Tag Archives: shareholder

This is “Matt”. Matt is Every Single One of Us.

Jeff

This is “Matt”. Matt is the guy down the street whose kid plays Little League with yours.  He is courteous and helpful.  So, of course, he works at getting your ‘shades of blue’ reconciled in the paint department at Lowe’s.  Matt could be your neighbor, or you.  The truth is that Matt is every single one of us.  “Matt” is actually my friend Jeffrey, an actor living in Los Angeles, a very funny comedian, an intellectual pundit (when he chooses to be) and a man with a laugh that fills rooms with joy.  Jeffrey has been diagnosed with cancer, stage 2 lymphoma to be precise, and at present he is being squeezed in the middle like a tube of toothpaste by a grossly negligent ‘system’ and the people employed by it who have zero sense of humanity. I am mad as Hell over all of it.

The name of his insurance company matters, it’s Molina Health.  With ‘our’ shareholder, profit-driven, horribly broken, healthcare system in the United States the truth is that what is happening to Jeffrey could happen to any of us and our loved ones. It also matters that his insurance company hangs up on him. It matters that the administrative staff tell him that his premium will quadruple if he ‘wants’ home care for changing the dressing on the tube sticking out of his arm (sepsis being a real possibility) where he is hooked up to receive his chemo. It matters that I escalate and help seems imminent only to have some drone of an administrative staff person deflect and say it will take two weeks. It matters that appointments are made and cancelled due to software, and human errors and then the humans charged with delivering this news are devoid of humanity. It matters because the stress of dealing with getting healthy on your own (even with a supportive tribe) is enormous. It matters that his first oncologist failed to speak a single word to him in the nine weeks immediately following his diagnosis and never prescribed anti-nausea pills with the host of others which he did prescribe.  Jeffrey’s second oncologist is amazing. Despite the fact that I am a non-relation he has taken my call to problem solve aspects related to Jeffrey’s treatment from Sweden where I am currently.

Which brings me to two components of the health insurance storyline in the United States; employer supported efforts like those which “Matt” as an employee of Lowe’s enjoys (really amazing benefits which should prompt all of you reading this to vote with your wallet and shop at your local Lowe’s ‘just because’) and the idea of a single-payer system such as our Canadian neighbors and those in the Nordics enjoy. On this day, with TrumpCare effectively dead, the reality of a single-payer health care system in the United States has risen like Fawkes in Harry Potter.

Let me remove any ambiguity, I have a couple of issues with the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) but neither have to do with the fact that it came to fruition under our 44th President; the first is that it didn’t go far enough and the second being its mandate to be purchased under penalty.  If we have sufficient financial resources to wage seemingly endless war across the planet then Americans of every stripe should have universal healthcare on par with what our federally elected officials enjoy. And if that can’t be done then our elected officials should have that benefit voided.

How do we get to a single-payer health care system to the universal benefit of 330 million Americans and put the United States on par with other first world nations? Well, California, where my friend Jeffrey lives, ever the ‘test the water’ state for public policy adoption has a viable solution called The Healthy California Act. Evidently this legislation has broad support on both sides of the political aisle in La-La Land but one man has blocked it from advancing, and there is a reason for that. Actually there are about 475,000 reasons in the form of contributions from the Political Action Committees of health insurance companies and their executives to Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Redon re-election campaign.  Redon is a perfect example of the systemic violation of the masses by a corrupt politician bought and paid for by the highest bidders for his favor.

SB-562 The Healthy California Act.

The passage of a single-payer system in California, or nationally, wouldn’t put insurers out of business but the resulting shifts in the market would demand agility that insurance companies are not generally known to possess. A model which offers premium coverage in lieu of, or as a supplement to, a single-payer system would still provide considerable revenue – with a healthier demographic contributing to shareholder value.  Policies which would allow customers choices in taking advantage of medical tourism opportunities around the world should also be considered. The increasing perception of health insurers places them at odds with the humankind they are supposed to be serving – essentially sentencing their policy holders to death when costs become inconvenient and expensive. When we make a conscious choice to deny protection and participation by our most vulnerable we can no longer claim to be an advanced or civil society. The costs are too high when we lose our compassion and willingness to step forward and be part of the solution rather than remain part of the problem.

