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Health Care & Confusion


Fri, Oct 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I admit that I am confused by the overwhelming assault on the senses regarding the health care debate in Congress. One can't read the newspaper or watch TV without seeing some reference to some aspect of health care. The consensus is that changes need to be made. The changes are in the areas of health care delivery, who should be able to get health care, who should pay for it, how it will be paid for and by whom. I've tried to follow the debate, but am not ashamed to say I am lost in a morass of information and misinformation. What exactly is a public option? How will it be paid for and by whom? Why is the National Chamber of Commerce against some aspects of some of the proposals? Why are some large unions for or against some of the changes put forward? The amount of money going into the lobbying efforts by insurance companies, drug manufacturers, and others for or against health care changes is reported to be enormous.

Listening to politicians from each major party as they spin their latest take on the matter is like listening to little kids fighting over candy. We are told that making law is like making sausage: what goes into it is not pretty, but the outcome is usually not bad. It seems to me that the argument over what changes need to be made is more about which party wins and which party loses. It doesn't seem as if what's good for the general public is really being considered, in spite of what the polls say.

Insurance companies are fighting changes because they are making tons of money. To wit, the profits recently reported by United Health Care. Drug companies and manufacturers fight changes because they are making large profits as well. We are told that they must charge what they do for drugs to offset their research investments. If this were true, why are drugs less expensive in Canada than in the US?

One aspect of health care costs that doesn't seem to get a great deal of attention is the cost at the source. By that I mean the cost of procedures at hospitals and clinics and fees charged for professional visits and care. Let there be no misunderstanding. I am not against paying people an appropriate wage for the care and services they provide. I am not against hospitals, insurance companies, and health care providers making a profit. What I'd like to know is why does health care cost what it does. Why can a hospital or health provider charge whatever for a procedure? The simple answer seems to be because they can. Insura .....
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It's time to govern the flow of political money

Fri, Oct 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

There was a time when I believed that the best way to curtail the impact of money flowing into our political system was to monitor it. Make sure that campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures were reported quickly and accurately, I reasoned, ..... 
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Journal Writing Project

Fri, Oct 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



I can still remember my first day of high school, walking into the gym with all the upperclassmen. The thing that sticks out the most in my mind that day in the gym was our principal, Mr. Olstad, saying that "high school flies by." I was thi ..... 
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Local businesses: use them or lose them

Thu, Oct 29th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The benefit to our economy by using local businesses is significant. Minnesota Department of Revenue gross retail sales data showed that for every $100 spent at a chain store, only $12 is circulated back into the local economy. Whereas that same $10 ..... 
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One moment, please... Fillmore County's fertility drug

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

By Jason Sethre

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

Since I began my crusade in late August in search of new business developments evolving in the past 12 months in Fillmore County, I have made seve ..... 
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Grown-up in the room

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Lewiston-Altura Schools are in a legal battle regarding bullying. They are not unique. Bullying is an issue in every school hallway and lunchroom and, for that matter, every workplace. I want to apologize, however, for how prevalent this has become. ..... 
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Find the center ground

Fri, Oct 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Every ten years as provided for in the US Constitution the Census Bureau gathers data which will be used to determine how many of the 435 US representatives each state will have. Next year the 2010 census data will be gathered and provided to the st ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Volunteer emergency response

Fri, Oct 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

By Jason Sethre

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

If you listen to a scanner on a regular basis, you probably heard a variety of ambulance and fire department dispatches this past week in the area ..... 
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Members of congress need to travel

Fri, Sep 25th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Spooked by the public outcry, the House of Representatives has cancelled its order for four new military jet aircraft that would have been used occasionally to ferry members of Congress around the world. Even so, you shouldn't expect for a minute th ..... 
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