Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Gnat in My Water

I'm on hold with Anthem Blue Cross at the moment...a moment which, truthfully, has turned into a significant chunk of my afternoon.  I'd hang up - but I'm continually reminded by the even-toned voice that speaks in between the same repetitive measures of a Bach concerto that "your call will be answered in the order received."  I keep convincing myself that my investment is already paid to move ahead in the queue, and so I hold. 

I feel certain, though, that it will be a very long time before I feel the urge to put Bach on my Pandora playlist. 

I endure this high tech version of water torture on behalf of my almost 26-year old son, who is about to age-out of our ACA (Affordable Care Act - yes, you might know it as Obamacare) extension-of-benefits gift that allowed him to stay insured under our employer-assisted group insurance policy until now. 

Now we must investigate an "individual conversion" policy. 

I think I am about to find out exactly how affordable health care is for the college graduate who pursues his dreams via a path that does not include group medical insurance.  I know what it cost before ACA graced him back onto our group policy: $115 a month. 

Stay tuned for the answer to the big question:  How affordable is it? 

In the meantime, I am perusing news on the internet while I hold.  I keep running across this photo from last night.  The caption reads, "Michelle's biggest fans watching her speech from home last night."

I know a person of my political leaning should be thinking a number of warm, fuzzy thoughts at the sight of this loving father and his sweet daughters as they support, from afar, the woman who - let's admit it - rocked the house last night with her speech to delegates gathered in Charlotte and devotees sitting in front of their TVs. 

Instead of wanting to say awwww, though, I am completely distracted by the gold sofa.  Ew comes to mind.  Shouldn't the PR spinners have looked ahead on this photo op and put the first fam on something less, I don't know, ugly? 

I know this is a wholly subjective opinion and that many very qualified interior designers might take exception to my dedcidedly unqualified assessment.  I should do some more research on trends in upholstery fabrics before speaking.  I should check with folks on both sides of the interior design aisle to make sure I completely understand the subtle nuances between the presentation of a family on a gold sofa and a family on, say, a hunter green or federal blue one.  I'm guessing some social scientist should weigh in, as well, to tell me how stupid I am for not understanding the subliminal advantage a gold background provides for the President during a campaign season.

But I know what I like.  And it is not a gold sofa.  Perhaps I should reconsider my political allegiance.

Seriously.  This is how ridiculous it's become, isn't it?  Be honest.  Face the truth. We have become so saturated with partisan images and skewed soundbites and focus group approved advertising that we have lost sight of what's important in 2012. 

Can we sleep at night without worrying about bombers or snipers or kidnappers?
Do we attend our houses of worship without concern that someone will find out we are there?
Are our children in schools that - by some work of magic -  open on time every year/every day and teach every single child who shows up?
Are our widows and orphans cared for?
Do our aging parents have a safety net?
Can you walk down the street holding hands with anyone you choose?
Is there clean water in your neighborhood?

With some exceptions, I think the answers are yes to the questions above.

So let's move our political conversation into the realm of the "greater good" shall we?  Let's start talking about what makes us a nation united behind principles that make us all better human beings.  I'm not saying there aren't big issues to consider in this election, there are. I think I'm saying I don't believe most people are considering them. I was reminded recently, over a $12 glass of red wine, that the things we fret about in the name of freedom are - clearly - first world problems, aka a gnat we are trying to strain out of the drinking water (Biblical reference for you scholars). 

I mean really - a gold sofa?  Ew.

My time on hold with Anthem has ended now, at my insistence.  I have told the very nice person named Mia, who dutifully stayed on the line with me through FOUR internal  transfers and lengthy holds and way too much Bach, that I have other things to do today.  We have waited over an hour. 

I will try again tomorrow to find out how much "affordable health care" is going to cost my 26-year old son.  And until then...I'm sending in my complaints to about that sofa.


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