Monday, May 25, 2020

AMERICA, EXPLAIN

Our dysfunctional health care system impacts not only patients and medical professionals, but our entire economy. Given that employer-based insurance is the way most Americans get their coverage, small- and medium-sized businesses are forced to spend an enormous amount of time and energy determining how they can get the most cost-effective coverage for their employees. It is not uncommon for employers to spend weeks every year negotiating with insurance companies, and many switch carriers every year or two to get the best deal they can.

When we talk about our current health care system, what is often overlooked is the negative impact it has on our entrepreneurial spirit. Millions of Americans remain in their jobs today not because they want to be there, not because they enjoy their work, but because their current employer provides decent health care benefits for them and their family.

Think about the extraordinary impact it would have on our economy if all Americans had the freedom to follow their dreams and not worry about whether the family had health insurance. Universal health care would provide a major boon to our economy, unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of millions of people.

While health care costs soar and millions of Americans are unable to afford health insurance or prescription drugs, the health care industry reaps huge profits and gives its CEOs outrageously high compensation packages.

The priorities of the current system dictate that there is more than enough money to pay fat executive salaries in the health care industry. We just don’t have enough money to make sure that working people can get the health care they need.

Today I watched the latest episodes of Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act and Rick & Morty, as well as read Guide to Political Revolution, written by Bernie Sanders, that the above paragraphs are lifted from. I am so tired and I would like to be in Canada to begin my undergrad studies. Vancouver Island looks very pretty. This evening I also interviewed to volunteer with an organization in Singapore to advocate for mental health among youths here, and I hope to be able to help in my final few months here. They seemed to like me, and I like what they're doing too, because mental health really needs more advocacy in Singapore.

Last week, we found out an ex-lululemon Singaporean staff member (Lerine) had gone to New Jersey to visit her friends. While she was there, she began feeling pain and discovered she had stage 4 cancer that had spread to her bones and lungs. All this unfolded at the same time the COVID situation did, so she didn't receive the best treatment in the US, and she couldn't even fly back to Singapore to be with her family. She needs constant and critical medical attention even in her journey back, so the only solution was an air ambulance, which costs $300,000. Crowdfunding was held and her condition reached national media so they raised it, and she'll be back next week. It's really nice to see it happen, what she's been through is really tough.

I get such a headache when I see big sums like that, because my studies will cost a third of that amount, and I know it's not as dire and I'm not dying. It just gives me a little nausea thinking of one hundred thousand dollars (technically 70k but I'm including living expenses). Literally, I can feel and taste the bile. Alrighty, time to brush my teeth.

THE VAT OF ACID EPISODE

I just set a limit for my Instagram use because I found out today that I average four hours of daily use. If I sleep for eight hours, that means I spend a quarter of my daily waking life on Instagram. That ain't it, Sarah, it really ain't it. I actually really enjoy scrolling through memes on Instagram, the Explore page is always curated so well based on my liked and saved posts. My Explore page either has existentialist memes or Taylor Swift. Today I spent an hour having a Zoom call with my extended family for Eid, one of the two big Muslim celebrations. I'd recorded the call so while watching it afterwards, I realized I really dislike my voice on playback. My voice is one of the things I actively dislike about me, I know most people don't like the sound of their own voices but my voice is just bleh, like it's just an in-between kind of voice that doesn't sound deep enough to be inspirational nor high enough to be sweet. It's annoying. Another thing I felt today was when I looked at photos I had taken, and was not pleased at my button nose, I definitely think I could look better with a thinner, sharper nose but then I stopped myself of course and questioned why I had bought into such Eurocentric ideals of beauty. Most people with high, fine noses are not Asian, and I'm clearly Asian. Why have the ideals of beauty not included features that can be found mostly on Asian people? Fuck white people and fuck colonization. Fuck every single white person in the world who has never felt guilt, who don't acknowledge the benefits they reap from hundreds of years of white people acting barbaric and claiming superiority over other people in the world and from systemic racism that still penalizes people of color for the exact same shit that white people engage in. Non-whites can't be "looking suspicious" in public without getting shot down, whilst the whites are protesting for haircuts. Shut the fuck up, white people. Honestly, shut the fucking hell up. I'm not sure how I got here from talking about my nose, but there you go. Today's stream of consciousness, brought to you by a member of an oppressed society.