Posted inThank You Sir May I Have Another

Me and My Syndrome

This syndrome plays a big role in my upcoming book “John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars”. I won’t attempt to explain it in depth or cheapen the novel here. I do need to write about it though. Not because I fear those of you reading this won’t run out and buy a copy of the book, but because a friend of mine either set out to punch a bunch of my buttons the other day on the phone or they really have a fatal case of this syndrome.

What started us down this path was him whining about how his company was going to have to spend another quarter million on health insurance thanks to Obama Care. He continued on with his rant about how everyone’s insurance premiums were going to go up and the country was just full of free loaders blah blah blah if you can’t pay for health care don’t get sick.

I bit my tongue. Logic and facts won’t change this particular person’s point of view, at least during the course of a single phone call. He’s one of those who has to discover fire then spend several winters with heat to understand it can be a good thing.

The reality is my health insurance went down, dramatically. The reality is that his company had a lot of people working around augers, in heavy dust, and possibly walking on barges in the river which had no health care or incredibly shitty health care. The real reason their costs are going up is now they have to actually provide adequate health care. Dare any of us hope that new health care will also include mental health care?

Ah, the mental health care system. That was another rant he got on. Why should he have to pay for anyone to see a shrink? (It went on for a while, I’m sparing you the details.) I was rather shocked to hear such an opinion from someone with a child about the age of those in Newton. The mother of the individual tried to get her son treatment, but had an employer providing shit insurance, as a result, innocent children paid the price.

All of those suffering from “me and my” syndrome need to step back and take a look at the big picture. Employers have been skating by for decades paying workers nothing and offering “mini-med” plans which pretty much means their employees pay for near zero coverage. Seriously? A medical plan with a $2K limit on medical care is even a policy which is legal to issue in this country?

Well, you had best never take your child to McDonald’s then. Oops! You already have. Oh well, know that there is little to nothing standing between you and the worker at the early infectious stages of Mercer, Legionnaires, or a host of other highly contagious diseases that can be spread by touch or simply breathing someone else’s air. You had best not shop at Wal-Mart either since one report says only 46% of their employees has any kind of health coverage.

The real reason you see Living Wage laws targeting Big Box employers is because those employers are abusing the system. When they offer health insurance to their lowly paid employees most employees find they cannot purchase health insurance and eat two meals per day.

Admittedly, there are a lot of “me and my” parasites in the $40-120K income bracket. That is one thing I was glad to see in Obama Care. These people could easily afford health insurance, but instead they choose to buy a $50K car or spend $300 each weekend partying then leave us to pick up the tab when they finally have to go to ER.

My final statement on the rant I listened to is that this guy tells farmers with a straight face they should purchase the highest crop insurance coverage they can. He tells them to view it as medical insurance, hope you never need it, but get the best. Well, the same is true when it comes to Obama Care. When you walk in to eat off the dollar menu, or any other place which has really cheap food and low paid workers, you’re breathing the air of those workers. The checkout clerk is handing you money and that money was handled by hundreds, if not thousands of people who didn’t have insurance before it got to you. We are making sure they have coverage so we don’t get sick.

I hope someone who could have been treated for mental illness never again goes off the deep end and slaughters a bunch of children. Do you think the universe will be fair enough to ensure that if it ever does the only families impacted are those who were such assholes they rallied and voted against their tax dollars being used to provide the mental health care which could have prevented it?

Do you think it will only happen to the families who head these massive corporations which pay so little to the rank and file that the rank and file cannot afford insurance which covers both health and mental? I don’t. Those kids will be off in private schools with massive security because assholes know who they are.

I don’t have kids, yet I don’t rally and vote to stop any of my tax dollars from educating and protecting yours. Man up and be a real parent, not just a biological one.

Nobody can predict when the next person in need of mental health care will have the trigger event or chemical imbalance which causes a tragedy, but, if we make it easy for their families to get them evaluation and treatment, we can stop it from ever happening.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy:
Infinite Exposure
Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told
John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.