Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Health Care Reform JMHO

First off, rving news. We will be taking the trailer out this weekend. Just heading south an hour or two, no big deal but my wheels are spinning and I need to get out of here. Enough watering the grass and home maintenance. A never ending affair.

Now on to the big news. Wow, it has been one hellacious week pouring over the news on health care reform. It wasn't all that long ago that everyone in the U.S. was hollering and screaming about insurance companies and their high rates, abuse, and failure to pay for the big stuff. That was under Bush. So now the we have swung the other way and the same people who pissed and moaned about their high cost of health care, averaging 600 dollars a month, have either gone to Medicare and don't give a rat's behind or they are against the health care reform just because it is a democratic president who has come up with a plan.

What a huge embarrassment as the world watches Americans' antics on television via the town hall meetings. I'm ashamed of their actions. Bill O'Rielly, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh almost vigilantes attacking the government and attempting to spur a revolution. And don't think it couldn't happen! I believe rogue is the correct term for those three characters. If American Muslims were doing what those three are, they would be lynched and convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government.

If you remember correctly, GW had a health care plan that only covered 10 million uninsured at a cost of $102 billion over the next decade. That was in 2004. Now the number of uninsured Americans is at 40 million. Not taking into account rising healthcare costs and inflation that would be a total of 408 billion over ten years. Add to that the president's enactment of a Medicare prescription drug package as his signature health achievement. In monetary terms, the new policy -- was estimated to cost $564 billion over 10 years. Wow, now that is starting to total up and yet people are bitching about the added cost of Obama's healthcare plan. So it appears that in either case the cost of a healthcare plan comes out to about the same.

What about the abuse instituted by the insurance industry. Is it true that you can only buy health insurance from a company within your home state? That because of this competition doesn't exist in the insurance industry? As my good friend Jan Deaton died 8 years ago because she couldn't afford insurance. At a party she showed us a baseball size tumor that was under her armpit. She gave up, no one would help her until it was too late. She ended up with the tumor removed at our urging and some help from the American Cancer Society. Too late though, the cancer had spread throughout her body and she died in her sleep a short time after. My friend Sam who needed a pace maker implant. Insurance said no to the 75,000 dollar cost for the year so his physician offered to make him a cash deal of 40,000 dollars. What is that all about?

In Mexico we have a social system and some of you may be familiar with it. It has its good, bad and then the ugly. Most of the ugly is from a system that is run by a union that now promises its employees 130% of their salary as pension income. You run the numbers, it won't last, it can't. On the other hand the big abuser in our IMSS system is the population. We use the system as a doctor's office. The kid gets the sniffles and we take them to the hospital. The system if clogged, overrun and all those people traipsing through the hospitals takes its toll on the buildings and maitnenance. It was never intended for that. On the other hand, a good friend of ours has cervical cancer. I saw her medications and treatment. One medication alone has a cost of 2500 dollars a month, she pays nothing. They even deliver oxygen to her house which she now uses daily. Her battle is nearing its end but she has been made comfortable and had the option to continue to fight or quit. She opted to fight.

Juan had knee surgery a few years back. Not life threatening but needed a laser machine to perform the deed. He waited six months until they were able to gather 10 patients for the same surgery. The machine was delivered from Mexico City and all surgeries were performed in less than two days and btw, it was a complete success.

What is the healthcare plan really about? Saving the lives of Americans, reducing the abuse of the insurance industry and make the U.S. a stronger and happier place? I believe it is. We are talking about quality of life. The U.S. had a lot of money at one time. It doesn't any longer and when it did everything seemed to go amuck. Now we are left with a huge population addicted to drugs, addicted to disability payments, and a system that does not make people responsible for their actions; obesity, smoking induced lung diseases, diabetes, and the list goes on.

To end this, as I know many of you don't like the idea of reading someone's political opinion, we need to work together for a better life. That may require for some of us to give in a little, make a small sacrifice for the betterment of the rest. Let's not be selfish. Stop saying, "I earned mine and I'm going to get all I have coming to me". Be careful, that expression could come back to bite us in the ass in the near future. JMHO


  1. well, I would say that based upon past performance of Government run medical systems, I am reluctant to believe that our current administration could do any better by increasing the size. Why not fix the system we have before throwing out the baby with the expensive bath water.

  2. Chris, when I have this discussion with someone the first question I ask is, "Do you believe it is a person's RIGHT to have healthcare." If there response is No, I end the discussion. This person has a different view of life and people than I and I will not be able to reach this person. If they say yes and are against Healthcare reform, you have a chance.

    NOW, I believe you will not be able to reform Healthcare without first Tort Reform and that is not even on the table. All the other discussion of reform is a waste of time until you address the lawyers & court system. BUT the Lawyers are in control of the system as most elected officials are Lawyers. AND they do feed upon themselves! As far as being able to run a public system, the government seems to be able to do just fine providing Healthcare for elected officials, armed forces & the Indian Healthcare program (of which I am a member). JMHO!

  3. I should say I do believe Healthcare, Education & BASIC living needs are Human Rights and should be provided to ALL persons. I should also say I don't believe in Global Warming and saving a fish that is not the native species. I should also say I don't believe in running a deficit or fighting other people's wars. I should also say I AM NOT a Dem or Rep but I am an Independent with the ability to use his mind.

  4. The Canadian system had major teething problems as it was begun in the province of Saskatchewan nearly 50 years ago. The doctors would not cooperate, and had a lot of help in that from being so near the USA border. The government of the day got help from doctors in the UK.
    Not long after, about 1962, the program went national. Some people complain about waiting times, and even a lot more about this system we have here in Canada. But the high price of procedures is not one of them!
    I have had four relatively minor procedures done at no extra charge other than my taxes paid. orthoscopic knee surgery, nose straightened, appendex out, and wisdom teeth removed by my Dentist (who is also a medical doctor)under general anethesia in hospital. A friend was helicoptered to a big city hospiatl where he had heart surgery the next day, and five eyars later is still doing fine. No cost.
    A neighbour is from Oregon, developed medical problems, uninsured or refused, had 300,000 dolars in bills, paid off 100,000, gave up and lives here now.

  5. I am another with no complaints with the Canadian system. Our experience with it is:

    1) I was flown by Air Ambulance from the Alaska border to Vancouver for repair of a shattered ankle that could not be repaired where I was. Cost? $54 standard maximum ambulance charge. The ankle repair was free.

    2) Successful treatment for kidney failure fifteen years ago. No charge.

    3) Successful skin cancer treatment for my wife including skin grafts. Also no charge.

    4) Hip surgery for my wife two years ago. Also free of course.

    We had absolutely zero wait time for any of the above treatments and were treated by the doctor of our choice in every case. I don't know where they dig up those "Canadians" who appear on TV for the pharmaceutical industry's anti health care ads in the USA but they do not represent our experiences with the Canadian system or those of anyone we know.

  6. I think IMSS should continue, it's an achievement of the mexican people through the 1910 revolution. What we have to do is to reform its pension system of its employees. A great step mas made a few years ago with a new law concerning pensions...