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2009 August 10 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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They Got The Wrong Number

I just received a robo-call from some group that wanted me to call my Congresscritter to stop the dismantling of Medicare Advantage.

Part C, Medicare Advantage, is the publicly financed, privately run HMO system that was set up by the same defective thinking that encouraged the original push for HMOs. No matter how often you point out that HMOs don’t actually do a better job of providing health care, are in fact a PITA to belong to, and end up being more expensive that the traditional system, they keep being supported by Congresscritters.

One of the areas I do want to see changed about Medicare is the elimination of Part C, Medicare Advantage plans. They cost a lot more money than traditional Medicare, and have much higher administrative costs with no proven advantage to patients. They are another way of funneling tax dollars to private corporations.

I would also like to see Part D, the drug benefit, folded into Tricare, with Tricare pricing, i.e. $3 for a generic prescription, and $9 for a name brand.

The phone call gives me hope that someone is actually looking at the numbers and intends to do something about them.

August 10, 2009   2 Comments

How Stupid Are They?

Rook has an unbelievable find in Blinded By The Right.

I backtracked to find the original Investor’s Business Daily editorial which says:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

That would be Professor Stephen Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and the distinguished research chair at Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

He was born in Oxford, England and went to university at Oxford and Cambridge. The treatment for his ALS is through the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. His DECTalk voice synthesizer [a museum piece, BTW] may have an American accent, but his natural voice was Oxbridge.

August 10, 2009   15 Comments

No Need For Change? Yeah, Right…

CBS points to a new report on the American health care system: Hearst National Investigation

New York, August 9, 2009 – An estimated 200,000 Americans will die needlessly from preventable medical mistakes and hospital infections this year, according to “Dead By Mistake,” a wide-ranging Hearst national investigation, which began reporting the findings today [www.deadbymistake.com/]. Despite an authoritative federal report 10 years ago that laid out the scope of the problem and urged the federal and state governments and the medical community to take clear and tangible steps to reduce the number of fatal medical errors,a staggering 98,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors each year and just as many from hospital-acquired infections.

And we pay twice as much per person as any other country for this mess. Understand these are people who had access to the system, and does not include the approximately 20,000 people who die because they don’t have access. Despite these numbers people still think that malpractice law suits should be suppressed. It’s rather obvious that there aren’t enough law suits to convince the system to clean up its act.

On a personal note, Excise, my “coffee and cream” tom tabby, was going to be adopted by the uncle of a neighbor. The uncle died of an infection he got in the hospital during a routine biopsy. The biopsy was benign, but the staph infection wasn’t. The uncle had health insurance overkill with Medicare, Tricare, the VA, and a local AF hospital available to him as retired military. He should have used the military or the VA.

August 10, 2009   Comments Off on No Need For Change? Yeah, Right…

La Brea Fire In Los Padres National Forest

FireFrom KEYT La Brea Fire Still Burning in Los Padres National Forest

The La Brea Fire has now burned approximately 10,500 acres. The fire broke out Saturday around 2:50 in the afternoon. It is quickly spreading in the back country of the Los Padres National Forest, about 16 miles west of New Cuyama, and 26 miles east of Santa Maria.

Santa Barbara Independent La Brea Fire page, InciWeb La Brea page with a map, and KSBY has videos.

These are semi-permanent links to pages that are updated constantly, or provide specific links to all of the related stories.

August 10, 2009   4 Comments