Thursday, March 24, 2005
Another Health Care Moment
Another New York Times Headline
Report Says Medicare Is in Poor Fiscal Shape
I did read THIS article. We all know that Medicare is in bad shape and it isn't going to be solvent much longer. So why is the Bush administration attacking Social Security?
$1.5 trillion reasons, that's why.
In their view, Medicare will take care of itself. It will go bust
and no one President Bush or his entourage
cares about will be affected. They are, after all,
the HAVES. The 45 million "Grandma Millies" out there are the
HAVE-NOTS, and they are of no consequence to this nation's political and
corporate leaders (as if there's a difference).
Oh, by the way, here's what President Bush's Medicare Drug "Benefit" plan will do to seniors:
If a senior earns $11,000 per year or more, they are going to have to pay a $250 dollar deductible, $35 per month, and then after paying for 25 percent of their medication's first $2,850, they will be paying 95 percent of the rest of their drug costs up to $5,100. By the way, these costs are on drug company retail prices only. Medicare, by law, will not be allowed to negotiate for a better prescription price for a mere 45 million people. I guess 45 million Americans don't have enough "bargaining power."
Look at this another way:
A senior citizen that earns $11,000 per year and has $500 per month in prescription drug costs will be spending $4,000 a year out of their pocket. That's about 37 percent of their total income on the drugs that they take to stay alive!
Ask yourself one question:
Could you survive on $134 a week for the rest of your life?
The 23rd Sigh
George Bush is my shepherd; I dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.
He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war,
I will find no exit, for thou art in office.
Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion.
Thou anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance runneth out.
Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of thy term.
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.
In regard to "Terri Schiavo is not 'brain dead,'"
Jack Kashinsky writes:
I couldn't agree less with the comments of John-Otto Liljenstolpe.
The fact is that this woman's wishes were made in the presence of two witnesses more than 15 years ago. This is the primary reason the courts, even the election-stealing- not-so-Supreme-Court, ALL made judicial reasons in favor of the woman. She has been both medically and legally dead for 15 years. All of the rhetoric and arm-twisting can't change this.
I would accept the unbiased diagnosis of professional medical professionals, ie. neurologists, than what appears to be a biased opinion.
The important issue here is CHOICE. Are we to once more allow a single-agenda group to dictate their terms to the rest of US? The evidence is very clear just what this woman wanted, when she had the ability to make a conscious choice. Clearly she did not elect to remain alive in vegetation, if she got to this point. Her conscious choice must be respected whether it is another's personal preference to consider her as brain dead or not.
Count me in with the folks who respect a person's right to make their own choice.
Up-Scaling Indian Drug-Making
India's drug industry is now up-scaling. They are going to make
it harder for the poor people throughout the world that rely on the cheap,
generic AIDS drugs coming out of India to actually get to buy and use those same
drugs that could save their lives.
"It's very disappointing, but it could have been worse. All generics could have been removed from the market."
-Daniel Berman, a coordinator of the global access campaign for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders
Needless to say, International drug companies flooded New Delhi in an attempt to influence the vote by the Indian legislature.
The International Drug Trade did themselves a great favor, while doing the rest of the world a disservice.
You can listen to all of the reasons that relate to "free trade" and "corporate fairness" you like, but it all comes down to one thing and one thing only...
And for all their talk about "Compassionate Conservatism," the Bush administration is awfully quiet about all of this.
GW, the Uniter
Well, it's official. President Bush is a uniter, not a divider. He has united the individual states into believing that "No Child Left Behind" is the worst piece of education legislation in recent memory.
A survey conducted by the non-partisan Center on Education Policy said many things, including:
-States are complaining that students in problem schools are having trouble keeping up with their more "affluent" neighbors
-80 percent of the states said they weren't getting enough financial help, the kind President Bush promised to meet his goals
-More districts say they now receive less money than they did before the implementation of NCLB
-Non-English speaking students are expected to meet the same standards as English speaking students, an unrealistic goal
No Child Left Behind "assumes you're going to hit the same benchmark at the same time as everyone else, regardless of where you started. And we started a lot further back than other people."
-Xavier Botana, director of No Child Left Behind for the Chicago public schools, the nation's third-largest school district
If schools don't improve enough under NCLB, after two years students are allowed to transfer out.
The question is, where are they going to transfer out to?
"You don't want to know how many fish I've eaten from
those ponds." The black crappies (a pond fish) "almost had a metallic taste to
them. They had a taste that was different."
-Ron Lacroix, a meat cutter and New Hampshire resident on the black crappies he caught in Round Pond (NH), a picturesque fishing spot
New Hampshire is one of the states that is considering to institute tougher mercury standards than the federal government has put into place. They are, however, going to consider letting their power plants "sell" their "pollution rights" to other states' highest bidders. They are, however, concerned about the "downwind" problems of other, more mercury-favorable states' pollution creeping in on their air and water.
But money is money after all.
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