Monday, October 24, 2005
Because of Madman's one-year anniversary, I'm hijacking the newsletter for this one night only. I promise, there is a lot of stuff that will be published tomorrow, but I got on a run and went with it. Please forgive my indulgence. NG
Why We Need Universal Health Care
(even if we have to pay for some of it)
I made a statement on the NF2 newsgroup, which I belong to, that I have made on Madman in many ways in the past year:
"Isn't it amazing that anyone in this country is against universal health care?"
The first response from a newsgroup where many of the complaints had to deal with paying for expensive tests and treatments was this (I won't be using real names when it pertains to this newsgroup):
I'm against it. When I was diagnosed w/ NF2, the ENT asked my parents where they wanted to send me: Dallas San Antonio, and Houston were the only Texas cities with neurologists. My parents said, "Who's the BEST?" and that's where we went.
With universal health care, I would have had to have gone to the doctor my HMO chose. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had gone to an inferior doctor. Universal health care would turn the medical industry into the fast food industry; get your McCheckups at any drive-thru clinic...
Then, the others wrote in:
Move to Canada!
-Mr. S, straight from Canada
I can see anyone I wish anytime I wish in Australia and we have a Medicare system here. I am still a private patient and privately insured as are all my family under my policy, our MRI's are FREE cat scans FREE they are the latest machines just the same as anywhere else in the world, they are paid for in full by Medicare. I know of someone that did go to the USA for very
special treatment at it was paid for by our government. My eye lube is subsided by the government. There are failures in all systems around the world, but to say Health care for all will be McDonalds is an unjustified untruth. It's a misleading and uninformed statement. The countries that rate NO's 1, 2 and 3 with World Health Organization all have health care systems for all.
-MR. X (his choice, not mine), from Australia
Do I understand this correctly - your government provides a basic level of healthcare to everyone and in addition to that you carry your own private insurance? Is because you are self-employed? What additional benefit does the private insurance provide you?
That's great, Mr. X. One (or fifty) less thing to have to worry about .If I had back all the money that I have spent on JUST eye moisture alone (many people with NF2 have eye moisture issues), I would be visiting YOU right now (in Australia)!
Amen to that!
Hi Mr. H,
I don't want to be misleading in any of this. All systems are very complex. My issue was that everyone deserves to be covered, and that health care for all and then private insurance can be and are linked together elsewhere around the world.
Yes every Australian is covered by Medicare, taxpayer or not.
Anyone here can have additional private insurance, it has nothing to do with being self employed. You are not limited to Medicare cover ( the whole system did not become a medical Mc Donald's ) and there is no one saying YOU MUST GO HERE as you always have a choice, you can go private. We don't get insurance cover through our employers, there is a tax levy on all tax payers to fund all this.
Things like MRI's or even surgery are covered by Medicare but if you want a private hospital you need to be private or pay as you go. I was a private patient for my AN surgery but ended up with the same surgeon and hospital as if I had been a public patient.
I am not saying our system is perfect in any way Henry Im just saying a National Health system does not disadvantage those that can afford more. I fact they work together quite well.
-Mr. X from Australia
Thanks again for your informative post. I wasn't suggesting your system is perfect but it does sound at lot better than ours.
The vast majority of Americans have their health insurance subsidized through an employer. Private insurance is possible but rarely affordable. Throw in a pre-existing condition like NF2 and it's not even an option. We can insure our cars and our homes but not our health.
If you lose or quit your job, you lose the insurance. Even if you find work the next day, you're new employer will probably make you wait at least 3 months before offering you healthcare coverage.
I'm not even considering ABI (a device similar to a cochlear implant that is implanted directly into the brain stem) or MRI or any specialized care; a bout of appendicitis or a car accident could put you in the hospital and result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Before we can consider any form of universal coverage, we need to figure out this safety net issue and how to pay for it. You said the dirty word there - tax levy.
It was then I asked the Canadian people this:
I'm curious as to how your NF2 is treated in Canada. Can you tell me a little about your treatment?
Sure Noah, I'll Send you my Story.....37 operations....and still going strong!
-Mr. S from Canada
It sounds like we are much the same (comparing Australia and Canada), every Canadian is covered by Medicare, taxpayer or not. there is a tax levy on all tax payers to fund all this. Anyone here can have additional private insurance, it has nothing to do with being self employed. and there is no one saying YOU MUST GO HERE as you always have a choice, OR you can go private. Some DO get insurance coverage through our employers.
Things like MRI's all diagnostic testing and surgery are covered by Medicare but if you want a private CLINIC you need to be APPROVED FOR COVERAGE BY YOUR INSURER, WHICH IS your province medical care branch, no private hospitals here, yet. Meds are covered to some degree....were free at one time and that was badly abused and costly to the taxpayer and system over the years. I also am not saying our system is perfect in any way
-Ms S, from Canada
Mr. H and Noah
Well years ago when this was all debated here you were more or less regarded a communist for suggesting a socialized health care system ;ha-ha I wish that was a joke.
My wife's grandmother just broke her hip ( so did my granny last month ) and she was operated on within 12 hrs for a full hip replacement and its totally covered by Medicare. So for people like that the system works very well. For me, I pay my Medicare levy and private insurance. Our private insurance is $2,371 for a family of 5. I'm not sure what the levy rate is maybe Rosemary can tell us ? Anyhow a full head MRI here would be about $1,000 if you had to pay for it yourself but they are all covered by Medicare so are free.
The failures in Medicare are DENTAL and non urgent surgery. People can wait a year for this but with my Private insurance I'd be operated on straight away
I'm telling how it is, warts and all down under.
Mr. X, from Australia
Ms. S from Canada,
I worked in Toronto from 1996-2000, then got transferred back to Montreal. I liked OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) but, just like MEDICARE there are certain things which they do not cover. People don't realize it but like Mr X from Australia says, "it's invisible and taken out of your pay and taxes," but seems to beat the US system.
Personally I like The System. If I had To pay for all 37 Operations plus hospital stays plus physical therapy, I would be totally broke and in debt I'm Sure.
Mr. S, from Canada (A.K.A. The Hatman)
I've never had to wait long for surgery, or treatment I hope that never changes. I never see medical bills, except from HEI (the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, CA, considered the state of the art in Cochlear and ABI technology) , and after just seeing the and filling out all the forms while there. I thought all Canucks should go thru this, we'd stop our whining pretty quick. We really had it "toooo" easy up to 1990, with our meds paid in full, etc. So much waste. We were SO spoiled
-Ms S, from Canada
The Wrong Choice
"When you know some of the things that I know -- that I probably shouldn't know -- you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that Harriet Miers will be a good justice,
-James Dobson, to a national radio audience on October 5
Well, just what do you know, Rev. Dobson?
"my instinct is that they'll be called. And the American people are entitled to clarification."
-Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), answering the question on CBS's "Face the Nation" whether his judiciary committee will "bring some of these people who said they were told things that perhaps they shouldn't have been told, like Mr. Dobson,"
Does Sen. Specter really have the teeth? I guess we'll see.
"We're going to have to see more information -- not attorney-client-privilege-type information -- but more information of the work product that she was involved in,"
-Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)
Bull. If she was hired and paid for by the people of the United States, she has to tell all. WE are the clients.
"I think they (White House) have complete faith in her, as I do,"
-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Even someone like Sen. George Allen (R-VA) (whose father could never win the Big One - yeah - I know - it's a cheap shot) said that he is "undecided" on Harriet Miers and would have "preferred another Supreme Court nominee", on NBC's Face the Nation.
"Requests ... have been made by Democrats and Republicans about paperwork out of this White House that would make it impossible for me and other presidents to be able to make sound decisions,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush on why he won't release papers and records on or about Harriet Miers
"That would breach very important confidentiality, and it's a red line I'm not willing to cross,"
Just who's confidentiality would it breach? If, as said before, Ms. Miers bill was paid for by the people of the United States, then WE deserve, and have a right to see any and all papers pertaining to her decisions and thought processes. If, on the other hand, her invoices were addressed to George W. Bush, and paid for by George W. Bush, then George W. Bush has the say-so on who gets to see these papers and records, and WE would all like to have a look.
Doesn't the president trust the Senate of the United States, the majority of which are from his own party? Or is he just blowing smoke?
Let's face facts. Harriet Miers wouldn't be the best choice for Supreme Court Justice if she were the only lawyer in the room.
Sleep is Better than TBN
In case some of you didn't know, sometimes I just can't seem to get to sleep. So, one night last week I was cruising to TV stations when I came upon TBN, the Trinity Broadcasting Network. You know how it happens, sometimes when you come upon a TV program that says a word or two that makes you stay around. I don't remember the exact word or phrase that caught my eye, or ear as it may be, but there was a lot of stuff said that made me say "Huh?"
The two men that were in total agreement with each other were Dr. Karl Hovan and Dr. Craig Hazen. I think you'd be better off listening to Dr. Kevorkian instead of these two. They said stuff like "Darwin started Nazism (Heil Darwin?) and was preceded by Aristotle and Plato.
They also pointed out that Hitler was one-quarter Jewish. So does that mean the Jews were responsible for the wholesale extermination of the Jews? Who else are these guys going to blame?
I knew it. That Adolf Hitler fellow with his cute little moustache and side part couldn't possibly have been the cause now, could he? Also said during these early morning hours was that "FDR was just as racist as Hitler." the logic employed was: Jesse Owens wasn't allowed to shake hands with Hitler (during the 1936 Olympics) and he wasn't invited to the White House either.
I can see how the extermination of six million Jews and the loss of all civil rights could be confused with not meeting Jesse Owens at the White House. Sounds like Karl "The Traitor" Rove is producing this show, doesn't it?
These "doctors" added that "Evolution also led to Communism."
Evolution is a busy bee, isn't it?
But my favorite moment of all is when Hovak told a little story to prove his point that "without religion, there is no way to tell right from wrong."
A student present at one of Hovak's lectures tells Hovak that he is an atheist. Here is the exchange, as told by Hovak:
Hovak: Son, if you're an atheist, how do you tell right from wrong.
Student: He said well I'm the God of my own universe.
