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Tupperware and Obamacare


picture of Tupperware banana storage

Do you like Tupperware? We do, and we're still using most of the Tupperware we received as shower gifts over 30 years ago! Several months ago when we had German house guests, for some reason we talked about Tupperware. They told us about some of the items available through Tupperware in Germany that we don't see here. This week they sent us a package through a mutual friend coming back from Europe. In addition to some German coffee (mmm!), there was a German Tupperware catalog. I looked online to see if it were also available there. If you'd like to check it out, you can go to tupperware.de One of the items available is called Banana Joe (picture above). I don't think it would keep a banana fresh. Is it for protecting the banana from bruises in your lunch bag?

Here's a little Tupperware story from my files:

What's A Tupperware Party? (author unknown)

One evening after dinner, my five-year-old son Eli noticed that his mother had gone out. In answer to his questions, I told him, "Mommy is at a Tupperware party." This explanation satisfied him for only a moment.

Puzzled, he asked, "What's a Tupperware party, Dad?"

I figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. "Well, Eli, " I said, "at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other." Eli nodded, indicating that he understood this curious pastime. Then he burst into laughter.

"Come on, Dad," he said. "What is it really?"

divider

Tupperware is known for "locking in freshness." To me, much of what has been happening in our nation's capital this year is anything but "fresh," and instead our leaders are locking out freshness, in favor of old ideas (ideologies) that have failed for others. For some reason they believe they can make these ideas work for them, and that the others failed simply because they didn't run things right. The French have a saying, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." = The more things change, the more they stay the same. It reminds me of the following:

The evolution of medicine...

What doctors through history have said in reply to "Doctor, I'm in pain":

2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen; say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition; drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil; swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective; take this antibiotic."
2009 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"

The redistribution of wealth that is happening fast and furiously is nothing new. It's the ancient rob Peter to pay Paul thing ... especially knowing that it's a pretty sure way to get Paul to vote for you.

picture of bailouts

Our leaders' answer to economic hard times is to spend money we don't have, at unthinkable rates and in incomprehensible amounts. Being a language guy, I readily admit that economics is not my strong suit. But I know better than to borrow exorbitant sums of money that I would not be able to pay off in three lifetimes. Duh, you don't get out of debt by spending! Our government's answer to everything is to throw money we don't have at whatever problem and non-problem that comes along. My mind goes to the Stimulus Package(s), the Cash for Clunkers debacle, etc. We are seeing only half of the campaign promises fulfilled — we're seeing massive change, but little to no hope.

picture of flow chart

The push to get the Health Care Plan (a.k.a. Obamacare) through as quickly as possible, without even knowing what all is in it seems to me unwise at best. It's kind of like the definition of Tupperware party up above, but in this case our lawmakers aren't sitting around trying to sell bowls to each other, but rather trying to sell each other on a plan that could move our nation one giant step closer to bankruptcy. Come on, Congress-critters, do you really know what Obamacare is?! A reader sent me one version of the 1,000+ page Health Care Plan. If you'd like to read it, click on this link - HR320.pdf If you do read it, you will be light years ahead the vast majority of our Congressmen who are poised to vote in favor of it. I found a flow chart online that explains how things will work. You can see a larger version by clicking on the thumbnail picture of it above.

The textbook we use in our first three semesters of French here at the university tells us that France has an excellent health care system. But I've heard otherwise from some people. My dentist here in Greenville has quite a few patients who are Michelin employees living in the US for several years. Some of these patients have come in in great pain. When the dentist checked them out, he discovered that they have decay under their fillings. Upon further investigation he learned in each case that the dentists in France don't use novocaine to numb people up before drilling. They drill until the person can stand it no longer, and then put in the filling, sometimes on top of decay.

Friends who lived in France for a while told us that their four-year-old daughter fell in their yard one day and had a huge gash in her chin. When they couldn't get it to stop bleeding, they took her to the emergency room. The personnel cleaned it up and said that she would need stitches. The gave the mother a bed sheet, told her to wrap it around her little girl and to hold her still while they stitched it up. Apparently novocaine is something that socialized medicine can't waste money on. Barbaric, huh?

