The Best Doctor In The World…

“Best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what’s the matter. He’s just got to know.” – Will Rogers This quote from Will came to mind recently while my wife was going to doctors trying to determine the cause of her recent ailments. In the last couple of months, she has had three emergency room visits, two of them by ambulance.  We were in the ER practically all day each time. They racked up over $14,000 in tests and billing for their time and still can’t determine the cause for her symptoms.  They just say … Continue reading The Best Doctor In The World…

The Thing About Socialism..

Socialized medicine seems to be dirty words for many of my RedAmerica friends. To them, it and communism are one and the same thing. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Since there seems to be nothing in this world that isn’t a simple black or white to them, I’m not sure they will ever accept any other definition but that doesn’t stop me from trying to show you how the rest of us should see socialized medicine. The purpose of this post is to tell you a little about other country’s versions of medical care so that you can … Continue reading The Thing About Socialism..

Medicare For All… It Just Makes Sense

Medicare is a system that has been in place for 50+ years. Its approval rating is well above any competition and it keeps the costs of healthcare down. Paperwork which drowns the private sector insurance is very well managed to less than half in Medicare. So, why should we be experimenting with other often radical solutions to our healthcare network in the U.S.?  I will admit that Obamacare was far from perfect. For one thing, it depends on the whim of private for-profit carriers. They say privatizing healthcare will spur competition and therefore reduce costs but that just isn’t happening. … Continue reading Medicare For All… It Just Makes Sense

My Personal Experience with Brain Trauma – Part 3

Before the surgery, I really had no idea who Dr. P was or what he looked like. (I am not using his full name here as I don’t have permission from him and don’t want to intrude on his privacy). Looking at him when he delivered the good post-surgery news I discovered he was a sixty-year-old or so guy with white hair and a neatly trimmed mustache. He came in a couple more times that day to check on me. When my wife was not there to sign for me he always grabbed the paper and pencil to give me … Continue reading My Personal Experience with Brain Trauma – Part 3

Personal Experience with Brain Trauma – Part 2 Off To The Operating Room

In the last post, I left off just before my consult with a brain surgeon. When the ER doctor told me I had a chronic brain bleed because of my fall that scared me more than I have been in a long time.  When the surgeon told me he needed to go in and fix it and to relieve the pressure, my life didn’t flash before my eyes but I was thinking this could be the end. After I agreed to the surgery I started thinking about what if these were my last hours? I told my wife I didn’t … Continue reading Personal Experience with Brain Trauma – Part 2 Off To The Operating Room

People of Faith For Resistance..

There seems to be many opportunities cropping up on this first day of a new administration for resistance to draconian change they intend for our democracy in the upcoming years. I am particularly happy to see Christians in this mode. No, not all Christians are among the 81% of Evangelicals who pushed the current administration in office.  In reality they are a small percentage of that community. One of those orgs on the forefront of resistance is Sojourners.  Here are some words in a recent email from them. The GOP plans for a juggernaut of action very quickly to gut many … Continue reading People of Faith For Resistance..

Why Are We Crippling Obamacare with Private Insurance Companies When Medicare Can Do The Job??

A threat by the nation’s largest health insurer to pull out of ObamaCare is a sign of the industry’s growing angst about the viability of the federal exchanges, sources close to the industry say. UnitedHealthcare’s warning sent new shockwaves across the healthcare sector after weeks of mounting anxiety among private insurers whose participation in the exchanges is critical to the viability of the president’s signature law. In the last month alone, insurers have learned that the Obama administration has significantly lowered its expectations for new customers and will have far fewer federal dollars to help cushion insurer losses. Source: New … Continue reading Why Are We Crippling Obamacare with Private Insurance Companies When Medicare Can Do The Job??

VA Hospital Problems….

