What is a Pre-existing Condition?

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There has been a lot of talk about pre-existing conditions, what they are and if people who have them can be denied health insurance, or be made to pay more for health insurance.  A pre-existing condition is anything medical that happened before a person’s health care policy went into effect.   In the bad old days, before the ACA, health insurance companies could refuse to sell policies to people who were sick, or who had been sick.  There were companies who did sell policies to these people, however the cost was much too high for the average person to pay.  With the ACA, these people were able to buy policies for about the same price that the average “healthy” person could.  With the advent of TrumpCare, these pre-existing conditions don’t need to be covered by insurance companies.  Here is a list of some of these conditions that no longer will be covered.

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As you can see, a lot of people have these conditions.  For example, I was born of with a heart murmur and I have had asthma in the past.  Heart murmurs, as I understand it, can be a crap-shoot.  It’s a 50/50 chance of needing a medical intervention.  I never even knew I had one until I was pregnant, then I was told that I’d had it all my life – go figure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMNOvVX8e4I

What do you think about these pre-existing conditions?  Are you in danger of losing your health care?  If you do lose it what will you do about it?  Let me know in the comments below.

“Fight Club”- FOAK and What it Means

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The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks such things as hate crimes, terrorism, and white supremacists.  They are a well-respected organization and committed to dealing with facts.  As most of us know, there are a lot of white supremacist organizations throughout the U.S.  What a lot of people don’t know, is that there is a lot of talk within these organizations about military operations against various groups of U.S. citizens.  All a person has to do is look at some recent events to see that this is true.

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However, the specific issue at hand is the formation of a new group, by Kyle Chapman (I am leaving a link below where you can see who and what Kyle Chapman is) which will be a “highly masculine” group called the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (otherwise known as FOAK’s) which is going to be formed for the express purpose to “bring the fight to the streets”.  Recently we have seen an uptick in the violence that protestors are being met with, not only from the police, but also from these groups of the extreme right-wing.

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I am not going to regurgitate the links that I’ve provided.  Instead I am encouraging you to read them, and educate yourself.  With the fear of being seen as a lunatic conspiracy theorist, my thoughts are leading to this:  What if, with all the new violence, the President declares Military Rule, Democracy is suspended and we have a dictator?  I know, it sounds insane, however, don’t these various groups vowing to “fight” against protestors (and others) sound a lot like the Nazi Brown Shirts?  Let me know what you think.

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http://nypost.com/2017/04/27/alt-right-group-tries-to-build-small-street-army/

https://www.adl.org/education/resources/reports/state-of-white-supremacy

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/24/white-supremacist-who-traveled-to-new-york-to-murder-black-men-followed-extremist-racist-online-groups-who-support-trump_partner/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/opinions/white-supremacy-is-terrorism-ifill-opinion/

 

Unity

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The only way to fight injustice in the world is make sure that we fight for all who are in need of it.  That means that we need to stand up not only for ourselves and our own concerns, but we must stand up for all the others who are marginalized.  We must stand and resist together.  It’s the only way change will occur.

 

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International Women’s Day

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When I was initially talking to my husband about International Women’s Day he wondered why women needed one.  At first I was taken aback.  Seriously?  Then I realized that he looks at the world in only one way – as a man.  So, I thought that I’d make a list of why there needs to be an International Women’s Day.

Equality – women in general are paid less, however that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Maternity leave is not a paid for; as well as a higher cost of health insurance for being a woman.  Clothing marketed exclusively for woman is sold at a higher cost.

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Poverty – women and children are the largest group worldwide to live in poverty.  At any given time 795 million people go to bed hungry.  This number is on the rise due to war and the number of refugees.  More women and children live in poverty than any other group.

Restriction of Rights – women’s rights around the world are restricted in various ways.  Some include how they are “allowed” to dress; whether they can attend school, drive or even leave their houses by themselves; in some areas women are restricted from voting and owning property.   A woman’s right to many forms of health care has been restricted.  In many countries the kinds of work that a woman can legally perform is restricted by law.

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Violence – girls as young as 12 are routinely married in many countries; rape and domestic violence against girls and women is rising worldwide.  Sex trafficking has become rampant world-wide.

These are just a few of the reasons that there is an International Women’s Day.

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Signs

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This is one of those signs that everyone should think about and reflect on.  States are drug testing welfare recipients.  While this testing costs a lot of money, few people have been found to have taken drugs.  That money could have been used for other social welfare projects.  Also, there are a few bills in both state and federal legislatures to stop the free lunch and breakfast programs.  Wrap your head around that…a lot of people want children to go hungry.

Standing Rock is just one example of an oil companies’ profits outweighing the right to clean water and air.  Money over people.  The head of the EPA wants to dismantle it.  Does anyone remember why there was a movie about Erin Brockovich?

Refugees are now leaving the U.S. and walking into Canada.  I never thought that people would need to leave the U.S. in order to be safe.  My question, and it should be your question also, who is next?  The LBGTQ+ community?  The reporters who report the truth?  The Jewish community?  Minorities, any minority take your pick.  People who blog about these issues?  The potential list could go on and on.

Lastly, but not least, health care supposedly is not a right.  The U.S. in one of a few countries (and none of them are considered “first world” countries), that do not have universal health care.  We also spend more, by far, on the health care that we do have.  So, what your rights include is,  the right to die from not enough money to pay for health care.  Yes, that’s right.  Death is your right.  That’s what freedom is – apparently.

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I’m Just a “Little Bit” Broken

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For years, I’ve been having heart attacks on a pretty regular basis.  Of course, I’m not speaking about actual heart attacks, but I’ve been upset on many occasions by the state of the world, the environment and the actions of a few people with a lot of power.  I spend probably a few hours a week signing petitions against this or that; or even for this or that.  Things that really have integral value such as clean air and water, wars and poverty.  That kind of thing.

