Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Hey, even though it was near the deadline, I finished my taxes on the 14th so I spent the night of the 15th NOT going to the tax guy, the post office or even sitting at the computer. I read my novel! This actually ended up being a very nice evening after all. I really do hate procrastination (especially when I'm the one doing it) and even this one day made a huge difference to me. Maybe next year I'll manage earlier - it won't take much to be an improvement.

By the way, speaking of novels - I'm on the second of the series by Stephenie Meyer. I couldn't wait to get it after finishing Twilight. I'm halfway through New Moon and next is Eclipse. Hopefully I can get that one at the library as easily as I was able to get the first two. These books are in the Young Adult section and I have thoroughly enjoyed them so far.

There was also a piece on PBS last night about other countries who have successful universal health coverage (Japan, Taiwan, Germany and Sweden). In every case it is working well, costing around 5-6% for administration costs compared to 22-24% in USA, they have zero bankruptcy filings due to health care debt and the citizens are very happy with their care and they don't have to wait like the horror stories warn us about will happen if we do this. In most cases they get care faster and easier than what we have to go through here where gatekeepers call the shots.

It is time for us to get with the program and redesign our healthcare system. It was interesting to me that Taiwan, where they started from scratch to design a new system, didn't try to piecemeal together. They studied other countries (the U.S. included thinking that would be "the best") and they came up with a good system. There are smart people out there who could do this in America. Our current health care is a loose afghan with holes all over the place rather than a warm, safe blanket. We develop one kind of program for the poor, another for the elderly, one for the veterans and one for the kids who are nearly poverty-level. Then we find a few safety nets to pick up some of the special cases. Some of us are fortunate to have jobs and health care coverage - fine as long as we don't lose our jobs due to health problems, layoffs, etc. I appreciated the philosophy in Germany where they recognized that unemployment puts a person at risk for health problems so that is no time to be without insurance coverage. So, it's NOT LINKED to employment at all. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this, but apparently it is beyond the scope of the powers-that-be in the USA. Boy, this is one of my major soap-box subjects!

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