Shinseki reiterated other steps he’s taken, including putting the leadership at the Phoenix facility on leave and ordering a “nationwide audit of all other major VA health care facilities to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, our appointment policy.” Some question whether removing Shinseki would address the core problems at the VA or simply serve as a distraction for now.”Is him resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem? Is it going to help us find out what’s really going on?,” asked House Speaker John Boehner, the chamber’s top Republican, adding that his answer so far was … Continue reading VA Hospital Problems….

Back Door Universal Healthcare…

Anyone who has read some of my posts know that I am an advocate for universal single-payer healthcare.  After all, it is very efficient and cost containing system used in much of the rest of the world.  Many of our citizens in the U.S. including this one are currently on a single payer system known as Medicare. After being on it for two years now I can attest that I have found it to be much better than the private insurance mode I fought with for so many years prior. Other citizens also on a single-payer system are those on … Continue reading Back Door Universal Healthcare…

LOL Moment….

Just a quick note to say I just watched a video of a town hall meeting opposing Obamacare. There was an elderly lady who ranted on and on about it. She was totally convinced that if we allow it to be implemented that it would certainly cause the downfall of the entire country.  She finished with the following statement. “I realize that Obamacare does not directly affect me but I just want to make sure that we keep the government out of my Medicare!!” They didn’t show if anyone had bothered to tell her that Medicare is a single payer … Continue reading LOL Moment….

Why Our Health Care Lets Prices Run Wild…

A central reason U.S. health care spending is so high is because hospitals and doctors charge more for their services and there’s little transparency about why. There is no uniformity to the system, in which public and private insurers have separate, unrelated contracts with hospitals and doctors. The result is a tangled, confusing and largely secretive collection of forces driving health care prices higher and higher. This isn’t possible in many other countries either because governments set prices for health care services or broker negotiations between coalitions of insurers and providers. Known as “all-payer rate setting,” insurers in these systems band together … Continue reading Why Our Health Care Lets Prices Run Wild…

Hospital Billing Varies Wildly….

A hospital in Livingston, N.J., charged $70,712 on average to implant a pacemaker, while a hospital in nearby Rahway, N.J., charged $101,945.In Saint Augustine, Fla., one hospital typically billed nearly $40,000 to remove a gallbladder using minimally invasive surgery, while one in Orange Park, Fla., charged $91,000. In one hospital in Dallas, the average bill for treating simple pneumonia was $14,610, while another there charged over $38,000… Source: Hospital Billing Varies Wildly, U.S. Data Shows – NYTimes.com. I must admit that I have been lazy in regard to studying and reporting on how hospitals are at least partially responsible for the … Continue reading Hospital Billing Varies Wildly….

Paul Ryan’s new Medicare plan…

  Source: Paul Ran’s new Medicare plan could be tip of the iceberg (+video) – CSMonitor.com. A parallel factor is rising income. As a society grows richer, it tends to spend more of its income on health care. Add in demographics (an aging population) and a lack of competition among health-care providers in many markets, and you have a recipe for more people to consume more health-care services at higher prices. For once I am not going to comment on Mr. Ryan’s seemingly enthusiasm to balance his budget on the backs of the poor while asking for increases in our bloated … Continue reading Paul Ryan’s new Medicare plan…

Being Denied Coverage….

  Source: Top six myths about Medicare | Reuters. MYTH FOUR: DOCTORS WILL NOT ACCEPT MEDICARE BECAUSE OF ALL THESE CUTS Facts: Most Medicare patients do not have trouble finding doctors who will see them, but there is growing concern about access to primary care physicians. This issue is monitored closely by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent Congressional agency charged with advising Congress on Medicare. The agency’s most recent annual survey of Medicare patients found that just 2 percent of beneficiaries had problems of any kind finding a new primary care doctor willing to accept Medicare – the … Continue reading Being Denied Coverage….

