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Health Care - Another California 11th Hour

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Another California 11th Hour
By Karen Timmons There are written laws – they perish; but there are also unwritten laws – they are eternal. – Mark Twain
Before I was a wife and mother, divorced woman, single mother, free spirit, student, and all the other cloaks I've worn through the last 65 years, I was a poet. Born that way. My love of poetry pretty much ended with Rupert Brooke, who died in WWI. "Ah, a romantic at heart," you might say. Yes, but a realist.

Not always easy to balance one with the other; it took many years to understand my second husband's maxim, "Don't be nobody's chump." Poets must always tell the truth. – Rupert Brooke Why? Because. . . . They keep the soul of man alive. – David Yanoff (my son)

So here I am, a caregiver, writer, political activist for the United Health Care Worker's Union West. And I am soul-sworn to tell the truth. As an aside: that's why poet's are usually taken out and shot by the opposition during a revolution. The opposition to Truth doesn't want to keep the soul of man alive. The opposition wants to harvest the soul and add it to his collection of stuff.

Mark Twain said that the lack of money is root of all evil. Lack is the root of all evil. And who causes the lack? Those with the power to cause it. Those who haven't ended their term of insatiable greed at the expense of the meek. We might remember that the meek are supposed to inherit the earth. The truly humble, even if they are not poor, inherit the earth. I've been told recently that, as a home health care worker for In Home Support Services, I am a disposable commodity. "Well," I said, "I've heard that before and I'm still here."

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There are those in the Service Employees International Union, our parent union, who would like to reduce our wages to minimum wage. They are right up there with Schwarzenegger, and all others who belong to the fascist corporate global consciousness happening now. Shall I say Anti Christ mentality? I shall. Because we are pawns in their game to become richer and more powerful.

There's a Hindu maxim which describes the consciousness of the demon: the wolf in sheep's clothing, the mirror of the truly spiritual person. It goes like this: "Today I have so much, tomorrow I shall have more. Today I rule so many, tomorrow I shall rule more.

The leaders of SEIU want a top down relationship to its workers. The BOSS tells you what to do and that's it. The leaders of UHW West want a union of the people, by the people, for the people, not a dictatorship. Gosh, that sounds like what the United States is supposed to be. That's the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don't care, individuals do. – Mark Twain We are at a serious spiritual juncture in our humanity. All the problems of the world are based on one spiritual maxim: Love thy neighbor as thyself.

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Would the perpetrators of greed allow their children to starve, to go without healthcare, education, proper shelter? Would they want their disabled to be homeless or in privatized prisons? In Dickens' time they were called Work Houses, Poor Houses, and Charnel Houses. Places where the poor and disabled were dumped to die. They love themselves and theirs enough to give themselves the best of everything.

The problems of this world are caused by lack of love thy neighbor as thyself consciousness. There are 2 bills up for passing in Sacramento:AB 2967 and AB 2942. 2967 will require doctors, hospitals and other providers to report cost and quality data. In turn, this will help purchasers, unions, and patients make better decisions about where to spend their health care dollars, improving quality while reducing costs. 2942 requires all hospitals to report what kinds of community benefits programs they provide to the public and the state. This would also clarify what kinds of healthcare services qualify as community benefits so that hospitals could focus community benefit activities for those communities that need them the most. Sounds a lot like loving thy neighbor stuff.

The intention of every human being qualifies his consciousness and steers his actions, his community, his nation, his world. In Truth, It's everyone's 11th hour.


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Here I am vain enough to hope that 65 is the new 45. I do know better. A born and published poet, writer (plays, short stories), journalist (10 years with West County Gazette and 2 years Op Ed News), I am so comfortable in my skin it's almost scary. (more...)

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