"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Buggy whips, garter belts and for profit health insurance


Fri, Jan 26th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

~Martin Luther King Jr.

When I started practicing medicine most rural doctors still made house calls. We could carry most of the diagnostic tools available to us in our bags. Health insurance then was sold as a risk sharing product and the actuarial form was just starting to take hold.

Risk sharing meant a 60 year old with health problems paid little more than a healthy 25 year old. The 25 year old could look forward to little increase in cost throughout his life.

Actuarial form of insurance demands a risk assessment of how likely it is the policyholder will need to use the insurance. If it is likely to be used the premium will be higher or the insurance will not be available at any cost.

The Presidents' radio proposal on the 20th was that we "treat health insurance more like home ownership" shows how completely out of touch with the common man this administration is. Worse, if they really do understand the problems the less wealthy and healthy have with health insurance, it represents the most callous and cynical affront to decency in our government in my lifetime.

People who are living paycheck to paycheck do not go without health insurance by choice. They cannot afford to pay the premiums. It is frightening for them. They know they are one illness or injury away from financial disaster. Tax deductions will not pay the premiums.

Some who have preexisting conditions cannot buy policies for any price. Tax deductions are useless.

Tax deductions will benefit only the wealthy and the healthy that now choose to go without because they can afford to pay for medical care. This is a small percentage of the uninsured. It will do nothing to relieve Medicaid and other stressed programs. All this administration's health care programs are boons to the healthy and wealthy including Health Savings Accounts and Association Health Plans.

His tax on workers who have employer provided plans considered as "Gold Plated Plans" he claims raises premiums for everyone is totally delusional. Other than elected people in Washington, I want someone to show me workers who believe they have "gold plated" health insurance from their employer.

Requiring folks to buy insurance from private for-profit companies that report obscene profits (United Health 1.2 billion in three months ending 12-31-06) and pay enormous amo .....
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The Bridge to Nowhere and the politics of earmarks

Fri, Jan 19th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



Just yesterday someone told me they thought our past US Representative Gil Gutknecht lost his seat in Congress because he forgot about constituent service.

"You mean," I said, "he quit returning peoples calls?"

"No," he sai ..... 
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If you think medicine is expensive now, just wait until it's free

Fri, Jan 19th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

I see that Tim Walz is in favor of socialized medicine. Of course he says that it's really not socialized medicine, it's a single-payer system. Let's not play word games with this. It is what it is even if some aspects of it might be privatized. If ..... 
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What do we owe the environment?

Fri, Jan 12th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

"Hey Sara, is this a real job?"

This question was posed to me as I was out recently with some students doing a winter pond study. At first, I thought that maybe the question was an unintentional insult in regard to my choice of careers.
..... 
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To rise high and roll onward

Fri, Jan 12th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



Surge, they are calling it.

Insert more than 20,000 troops into Iraq, deploy them in Baghdad, take control of security, stay a short time and get the hell out.

A linguist I heard on the radio analyzed surge as being a wave o ..... 
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The Swamp

Fri, Dec 22nd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker to be, promised to "drain the swamp" of ethical corruption if the Democrats captured control. They did and the back tracking by the old bulls of the party has started all ready.

Here are some quotes pu ..... 
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White Christmas

Fri, Dec 8th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

The Iraq Study Group has issued its report, instilling some well-needed reality to the debate on Iraq.

The greatest accomplishment of the study group, given the political weight of its members, is truly a political one - changing the level ..... 
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Shop Fillmore First

Fri, Dec 1st, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Twenty years ago you used to be able to buy jewelry and clothes and shoes in our small towns in Fillmore County. For the most part, you can't anymore, those specialty stores are gone. You feel fortunate if your town has a grocery store, a hardware s ..... 
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So, what exactly is the problem?

Fri, Dec 1st, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Ho-hum. Another dire warning about the impending crises and calamities to be visited on us because of "overpopulation." Let's see, how many unfulfilled warnings does that make in the past century or two? I would guess that Herb Panko's makes somewhe ..... 
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