Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Nixon Health Care Episode

At the end of the Nixon era....in the middle of Feb of 1974....Nixon decided to take a major step toward a health care option for Americans.....basically converting Medicare into a device for all Americans.

The order given down?  Here's the significant part of the Nixon plan:

"The plan is organized around seven principles:

First, it offers every American an opportunity to obtain a balanced, comprehensive range of health insurance benefits;

Second, it will cost no American more than he can afford to pay;

Third, it builds on the strength and diversity of our existing public and private systems of health financing and harmonizes them into an overall system; 

Fourth, it uses public funds only where needed and requires no new Federal taxes;

Fifth, it would maintain freedom of choice by patients and ensure that doctors work for their patient, not for the Federal Government.

Sixth, it encourages more effective use of our health care resources; And finally, it is organized so that all parties would have a direct stake in making the system work–consumer, provider, insurer, State governments and the Federal Government."

What happened to the Nixon plan?  Oddly, the Democrats of the House and Senate picked this up, and put a package together which conformed to the majority of Nixon's ideas.  At some point, it got out to unions and older Americans that there would be a cost factor involved and regular Americans would have to cover the price difference between what the lower-class could pay and the rest of America.  Newspapers, Time, Newsweak, and the big three networks carried the message to the public, and the Democrats simply could not sell this to the public.

Ford came into office shortly after this, with Nixon's resignation....and the Democrats just said adios to the whole idea.

The no-new-taxes part of the scheme?  Oh, he was right about that.....it would be built into your monthly deductions for medicare.  So he was right....no extra taxes.....just more onto what you already paid.

When this usually gets brought up.....Republicans of today usually go into fits and deny such a thing ever occurred.  The odd thing?  Well....Nixon spoke up that NO new taxes would be added to pay for this.....kinda like the plan we have today.  Nixon also said that you could keep your doctor (in certain words), if you wanted to, and the doctor would work for you, not the government....which is a President Obama-situation that popped up.

One of Those Jobs

Occasionally in my life, I've had the unique opportunity to come across five-star jobs.  I'd apply for them, and of course, get turned down.  These are the jobs that way outside the norm and have the potential to be jobs that you'd want to be at the shop by 6AM and stay till 6PM that night.

The Land Management agency of the government had a GS13 job out in Wyoming to be the jack-of-all-trades guy, who handled property, spending money, and the wild horses/burros of the range.  They went into detail over the job description.....you were the guy who bought feed and issued orders over the wild horses/burros......checking on them daily and ensuring the hired hands did 'right' with the animals.  Of course, I got turned down for that job.

So, these jobs come and go......I never get hired for these type of situations.

This week, I'm come across a five-star creative job with the city metro transportation guys of Seattle/King County.  They've got a $97,000 a year job.....for a metro comfort station coordinator.

Naturally, you'd ask what the heck this coordinator does.  Well....he runs this toilet monitoring station centrally located in Seattle and ensures all the drivers get to their bathroom breaks as necessary.  Driving the bus and got a sudden urge to go?  You call up this guy and he looks onto the map and tells you the nearest place to stop and do a toilet moment.

Yep.....a nifty job for $97,000 a year.  Now, a smart guy would do research and have a spreadsheet built with various 'extras'.  Like.....if you stop at this point, they got a coffee machine.  Or if you stop by this donut shop.....they sell a 'three-for-one deal' on donuts between 5AM and 6AM.  Or if you stop at this toilet.....it's ultra clean because they use Ajax and South Korean-imported Munsun oil (that's a made-up word, if you were curious).

Who will end up as the toilet coordinator?  Hard to say.  The thing is.....your career pretty well shot.  There's no chances of you getting into some rocket-science episode or upper-level management deal with NASA if they figure out what you did in Seattle.

Some fake job for a friend of the union?  Well.....it's hard to say.  It would be curious to know who gets the job, and if they had relatives with the city metro service or knew someone within the city council.  Maybe it'll be a hard-working honest gal, who really wants to help out some guys with desperate bowel movements.  Guys appreciate stuff like this.....you know.

Five Star TV

Having signed up for Netflix in the past week.....I've had some catching up to do....with "Better Call Saul".  Through the first five episodes, I'm surprised not only of the quality of acting, and the five-star script....but it's shows that I tend to get addicted to and can't skip.

This morning, came the sixth episode.....dealing only slightly with Saul (the lawyer), and more with his get-the-job-done former cop....Mike.

For forty-two minutes, they weaved the story in and out.....with twists and turns....and delivered some of the best acting that I've seen in in years.  They could have easily built the forty-two minutes into a two-hour movie and put into a theater-release situation.

The Mike character?  You kinda feel sorry for him.....but you reach a point where you know that Mike isn't a guy who you'd want live next door to.  He's pretty direct and confrontational when required.  He has a code of ethics that go beyond the norm of life.

Who "Better Call Saul" goes onto now?  It's hard to imagine this type of writing and scripts.  In the middle of any show....it's possible that they'd dream of another 'Saul-like' character, and a year later.....you get an entirely new series with some weird guy that was a client of Saul.

Bottom line?  Right now on TV.....Better Call Saul is probably the best show around.