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Just the blog post title you wanted to see, huh? I’m working up full-scale rants on several issues and I don’t quite know where to start. It does not help that I woke up grouchy today. Sometimes that happens, no real reason.

So, I’m grouchy about the health care reform debate because all it amounts to is a bunch of arguing that prevents anything from changing. The one argument I’ve heard that I truly don’t buy is that we’re supposed to let the market solve the issue. A good capitalist sentiment, except in this case the market has had plenty of time to work on the issue and hasn’t done it. In fact, the market is making things worse because health care has become primarily about how to gouge as much money as possible from patients (we’ll pay anything, right?) and how to kick non-profitable patients out of the system.

True story: I had a temp job filing at an insurance company ages ago. As I was working, I overheard one very pregnant claims adjuster advising the person on the phone NOT to reveal what the insurance covered. (I believe this was in relation to a pregnant client.) Obfuscate the benefits so the patient wouldn’t make claims. I’ve got to assume that this pregnant claims adjuster had all the care she needed, yet she had no qualms about denying a client the full benefits of insurance.

When there’s this kind of shit going on within the health care/insurance industry, it’s obvious we need an outside force providing competition that will encourage reform. The only outside force that’s strong enough to do that at this time is the government. Now, I realize this sounds all socialist (at least that’s what some would call it), but frankly no pure form of societal & economic governance has ever proven 100-percent effective on its own. The most effective societies contain a nice mix of practices.

Rather than have the federal government take on providing an alternative form of health care program for those who can’t get insurance elsewhere, why not look to the states that have some form of public health care (like Minnesota) and have the federal government help fund those systems, or build them where they don’t exist?

Another point of grouchiness: Local businesses that don’t have answering machines during their off hours. I’m mean, Jesus, what century are we living in that they can’t have an answering machine with a message about their hours and allow me to leave a message for a call-back?

And yet another contributor to the grouchiness: A school district that does not provide advance notice of class fees, but throws these fees at parents the first week of school and expects them paid post haste. We’re talking $80 for a textbook, folks. That’s not chump change for most of the economically challenged people in our area. For as much as the school district dredges up the high poverty rate in relation to low test scores, you’d think it could figure out a way to notify parents with enough time to budget for these expenses. (And, yes, our school district often implies that the reason we have low test scores is because of all the poor students, specifically all of those on free & reduced lunch, in the district, equating poverty with stupidity. As our family is considered low income, I take offense at that. A good reason for grouchiness, n’est ce pas?)

On the bright side (because I don’t really want to end on a grouchy note), I did get a haircut today and a very nice one. The woman who cut my hair was amazingly fast. It was like … snip, snip … snip, snip … done.

Okay, your turn. What makes you grouchy?

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