Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Just Saying.....

If our current, (somehow) elected Congresspersons and Sentaors can not read or choose to get their information about H.R. 3200 from a forwarded chain email (I'm talking to you Rep. Curtis Blackwood of North Carolina), then we have a major problem. Rep. Blackwood took criticisms, that originated from God only knows where, and put them in a newsletter to his constituents telling them that they would find some "interesting facts" regarding the "Democrats' big health care bill". I don't even know how to properly speak to this. I mean. Really? You really sent an email filled with misleading information and lies that have been debunked on numerous occassions by a number of individuals and non-profit organizations? And you sent it in the form of a newsletter from your office? I mean. Wow. I...well I'm just stunned actually. What a gross misjustice you have done and you should be ashamed of yourself.

And to quickly address the insulting display of disrespect from Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina (another congressperson I'm sure has not read the bill or has read any law whatsoever). It is currently ALREADY UNLAWFUL FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS TO RECEIVE GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE. This bill does nothing to change that policy. Folks are taking out of context in Section 152 on page 50. Coming to you, directly from the bill:

"[e]xcept as otherwise explicitly permitted by this Act and by subsequent regulations consistent with this Act, all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services."

The last time I checked, "personal characteristics" was not a synonym for "illegal aliens", but what do I know? I would actually take that to mean that you can not discriminate based on ethnicity, gender, know, actual characteristics of a person.

I would also like to reiterate that on page 143 of the bill, it states:
"Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

I'm beginning to think that people who claim to have "read" the bill are either lying and propogating the BS they hear on Fox News and other ridiculously conservative media outlets or they are just incompetent and do not understand plain English. I would venture to guess that these are the same people that send me emails about how people need to learn to speak English or get out even though the United States does NOT have a national language. Hmmm. I wonder how many of these folks had ancestors that didn't speak English. Including Native Americans. Who are the only true non-immigrants. I'm just staying. And I digress.

To make the point I was beginning, this is a website that came up as a legitimate Affordable Health Care source on the homepage of Google:

W.O.W. A quote: "Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession."

How many times do these outright lies need to be debunked? A thousand times? Would that be enough? Here is a thought, crack open the bill and take a gander for yourself instead of trusting a complete stranger who has claimed to read it. But like most things, you see what you want to see instead of being objective. And, I simply can not WAIT to see how many free "forced participation in abortions" we have coming our way. I'm trying to contain myself from falling off of my chair and laughing about this absolutely ridiculous claim. But, I can keep myself seated because some people actually believe this is true. And the saddest part, is that this is bill would probably help those people the most.

I will have to save my outrage towards Sarah Palin for another day. I just don't have the energy.

Read it for yourself:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in Action

I tend to only blog when something is important to me. This time around - its the debate surrounding health care reform. A close family friend recently told me that her six-year old child hasn't been covered in three years because she has acid-reflux and there isn't a health insurance company that would insure her. They won't insure a 3-year old because of heart burn??? WTF! God forbid something terrible happen to her. Their family could be bankrupted if she falls off of the monkey bars and breaks her arm - perhaps requiring surgery to the tune of 10's of thousands of dollars.

Which brings me to my next point. Close to 60% of the 1.5 million bankruptcies being filed this year are due to medical bills. 75% of thoes people HAVE insurance but claims were denied. One crucial talking point of the right wing is that having the government involved, that you would be letting beauracrats make medical decisions for you......NEWSFLASH: THEY ALREADY DO. They are just subsequently lining their pockets with our premiums. There is one health insurance CEO that is making $150 million per year. And my friend's chid can't have insurance because of heart burn.

"Among those whose illnesses led to bankruptcy, out-of-pocket costs averaged $11,854 since the start of illness; 75.7 percent had insurance at the onset of illness."

The average bankrupt person surveyed had spent $13,460 on co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services if they had private insurance. People with no insurance spent an average of $10,893 for such out-of-pocket expenses. How can it cost MORE to be insured than to not be?? I'm sorry if this makes no sense to me....

Don't buy into the BS that the media is trying to sell you. Do some research and read the bill as its being presented. The goal is not to eliminate private insurance, its goal is to try to make health care accessible and affordable to every single American by offering a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete.

