Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Public Health Care

With all due respect, I don't understand why so many Americans are opposed to public health care.

Is it about the way taxes are distributed? Well, that could be said about all kinds of things: a portion of taxes goes to public education, even if a taxpayer doesn't have children. What's the difference? That's the nature of a tax system. A portion of my taxes goes to build roads I will never drive on, but I know they are needed so I don't complain about it. To put it simply, all tax moneys collected are divided and used to pay for all kinds of things the country or province needs. Perhaps I don't particularly wish to have my tax dollars spent on supporting the military, but we don't get to pick and choose which programmes we wish to support. That's not how it works.

And there seems to be some misconception that the government gets to control my health care. Rest assured: the Prime Minister does not sit in on my pap tests, nor does the Premier of the province tell me which drugs I can and cannot take. No government official decides which doctor I see, and government workers don't have access to my medical files.

I saw a documentary on TV a number of years ago about a public health care Bill being presented in the state of Oregon. I found it very interesting that the loudest opponents to the Bill were..... The Insurance Companies. Gee, I wonder who stands to lose the most should the state offer public health care? And so the fear-mongering began, and the Bill did not pass.

Here's the thing: Bottom line. We're a family of four. We pay $114.00 per month (it was only $108 until a couple of months ago), and that's it. I can go to any doctor, have blood tests, X-Rays, Ultrasounds, MRIs, Bone scans, see specialists, basically have all my health care needs addressed. AND I DON'T HAVE TO PAY ANY MORE than that $114. [I pay a small fee to go to Physiotherapy, or massage therapy, and the like, but that's it]. I have given birth to two children and it didn't cost me a cent extra. (That number is lower for people of lower income). Where's the problem here?

Wouldn't it be nice for Americans to NOT be locked into seeing only a doctor that is covered by their health insurance? or to not have to go to a particular hospital that is covered by their health insurance? or to receive necessary surgery and treatment without worry that their insurance will cover it? To receive health care even if they can't afford health insurance?

It seems to me that the American system has a lot more limitations than ours. I think there's a lot of miscommunication out there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

To Each Her Own in Problem Solving

New obstacles to finishing this dang rewrite are being thrown at me. Every time I think I've solved some major problems and I nearly have the pieces together, someone gives me a new reason to pause the forward motion. (By golly this sounds like a plotline in itself!) It never feels good to hear these things, that the climax of the story isn't climactic enough, so yes, I was upset about it. I'm recovering from the death of my hard drive, and still mourning the loss of a lot of stuff due to the back-up system having failed me. I knew I'd have to rewrite some rewrites I had completed in the fall, which is bad enough, but now I have to go back and re-evaluate a whole plot concept and figure out how to fix it.

But you see, I'm a problem solver. That's one of the things I love about writing, and it's one of my strengths.

Colleen has been saying to me for months....
"You need to set Book One aside and get some distance from it. Work on Griffin."
A few weeks ago I finally said to her, "You know, when you say that I think you're telling me that Book One sucks."
She said, "I'm glad you said that, because that's not at all what I'm saying, and now we can clear this up." [Did I ever mention the importance of having writer friends you can work with closely? To help each other through these challenges? Someone you trust] We did clear it up and she stopped telling me to set this story aside.

The other day, after Colleen (yes, it was Colleen) pointed out the flaws in the climax of my story, I vented a bit to Jonathan, another wonderful writer friend whom I trust. [my partner for the 2009 3-Day Novel Contest.... You can't collaborate on a project like that with someone you don't get along with!] So I vented to Jonathan and he said...
"You should set this story aside and get some distance from it. Work on Griffin."


I understand where he's coming from, of course. And I'm glad everybody's excited about the Griffin story. But here's the thing: I don't want to work on Griffin. My passion is still with Kyer and Valrayker right now. I've been working on this massive edit/rewrite for ages and I want to finish it. If I set it aside it needs to be my decision; it needs to be because I feel that is the best choice right now.
I've given it lots of thought, taking my gut feeling into consideration, as I always do. I've already shifted into problem solving mode, I can feel those wheels turning.... So no, this is not the time to set the story aside.

Now that I'm over being upset about it, it's time to get back to it.