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    • When politics get involved in election campaigns, it is easy to just think generally about the issues yet not relate to them viscerally. This is a recent photo of my son, who just received a vital medical support, a TLSO brace to support his spine and neck needed to reduce pain. Without this brace, medications so little to relieve his chronic pain. Yet, just think that this kind of device may not be available in the future in the US if some politicians focus only on cost-savings and berate the expenses required to keep citizens alive and functioning! My son has a pre-existing condition that will result in his death were it not for the best of medical care and remediation. What is quality of life when compared to "expense" and the negative, pejorative term of "entitlement" as politicians decry as costing "too much" for Americans?

      Besides this brace, we incur expense for the accessories that are needed, yet not supplied. As Mom, I need to supply special undershirts so this brace will not cause additional pain from rubbing on his skin. Since he must wear this on waking hours, he also needs to have overshirts/sweatshirts to cover his arms when it is colder in the home. Guess what? The special undershirts are priced as $45 each for the best ones. By searching online I was able to get "ok but not great undershirts" and "ok but not great sweatshirts that open by zipper for ease of use. This brace is priced at $5,000 because it is made from a custom mold needed because my son's adult body is incredibly skinny and he can't use "off the shelf" braces. Why do we need this brace? Well, consider that without is, his spinal cord injury would require a life-threatening surgery costing the American taxpayers about $100,000. Now do you see that preventive, wellness and remediative medical expense is both cost-effective and vital?

      In the US, so very often all expenses of citizens are weighed as "cost". Yet, this medical need is actually a need and investment. But then, many people only care about what affects them directly. So his needs that we as society affirm, well those needs are only looked at as costs and for Conservatives in the US, wasted money for people who should "pay their own way". What do you see and understand when you are voting on issues that affect quality of life and personal needs? Is America actually a country that truly cares for citizens?

    • Ouch, Cobalt, I'm sorry to hear that. Can you describe what it was that created the difficulty? We feel that getting the topic systems working well with as little friction as possible is mission critical for Cake,

    • I'm really sorry to hear about the pain your son is experiencing, Cobalt. My wife and I have very personal and ongoing experience with this.

      Her family lives in Southern Utah where the populace is extremely conservative. To my wife's family, Obamacare is evil and no self-respecting American should support it. The problem is, one of my wife's brothers and a brother-in-law ended up with serious medical problems and didn't have insurance. They couldn't get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The only recourse seemed to be to declare bankruptcy and in a few years, pass away.

      This put my wife's dad in a terrible position: enroll two of his family members in Obamacare and violate everything he believed in as an American veteran and proud member of The Legion of Honor, or watch the awful suffering and decline of his family. He enrolled them in Obamacare and they're getting good care now, but it tortures him that he's supporting something so terrible.

    • I was not a fan of Obamacare when it was being debated and ultimately voted on. I felt that we should’ve gone all in with healthcare for all, even if it didn’t pass. But Obama and his strategists were smarter than I even knew.

      They realized that once people saw that they could get healthcare when before they couldn’t get any, they changed the conversation.

      The fact that conservatives are having to face the consequences of their beliefs changes the conversation.

      Fourteen years ago, you would never have convinced me that pre-existing condition protections would be a dominant concern for mid-term election voters.

    • People who don't like socialised medicine generally don't need it and simply don't understand it. The fact those people are generally from the upper echelons of society is a coincidence (/s).

      We are lucky, for now, in Australia as we have managed to stop the politicians from shutting down our socialised medicine completely, though they are still chipping away at it. The conservatives are the worst, though they get plenty of assistance from others who should know better.

      FYI: When talking about healthcare in America it would help the cause of those trying to keep and reinforce socialised medicine if people would stop calling it Obamacare and call it by its correct name - ACA. Reading posts on Twitter and elsewhere it seems that a lot of conservative voters simply don't understand that the ACA that they acknowledge they rely on is the same thing as the Obamacare that they passionately hate.

    • We tried to tell our family that Obamacare was just the nickname given to the ACA by its opponents, but they got really angry and insisted they were not the same. 😢

    • For me, the big pain with the topic system is that there is no way to identify currently existing topics when creating a conversation without dreaming up topics and starting to type the first few letters to see whether the topic already exists or not.


      For example, I wanted to start a conversation on the topic of assumed homogenization. Two people that hold similar policies views may have completely different motivations and paradigms which have led them to the support of that policy. Those who oppose this policy have a tendency to assume that all who support the policy have identical motivations and paradigms. This leads to a break down in the ability to communicate.

      Sometimes people with identical paradigms concerning a specific topic have completely different policy desires. Bryan A. Garner is an originalist but he is not a "conservative." He was in agreement with Antonin Scalia regarding how to interpret law but his policy desires did not always correspond with Scalia's.

      End of Illustration

      Now my problem is if I attempt to initiate a conversation that addresses a current policy issue with the agenda of discussing how I am opposed on a fundamental level with many of those who support this specific policy issue even though on this one topic we are partially in agreement, how do I locate the currently existing topics which would channel this conversation to those Cake users who might be interested in discussing the problem of assumed homogenization.

      By the way, this problem is not limited to the political realm. People who are not Jewish tend to lump Orthodox, Karaites, Reform Jews, etc together and treat them as all being the same. People who do not believe in Jesus tend to lump Roman Catholics, JWs, Mormons, Protestants, Orthodox Catholics, Coptics, etc. into one homogenized group. People who are not Isalmists tend to lump Khawarij, Ahmadiyya, Sufis, Shias, Sunnis, Quranists, etc into one homogenized group.

      Anytime people engage in assumed homogenization they tend to quit listening for the purpose of understanding.

    • As someone who is disabled and faced the woes of American healthcare...

      I experienced both socialized medicine via the military as a dependent (before this quasi-insurance system called Tricare too), and now as a disabled person in another form of socialized medicine: SSDI/SSI (I'm a dual-eligible because I was disabled early in life).

      While there are merits in Universal Healthcare (like getting the care people need), it comes at a price of limiting access to treatments. The very treatments the disabled need to live and be independent.

      Universal Healthcare is designed to prevent health problems. They will ensure you can get to the doctor for that stomach ache before it becomes a nasty and costly infection to treat in the hospital. But if you need expensive surgeries or devices to be relieved of suffering? There's a denial system for it and a wait list. Universal Healthcare also gives up more readily on the "hopeless" (which is a slippery road to down to "death panels").

      So much that the disabled has to organize to protect themselves FROM dying in our healthcare systems -- even in countries like the UK that has universal healthcare for decades...

      On one hand I can see the benefits for everyone getting the routine healthcare they need to stay healthy. That to me is a RIGHT, not a privilege. But on the other hand experiencing healthcare from universal systems, I can't justify people suffering, too (Oh, God I've experienced and seen SUFFERING on government socialized medicine! I remember at the Army hospital watching my friend's father frantically trying to locate his wife's medical records, as the Army ER at the time would NOT treat anyone without their medical records in hand -- and relatives had to get the records themselves from the medical records department. They lost her records, and his wife died never getting treatment). To be denied a medical device as a cost saving effort for the current fiscal year, only denies the more costly correction later.

      In my case above, a $1,000 CT scan would've prevented me having strokes (I had zero idea I had them even. My symptoms weren't anything I saw as stroke signs). But to save money, and the rules of healthcare at the time (couldn't treat 2 conditions on the same day! They thought it was a stomach problem, and treating that), has me even more disabled today. I have no pain relief; no TENS unit; I have trouble just walking now, and how can I even approach a doctor for A medical device so I can move with ANY comfort, when I don't "look" ill as I hide the pain "so well"? For my cane, it took the PTs 2 weeks to get me a Medicare approved letter ... I went ahead and bought one myself. Do they expect me to buy a motorized wheelchair myself, too? Can't wheel one anymore due to the stroke. They're beyond my price range to even consider buying ... and oh, I have been looking so I don't have to just sit here in front of a monitor or laying down as "my day".

      All I can say is this as a solution: whatever healthcare system we get in the future, please don't advocate the mess we have even now with SSDI/SSI. Think of a better healthcare system that is realistic: healthcare isn't a "for profit" system. It's just like other public systems, it will ALWAYS run in debt. Health can't be made to profit, as any down time humans have is costly ... they lose wages just being ill. They lose jobs because of chronic conditions. They lose insurance due to pre-existing conditions, too.

      Let's call healthcare for what it is: a welfare system that keeps people alive (and for capitalistic reasons, alive to work).