I have heard some say that if Obamacare goes through, we will end up with a system with the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the US Postal System. We've been reminded in the past two weeks by the Cash for Clunkers program that people still flock in hoards to freebies. Won't they do the same with "free" health care? How is the government in charge of Medicare and Medicaid on the verge of collapse going to manage an even bigger system?

Just this week a reader told me about her recent visit to her doctor here in USA. I asked her if she'd write it up for me to include in this post. She wrote it out and included a humorous side note to me, which I left intact with her permission:

I recently had my annual physical. As a part of the yearly aches-and-pains discussion, my doctor and I talked about my arthritic knees and how much pain is too much pain. The doctor said that if I am ready to discuss joint replacement, I'd better do it now because under Mr. Obama's new health plan, knee replacement coverage would be denied, if not seriously curtailed.

Note to Rob: I wonder if there will be a quota system, e.g.

Me: "Doctor, I'm ready for that right knee surgery."
Doctor: "Rats, you just missed the cutoff for right knees this decade. What about a left hip? Most folks your age learn to adjust to the unusual gait."

It was interesting to me to hear what her doctor had to say about Obamacare. She currently has excellent health care, but that could/would all change. Our government leaders seem to subscribe to Red Green's oft-repeated principle — "If it ain't broke, you're not trying!" They seem to be bent on breaking a health care system that, while not perfect, is the envy of many other countries.

I did a web search to see what other doctors are saying. Here are links to several interesting articles:

Obama Care: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Angry Docs Say Proposed Government-Run Health-Care Plan Will Drive Physicians out of Medicine

I usually steer clear of political issues on my blog, but this is such a big issue right now that I wanted to express myself and hear what my readers have to say. I know that the issues are huge and varied and cannot possibly be covered in this blog post. What do you know about and think of Obamacare? Some of you live in countries that have socialized medicine. What are your thoughts about your national health care? Is socialized medicine a fresh idea, or is it something less than fresh, something that's going to get us locked into a big container called Obamacare Tupperware, that we will never be able to get out of? I would love to see a lively, civil discussion of this issue in the comments.

quotation...

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service exam." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Anything free is usually worth what you pay for it.


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19 Comments on “Tupperware and Obamacare”

  1. #1 Dahv
    on Aug 5th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for posting on the health care bill. So many people are confused and uninformed on what things exactly this HUGE bill contains, and how it will effect each of us should it go through. And thanks for putting a humorous spin on things — something you always do! 🙂

    PS — what is this at the end of each blog? =^..^= =^..^=

    .-= Dahv’s most recent blog post … Many things =-.

  2. #2 Zina
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Rob,
    You are right about the banana case. It helps the banana to not bruise when taken in a backpack for Pausenbrotzeit in school:)

    We enjoy the health care system he in Germany and we get Novacaine unlike our French neighbors…ouch!
    I found this description online of the German health care system.

    In Germany, they also have a national system and 90% of patients elect to stay in this system. However, 10% of patients opt out and pay privately for their medical care. Contrary to Great Britain, where all health care workers are paid by the government, in the German system, all health care workers are paid privately. Everyone, including indigents, is covered. The waiting lists are short and patients can visit any doctor or specialist of choice. Participants in the national system cannot lose medical insurance if they lose their source of employment. No one goes bankrupt paying medical bills.

    The downside of this system is that doctors and health care workers are paid poorly compared to the United States. Prices regarding service and fees are negotiated annually per region. They pay half as much per person per year compared to the United States, and everyone is covered. This sounds like a bargain.

    Enjoyed your post,
    Zina

  3. #3 Rob
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 7:48 am

    @Dahv – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for your part in it. The symbols =^..^= =^..^= at the beginning of my sigline is a hold over from my e-mailing days. It’s our two cats.

