Thursday, February 12, 2009

I feel like I'm in limbo

My 90-year-old grandmother is in declining health, and I'm waiting for a phone call. She's several states away in Missouri, and I'm waiting to hear from my mom what our plans are. I think my mom is going to fly up to be with her, and dad and I are going to drive. (He doesn't do well flying because of his own health condition, but my mom's afraid she may be too late if she makes the drive with him.)

Despite being named after her, I haven't always had the closest relationship with my grandma. But there's still something to being able to say goodbye.

I'm trying to get my work cleared off my desk in case I need to leave tonight.

It's just a strange feeling not knowing what's going to happen. Am I going to be starting a two-day road trip with my dad this time tomorrow? Or will I be sitting right here still waiting?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm not sure I can afford Obama

Don't get me wrong, I respect him and wish him the best. He's got a mess to clean up, and I'm sure some of the fixes are going to be painful one way or another.

But I just read an article that Obama is expected to sign a bill this afternoon that will increase the price of cigarettes by 62 center per pack to fund additional health care for children. I'm sure your first reaction is, "What's wrong with that? Kids' health is way more important than smokers' rights!"

And on the surface, I would agree with you. But I'm sensing a disconnect. Why should Americans who choose to smoke be forced to fund health care for the segment of the population that makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but apparently not enough to afford private insurance for their children?

Instead of placing the burden on a segment of society that is already treated like pariahs, why don't we take a look at related areas where money is pouring down the drain? How many non-U.S. citizens are receiving health care free of charge? Or - god forbid - put the responsibility back on those folks who chose to have children they can't afford.

And what comes next? Will it be 50 cents per gallon of gas to pay for unemployment benefits? Maybe a beer tax can help fund Social Security as the Baby Boomers continue to reach retirement.

Hopefully it won't happen. The good news is, I'm trying to quit smoking anyway. Obama's going to have to look someplace else for my 62 cents.