23 June 2015

Teeth and Pot

Can someone explain to me why anything that has to do with teeth is excluded from medicare? I mean, besides money? How, when dreaming up this system of fuckery, did the government get away with saying that dental care is not medical care? Teeth, mine anyway, are as much a part of my body as my cervix is. Both right inside an oriface. Both rather important body parts. One gets treatment if there's an issue. The other I have to pay gobs of money to have fixed. Why?!

Getting away from my angry rant for a second, let's look at some facts. Oral health is directly related to other health.
 Cavities and gum disease may contribute to many serious conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Untreated cavities can also be painful and lead to serious infections. Studies are also currently examining whether there is a link between poor oral health and heart disease and between poor oral health and women delivering pre-term, low birth rate (PLBW) babies.
Guess where I got that bit of progressive, pro-dental care propaganda? Oh, wait. It's Health Canada. Health Canada says that oral care can contribute to diabetes. But they won't force the provinces to cover treatment for them! It's absurd and it's cruel.

There are lots of things not covered. Usually conditions that are seen to be preventable or safely ignorable. Bad teeth? Shoulda brushed them better, asshole! Bad back? Here are some pills. Not enough of them, because we don't want you to be an addict. But no chiropractic, massage, or physiotherapy for you! You might enjoy that. And besides, only losers have pain. (That does seem to be the message). Got an infected toenail? Nope, podiatry isn't covered either.

And the kicker... meds. Medications are not covered. Pharmacare in BC is a joke. My family of five has hit our limit once. Once. And most of the meds that one of them needs aren't covered anyway. Every time, I have to get the doctor to fill out a form and send it, asking them to cover the medications. These forms are valid for one year. Even when the medication is a long term thing. And if you don't have a family doctor, as we did not for 7 long years, that's nigh on impossible. So Tony's insurance picked up the difference.

Thank God for the Public Service Health Care Plan. I don't know how people do it without things like that. People whine about unions and their benefits because of one thing: They. Are. Jealous. We are covered for things they are not, and they're a bunch of whiny little children, whining that if they don't get it, we shouldn't either. FFS. That's backassward thinking. DEMAND the benefits for yourself too. Don't try to take away my kids' healthcare because you don't have it.

But you know what? We shouldn't need extra insurance. Ever. If we're sick, it should be covered. Need teeth filled? Cover that shit. Need your neck adjusted once a month so you can avoid headaches? Cover that shit. Need an anti-depressant so you don't feel like killing yourself because the dog looks sad, which is clearly proof that you're the worst human ever? COVER THAT SHIT.

But Luna, who would pay for this utopian system? And how?

It's simple: Legalize marijuana.

Marijuana is already BC's biggest cash crop. But right now, all the money is in the hands of organized crime. Take it from them. Take it from them hard. Cripple their industry, at least temporarily. Remember prohibition? Remember how rich the booze runners were because it was illegal? Criminals always find a way to be criminal, but removing their big cash crop from the playing field will do them some real damage for a while. Let small businesses sell it legally. Tax the hell out of it.

Look, the world is waking up and seeing the value in marijuana. Not just as a recreational drug that doesn't cause overdoses, but as a medicine for pretty much everything that ails you. Get the government into the business of making medicines to export (and use here). Get small businesses selling whatever they like - seeds, plants, harvested ready to smoke, edibles... the whole nine yards. And KEEP THE PROFITS. None of this allowing big corporations to run it and take profits out of the country. That's just organized crime that's gone legit - still hurts people, just differently. We can get in on the ground floor on an industry that is just coming around to legal. This is a huge opportunity.

Look at Colorado. They're saving millions on not prosecuting people for owning a plant. Crime went down (pdf), and not just what was defined as crime which was now not a crime.
"Violent crime in Denver went down by 2.2% in the first 11 months of 2014, compared with the first 11 months of 2013. In the same period, burglaries in Denver decreased by 9.5% and overall property crime decreased by 8.9%." 
Colorado brought in 40 million dollars in tax money. And they could raise taxes on marijuana by 200%, easily. Their economy is thriving. Unemployment is down. They're giving grants to schools. They're ... They're what BC should be.

We can do this. We should do this. We can put the police on serious crime, saving money. We can put the overburdened judicial system to better work. We can bring in some serious money while taking it from criminals. We can use that money to fund our ridiculous medical system.

Dammit. I just want to smoke a joint and get my teeth fixed for free. Is that too much to ask?

01 June 2015


I have a few thoughts about Caitlyn Jenner:

1) I am very happy for her and more importantly for the publicity that trans people are getting right now. When society gets over their transphobia, the world will be a better place. You don't have to like it. But you do have to remember that these people are actually people. With all the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and fragilities that all people have. Be nice. Even if you are uncomfortable. Especially if you're uncomfortable.

2) If you insist on calling her Bruce, you are being deeply disrespectful of not only Caitlyn, but of all trans people. It is one thing to dislike Jenner and refuse to respect her. It is another thing entirely to cast that on all trans people. I *will* call you out on that if I see it.

3) Most trans people don't have the vast resources that Jenner has. They don't get to make miraculous transformations overnight. Please remember that and don't judge them by Caitlyn's face and body.

4) I'm a wee bit uncomfortable by the pass she's getting from the progressive community. I'm going to try to be clear about this, but I'm having trouble putting my own thoughts and feelings to words. When Caitlyn still went by the name Bruce, she was a self-absorbed dipshit without the first bit of common sense. She was roundly mocked. She'd been a track star and then a mediocre actor. Her money was her only asset. Now, she comes out, looking fabulous I might add, and suddenly she gets a free pass on being a wealthy Republican douchebag because we want to support the trans community? And remember how the Rethuglicans treat trans people. Not well. But any criticism of her is suddenly off-limits in the progressive communities because why? Because we're afraid of appearing transphobic? Or what? Because this hero worship of her is grotesque.

Does anyone really think she's suddenly going to be a wonderful, loving, progressive human? If she is, that'll be an even more remarkable transformation than the one we saw on Vanity Fair.