People fail to realize that they pay for those who are uninsured anyways - through the form of their health insurance premiums. You are also penalized if you get sick. I had knee surgery this year, now next year when our company goes in for coverage review, they are going to come back with high rates, because of me. And my company and/or co-workers will have to foot the bill. The bill that insurance companies should pay for since we pay so much in premiums.

More facts and figures:

  • The United States has the 2nd most costly health care.
  • We rank 37th in the world for quality of health care.
  • The insurance companies retained a surpluss of over $600 billion by the end of 2006, which is higher than the GDP of 193 countries.
  • If you are a woman, you pay more for health insurance.
  • Right now, providers in Illinois lose over $2.1 billion in bad debt which often gets passed along to families in the form of a hidden premium “tax”.
  • In IL, the largest insurer carries 52% of the insured population....where is the competition for quality health care at an affordable rate?

This is just the attention and don't be caught buying into the big "town hall" uprising crap. There are actually groups out there that are teaching people how to disrupt a town hall meeting that state representatives are hosting to make it look like tons of people are up in arms over health care reform.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I did it!!!

Some background: Stephanie and I were talking last October about doing some half marathons together. In our research, she stumbled upon this event. We loved the idea and decided to talk our Mom's into doing this with us. And they agreed!! So, four months ago this journey began....

So, for the first time in my life I actually TRIED to do something. I was training since about December for the inagural Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon at Disney World. I stayed in on Saturday nights so I could make sure to get up early on Sunday's to do my long runs. I was going to the gym late at night even after long 12+ hour days. I disappeared for a couple of months. Then, I tore my ACL the first weekend in February. I was super depressed b/c my goal of finishing this half marathon was shot. But, the trip was planned, so I went.

We arrived a couple of days early to relax. But, Saturday was the Expo held at Disney's Wide World of Sports. I was so excited to be there and get my race packet and shirt, that I decided right then and there that I was going to try to make it at least 6 miles so I could walk or run through the Magic Kingdom. Reason being: not only was this my first half - but this was my first trip to Disney World!! Unfortunately, the only running gear I had with me were my shoes - so I had to buy a skirt, shirt, socks and a bra. Oh, and a stabilizing knee brace. My doctor did tell me last Monday that I should not be running, but I didn't care. Oh well!!

I decided that I wanted a finisher's medal. There was a 4 hour time limit, but I thought if I could get halfway through, that I could walk the rest if need be. Well....I was able to run for about 8.5 miles and then my legs gave up on me. So, I started to walk. Luckily around 9.5 miles, I found a women how was doing 30s running/1 min walking. She got me through to the 12 mile marker and I picked up my pace a little bit. It took me 3:07 to finish, but I did finish. I earned the crap out of my awesome medal and I'm very proud!!!! My legs weren't very happy with me and I'm sure my doctor won't be either, but I don't care. I feel pretty good today, so that's fine with me.

I will post pictures later!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fun Times and Follies trip to Granite Peak was this past weekend. Wow - what a good time (again). People should really join us on these trips. Anyway, we were so pumped to go on Friday evening that we were literally jumping around in the garage when Kedric and Shona pulled up (b/c that signaled the last of the group). We sang the entire way up for four straight hours and then checked into the hotel, had a few drinks at the hotel bar and went to bed. Everyone was pretty pooped. Except Jeff.....who thought that having 5 beer and 2 shots in 20 minutes was smart. Wife wanted to smack husband :)

Saturday morning we got up and ate our favorite breakfast spot: Emma Krumbees. Super yum. Then we all tackled the slopes. It was a gorgeous day to ski, not too cold, not too warm. Runs were amazing. The only bummer was that the west side of the slopes were not open, which is our favorite place to ski. A little more challenging, but super runs nonetheless. Shona wasn't sure of herself, but she ended up learning a ton and looking more comfrotable. Gretchen's ankle was bothering her pretty bad, which was a bummer, but she rested and then hit the slopes again. We managed get both Gretchen and Shona on a tougher blue! We were all getting pretty hungry and tired so we left around 5:30pm or so. We ate a nice little local joint and then all of us were so exhausted we pretty much went to bed.

