Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Friday, February 15, 2008

Taking America seriously

Pretty good day. Sold a story to an anthology, and settled on a title for my book. It's going to be Heart of Veridon and the whole series will be using Veridon in the title. As you can tell, we're playing up the fantasy aspects of the story. Marketing decisions. There are other aspects of the project that have the editorial staff very excited, but I can't talk about them yet. You know why.

One of the things that will keep me in this job for a long time is health insurance. Even if my royalties and advances stack up to something resembling an income, I'll have to stick here for the insurance. I have two thoughts about this. Well, three thoughts, but the first is "Fuck the Man." And that's hardly productive. So, my other two thoughts.


1) The current insurance system is bad for business. Corporations have to push an enormous amount of money into health insurance for their employees. That cost gets moved on to the consumer. This is literally why Starbucks coffee costs so much. Starbucks has some of the best insurance of any retail outlet, and they pay for it through high prices. Maybe I could get a job at starbucks...Hm. Anyway.

2) The current insurance system discourages entrepreneurship. You pretty much have to tie your wagon to a big company for the benefits. Small companies have trouble starting up, and they have trouble attracting quality employees because they can't offer the benefits. And if they do offer the benefits, they kill their own margin and debt load. It's unamerican. I don't use that term lightly.

Okay, those are my republican reasons for supporting socialized medicine. We'll need a better name for it, because my red friends hear 'socialized' and they think 'socialist' and that's just not productive. Now, my democratic reasons for socialized medicine.

1) This is America, people. Folks shouldn't die because they couldn't afford to go to the dentist for their abscess.

2) Health isn't a luxury, and it shouldn't be packaged as a product. Hospitals should not have to consider the bottom line, and insurance companies shouldn't be overruling doctors.

I could go on. Here's the thing. I *know* these aren't new arguments. I know I'm not adding anything to the conversation here. Just sometimes I have to say these things, to keep my head from exploding.

5 Comments:

At 11:56 AM , Blogger colin said...

Heart of Veridon, eh? I can see it now... The Veridon Trilogy: Heart of Veridon, followed by Mind of Veridon and the thrilling conclusion Naughty Bits of Veridon!

...

runs

 
At 11:58 AM , Blogger colin said...

Comes back

Or how about

Heart of Veridon
Liver of Veridon
Pancreas of Veridon

runs again

 
At 12:02 PM , Blogger colin said...

Seriously, it's not a bad title, and I'm sure you'll come up with some good ones for the other books, too.

On health insurance, this is just one of the reasons why Deer Hunting With Jesus is such a fucking depressing book.

Doesn't the constitution say something about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Well, people are dying because they can't get affordable health insurance. That's the life part, folks. Whoever that guy is who pledged to uphold the constitution is falling down on the job. Probably tripped over a stack of cash sent in by an oil company...

 
At 10:06 AM , Anonymous Mark Newton said...

I can never understand the fact that you guys have to have health insurance. Any vague thoughts I have had about living a life over there falls on the fundamental point that if anything happens to me, I have to open my wallet.

And looking forward to Pancreas of Veridon. :-)

 
At 10:48 AM , Blogger Tim Akers said...

It makes for complicated living. Politicians have done a good job of convincing the populace that socialized medicine = poor service and higher taxes. It's going to be an uphill battle.

My dad's still working at nearly 70, in part because my mom's leukemia costs about $60k a year and he's not sure how he's going to cover that. And yet he still won't vote blue.

 

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