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Health Care Fatigue Syndrome


Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I fear we may all die from an overdose of health care discussions. It would be good to die from it because if we just get sick from it, there remain 48,000,000 of us without health insurance.

This endless conversation with no agreement about anything, except that something has to change, has so far offered up nothing but talking points.

There are a few little quirks in the whole business that probably throw wrinkles into the best of ideas. One of them is this: health care is the only thing we buy and consume without seeing a price tag. We groan over the cost of insurance premiums, but they are something of an abstraction, or distraction, from what we are buying. Health care is 17% of our GNP and the consumer is disconnected from any cost/benefit discussion. Does any other industry in our economy compare?

A system under which everyone has access to health care would be ideal. Will we ever join the rest of the industrialized world and make that a reality? Not likely while Big Insurance, Big Health Care Systems, and Big Pharma are dictating the terms. Make no mistake, that cohort will be writing any legislation before it gets presented. The business model is here to stay for awhile, it seems. All we needed was someone in the crowded theater to cry "Socialism in the Capitol!!" and all of congress ran for cover. Perhaps another generation can try again.

So, what is on the table?

A government option is a purchased insurance program hoping to compete with the products being offered by the for-profit insurance industry. It might be less costly than some, but to a family that cannot afford insurance, it's probably not going to be an option at all. It's not clear to me how insurance coverage can be "mandated" if it has to be purchased. We need auto insurance in Minnesota, but if we can't afford it, we don't drive or we risk losing our license or going to jail. If health insurance is mandated and there is not a nickel in the budget to buy it, will we go to jail? That might not be the worst; there are nurses working in jails usually so there is access to medical care.

If they figure out how to have everyone covered, it will not mean all things are possible for everyone, anytime. What we cannot afford individually we probably can't afford collectively. I want to believe that our leaders are smart enough to sort out what is basic care and recognize that in the richest nation on the planet, this should not be a luxury. Ma .....
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Our responsibility: sacrifice now for a better future

Fri, Jul 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

A few weeks ago on June 26 the US House of Representatives narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey bill (H.R. 2454). It is formally dubbed "The American Clean Energy and Security Act," which concentrates on energy efficiency, conservation and the replacem ..... 
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Healthcare swan song

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It's pretty frustrating to be interested in health care reform and live in Southeastern Minnesota. Minnesota has been one of the most progressive states in giving its citizens health care safety nets. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir while the ..... 
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One Moment Please: Don't ruin a good thing for families

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Congratulations to Harmony for their outstanding July 4th parade! I especially enjoyed the cavemen of Niagara Caves -- very creative and entertaining.

Probably the only thing that was a concern was while I was videotaping the entire parade t ..... 
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Judicial appointments

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

As we know, the Untied States Senate has the responsibility to advise the president and consent (or not) to his nominations of federal and Supreme Court judges and other officials. When the judicial candidates testify before the Senate Judiciary Com ..... 
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Yards of food and flowers

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years that my husband and I lived in the Big Woods, our mowed lawn decreased in size. We gave up gardening after the first five years because we didn't want to fend off the deer and other creatures. We loved the encroaching trees, shrubs an ..... 
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Climate change and energy bill

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The House Agriculture Committee concluded its first public hearing to review the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy bill (H.R. 2454) on June 11. Dubbed "cap and trade," it would impose new energy taxes on all American energy users, raising the ..... 
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One Moment Please: Obituaries and E-mail Alert System

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years, I've heard a few people say the Internet is a bad thing. And, I've heard the flip side from people stating the Internet is the next best thing since the toothbrush.

The individuals who are concerned about what the Internet in ..... 
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A couple of ways to help yourself

Thu, Jul 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

In cases of emergency medical services there is often a degree of confusion even when there are alert knowledgeable relatives and friends at the scene. This is especially true about two things, medications and, to a lesser degree, end of life direct ..... 
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