    @Zina – Thanks for your input on Banana Joe and on the German health care system. I guessed right on the banana thing! I’m glad they use Novacaine in Germany. 🙂

    @my readers – I just ran across a good article this morning by Ann Coulter. She is definitely a sarcastic person, but she always nails things on the head. Her article is called Take Two Aspirin and Call Me When Your Cancer is Stage 4 It’s a good read.

  4. #4 Nancy
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    In years to come archaeologists will abandon carbon dating altogether in favor of Tupperware Dating, which is really quite straightforward: Avocado Green has a TD of mid to late 1900s; Brilliant Blue or Passion modular has a late 1900s TD; Egg or Orange Peel – TD is 1st decade of 21st century.

    And the supposed medical scenario continues in my imagination like this:

    Medical supply clerk runs from back room waving small corrugated box: “Wait, wait, Doctor! Just found a 20th century, pre-titanium right knee. Our last one. The warranty has run out, but I found this rebate coupon that’s good for a case of Grecian Formula – limit one per customer.”

  5. #5 Sunny
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    “Great blog post, Rob! Someone sent me this: Instead of Cash for Clunkers we have Cash for Congressmen: Get $4,500 by turning in your old tax guzzler for a nice new conservative model in return!”

  6. #6 Michael
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I like that Red Green quote, “If it ain’t broke, you’re not trying!”

    Seeing serious quotes from current USA leaders implying or explicitly stating that their underlying motive is to put in place a global currency, global participation, global standards, global understanding, makes me suspect that the efficient ruination of our country is absolutely intentional, though probably seen by the agents as an inevitably misunderstood, necessary step to a greater goal (“We know what’s best for you.”). If we try to understand the times, it appears to me that the perfect storm is being methodically created to give a global leader with a plausible solution to global problems to arise. For a globally imposed universal fix to be palatable, the expectations of the more fortunate must be reduced.

  7. #7 Vikki
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    The government tried to run a car dealership with Cash for Clunkers and went bankrupt in less than a week – and these same people want to run a national health care system?!? Think I’ll run off to Canada. No, wait. Don’t they already have a national health care system? Grrrrrrrr

    Seriously, I am concerned about what would happen under Obamacare. I have a 79 year old father who just went through a round of chemo which appears to have been successful. I doubt that this would ever have happened through Obamacare. He would have been deemed too old to treat because there just aren’t enough years left in him to justify the cost. Euthanasia is effectively what this would be in slow motion.

    The other day on the news I heard about how much it’s costing the tax payers to pay for the medical bills of uninsured people and how a national health care system would free up these funds. Uhhhh, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the tax payers be shelling out even MORE money under Obamacare? I don’t see the logic.

    I also wonder what would happen to those of us who already have excellent health care where our employers pay most if not all of our monthly insurance premiums. Will we have to start helping to foot part of the payments ourselves and than be taxed for this amount on top of it?

    It really amazes me how so many people can be so blinded by a single charismatic individual. Even those in government are starting to see the problem with his plan, but Obama is going over their heads by holding news conferences to convince the people that this is the best thing since sliced bread so that they’ll force their representatives to vote for it.

    I wonder what the future has to hold for our country and how much, if it passes, will be irreparable in the future.

  8. #8 b.j.
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    It all seems so hopeless, I just don’t want to hear anymore about it. Just bury my head in the sand. Which is what they probably want in the first place! if everyone did that, they could pass through whatever they want.

  9. #9 Donna Lawrence
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    My daughter recently had heart surgery at MUSC in Charleston. In the hallway, they had a board covered with pictures of smiling children they had operated on. I could tell that probably a third of the children were Down Syndrome babies (they are often born with a heart defect), and could not help but wonder how many of them would be allowed to have this expensive surgery under the new plan….

  10. #10 Rob
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    @Nancy – Thanks for the fun comment to my post, adding to the info about Tupperware and pointing out more potential ridiculum of what is planned for us all. The majority of our Tupperware is autumn colors (orange, yellow, and chartreuse) from the late 70s.

