Another serious problem with the ACA

I don’t think people realize how marginal medical care is right NOW in the US — observably and in comparison with the other developed nations; and some not so developed. I am truly concerned at the damage being done to the entire system by these “glitches” in the ACA Get ready. The small business delay IMO is big and won’t get lost in the holidays.

The poor in need of Medicaid expansion and small businesses represent a huge percentage of those to be benefited by the ACA. The states are torpedoing the Medicaid expansion and now there will be a full year delay in help for small business, which tends to have a loud voice. IMO this does not bode well for the overall program. ( I try not to waste time gnashing my teeth at the incompetence in the Obama administration which is the cause of much of the hazards to the program.)

Don’t waste your time complaining I am just being negative. Put the energy into supporting what is working. But IMO be ready.


My take on the current position of the health care act

This is a cross post of my comment on a FaceBook entry. I like how I have said it and thought it worthwhile to be sharing here. I have no interest in partisanship around this essential need for our nation. I have made some minor edits from the original.

We need not just the politicians and business people to strive to make it  [the ACA] work. We need all of us.

IMO if the Media, GOP and Blue Dogs continue to criticize and, (in the case of the Senate, House and States) actively obstruct implementation of critical aspects the ACA is in danger of collapsing from its greatest design flaw, reliance on  market driven private forces. It is irrational to assume private insurance or employers  in private business to facilitate anything they see not in their short term bottom line.

Remember funding to hospitals for care of the uninsured is gone. The GOP led states could partially remedy this by voluntarily expanding Medicaid. Otherwise  a number of small hospitals will close and in desperation there will be little choice but to divert from Medicare benefits to support emergency room treatment of the poor. If insurance companies are given a legal way out of complying with ACA required  benefits by the GOP in the House and Blue Dogs in the Senate, that will add to an even greater number of uninsured in the emergency room. 

If the media continues to distort the ordinary properties of insurance of any kind., the anger resentment and splitting among us could be enough in its own right to bring it down. You pay when you can for the times that may happen when you can’t.

A society is held together by sharing risk. It cannot not survive without sharing.


I am Malala – a review

This is an informative book, making almost comprehensible many of the cultural/religious streams of thought that create and influence the politics and movements in the cultures of Pakistan, especially the tribal lands. The ghost writing is evident in the reportorial style of writing but acceptable considering the nature of the book. Malala presents as a genuinely intellectually sophisticated young woman who is answering a call to human rights activism. She is already an impressive world presence.

The real hardships and obstacles to even a modicum of freedom especially for women in the region are pictured with clarity. They are testimony to the passion and determination of the Yousafzai family to overcome and forward the education of their people. The father, and I believe the mother, are intellectuals in their own right. We hear more of the father’s influence but I believe both must be given responsibility and praise for their exceptional child Malala.

To experience the immersion in fundamental religionism and at the same time comprehend the violence inherent in the culture described in the book is almost overwhelming. It was not the first time and will not be the last time I have shuddered at the impact of violence; but the callous coarsening of everyday life that casual bloody violence brings presents a huge obstacle to the ends Malala Yousafzai seeks. Misogyny a distinct and softer obstacle is equally powerful in that it forms a major supporting structure of the religion fundamental in the lives of the indigenous of the area.

This is a political book. I mean no insult in making that observation but noting it as a harbinger of a powerful woman emerging in the world’s public arena; if she is permitted to live. I cannot resist prophetic commentary. Not a focus of the narrative, but what is there confirms the irrelevance and futility of empire and national power, with all its capacities to kill and intimidate and plunder, contribute little worth while in the long arc of history. The conversation quoted with the late Richard Holbooke is telling.

This is an easy and satisfying read that encourages the reader to give attention to, not only this young woman, but to those martyrs for civil liberties who have risked and, more often than not lost, all in the service of their cause.


Comment on: “Tom Watson’s mean streak maligned his political foes”

W L Watkins
W L Watkins

This is in response to a Gainesville Times column y Johnny Vardeman that appeared in the October 27, 2013 issue.

Mr. Vardeman’s column may be read here:

Statues of individuals in the environs of governing are put there not just to tell history but to celebrate the individual. “Mean streak indeed!” It is hard to find any tyrant in history that has not done some good for some people and certainly does not excuse the evil. Anyone who has read extensively the history and especially the words of Tom Watson understand what a travesty it has been to celebrate this man with statues or words. Looking at Georgia history, perhaps it would be just as well if more statues did start to fall like flies.

The blood on the hands of our deep south forebeares who committed and sustained a system of profound evils toward fellow humans is passed to the hands of the descendants and will not be washed away as long as we continue to declare solidarity with “heritage of that nature.”

Sadly until remorse for the sins of the fathers is experienced and expressed this region will continue to be seen as pariah by many in the rest of the nation and the world. The people who hold on also continue to suffer through being inhibited in reaching full promise because, deservedly or not, they are judged on actions and opinions coming from the region and deprived of easy access to many of the opportunities this nation provides.

The sins of the fathers are destiny only for those who let them be. Looking at the corruption (and just plain meanness in depriving large numbers of our poor of health care) by Nathan Deal, the man with the silver tongue who was promised great achievement by his political forebearers, one wonders.

Mr. Vardeman’s column may be read here: