Monday, November 18, 2013

General Giap and the ACA

I've been paying for my own medical insurance since 1998. I've had a hernia surgery, and then the most recent series of cystoscopies for my kidney problems, the ureter obstructions. One hundred years ago, I'd be horribly disfigured by medical science or dead. Currently, I'm doing okay, and if I didn't have the medical insurance, I'd be out around $80,000-90,000. So, I'm ahead on the medical insurance deal. Throw in the fact that I get a tax credit for self-employed medical costs, which means, if you subtract that credit out from what I shell out to BCBS of Illinois, I've been paying about one hundred dollars a year for my health insurance. Oh, yeah, did I also mention I'm one of the people who had their insurance cancelled by BCBS of Illinois, and that they offered up a new plan for me?

Well, that's now changed. I recently completed my application for medical insurance through the website.

Wait, what? I thought that website was broken, not working? Yeah, well, it worked for me. What's your fucking problem? I tried it out this past Thursday, 11/ 14, and it wouldn't even let me create a user id. Tried it again on Friday 11/15, and I could.

So, I walked my way through the website, and it was no more annoying that completing my tax returns, and actually took less time than that. Nothing crashed. Nothing went kablooey. I had to repeat a few steps, as clearly the private contractor who set up the front end has a sense of humor the way Ikea does.

But it certainly wasn't a nightmare, or any more intrusive than some right wing drama queens have presented. I did not, for example, need to submit a blood sample, or type in my maternal great-grandmother's maiden name, or reveal my most private unsavory habit. For those of you worried about releasing information already obtained by the government anyway, all I can say is, are you intellectually disabled in some fashion?

Now, granted, the Obama administration deserves all the crap you want to foist on it for the website. There really is absolutely no excuse that it didn't work flawlessly the first time out. Part of the blame I figure goes to the President himself, what with his Reaganesque "don't bother me with the details" approach to managing things, the whole mahalo hawaii light up another one mindset, or the Harvard law school "I'm too fucking smart for this thing not to work" mindset. It really is a clusterfuck that needs to get fixed.

But may I remind you that "clusterfuck" is America's middle name?

Seriously? I mean, a country who's most famous war hero, John Wayne, never served? A country who is determined to keep an acre of grass at it's embassy green and lush in Iraq? A coutnry that got it's ass legitimately kicked by Vietnam? (More on that in a minute).

So, Friday, I put in all my information for the application, view my insurance options, and select the same company I have now, BCBS of Illinois, and I am taking advantage of the tax credit premium. This means that I am getting BETTER coverage than I had for one third the cost. Let me repeat that for you.

I am getting BETTER coverage than I had for one third the cost.

Now, if I were to advertise this fact within the newsfeed commentariat, with all the paid trolls, waterheads, or just your average ill-informed dumbshit American yokel that infests those places, I'd be branded as a either a liar, or retarded, or, a propagandist or all three. But nope. It's the truth.

Which gets me to Vietnam and General Giap. I'm reading a biography on Giap. He was the guy who generalled two victories for Communist Vietnam, first against France, and then the US of A. I admire the guy, and figure we've something to learn from him. My mention of this fact got me branded a traitor by a teatard Vietnam-vet-who-saw-action-in-a-Saigon-whorehouse-sour-grapes loser. My response was 1) why feel ashamed for getting your ass kicked by the best?  and 2) no sir, I am not a traitor. Now, Robert E. Lee, he was a traitor.

The sour grapes response from the teatard generation, those right wing losers who really should just let it go, was to produce a lie that Giap once said Vietnam was two weeks away from surrendering. That's a fucking lie. It's the kind lie that makes me want to stab the faces of the promoters of this lie with a barbecue fork duct taped to a broken mop handle.* 

What is true is that the United States won every major battle in Vietnam, and yet lost the war. You don't think there's something valuable to learn there? I do.

First and foremost, what I got out of it was, a lesson that is passed down from that real-life monster Mao Tse Tung through Uncle Ho, to General Giap is that if guerrilla fighters are fish, then the peasants are the water. If you do not have the support of the peasants, you are doomed.

So,what's happening now with the civil war for the struggle for the hearts and minds of the American peasants? You got your slick right wing lies being peddled top down by PR firms and billionaires who want nothing more than feudalism. Because it's easy to win that game of Monopoly, steal the rest of the money when the peasants are powerless. To do that, you need a cult, a cult where the Founding Fathers are semi-divine, and the words of the Constitution is from on high.

The left, on the other hand, is doing a really terrible job. They really should start reading up on the political infrastructure, the near Hebbian web of redundancies that, even today, modern Vietnamese would be hard-pressed to explain, save for the most effective explanation, which is that it worked.

I think the left is hesitant to go full bore tapping into the working class rage against the banksters mainly because that ends up all pitchforks and torches and French revolution, or maybe worse 1840s failed revolution. And people are also culturally bred into the fiction of the antisocial rugged independent, which, when we had a frontier, was a convenient fiction. But seeing as we haven't had a frontier since the 1890s, is it any small coincidence that those in power have ceded some progressive scraps towards the populace, knowing the alternative was armed revolt?

But there is a lot to be said for stressing the positives of community, of means of reconciliation other than the infantile 2nd amendment means which seem all the rage nowadays. Which of course is why I'm reading up on General Giap. Just in case.

In the meantime, operating under the assumption that I should try and take advantage of the situation until falls down and goes boom, I'm taking advantage of this government healthcare program as best I can.

If you want to call me a moocher, go ahead. The only logical response to that is, "Fuck you too, and then go look in the mirror you fucking clueless (or lying hypocrite) fellow moocher!" Anyway, we already have socialized medicine.

Because in today's modern world, here in the US of A, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's entire fucking existence was not subsidized by the Federal government.

*Yes, I stole that. The circumstances surrounding that phrase were less than utopian, but it's a great phrase and I proudly stole it.


  1. I laughed so fucking hard I got a cramp. And you're welcome.

  2. I wish your experience with the healthcare website was on the front page of every newspaper in the country.

    1. Although I am convinced that America coddles some of the stupidest people in existence, not all are stupid. Some are starting to figure it out.