Sunday rolls around and thanks to all of our rest, we are able to hit the slopes relatively early on Sunday. And - the West side runs were open! Woo hoo! We took Gretchen and Shona over there with us. The first part was easy....then comes trouble! Shona was a little nervous since we were going on a much more difficult run. I hung back with her to try to coach her down a little bit. Long story short....she slid onto her side and I didn't exactly move out of the way b/c it looked as though her skis would go right in between mine. Well they did, and then her right ski slid and took out my leg. I heard a pop and hit the ground. I managed to ski down to ski patrol with Shona and got some ice. Needless to say, I was done for the day. Shona and I sat in the lodge and drank some 312 while the rest of the group kept skiing.

Not more than 15 minutes later, Gretchen fell off of a run and down an embankment and screwed up her back really bad. Our friend Nick said it was the scariest thing he's ever seen and was pretty shook up. We took her to the local ER to make sure she was OK. Thankfully those XRays didn't reveal any broken bones and they gave her some pain meds. And by the way - best hospital ever. They have a medication dispenser called InstyMeds and she paid for and received her prescription on the spot. Amazing.

We played games and had some drinks on Sunday night. It was fun times and we were to bed by around 1:00am. Monday it was time to hit the road.

So, I had to call the doctor b/c my knee was super swollen and the ski patrol team said I should get it looked at. Thankfully I was able to get in on Tuesday. So, my doctor comes in and plays around with my knee a bit and tells me he thinks it's a torn ACL and a Grade II tear in my MCL. He drained some fluid from my knee and said if it had blood in it, it was almost for sure a torn ACL, and of course, it had blood in it. Still waiting for the MRI results on that one. If so, I will be out of commission for triathlons for me :(

Anyway....besides the really high number of accidents, the trip was a blast and I will go again next year without a doubt!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm sad today and let me tell you why...

I read this article when I was getting my latest dose of news from CNN. I think it's disgusting that we have spent $1.3 trillion in a war that never should have happened. But those of you reading this already know my thoughts on that.

The gist of the article, is that once confirmed, more soldiers would have died by their own hand than by combat in Jan '09. Multiple deployments, seperation from family, financial crisis and not getting adequate mental-health treatment are all to blame. If not more. This is what makes me sad, perhaps disgusted is a better word. We have dickheads in the corner offices of the banks we were 'forced' to bailout, with OUR money, re-decorating offices for $1.2 million and cashing in $15million bonus checks for FAILING at what they do. Many of these kids are essentially forced to go to war b/c they come from places that have poor education and poverty which leave them with few options in life than any of us were afforded. These guys come home to people who don't support the war they are in and have learned that they aren't fighting for what they thought originally was a righteous cause. Soldiers get crap pay, even worse benefits and perhaps the most worrisome - little to no respect. I wonder if they factor in the cost of human life while they are ringing up their $12B/month bill on the "war against terror".

Does that seem unfair to you?

I think it's total BS.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Attention Ladies

There are to be no excuses this year. I am strongly encouraging some participation in a triathlon this year!

Once again, there are quite a few months between now and July. It all starts with one lap of the pool, one lap of a track and a couple of miles on a bike. Anyone can do it!!

This is the link for an all-women's tri up in Pleasant Prairie, WI. I will be participating in at least three races this year, and this will be one of them. Lake Andrea is a great place to swim and PP really knows how to host a great race. Please join me and you, too, will see how inspirational it is to watch women of all shapes and sizes cheer and motivate one another to cross the finish line.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Family Weekend

That is how I felt this weekend. I got to 'borrow' my brothers kids :) I guess that's better than saying babysit when you're referring to your adorable nephews. My brother was really sick with the stomach flu and had to go to the hospital on Thursday night. So, Thursday through Sunday Jack was at my house. Braxton only stayed on Thursday and Friday because he was having his 11th birthday bash back at his house on Saturday. The kicker about B is that he didn't have to stay on Friday, but he walked to our house from school because he wanted to come and keep Graminator company. Sweetest thing....Anyway, I would like to think it was a little like having my own kid(s) in the house for a few days. They drove Jeff a little nutty, but it was fine by me. Friday night we went shopping for Braxton's birthday party supplies. He decided on having a luau theme since it's been so darn cold. Because Jack was being a good boy, he got him a $9 Lightning McQueen balloon. That thing was twice the size of him, but it was hilarious and worth it. We ended up going home and curling up on the couch to watch the Incredibles. It was really cute and we had fun. I was exhausted though and fell asleep before 11. NICE!

