Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where Does The Time Go?

I'm just sitting down here to start writing and looking at the clock, thinking, "how the heck did it get to be a quarter to nine?" Where did the time go? Germany?

I turned the computer on about 4 hours ago. Of course, I probably spent more than two hours watching partial clips on the Fox News website about this damnable healthcare bill that the President is trying to push on us without the benefit of a kiss. I am praying so hard for this thing to finally die the death that it should have died in committee.

I love the way they are trying to "help" us. According to all the accounts that I have heard about this bill, it would force all Americans to be covered by some sort of health insurance. That sounds great, right? Well, just how great does it sound? I was talking to a friend of mine who works for the state of North Carolina. Do you know how much he has to pay to cover his 30ish-year-old wife? Over $600 a month. Now let's consider someone who is working for minimum wage. I think that rate is $7.25/hour.

Let's assume a 3,000 hour work year. For normal people it would be 2,000, but someone on minimum wage would have to work two jobs at least best case scenario. That would amount to an annual wage of $21,750 prior to taxes - $1,812.50 a month BEFORE taxes.

Based on the percentages that I found for a typical US household approximately $600 would be spent on housing, $230 on food, $275 on transportation. At least another $300 would be spent on utilities. That tallies to $1,405, leaving only $407.50 for taxes and all other expenses. This scenario would be difficult for a single person. It would only be exacerbated for a single income family.

Check my math, but how would someone in that income bracket afford a $600 monthly insurance bill? Yet the government is going to tell that person that he must choose between, food, clothing, heat, or transportation and health insurance or face a fine - a fine that could eventually land the individual in jail if not paid. A fine that would end up causing the individual to incur legal expenses in addition to their other normal expenses. No thanks. I don't want help like that.

So, it would appear that the government is coming down on the side of insurance. I mean, if everyone has to have some sort of health coverage and there isn't going to be a public option then that means insurers will be the ones still making the money. And I am sure that there will be minimum coverage requirements. This is going to prevent any real change from taking place. If everyone is having to cough up the big bucks that the insurers will charge or face a fine then you are creating a situation that will introduce a moral risk.

It is a lot like people who go to a buffet. They may satisfied after the first plate, but because they have paid a higher fee for "all you can eat" then the inclination is to make sure that they got their money's worth even if they have to make themselves miserable to do it.

The same thing will happen with health care. Because you will have people who are having to sacrifice to make their monthly insurance payments, you can rest assured that they are going to go to the doctor for every little thing. This will put further pressure on the insurance companies to maintain the hefty profits that they are accustomed to resulting in rate increases and compensation decreases to medical providers. It will also increase demand on medical resources.

These pressures will create another "HEALTHCARECRISIS!!!!!!" That will give the government an excuse to create a one-payer system - a system with a dismal success rate historically. The only joy I would get from that is watching Michael Moore's fat butt getting turned away from a government run health clinic because he used up his quota of medicine.

I pray to God that this mess can be undone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Been A Long, Long Time

Wow. It has been forever since I last posted here. I think a lot of that has had to do with some fairly major changes that have taken place since my last posting. On November 25 I ended an almost three-year-long period of what mostly amounted to unemployment. I have taken a job as the office manager of a small home improvement company that specializes in windows and sunrooms. I'm not going to be taking over Wall Street from this position, but at least I am not losing ground any more, and I do actually enjoy the work most days.

I was somewhat concerned before I got back to work about whether I would be able to handle the 8-5 grind again. I didn't know if I would have the stamina for it. I didn't know if I could handle working for someone else again. I could on both accounts thankfully.

I also started dating someone back in August. Things have gone well for the most part. Today marks 7 months since we re-started our relationship. Seven months on St. Patrick's Day? That has to be a good omen! We had actually dated before back about 9 years ago. Most days we get along fine!

Need I say more? The truth is that those two things have in themselves changed my life fairly dramatically. Since I barely had enough time to engage in all the things I wanted to do when I wasn't gainfully employed and was not sharing my time with someone else it really isn't surprising that I have had a lack of time as a good excuse to be absent.

But beyond that I really haven't had the desire, motivation, spark, interest, whatever to write much. I really haven't had that much to say.

I am so utterly disgusted with the political situation in our country right now that I can barely stand to read the headlines, let alone try to comment on my thoughts. Frankly, most of my thoughts about these things are largely unprintable. I have tried to insulate myself from politics as much as possible. I am so completely annoyed with both parties. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that they are both equally worthless, would be willing to concede that they are both worthless. My only in depth comment is that I hope the Democrats manage to render themselves a non-party through voter backlash if they force this health care bill through. Tarring and feathering all of the "leadership" of that party would be too mild a punishment in my opinion - even if the tar were very hot. (I am only being mildly hyperbolic here....)

Speaking of hot, how about all of this global warming this year? I guess it is a good thing. We would have frozen to death if it hadn't been for that. Al Gore just continues proving that his grip on reality is tenuous at best. Of course, it may just be that his grip on the reality of the money he is making peddling his lies is enough to skew his vision so that he understands how global warming is a reality in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

I have watched Ben Stein's movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed a couple times recently. I am stricken by just how much of Al Gore's brand of "science" has become the standard today. In the movie you see "scientist" after "scientist" who have "suppressed the truth in unrighteousness" and as a result have become "futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise they have become fools," to loosely quote some key parts of Romans 1. It is pitiful really.

One of the scientists forcefully declared that it would be utterly boring to consider that a God or some intelligent being may have created the universe. How tragic that one day very soon most likely (if it hasn't already happened - at the time of the airing of the film he had a recurrence of brain cancer) he will face God and see the most fascinating entity that there ever was and won't ever be able to explore Him. He will be plagued down through eternity with the knowledge that he could have made endless discoveries studying God and His creation yet he chose eternal damnation instead because he thought God would be utterly boring. I hope that God was merciful on him and rescued him, but I doubt that He did.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. I am going to make every effort to get back to writing regularly - perhaps not every day, but at least a couple times a week. That has come about as a result of a conversation with a friend of mine who is in a home group that meets in my house every week for prayer and fellowship. As he was leaving two weeks ago he said to me something like, "If you're not sure what to do, go back to the last thing that God told you to do and do that."

I had to think on it a little while before I remembered what I was supposed to be doing. The last thing that I believe I heard from the Lord was to write about discipleship topics. It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since I did that last. I shared that with a couple other people who both confirmed that I needed to get my butt back in gear and start writing. So here I am. Hopefully, I will be able to finish the next installment in the Spiritual Warfare series that I began all that time ago. I know that I have said that before, but I'm actually a little more motivated to do so this time. More to come soon!