    @Sunny – I love the “tax guzzling” part of the quotation! It’s soooo accurate in its description of our Congressmen who are addicted to our money.

    @Michael – Knowing what endtime prophecies say about the global nature of things, it’s easy to see how what is going on is moving us in that direction … breathtakingly swiftly! Look up!

    @Vikki – I share your concerns, and as far as I can tell, all your points are totally logical.

    @b.j. – See Michael’s comment and my reply. For those of us whose citizenship is “other-worldly,” we have every reason to hope. As I consider the type of stuff covered in this blog post, it’s mainly a lament for the country where I’ve grown up and lived most of my life (except for occasional stints in France and China). I know that it all has to happen, but in my mind it was all supposed to happen during the lifetimes of my great-great-great-great-grandchildren. Don’t despair. Amid the seeming hopelessness, there is every reason for some of us to hope.

    @Donna – Exactly! I’m sure a government who believes those children should have been aborted in the first place will approve surgeries to improve their lives! Sad and shameful!

  11. #11 b.j.
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the reminder!

  12. #12 Laura
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    My father always said, “If you don’t have it in writing, you don’t have it.” The unspoken corollary was always “READ THE FINE PRINT” so you know what you DO have.

    Many times I’ve been glad I read the fine print, like when there was this huge investment scam in our area a few years back. We read the prospectus and saw exactly how the thing was set up–the investment firm was entirely up front about its methods. Yet a significant number of folks lost all their retirement savings over that scam — all because they didn’t read the prospectus; they were satisfied to have their ears tickled by the radio ads and to do what their friends & neighbors did.

    Thanks so much for posting the link to this HUGE bill that nobody has read before proceeding to tout its dubious “merits.” I leafed through it, and it’s really no wonder the folks in Congress don’t bother to make a detailed study.

    Can we have a new law that any bill before Congress has to be short enough to be read in its entirety within a single hour so things can be seriously debated?

    Also, would you please post a link to where I can take advantage of the Cash for Congressmen offer? Of course, I’ll have to read the fine print first….

  13. #13 Ruth
    on Aug 6th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I have a set of Tupperware chopsticks and rice bowls from Japan. My friend used to sell the stuff and they do modify their offerings per country. Makes sense.

  14. #14 Jim
    on Aug 7th, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Here are some matters of concern from just the first 500 pages of the plan:

    Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!

    Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!

    Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)

    Page 42: The “Health Choices Commissioner” will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.

    Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.

    Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.

    Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

    Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize a ll union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)

    Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.

    Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)

    Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens

    Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.

    Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.

    Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “judicial review” is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.

    Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.

    Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.

    Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.

    Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll

    Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll

    Page 167: Any individual who doesn’t have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.

    Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).

    Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.

    Page 203: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Yes, it really says that.

    Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected.”

    Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)

    Page 253: Government sets value of doctors’ time, their professional judgment, etc.

    Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.

    Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.

    Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!

    Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.

    Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.

    Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!

    Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.

    Pa ge 321: Hospital expansion hinges on “community” input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.

    Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.

    Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.

    Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.

    Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).

    Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?

    Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in
    estate taxes ahead of time.

    Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.

    Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.

    Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient’s health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.

    Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.

    Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.

    Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.

    Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.

    Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

  15. #15 Tim
    on Aug 7th, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Yes, and now the White House is soliciting for informants against individuals who speak negatively about the health care policy. Here’s the link http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things

  16. #16 Rob
    on Aug 7th, 2009 at 6:54 am

    @b.j. – You are most welcome. Feel free to do the same for me.

    @Laura – We all need to read the fine print, for sure, but I would like for my representatives to be sure to read the not-so-fine print! If they did, they might see some not-so-fine things written. I hate the way they tack totally unrelated things on to bills. Then at election time they all trot out what atrocious things their opponent voted for, when that atrocity was actually attached to some legislation that was perfectly fine. For example, to a bill to increase the penalties for killing someone while driving drunk they will attach increased funding for abortion. By voting for a good thing, you are in turn voting for something you disapprove. Insanely bad way of doing things!