Critically we need to dislodge ourselves from the ‘us vs. them’ mindset that is so pervasive in any conversation about health insurance, healthcare and providing a path forward for all of our citizens. Universal peace of mind around the most fragile aspect of living our lives fully and completely should not even be a question in 2017.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

 

What do their families eat? Arsenic and GMO in the food chain – guest blog for Ethical Value

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Concurrently published with Ethical Value

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Highland cows at Ardalanish Farms, Isle of Mull

A decade ago, on the Isle of Mull located off the western coast of mainland Scotland I had the very great pleasure to meet Minty and Aeneas Mackay at their, then, Ardalanish Farm (now owned by Andrew and Anne Smith). A ruggedly beautiful sweep of pristine earth where handsome Angus and Highland beef and rare breed sheep happily co-mingled and grazed on land that ran from a natural bay highlighted by a white sand beach with stunning purple accents (caused by indigenous mineral deposits) to heightened elevations with unobstructed views to Ireland on a clear day. Marked by Soil Association signs Ardalanish is certified to be thoroughly organic. Brambles run down to the sea and yielded abundant fruit for jam and cobblers, milk thick with cream from another local farm made our breakfast tea white, it was idyllic in a way that few places can claim to be.  I think of this place in its perfection and in wonder that the simplicity and reverence for living in harmony with every beast, the land and sea isn’t widely held as the standard – it is, in my opinion, simply common sense we should all be embracing. It is also what David Abram wrote in his Spell of the Sensuous of ecological philosophy living in close observance to the land and giving more than we take.

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The multi-nationals that control almost everything about our food chain.

We SHOULD BE having a global crisis of conscience but it is still a very small minority that would, or could, live this way; those who might choose to hoard heirloom seeds from year-to-year to ensure their independence and sustainability. A slightly larger percentage of the population understands GMO stands for ‘genetically modified organisms’ and these are essentially ‘designed’ to control world food supplies for the benefit of shareholder stock values but are having horrible effects on the genetic makeup of all living things. (Not all companies shown on the map are nefarious; the image is provided to illustrate the control of our food chain.  Consider – not represented on map – Rishi Tea and Tchibo which serve as beyond exemplary models for sustainability and transparency.)  Those that understand that cultivating our own food supply as well as knowing what is actually “in” the food we purchase – anywhere – is swelling but it is a finding-a-needle-in-the-haystack quest for food integrity unlike any time in human history.  Have we moved so far away from our hunter-gatherer and early agricultural history as to leave us numb as well as stupid?

Of late we discover that, in the United States, the Federal Drug Administration has been rather lax about the inclusion (or rather enforcing the exclusion) of arsenic in our pork and poultry (and what else?)  – don’t we already have sufficient poisons in our environment to create an epidemic of cancer globally?

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Join the movement! Click to learn more about GMO foods and labeling!

A piece of legislation that would be the equivalent of the universal bottle bill for labelling is in the centre of a smack down of laundered money and secret slush funds, with a list of big agra-business spending $22 million USD to defeat legislation in the state of Washington alone that should make every person on the planet be outraged out of their state of perpetual complacency and immediately (at minimum) start reading labels of their pre-packaged food purchases and clean out their portfolios and retirement plans of the violators.

I cook from scratch.  I shop at farmer’s markets which are vetted to be organic and I don’t purchase food with ingredients I can’t pronounce at the grocery store but without GMO labelling, and as a result of genetic contamination, that broad term that means that the buffer zones designed to keep GMO foodstuffs within bounds don’t work, I am fighting the same battle that we all seem destined to lose. I have to ask – what are the employees and executives and shareholders of these companies feeding their own families? Why are they NOT fostering change from within to achieve value and profit in conjunction with transparency and integrity around their product offerings? What kind of people put profit above the protection of our food supply and water? What kind of people carry this kind of ethical wasteland around inside their being and, god-forbid, is it contagious?

Witness, and by all means actively participate in, the rise of  the ancient wisdom of indigenous people such as the Iroquois Nations Great Binding Law in the form of Seven Generation Sustainability and have hope but a groundswell is needed – desperately. YOU!, reading this, foster positive change by making small choices based upon your own family – what will the planet be like for the children of your children’s children?  In the world of social media it’s easy enough to find critical influencers to ‘follow’ and begin your own education and then, choose some organisation to support even if you aren’t the ‘activist’ type yourself. 

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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