Living As Cheaply As The People……

What the government has got to do is live as cheap as the people.           21 December 1932  Will Rogers Speaking about money not being wisely spent this morning got me to thinking about Will’s quote above. If you have read much on this blog you will know that I am a proud social progressive but also a fiscal conservative. In that light I certainly agree with Will here. Our government needs to learn how to live as cheap as its people. That doesn’t seem to be possible anymore. There is always that new model of … Continue reading Living As Cheaply As The People……

Mr. 3.75 Percent

Source: Mr. 3.75 Percent – By Daniel Altman | Foreign Policy. One political leader who likes to plan for the really long term is Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for U.S. vice president. By 2050, Ryan’s budget plan would reduce federal spending outside health-care programs and Social Security to 3.75 percent of GDP, down from 12.5 percent last year, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. So, what would it mean to chop away two-thirds of the federal government? According to the World Bank, government spending minus health care was already lower in the United States than in all of the … Continue reading Mr. 3.75 Percent

Military Spending Cuts…….

Here is another poll that shows when it comes to making cuts in Medicare or Social Security a big percentage of people think we should cut our bloated defense spending instead.  If we could somehow manage to get our war machine budgets in line with the rest of the world, yes I mean the other 95% of the world, then most of our budget and deficit problems would be almost immediately solved. Why don’t the politicians listen to us? I’m sure the answer like always is mainly politics and power struggles. God didn’t rule that somehow we are supposed to … Continue reading Military Spending Cuts…….

I Guess I Am One Of Them…. Or Maybe Two Of Them….

Source: Mitt Romney video fact check: Is 47 percent of US ‘dependent’ on government? – CSMonitor.com. That is one of the questions that has been raised after Mother Jones magazine on Tuesday released a video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser May 17. “There are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” Mr. Romney says … Continue reading I Guess I Am One Of Them…. Or Maybe Two Of Them….

Taste…..

Elections are a good deal like marriages, there’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. – May 10, 1925   Will Rogers You did it again Will. You perfectly described an election eighty-seven years in the future. There is just no accounting for the taste of the people who will be voting Republican this year.  But then again we will have to wait to see just how many actually vote for that yahoo who will face Obama this year.  He does seem pretty good at accumulating wealth but doesn’t seem to have a clue of how people live on less than $1 million … Continue reading Taste…..

Get Rid of It!!!

It was 1965 when Medicare was enacted. I was just entering college so I still have some vivid memories of what went on around it.  I remember the conservatives in congress were saying such things as: We’ve got to repeal this law, it is bad for the country. Its Socialism. It takes away choice. It will bankrupt the country And the most typical comment that also goes with increasing the minimum wage Businesses will fail because of this law. Now almost a half a century later the same thing is being said about the Affordable Care Act that recently got … Continue reading Get Rid of It!!!

As Cheap As The People….

What the government has got to do is live as cheap as the people. – December 21, 1933    Will Rogers  I have often on this blog mentioned that I am a proud social-progressive but I probably don’t as often proclaim that I am a fiscal conservative. For that reason this post as a general rule rings very true to me.  Our government should learn to live as frugally as it’s citizens. There are obvious places where that is not the case. One of those that I often pronounce here is our military budget but that is not the only … Continue reading As Cheap As The People….

Is the Republican Party Insuring Its Own Demise??

Is the Republican Party insuring its own demise by it continuing to focus on a narrower and narrower core group.  I want to believe this is the case as the alternative is that we as a country are now dominated by exclusion.  Being against things, particularly different groups of people, is what has been driving the Republican primaries lately. It has pushed their final candidate over to the extreme right of the political spectrum. Can the Republicans maintain a party that far off the center of American Politics? It seems like everyday the Republican party members alienate yet another group … Continue reading Is the Republican Party Insuring Its Own Demise??

Another Flash in the Pan….

I see the Republicans have yet another “front-runner”! This time it is Rick Santorum. This makes every one of the eight or so wannabes that has moved to the front of the pack. But when that happens they soon seem to fizzle out like a flash in the pan. They get on the front burner of public attention and the heat becomes too much for them. Maybe Mr. Santorum will be different but I kind of doubt it.  He has his flaws just like all the rest of them. The Republicans want the “perfect” candidate, at least according to their … Continue reading Another Flash in the Pan….

