Health Care

This is pretty much the only time I’m going to say any of this. I have said before that I don’t discuss politics, and nothing has changed. This is a very heated issue, and I do not want to have any kind of political argument on my blog. However, I have a few things to say, so here goes.

This morning I was greeted with the following status from a friend on Facebook: “No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.”

By the end of the day, several of my friends (including a few of you, my readers) had this posted. There is nothing wrong with posting that, but I want to explain why I, personally, did not post it.

That is the most asinine statement. “If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.” So if I don’t post this, I disagree? And by not posting this I’m saying that it does not matter to me that people can die because of lack of health care or that they could go broke because they get sick? Of course I agree with the basic premise of this statement! Who wouldn’t?? NO ONE should die. NO ONE should go broke. But guess what? Posting this statement (that I honestly believe every single person in the country actually does agree with) doesn’t solve a single thing. It is a broad, generalized statement that tells us nothing.

On both sides of the health care issue here in the States you will find that most people just want good, affordable health care for their family. It’s how to go about it that is the real issue. Universal health care? Government run health care? Keep it all privatized? What to do? What to do??

In my own opinion, I do believe that every person living in this country (and we’re not even going to touch immigration issues, but I will say both legal and illegal residents) deserves health care. I just don’t know how to go about it. I don’t understand a word of the plans our politicians are putting out there for us. It’s just a bunch of big words that talk circles around the average American. The average American would just like to know that we can have health insurance and that we can pay for it. The average American would like to know that we can still go see our favorite doctor, have a baby, visit the ER because of a broken bone, or if something horrible were to happen, whether it is cancer or an accident or whatever, that we will be covered and can get the care we need without having to go bankrupt to pay for it.

I honestly believe we have some of the greatest health care available to us here in the United States. I mean actual care. We have wonderful doctors and facilities and things available to us that a few generations ago (and currently in some other countries) people only dreamed about. The problem isn’t the care. It’s the system. People can not afford to get health insurance.

In my family (the Chocolate Phoenix family), we cannot afford health care, but we cannot NOT afford to have some kind of insurance. I get strep throat several times a year. It just happens that way. I have three children. Kids get sick. We pay a ghastly amount of money for a really crappy health plan, but without it we’d be worse off.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this. I recognize that there is a huge problem with our health care system. I do not believe any one of us would want to see a person denied health care. I know there is something that can be done, but until someone comes up with a plan that I can actually understand, I’m not jumping on any bandwagons.

Don’t Assume You Know Me…

You know what I’m sick of? I’m sick of people assuming they know what I think or feel or believe. I’m sick of people assuming I believe in certain things or my politics are a certain way just because of the church I go to or the neighborhood I live in.

You know, the only real reason why I am even a member of a certain political party is because I wanted to vote in the presidential primaries. I do not agree with everything in that party. Nor do I agree with anything in any party. I do not let political parties define me. Why should I let you define me?

As to how I voted on certain “hot button” issues… I have many complex reasons for exactly why I voted the way I did. I do not expect to be agreed with, and most of the reasons I have are so personal I am not willing to share with everyone. I’m especially not going to share them with someone who has already made a decision and closed their mind down to any other possibilities.

I do not get into political debates. Most people do not actually discuss politics. They argue and talk and yell and do not listen to the other side. They are so busy making their point and trying to prove their point that they are not giving any thought of validity to the other side. I hate the contention that discussing politics brings about. I refuse to debate or even “discuss” politics with you because I don’t feel like my opinions are even being listened to.

I hate the assumptions that people make of me as I avoid politics. It is assumed that I don’t care as much. Or that I’m not smart enough. Or that I’m too ignorant to see “the right side” of the discussion. I am none of those. I care very deeply about my country, my state, my town. I care very deeply about people and society in general. I care about my family and how things affect my daily life. But I am not willing to get into the arguments for argument’s sake. I am smart enough. I will do research on a subject that interests me and make decisions to the best of my ability. I am not a stupid person by any means. I am also not ignorant. Just because I don’t seem to believe in the same things as you does not mean that I am ignorant.

Or naive. I was called naive recently. I am not naive. Again, I have done enough research and I have had enough experiences that I feel I can make an informed decision as well as have an opinion. Do not scoff at me because my life is on a different path than yours.