    @Ruth – Great example. I know that even fast food chains have different offerings, depending on the location of the restaurant, right here in the USA, let alone in other countries. McDonald’s in France offers a Croque McDo, their (per)version of the French Croque Monsieur.

    @Jim – Thanks! Wow, what a litany of reasons for our representatives not to vote for this bill! I don’t have the time to check out your whole list right now, but I did the first couple and decided to allow this comment.

    @Tim – Should I be looking over my shoulder? 🙂 I’m still working under the assumption that the First Amendment establishes Freedom of Speech. But hey, Constitution, Schmonstitution nowadays, huh?! Is this another manifestation of Chicago politics or is it downright Orwellian? BTW, you didn’t send the URL for this blog post to that flag@whitehouse…blahblahblah address, did you?!? Tim, I thought you were my Facebook friend!

  17. #17 Michael
    on Aug 7th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Looks like IVMan Nation is agitated! I think the biggest thing that puzzles me about this health care thing is why does this need to be done right now? Is there a health care crisis in our country? Aren’t there bigger things going on that need more immediate attention? Growing unemployment? Out of control government spending? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The fact remains that if you need health care you can get it. Modern western people have become intolerant of any pain or discomfort. That’s what’s driving this health care thing. When it comes to life and death matters, you can still get the care you need. I hate high pressure sales tactics and I will walk out of a store if I feel the salesperson is doing that to me. Do we need reform? Indeed we do. Does the government need to be behind all that reform? I don’t believe so. If people would be allowed more choice in health care matters, doctors would have to be more competitive with prices and services.

    I believe that one way the government could help with health care is trying to better protect doctors against ridiculous lawsuits. Doctors aren’t perfect, yet we hold them to a standard of perfection. The people most responsible for our health and wellness are ourselves, not the doctors.

    So, at the end of the day, if we are to blame anyone for the problems America faces, we need to blame the American people. This is true even for those of us who would count ourselves conservative and want less government. We don’t want government to get involved and try to solve the problems we face, yet we are often unwilling to get in there on our own and do something to help. We too often rely on things like “market forces” and the “invisible hand”. We need to be the ones getting out and helping our fellow man and practice what we preach.

  18. #18 Dan
    on Aug 7th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Though it’s a bit late, I’ll make a short comment. I live in eastern Europe. The country here has socialized medical care. I visited a friend one time in cardiac ICU. It was about 1 p.m. and there were cockroaches crawling up the wall. The sheets and mattress were stained. There are a few better places now, but only if you have the equivalent of about 2 months salary to pay — cash. There are registered nurses who ask my wife for medical advice. Some doctors truly care and do the best they can. Some others bought their degrees, never attended classes in “med school” and yet they “practice” medicine. To be fair, let me say that communism was very hard on this country. The health care system proposed for America will be devastating.

  19. #19 Rob
    on Aug 8th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    @Michael – You brought up many points with great validity and upon which we should ponder. Thanks!

    @Dan – Thanks for the insights into the health care in the country where you live. Some people in the USA have no idea what we’re in for if this thing passes.

    @everyone – I ran across a website that had a couple of “posters” that go well with the theme of this post and the comments. I’d rather not share the URL since some of what’s there is pretty extreme or unacceptable by many. Below are the posters I wanted to share.

    This one combines the themes of Cash for Clunkers and Obamacare:

    picture of clunker poster

    This one ties in with Tim’s comment about our “dear leader” asking Americans to be informants on those who spread “fishy rumors” about Obamacare:

    picture of hush poster

    I believe that since Tim sent me that link, that post on the blog at whitehouse.gov has been reworded a bit. I’m fairly certain they actually used the word informant and the words “fishy rumors” earlier. Now that it’s met with public scrutiny, it’s been sanitized. Amazing days in which we are living!