Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Powerful People

The other day, while perusing my fave blogs, I ran across an entry from Mahogany Girl about the Senate voting on a bill (S.1955) that would eliminate guaranteed insurance coverage for mammograms and other life-saving benefits for cancer screening and care.

After reading the information provided by the American Cancer Society, I used their auto-email form to send my State Senators a letter encouraging them to vote against it. I then proceeded to post the link on Verla Kay's a writer's board I frequent (probably way too much, if I'm honest).

This morning, the ACS sent a form thank you to all those who had gone through their site, informing us that the bill had failed to pass, just barely though.

Want to see how your Senator voted?

There are obviously two issues at hand, I can touch:

- The fact that our bonehead government, at a time when some Americans don't even have healthcare, would pass bills decreasing the amount of screenings insurance is required to cover.

- The power of the Internet and electronic communication.

For the time being, I'll stay on the positive tip. ACS' Cancer Action Network was the vehicle behind spreading the word about the vote. And in two weeks, their volunteers:

• Sent 167.000 emails
• Made 8,600 phone calls
• Held nearly two dozen media events and rallies

Thanks to that effort, bloggers and others were able to also inform readers. I rarely read blogs for heavy information. But I'm glad that my entertainment is often broken up with essential points of fact, many times revolved around issues I not only care about but am willing to act upon.

Because of stupid chain letters and dozens of forwards a day, I'm sure I'm not the only one that tunes out pleas for help on this cause or that. And even when I followed the link from Mahogany Girl's blog, I did all I could to make sure the bill, the link, and the email campaign were real.

That's how skeptical I am of Internet info. I checked and double-checked the CAN site, hoping it wasn't some well-reproduced fake by some stupid hacker trying to get my IP address and email and phone number and on and on.

I was satisifed it was real. And I acted. And obviously some of my fellow message boarders did as well.

It's easily forgotten that when a product is genuine, the Internet gives us a powerful collective voice to promote it. Too bad we have to swim through Penis Enhancement ads and long-ass forwards of the same lame jokes to find the pearls.

Damn, you'd think by now people would learn to cut out some of the emails within those forwarded messages.

Just so you know, when I get a forward I don't open it half the time. If for some odd reason I do and there are still a babillon forwards before the actual "meat" of the email - delete becomes my best friend.

But I digress. I'm in awe of the Internet and email when it works for the good and I'm disgusted when it works for the bad (scams!!!!).

Now about our beloved Senate - it's bad enough you have to review your insurance coverage with a microscope to identify what preventive care is covered and how often you're allowed to take advantage of them.

For example - I didn't find out until after the Princesses' physical that hearing exams aren't covered. WTF?!

No, they would rather pay for a hearing aid or testing to see why she's deaf than a simple preventive exam to make sure her hearing is on track. I had to pay for that portion of their well-child check-up myself.

This is the type of stupid shit we deal with daily when it comes to insurance. So the fact that S.1955 had the potential to cut out or decrease the amount of coverage allowed for paps, mammaograms and other cancer screenings hit a button.

I joked, to a colleague, that if Jeb Bush became President I'd pack up and head to Canada.

But, I swear, moving to Canada sounds more and more appealing everyday. Healthcare for all and decreased crime, what's to hate?!

Politics aside - because most times I don't get the decisions made by pols - mad shout out to the bloggers that truly keep it real, passing genuine information that touches beyond whatever little commonalities and interests that bring people to their spot, daily.

It's easy to become a slave to your blog - posting info because you think your readers will enjoy it. Trying to keep the flavor and voice of your blog entertaining enough for others to stop by.

Now and then, it's not about any of those things. Simply passing the word so someone else can is enough. And when that pass-it-on mentality results in something that impacts folks nationwide, it reminds me that the Internet was once called the Information Superhighway. Even though that highway is sometimes clogged by bad information and lots of porn, some of the real stuff still gets through.


Blogger writeaway said...

I've been off the board for a few and I'm just getting the info. now. (Boy, out sick for a few days and you miss a lot!) I don't know where the healthcare is going in the U.S. Instead of progressing, it's regressing. This is an issue that is VERY important to me seeing as my mother passed away in 2004 from breast cancer. That puts me and my sisters high at risk. Thanks for putting this issue out there and letting us out of the loopers in on what's going on.

3:16 PM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

The whole thing disgusts me. I have decent healthcare coverage. But I have to review it with a fine tooth comb because nearly every year I get caught on somethng that they don't cover that feels like plain common sense to me!

6:50 PM


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