Saturday morning brough Jeff home from work at 4am. He seemed pretty upset and just couldn't stop talking about how badly he wants to move out of here and just be us out in Colorado. He doesn't open up that much to me about things that he wants, so I decided to let him go even though it was the middle of the night. He has been a real trooper with having my family staying with us. He is so patient and kind and I'm really lucky to have such a great husband. I think that this situation has actually brought us closer together and we have greater respect for each other and our time together.

Anyway, Carynn brought Josephine and Finley over in the morning for a playdate with Jack. They were all SO adorable playing with one another. They played airplanes and chased each other around...and sort of watched the Little Mermaid. It was so nice to finally have them all together and I hope we can do it again! After that, we took Jack to play at Chuck E Cheese with Mom too! It was actually really fun and surprisingly clean in there. Afterwards, Uncle Keck and Auntie (as he calls us) took the munchkin to Jewel so we could get him popsicles. Yes, we bribed him to do a lot of things for popsicles. Being good, eating dinner, taking a "rest" for thirty minutes. Very effective!

We played and played and Jack even helped with the laundry. As we were sitting on the floor waiting for the washing machine to fill up with water, he asked me the most interesting question, "Auntie, why are you happy?" I didn't even pause, and said, "becuase you're here". Which is true. It just struck me as such an innocent question and yet something quite profound to think about. We always spend so much time thinking about reasons why we aren't as happy as we could be, that I think we fail to stop and think about all of the things in our life that actually make us happy. Jack eventually grabbed his blanket and crawled next to me on the couch and fell asleep in my arms. At that moment, for me, it was a realization that my family, as nuts as we can be, actually make me happy.

Sunday morning Jeff and I got up and ran 7 miles at the gym. That's my longest run to date and it felt really good! We spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, doing laundry and enjoying each other's company in the peace and quiet of our home. Sunday afternoons have become the only time when we don't usually have people ino ur house, so we try to enjoy it while we can! Overall, it was a really nice and quiet and fun weekend without going out partying or spending money on useless, wasteful things. I hope to have more like this. And sometime in the future, enjoy these weekends with kids of our own.

Why are you happy?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm Taking You By The Horns '09

That quote is from the first day of the new year, by my wonderful hubby. I'm sure it had something to do with driving or being a little tipsy...but it was hilarious and a pretty darn good motto for the new year.

My friend Sarah sent me this pretty interesting questionnaire that asks you to reflect on your 2008 and make plans for 2009. Wow - I realized that I accomplished nothing in 2008. Not one goal. Not even the slightest bit of headway. I want to thank her for sending me that little nugget of "wake your ass up, slacker"! So, I have decided this year to put myself and my goals ahead of everything else and see if I can't follow through on something. Here is a little sampling of this year's goals. Please hold me to them, I'll need some help!!

I will choose my words more carefully.
I will drink only in moderation.
I will go home before midnight.
I will slow down and enjoy the present, for tomorrow it's gone.
I will be more careful with my money and purchase less.
I will be more patient.
I will learn self-discipline.
I will run two half-marathons.
I will start to learn a new language.
I will not give up my childhood dreams and I will do what is necessary to achieve them.
I will re-evaluate my definition of hard work.
I will write in a journal.
I will take 15 minutes and give them to myself each day.
I will do yoga once a week.
I will be grateful for what I have.
I will go to church.
I will watch less TV and read more books.

This is my year of personal enrichment and fulfillment. It is my last year in my "20s" and I'd like to take it out better than I've had any other year. And at the same weight as I was in '99 :)

Here's to me; here's to you and here's to a happy and accomplished 2009!