Medicare Here I Come … (Part 2)

This is the second of two posts about my experiences with recently joining the Medicare System. The first post gave you the types of plans that are offered to those who turn 65. There are a number of decisions that have to be made during this enrollment process. I have to warn you up front that this is really pretty boring stuff. I put it off as long as I could and if you are not that close to Medicare I would probably advise you to just skip this post 😉 The first decision I had to make was to … Continue reading Medicare Here I Come … (Part 2)

Medicare Here I Come…. (Part 1)

I will soon move onto the Medicare roles. It has been quite a journey to get here so that is what this and the following post will be about. I hope the post might help some of you out there who will be going through the same thing in the coming months or years. I want to make it very clear that I am not by any means an expert in this area so what you will be getting is an ordinary guy’s view of these plans. In this post I will try to explain the options. The next post … Continue reading Medicare Here I Come…. (Part 1)

What To Do About Medicare??

No this post is not about how to gut Medicare as seems to be the topic of today. Instead it is about my personal travels of getting signed up for it. As I announced before I am at the head of the herd of the Baby Boomers so I will be joining Medicare this year. As a result I am starting to try to figure out all the ancillary policies I need to get.  The free side of Medicare is really only Part A. (Note: I don’t intend to bore you with what all these letters and things mean so … Continue reading What To Do About Medicare??

If It's So Great Then…..

A couple of posts ago was about the so-called Republican plan to change Social Security. It is championed by Congressman Ryan.  As I mentioned in that previous post this new social security is supposed to empower seniors to get the best plan available but they limit the choices to private insurance companies. I personally have had enough dealings with those for-profit insurance guys to know that profit, not the customers, is their far and away number one priority for them. If as Congressman Ryan suggests that his new plan is an improvement that “empowers” us then why don’t they “empower” … Continue reading If It's So Great Then…..

Don't End It; Fix It…..

It is heartening to see that seniors medical care means something to the nation as a whole. After the Republican defeat in the very conservative district in New York on Tuesday maybe they will get the message. Why do so many politicians, almost all of them of the same party, think that the solution to Medicare is to end it and put seniors out on their own to individually battle the giant private insurers for healthcare? It is beyond my comprehension as to why no one is talking about controlling the costs of medical care in this country instead of just … Continue reading Don't End It; Fix It…..

Fix It Don't End It….

It is heartening to see that seniors medical care means something to the nation as a whole. After the Republican defeat in the very conservative district in New York on Tuesday maybe they will get the message. Why do so many politicians, almost all of them of the same party, think that the solution to Medicare is to end it and put seniors out on their own to battle for healthcare? It is beyond my comprehension as to why no one is talking about controlling the costs of medical care in this country instead of just reducing benefits! The rest of … Continue reading Fix It Don't End It….

Are Commitments to Social Contracts Dead??

I worked over forty years of my life. During that time I paid social security taxes on almost all my income. Of course I realized that much of those taxes were used to pay my father and grandfather’s social security income and medical expenses. That was fine; that was the way it was supposed to be. After all there is a social contract in our country that says we will take care of elderly who have helped give us our many years of prosperity. That was the way it was. But is that social contract about to be aborted? Are … Continue reading Are Commitments to Social Contracts Dead??

Republicans and Their Deficits….

With all the Republicans around today chanting the fiscal spending mantra you would think that must be part of their very core. I am just a simple fellow but I have been around long enough to know that their new found fiscal religion is just that, new found. I know how all those Washington types love their graphs so I though I would, as usual, put a few on this post. The Republican’s all seem to wonder how we got into this spending spree? Well the graph above seems to be saying something about that to me.  Military spending was … Continue reading Republicans and Their Deficits….