At first glance I probably do look like your typical 30-something, married, mother, Mormon, Arizona, white woman. At at first glance, my beliefs may reflect that, also. But everything is far more complex and deep. Don’t assume you know me and lump me into your narrow categories. You don’t know anything about me.

Random Friday (I Know It’s Been A While)

Tonight we get to go to a fundraiser at church for the Young Women and Young Men.  They are raising money for Girl’s Camp and for Scout Camp.  There will be a burrito bar for dinner, followed by a dessert auction.  I signed up to make a dessert because I really don’t think we can afford to bid on one, so I can contribute this way.  I hear the people in our ward are very generous in their bids.  They’ll pay upwards of $80 for a cake!!  I even heard of one guy (who recently passed away) who enjoyed this fundraiser so much every year and he wouldn’t hesitate to drop a couple hundred dollars.  Wow!!

What dessert am I making, you ask?  Well, that’s the tricky part.  At first I was going to make Nanaimo Bars, because who around here (besides our Stake President, who is from Calgary) has actually ever heard of them, much less tried them??  But I don’t have the time to make those.  I’m trying to keep my house clean, after all!  My second idea was to make Lemonade Ice Cream, which is really Ches’ specialty.  It’s basically a graham cracker crust with pink lemonade mixed with vanilla ice cream, topped with some scattered graham cracker crumbs.  It’s really, really good.  I think I have the time to make that… I just need to get some ice cream and let it soften a bit.  Not a problem in our weather! 😉

My third idea was just make a cake and decorate it kinda cool.  So I made two round cakes, and I have to go to the store to get some  milk so I can have pudding instead of frosting in the middle.  For decorating… I was thinking of putting little bees all over and President Hinckley’s “Be’s”.  I was debating whether to just frost it or try this yummy marshamallow fondant that I found a recipe for.  I think I’m still going to go for frosting because it’s easier.  Maybe I’ll make the cake (since it’s already baked) AND the lemonade ice cream.  Mmmmmm.

*****

The first people to view the house came yesterday.  Their realtor told me the house shows well and I did well staging it and stuff.  Yay!  I just got a call today and another realtor is bringing over some people this afternoon.  Yay!  I really, really want my friends to be able to sell their house easily and quickly.  As long as we still get to stay until school is out (which, apparantly, is going to be part of the contract.  Our friends told us we can stay until June 1st).  It’s so nice having a clean house and being proud to show it off!! 🙂

*****

I’ve been reading some opinions on the matter and have pondered the issue a lot recently and I have decided that on the issue of abortion, I am Pro-Choice.  I know.  Shocked, aren’t ya?  Let me explain.

I am against abortion and I would never encourage anyone to ever have one.  I believe there are way too many other options out there for an unwanted pregnancy.  HOWEVER I do not think it is a good idea for the federal government to come in and make laws on something that is much more of a moral issue than a social issue.  A woman has to have the right to make choices for herself.  She must accept the consequences (good or bad) of that choice.  I believe that there should be restrictions of different sorts (such as not allowing third trimester abortions, etc.) placed on abortion, and that it should be a state’s decision, not a federal decision.

Again, I am not “for” abortion.  I am still Pro-Life in that I believe that it is not just a fetus inside a woman’s body, but a human being that can feel pain and should be given every chance at life, but I really don’t like the idea of the federal government stepping in and making that decision for everyone.

By outlawing abortion and saying it is only legal in certain circumstances just means there will always be loopholes and fraudulent cases brought about.  I believe that kids should be taught about birth control AND abstinance in school.  Not just one or the other.  Kids need to understand that having sex means there is a very real possiblity of getting pregnant.  Oh, and that birth control and whatever forms of protection you use doesn’t mean you won’t get pregnant, either.  The only 100% sure-fire way of not getting pregnant is to NOT have sex.  That needs to be seriously pushed.  And yes, I understand that kids will still have sex, and for that I whole-heartedly want them taught to use protection.  They need to be taught both.

Well, I have more opinions on this matter, but I’m not very good at making my points clear.  I just wanted to throw some of that out there.

*****

We have some new favorite websites in our family.  Aiden is really enjoying Rebel Friends because it’s all Star Wars stuff for kids.  He has taken the Jedi training test and is an official Padawan.  He really tries to use The Force here at home, too.  It’s really funny.

