Essay Showcase

Heidie’s Health Care Plan

posted Oct 7, 2009, 4:05 PM by Heidie McCall

   For the life of me I can’t figure out why everything has to be so complicated and I’m not the only one that thinks this way.
   Let’s wipe off the table and start all over with health care. Ok, let’s imagine a nice clean table, not stacks of paper, no lobbyists drooling and breathing fire, no politicians wringing their hands over the money they may jeopardize for themselves by opening their minds to a new day. Truly a clean slate must be in front of us.

   This is how it works: Everyone with a social security number, not some, everyone, no excuses, too poor, too sick, too anything, everyone that has a social security number pays every month, a minimum of ten dollars, period. Now that’s not to say those that could and should pay more every month need only pay the ten dollars, pay what you can afford on any given month. Let’s face it some months are better than others. But this ten dollar figure, I don’t care who you are, you can find it, borrow it, someone will give it to you, you can collect enough cans every month to get it but you must put ten dollars into the kitty every month.

The payment coupons are available everywhere, DMV, Social Security office, Post Office. You can create your own payment coupon because all it says is where to send payment, the social security number it is credited to, the month and the year, that’s it, put a stamp on it, mail it!  In many cases e-accounts will make this payment process incredibly simple.
  • The ‘pay-in’ starts three months before anyone actually uses the plan. An enormous amount of money is now in the pool. Doctors, caregivers, and the like simply bill the money pool that continues to grow monthly.
  •  I highly doubt people will go running to doctors because they can. Does anyone get in a car wreck because they are insured? Let’s face it we don’t want to be sick but when we do get sick it’s very frightening not to be able to get care. That’s the crux of this situation; it’s just that simple.
  • The department that receives the money pays your medical bills out of this enormous pile of money that rolls in each and every month, no more worries about the money.
  • The cost of the medical care itself. Well, don’t you think that if we had clinics in each and every neighborhood that would be a place where at least fifty people would be employed? A doctor, accountants, nurses, a janitor, the list of people to keep a clinic running is long and the work is respectable. This will create competition in the health care field. Think of any business or service, they thrive on competition.
  • As the clinics are being built and re-vamping vacant buildings into clinics creates vast employment that is again, respectable.  Of course you can go anywhere you like, see the doctor you want, you have paid into to pool, you are covered.
  • Not enough health care to go around? Well let’s be pragmatic for once. If there must be a choice made, if only for that moment, the person that is of normal weight and doesn’t smoke is seen first, ten pounds over weight is next, twenty pounds over normal weight is next and so on. This would be for smokers as well, if you smoke and are of normal weight you go second if you smoke and are ten pounds over weight you go third and so on.
  • Do not despair, this approach gives the obese and the smokers an incentive to loose weight and quit smoking. Yes, they’ve paid their ten dollars a month and they will be seen but we must be fair here, the normal weight person that doesn’t smoke has ultimately tried the hardest to be healthy that’s just a fact. Do not seize on this aspect because in America we ultimately care for everyone.
  • This loose weight and stop smoking problem is good because in the neighborhood clinics there will be classes, workshops, nutritional advice, cooking classes (looks like employment to me) teachers, nutritionists, smoking cessation assistants, etc.
Neighbor helping neighbor, getting paid for it and all the while everyone with a social security number is paying their ten-dollar monthly minimum (or whatever they can afford above the minimum). When did the honor system and doing the right thing become a thing of the past? We all know the answer to that question in two words Corporate America, nuff said.

   Taking care of each other and everything involved in the process is a major part of the new economy. Let’s open our minds and make it happen.

Heidie McCall –artist – published author – television producer


Publishing on Demand

posted Dec 19, 2008, 4:16 PM by Heidie McCall

by D.A. McCall

With understandable pride you’ve affixed the last period on a manuscript. If pressed, reluctantly you’d admit it’s not Melville or Faulkner but then, ‘What do you suppose their first efforts were like?’ With a snort you opine, ‘it’s eminently worth publication.’

Never doubting your genius will be embraced you select a publishing house to bestow your creation on.

Later in the decade (after multiple) publishers have rejected your narrative you sag with disappointment at yet another form letter. Be careful what you wish for, personal rejections frequently border on cruel. They often are accompanied with pointless critiques of rancid elements of the ‘sample’ chapters you submitted. (At their request no less) You just knew they’d be enthralled. ‘Nepotism is the only plausible explanation for these incompetent   buffoons.’

Don’t delude yourself, cretin publishers have not missed the next Mark Twain. Editors are ever vigilant for a would be Hemingway to show some spark of imagination along with at least rudimentary familiarity with grammar and syntax. Believe it, and you thought writing the book was the easy part.

‘What I need is an agent.’

It turns out agents are not listed in the phone book. (They’re not looking for new clients,huh?) And are as hard to come by as a competent mechanic. Suppose one does agree to take you on. Likely your unpublished ‘Pulitzer Prize’ candidate would continue to languish with one significant difference, by your own invitation you now have one more irritating distraction in your life.

Ultimately defiance sets in. ‘Fine I’ll publish it myself.’ A ‘vanity press’ is located. (This is the easiest part so far)

When the books arrive a considerable part of the garage is sacrificed to their storage. (Hey, cars are waterproof....sort of)  In unabashed self-aggrandizement copies are dispatched to family and friends. With great care these tomes are autographed and personalized with wit and apropos observations. You’re giddy with anticipation, expecting favorable reactions. In lieu of that you’d settle for some encouraging words. (misguided you think family and friends will be thrilled for you) What you get is a litany of criticisms. In mock concern they point out typos, misspellings, etc. Worse, there’s even hostility asserting you’ve represented them shamefully, this despite your protests that the character in the book isn’t them. At some point you’re grateful for the many that didn’t even bother to read you.

 Don’t despair, to the rescue comes publishing on demand. At the very least it’s the responsible thing to do. Books shouldn’t be printed unnecessarily. Books should be cherished.

If your yarn is gripping to no one save you, mercifully no trees ( or their inhabitants) had to suffer for your muse. Some stories are best left untold. If you sincerely believe that yours is the exception have the decency to tell it one book at a time. Books on demand take the waste out of publishing. It’s the future.

The palaver the latest preteen opus has generated has nothing to do with literary merit but rather the coffers of some publishing house must be fed. (Mentored by an idiot no harm in that) Unfortunately pap will flourish. Education is the only cure for bad taste.

Publishing on demand will have scant effect on brick and mortar bookstores. They’re still free to order any stock they like. Presumably they know what their customers are looking for.

Regardless of who ultimately publishes your creation it’s still going to require promotion for sales but, that’s the grist for another day.      

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