Wednesday, October 01, 2003

bad western night...

What are the chances that both my husband and I would have western-inspired dreams on the same night? I had a dream I bought the "new John Wayne CD." It was similar to Johnny Cash's last gig--and it was pretty good. It was actually a reel-to-reel type of recording and my shirt kept getting drawn up into the mechanism.

But my husband's dream was much more entertaining than mine.

Hubby dreamed that he was in a giant paneled hotel room and he was dressed up in dirty old western gunslinger garb complete with the big hat and giant handlebar moustache. There were dispensing containers all along the wall like the ones you see at buffets that hold iced tea, except these were filled with liquor. Also in the room were all the old western legends like Jesse James. Apparently there was a one drink limit because some guy got two servings and my husband must have been the sheriff because he said this now classic line in our household:

"I reckon' I'll have to arrest him for that OH-ffense."

And Jesse James stood up and yelled "Like hell you will!" and threw his glass against the wall.

Hubby said he woke up laughing.

On another note, making a pass through the blogs, I read a bit about being uninsured in America at Long Pauses. Having worked in healthcare communications for about 13 years now I guess I've been especially tuned-in to this issue. I am becoming acutely aware of it now that I am making more friends in the independent artist arena. For instance, the woman who was set up next to me at the TACA fair in Nashville had no benefits. She is an amazingly talented clay artist. She used to have benefits when she was a retail manager for many years, but when she went full-time as an artist (which is plainly what she should be doing given her talent) she gave up her access to affordable healthcare. If you've ever looked at getting insurance on an individual basis, you would see that it's plainly unaffordable.

There are many people out there who need to be doing what they are MEANT to do, but can't afford their dream because of THE COST OF BEING INSURED. Our culture suffers as a result. People suffer as a result.

The other group that really suffers is the group of folks who have retired but who are not yet eligible for Medicare benefits. Those benefits do not kick in until age 65. Even then most people need a supplemental insurance to be able to get the healthcare they need. For those that fall into the gap, they are screwed. At a time when they are likely to be sicker, they have less accessibility to affordable healthcare. I have a friend who is in her late 50's whose job was basically eliminated. Her husband is an established illustrator, but they have no insurance since she lost access to group insurance through her company. So there they are, hoping to stay healthy until they can be considered eligible for Medicare. These are UPPER middle-class folks, and THEY can't afford individual healthcare insurance. And really, who can afford $600 a month to just be minimally COVERED?

I could write a dissertation on this subject and it would be full of examples of real-life people not getting the care they needed solely because of insurance. I'll just stop there.


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