However, as time has gone on, my stress level has skyrocketed to the point where after the election on last Tuesday I was afraid that I would have an actual heart attack. When I calmly, nicely and quietly questioned some people I know who voted for Trump, they didn’t really actually like (or even know) what he was running on, they simply liked the things that he said.  When asked specifically what things it was that they liked, the response was invariably the hateful things that he said.  Sadly, my experience didn’t seem to be much different from the videos and articles I’ve seen and read regarding the reasons people voted this way.  The most upsetting part of this exercise in futility was in regard to the sad realization that none of the people I spoke with had a clue as to exactly what would be the out-come of a Trump presidency.  They had no idea of what he was going to do – other than “build a big beautiful wall.”    So, I’ve had to ask myself is this the America that I thought it was?  I have to say that I had no idea that so many of my neighbors and acquaintances felt the way they do in regard to race, religion and gender.

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In the end, after all the hand wringing, wondering, and intense depression, there is one question that I feel I must ask myself.  What do I do, knowing what I now know?  There are a lot of people, who, because they feel they have been short-changed (and I do agree, working people have been short-changed – I should know, I’m one of them), have decided to blame those who are just as powerless as they are.  A large segment of our society has blamed the blameless.  What about the banks that caused the 2008 financial crisis?  What about the corporations whose greed has broken down much of our society?  The CEO’s who have finagled ways out of paying any taxes, received many tax breaks and even receive subsidies from us, the working class, paying all our taxes (and then some).  Why have they not been held accountable?  Bernie Sanders, who tried to bring this knowledge to light, was right.

So, again, where do I as a person go from here?  What is the way forward and how do I find it?   My reaction has been the realization that I’ve got to learn how to deal with stress in a much better way.  I’ve got to keep myself busy working on creating a better world around myself.  I’m making a list of some of the things I can do just in my little world.  Of course, I’ll keep signing petitions, writing letters to the editor and voting with my dollar.  I intend to work with the marginalized (whom I feel will become even more marginalized); volunteer work is a great way to start.  However, another one of my goals will be to make my own house a shelter, a peaceful place to retreat from the craziness that those of us who did indeed read the Republican Platform know is coming.  Keep safe, find peace somewhere in your own lives and keep fighting the good fight.  Love each other and have courage!

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http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-america-racism?akid=14867.302291.KMX_93&rd=1&src=newsletter1066971&t=18

War on Women Part 4D – Violence – Social Issues Series

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This is my last and final section in my War on Women articles.  In this section I’ll be talking about various means of violence done to women.  To make my own life easier, I’m going to be focusing on the U.S., as I’ve done from the beginning of this series.  I recommend that you go out there and inform yourself about the abuses that women all over the world face on a daily basis.  From rape to harassment on the street, women are under siege.  When a society has a statistical result that includes a woman being assaulted every 9 seconds, there is something wrong, and that something is not women and how they act, that something is the way women are regarded, treated and personified.  http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics

In the U.S. we have reduced women to body parts.  https://storify.com/bvalderrama/how-woman-are-portrayed-in-the-media

This has led to the all-encompassing question regardless of what a woman has accomplished: “Well, that’s great, but what does she look like?”  These attitudes have led to the statistics stated above – every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted.  When you make another person an “other”, you also open the door to treatment which is immoral.  As an extreme example you can look up the de-humanization of the Jewish peoples by the Nazi’s in Germany.  If you think this is too extreme as a comparison, have you looked at advertisements and commercials lately?  Reducing humans to body parts is de-humanizing.  Not only do we see this on t.v., in movies, etc., but it is also “taught” in churches – where a man is told to “control” and “force” his wife and daughters to “obey” him by using fear and dread.  http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/christian-marriage-adviser-use-fear-and-dread-control-your-wife-god-intended

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/quiverfull-movement-facts_n_7444604.html

These movements rely on the ability of the husband to “control” his wife and children, specifically the female children.

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Then, there is the other part of the war on women which is one of the more despicable ones.  The movement, which to be fair, has been on-going for a long period of time.  Whatever happens to a woman, it must be her fault – be it rape, domestic violence, or street harassment gone violent.  From telling a woman that her actions caused her rape, to refusing to even send in rape kits to be tested, once a woman is violated, it seems that this violation continues from taking her statements, taking evidence for the rape kit, and then refusing to test those rape kits.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/08/1498013/-Texas-Republican-wonders-how-many-times-a-pure,-sober-sexual-assault-happened?detail=email

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/16/1502248/-Idaho-sheriff-objects-to-mandatory-rape-kit-testing-because-majority-of-cases-are-consensual

http://www.alternet.org/gender/us-becoming-terrifying-nation-women?akid=14100.302291.tFZQiQ&rd=1&src=newsletter1052977&t=6

Included in this, are the instances of when a woman refuses to respond to a man’s harassment, and then that woman is either “simply” attacked, or she is both attacked and murdered.  This discussion should also include stalking and cyber-bullying, these are both acts of violence toward women.

https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-information

http://madamenoire.com/594447/female-comic-brutally-beaten-after-rejecting-mens-advances/

http://whenwomenrefuse.tumblr.com/tagged/news

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You can continue this discussion by reading the following links to chapters from the book Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in Americas School’s by Jesse Klein.

https://books.google.com/books?id=qbUqS34F8l0C&pg=PA57&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=qbUqS34F8l0C&pg=PA1&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=qbUqS34F8l0C&pg=PA97&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

In the future I will be addressing the issue of sex trafficking.  Although this issue is indeed part of the War on Women, it also includes boys and children, and I feel that it deserves its own article.

So, do you indeed feel that there is a War on Women?  Have the links that I’ve provided during this series been informative and interesting?  Let me know what you think.