I am enjoying Hulu.  You can watch full episodes of TV shows and can watch full movies.  Now, they don’t have everything, but they do have classics, so you can watch the most recent episode of The Simpsons or How I Met Your Mother, then watch something from The Cosby Show.  Good stuff!  Check that out.

Dallin and Parker enjoy Kneebouncers.  If you have really young kids that want to play on the computer, check this out.  It’s got different activities with cool sounds and visuals.  The kids press the keys and stuff happens.  At the age of a kid like Parker, isn’t that what they want?  To see a reaction?  So anyway, it’s fun for them.

*****

Ches had an orchestra concert last night.  First the middle school orchestras played, then Ches’ high school group.  It’s really fun to watch this little kids and know that in a few years they will be Ches’ students.  They’re so cute.

The instructor for the beginning groups had the kids stand up by rows so that parents could take their pictures.  She said in one group, “Okay, back row, stand up.  Smile nice.  Your parents want to see you looking happy!”  One kid was so short he looked like he was still sitting down, so he stuck his bow straight up in the air so his mom could see him.  It was so cute!  I was laughing.

Another kid, as his group was getting on stage, walked confidently across the front of the stage with that cool strut that teenagers often use.  Oh, and he used his bow as a cane.  That cracked me up.  Probably not the best thing to do with a bow, but still.  It was like he was saying, “I’m in orchestra and I am cooooool.  I make this look good.”  (Think of that in a very Will Smith sort of confidence.)

Ches said after the concert one little girl came up to him and, in the sweetest little voice, said, “You’re a really good conductor!”  She was like worshipping him.  He loved that! 🙂

*****

I heard Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio last night.  That song makes me all warm inside.  Reminds me of being in high school.  Am I wierd?  About that, I mean.

*****

If you could only have ONE book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Politics. Sigh.

I think there really should be a law that says presidential candidates cannot announce their candidacy until 9 months before the November election and all caucuses will be held on the same day about 4 months before the November election.  Oh, and no one can do any sort of campaigning until the official start of the candidacy.  The general election isn’t for 9 months and I’m SO sick of it.  Anyway…

I promised myself that I wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney just because he’s a Mormon.  I think it’s ridiculous that so many people are voting against him because he’s LDS instead of looking at the issues to see if he really is the candidate for them.  So I did my own bit of research and pondering and I believe Romney is the candidate for me.  I’m sad to hear that he’s dropped out of the race, but I understand the reasons.  More than I want Romney for a candidate, I don’t want Hilary Clinton.  I’ll vote for just about anyone over her.  Romney is just trying to give his party the strongest candidate.  I think it’s a good idea.  If I stick with the party I’m registered to, I think I will be voting for McCain.  Since we’ve already had our caucus here in Arizona, there’s not much more I can do to make sure my party has a the best candidate.  I now wait for the final candidates so I can make a good decision on who I think should be president.

No matter what my decision is, I honestly believe (and I’ve been saying this for about a year now) that Obama will be our next president.  We’ll see if I’m right in November.  Until then… if your state has not yet held their caucus, remember to go out and vote!  Do the research and make an informed decision.  Don’t vote for someone just because of what they do on Sunday morning.  Make sure they actually have the values you want in a candidate. Make sure you know what their plans of action are.  And help others around you be informed.  Voter turnout in this country is atrocious!  I think it’s something like an average of 1/3 of the registered population actually votes.  How is that going to help make sure the right people are voted in to office?  How is that representative of the people, if the majority of the people didn’t get their voice out there?  We all say “If you didn’t vote, you can’t complain”, but we need to do more than that.  If you know of someone who is registered but can’t get to the polling station for whatever reason, HELP them.  I don’t care if they aren’t voting the same way as I am, I will still drive them so they can make their voice heard.  Yes, it is that important to vote, people!

I know that this post is not well-written and is just one big ramble after another.  These are just a few of the thoughts that have been going through my head lately.  I rarely talk politics because I can’t stand the level of contention between people that goes on.  I don’t care what party one belongs to, or if they are even in a party.  I just want people to actually do something to make this the country we all think it is (or was, once upon a time).