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Health, a Job, and no Hassle

By       Message Margaret Bassett     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 8/23/09

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Years ago I thought I might have cancer. By the time I found a clinic in New York who could dissuade me, I came to a life-changing decision--if (really when) I die, I'll only die once. I learned two things during that episode and they apply today. Doctors are human beings and good ones will tell you that they can only advise while it's up to me to take care of myself. And, more importantly, lots of insurance and plenty of doctors will only help as much as finding a doctor one is comfortable talking with.

It's worked! I'm not the healthiest person in the world, but I try to remember what advice I've received and I try to follow the rules of good health. That let's me sleep better, even when I'm aching and jittery. We all are given only one body and a mind to oversee it.

This healthcare debate can take one off into byways and deadends. As I sit here trying to be sagacious, I realize everyone is in the same place as I. So go tell that to the PR people, the politicians with a feel-good prescription! The question will not be settled in a few weeks, and not totally resolved in a few months after the bureaucracy starts writing regulations. I'll keep abreast but in the meantime, I want to talk economics.

Economics. Like having enough wherewithal for food and rent and the other things modern living requires. And it circles--on the national scene--into having a job unless retired. In that case, the job is to oversee what income is left in this crumby economic environment.

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I hope to say more on the subject of jobs and labor equity before September 7 rolls around. Think of it this way. The president says the nation will not be strong until we have a strong workforce, where companies don't have to worry about healthcare costs. It was wrong to ever have the two linked, but the situation became solidified when labor unions went for perks instead of increased pay. Now they are fighting to maintain both.

My understanding of labor law is fluid, there having been so many changes recently. Just think airline companies going bankrupt and old contracts scrapped. In a generic sense, workers have been on the skids for years, beholden to some "economy" which is code word for a system of robbing those who make/do real things in the interest of those who push paper/digital negotiations around the whole world.

So for me--if I were young enough to hold a job--I would want my day's pay for a day's work and then I would arrive at a way to pay for insurance to cover major medical expenses. To be assured of the scheme, I would want my fellow workers to have the same privilege.

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There have been a number of gotcha hangups which have made workers less than citizens in this regard. Could it be possible to make people equal in the eyes of the law with corporations? The Supreme Court has proclaimed that companies can be counted as people when it comes to influencing elections. Right now those who work are not given their equal chance. De-couple health insurance from the job and see how much better things will work. Paternalism is a bad way to run a country.


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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the Opednews.com editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.

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