the drift


Sunday, July 26, 2009

community health care co-op?

After reading a bit online about the start of the NHS in Britain I think there could be something to this idea of relatively healthy people dropping out of their group health care plans and joining a locally based health care co-op. Before I had children, my lifelong medical care probably totaled somewhere in the 3k to 4k range. During that time, the premiums paid equaled two to three times that. (I think similar math would hold even after having children -- proportion of need to amount of premiums paid since we started getting the cadillac grade insurance plan once we started having kids.)
Of course, I know nothing of the logistics of this. That doesn't make it irrelevant. For middle income and low income people, there is no reason that this shouldn't work, with a little help of some people like Wendell Potter ... former industry execs to consult, local clinicians to provide basic services or local offices to sign on to work with us. I would bet there are plenty of start up doc offices that would rather work with a local entity like this than the myriad insurance companies with all of their hoops and red tape (the start up and maintenance cost of staff and technology is exorbitant from what I saw working for a medical info tech company).
There has to be a way to make this work at least for the most common health care needs. Just because the media doesn't have the answers, and Congress isn't getting creative enough, doesn't mean WE don't have the answers.
I'm curious to hear what people know about this? What are the biggest hurdles? What is doable? I find the idea of grassroots health care reform infinitely more realistic to manage and navigate for most people. I mean really, if the ahole who decides whether you get care paid for you lives next door, isn't it more likely that these co-ops will meet the needs of the payers more?,8599,1906105,00.html

Friday, July 17, 2009

Toddlers On Computers Make Me Sad

This isn't going to win me any friends in my mom circles, but that's hardly surprising. The older the kids get, the more I think -- Where are the other gals like me? I'm not out there as far as mothering goes (I'm not dipping them in hourly baths of Purell nor am I making their clothes from recycled underwear). Where are the practical broads with a pragmatic skepticism of the tension between childhood and the cultural norms du jour?
Anyway, I digress folks.
An old classmate updated her FB status today with something to the effect that her 3 year old's soccer coach (btw you don't 'coach' 3 yr olds to do anything and if you do, you're a dbag) wants to move him up to the next age level 6 MOS EARLY. Also, her 3 yr old is taking Tots on Computers classes and doing really well in them -- do any teachers out there know of gifted daycare centers?
Ok, ok. I'm a horrible bitch for critiquing a mother's blind adoration of her child (which in this case in particular is just another exercise in narcissistic mothering but again I digress). We've got that out of the way so let's move on.
Surely, my first reaction to the post by this person is -- Yes, of course, your 3 yr old is gifted. (And hey, he might be, who fucking knows? He's THREE!)
Then I think, Ugh. I hope I never do that to my kids. Putting them in computer classes just as they're learning that poo goes in the toilet? That said -- she's not alone in that all sorts of media are constantly pulling our toddlers into that alpha multimedia brain state -- playing games and stuff on the computer, videos, frankenstein hybrid videos and games -- to deafening silence among the majority of parents I know who don't seem to notice the constant barrage.
and it makes me sad for these kids bcz they're probably going to be chained to a desk their whole life in front of a computer anyway. So he can click a button to pick the right shape on the computer screen? I'm pretty sure I've seen chickens at roadside tourist traps do that for food.
And what kind of brave new world/work makes free shit is that anyway?
Seriously, were mothers during the Industrial Revolution putting their 3 year olds in Cotton Gin courses for 'tots'? you know, just to get a head start. No! They did it for money and because childhood wasn't considered sacred but more a temporary deformity -- but we, evolved compassionate parents that we are, what do we do it for? In what world is a mother conditioned to think her child is gifted simply because he/she shows early signs of assimilation to work culture? Have we really become so obsessed with our children as accessories or statements on our intellect/coolness/upward mobility that we can't even grant them toddlerhood anymore? That even when we're covered in baby fat still and shitting our pants -- our synapses belong to info tech?
whatever. i'm not wrong. children shouldn't be these little mirrors held up to the cultural super-ego*. take your kid outside and go look at a butterfly or something.

(yeah, yeah comp lit friends i know that's clumsy. give me a break.)