Hovak: Well then I'm going to shoot you son.
The logic being that if there is no God, there are no consequences. We all better hope that Dr. Hovak doesn't loose his faith. He might buy a machine gun!
I wonder how he explains all the killing in the name of God? Can anyone say "Crusade?"
They went on to the subject of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs - Reptiles continue to grow as long as they lived. Before The Great Flood, things lived longer and that's why dinosaurs were so big. The Bible tells of men and women living hundreds of years. He then went on to explain that reptiles grow until they die. So if humans were living longer, then it only makes sense that dinosaurs lived longer as well. Therefore, the size of the dinosaur is in direct relation to the extra years they lived. Therefore, dinosaurs and humans shared the planet Earth at the same time. And, thus, the Earth is just a few thousand years old, according to Hovak.
He didn't explain the screaming question of why dinosaurs are now extinct and why human remains have never been found with, or at the same levels as dinosaur remains.
But my favorite moment is when Hazen said, "The Bible mentions Nuclear Physics."
That's when I shut the TV, closed my eyes and realized I need a bed-time.
Taking a Swim
I just saw this report on the CBS Evening News with Bob Schieffer about OTM illegal aliens. OTM stands for "Other Than Mexicans." It seems that these OTM's actually try to get caught because the US Department of Immigration wonlt spend the air fare to get them back home. When Mexican illegals come across the Rio Grande, they can be bused back to Mexico because they come from a bordering nation.
Hey now... We can do that with those pesky Canadians too!
Those illegals from Central and South America that want a piece of the American Dream who are caught by Immigration are simply frisked, fingerprinted and given what amounts to a desk appearance ticket. Yep, they are expected to come back for their extradition trial.
Needless to say, as the Immigration officer said, the majority don't come back.
There is a simple solution to all this. It will take tome and it will take money. Make the Rio Grande serve a dual purpose. have our Army Corp of Engineers dig it out and make it a passable waterway for shipping while making it impassible to those who simply wade across it now. Yeah, I know it's considerable longer than the are in Panama that became the canal, but I know that Good Old American Perseverance could do it.
At least take a couple of million out of petty cash and create a report or something.
The source financier of the Iraqi war is the American Middle Class. We supply the money that pays for no-bid contracts. We supply the body bags that hold America's Children's lifeless bodies. We pay for the cannons and the cannon fodder and pay billions to companies like Halliburton and the Carlisle Group who, in return, send millions to the coffers of Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney and Bush "41." We supply the means that allow the oil companies to get what they want from under the sand of Iraq without any return to their American Middle Class stock holders
There no longer is a dialogue on health care
We have swept the war poverty under the rug.
Jobs have gone overseas to the lowest bidder and real wages have plummeted.
There are no plans for affordable housing for young families, just starting out.
Education in the guise of "No Child Left Behind" has become a national joke, and they're laughing at US in India and China.
China is our biggest supplier and we owe our national debt to them!
Traitor-Gate/ Plame-Gate has taken our focus off of what matters to the everyday American. This is good news for the Corporatocracy that runs America and the world today. They don't care who goes under as long as their plan stays intact.
A Red Herring
These are all important issues. There is so much greed and profiteering and illegal or semi-legal campaign contributions going on that one doesn't know where to turn first. And just when we start paying attention... BAM... They bomb something or tell US that our greatest city, New York is going to be attacked.
A Red Herring
Throw them all in jail fast. Let I. Scooter Libby, Bill Frist, Tom Delay and Sandy Berger share a nice cell somewhere in Fort Leavenworth. Traitors belong in jail or at the end of a Hangman's noose! Put them all away and throw away the key. Maybe President Bush could pardon his gang of crooks so the talking heads of Fox and MSNBC can make US all forget that we are being ripped off by corporate America.
The American Corporatocracy will have yet another Red Herring
Bad Luck Bush
Get ready America. The Schlemiel is about to take it out on US schlimazels again. The Bird Flu could get to the US and the only ones that'll be safe are GW and his cronies. Wait in line and hope they don't run out of the flu shot this year. It's going to be a bad one.
Let's face it. We all know that if there was one flu shot left and it was between your sick child and "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, the secret service would wrestle you to the ground while the life-saving medicine was pumped into the "Doofus-in-Chief's" buttocks.
Is this guy playing US for saps or is GW Bush just bad luck... for US?
Today's Good Quote
"I'm asking all the people of this great state, regardless of political affiliation, to consider my message and to consider joining me in the fight to take back our government from the career politicians and their special interest support groups who have hijacked our government,"
-Paul Hackett, the Iraqi War veteran, fresh off his close loss in Ohio's highly Republican 2nd Congressional District on his reasons for seeking the Junior senator's seat in Ohio
Let this be the first stone thrown.
Today's Bad Quote
"Joe Wilson, every time you see that guy you want to
take a shower. You can see he has an agenda"
-Don Imus, playing up to guest Jim Nantz, who admitted his allegiance to conservative issues
Just what agenda did George H.W. Bush's Ambassador to Niger Joe Wilson have, John Donald Imus? Was it the outing of his wife that wants to make you take a shower? Funny how I have the same feeling about you Imus about now.
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