Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Health Care Reform and Movies

Sorry that I've been away. Been busy.

Thinking about my last post though, I have to admit that I don't fully agree with all that I said. Jobs are of the upmost importance. We dealt with a lot of people this Christmas who lost their jobs, and their situation worsened because of it. Most of our work though, has to do with people who are dealing with illnesses. It is amazing, and I know this first hand, how desperately a long term illness can affect the finances of a family, even if they have insurance.

In our case, Bill's illness is something that we never financially recovered from. We are among the lucky though. We haven't lost our home. I know several people who are currently in foreclosure. The Cook Country Sheriff's office has announced that they will not evict homeowners presently. We helped a family last year who was about to be foreclosed on then. They were back with us again this Christmas, and still living at the same address and still in foreclosure. It's hard driving down the main street in town and see the 'bank owned' signs on homes. There's only a handful, but one is one too many in this instance.

My point is that we need health care reform. The President and Congress need to work on getting people back to work, and they need to decide which health care plan to implement.

The idea that we should open up competition over State lines between insurance companies is silly. I worked for several insurance companies and I took quite a bit of training. One of the things I learned both through the companies I worked for and through an insurance industry institute is that every State has their own Insurance Department. Laws vary from State to State, giving all 50 States different laws and criteria for managing insurance companies. Some States have strict financing laws and some don't. We used to joke that if someone wanted to get rich while using very little capital, that they could start and insurance company in Texas. One would need less money to set up and maintain a company, and could cut and run before making settlements. Now this was years ago. As far as I know they've strengthened their laws by now. What I'm trying to say is this; insurance laws need to be standardized in each State before this is feasible. And before that happens we suddenly have a Federal insurance office. That defeats the argument regarding smaller government.

The other thing that most people don't realize until they face disaster, is that there is a point when you just can't spend one more cent. I don't have insurance now. I can't afford it in Illinois. If the possibility of buying insurance across State lines for less arises, I still won't have the money to purchase it. When someone is out of work, or under employed, every penny counts.

Ed got to see my favorite movie, Casablanca, in his film appreciation class. He loved it. I'm glad he realizes that color doesn't make a good movie. There's a lot more than that that goes into a good story. Like I told him a long time ago, there's a reason why a classic is a classic. For some reason, I don't think he's going to develop a real appreciation of John Wayne though. If he ever asks, I have enough of the Duke's movies.

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