse me -- so if you wouldn't mind, please click here and to vote for me to get a scholarship to go to the convention. Thanks.

But then I got to thinking about President Obama again and about all his frequent appeals to America's grassroots to vote for him and support him. That man OWES us! And maybe one way he could pay us back for electing him -- seeing as how he's not gonna be paying us back by giving us decent inexpensive healthcare or saving our homes or bringing our troops back from Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine -- then maybe he could finally open up the White House for tours again.

And if American citizens can finally start touring their own White House once again, then maybe if I give cleaning my apartment another try, I might magically find another ticket -- to fly me off to Washington DC. And if that happens, maybe I can also go to Capitol Hill and beg all those fat-cat Senators and Congresspeople to finally start doing their jobs, start representing the people who voted for them, stop handing out billions of dollars to blood-sucking health insurance companies who make their living off the corpses of cancer victims, and finally start voting to benefit the people who elected them.