Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ronald Reagan on Socialized Medicine

I confess. I’m a great fan of Ronald Reagan, a man of wisdom and integrity. I recently came across this clip of him in 1961. As President Obama presses for Nationalized Health Insurance, it’s worth considering.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Depression Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease


Researchers at UCLA have concluded that people between 55 and 91 with depression are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer's Disease. A depression test produced results in points and for every point of increase on the test the risk of developing Alzheimer’s went up by 3 percent, suggesting that depression is a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers hope that early treatment of depression will lower the rates of Alzheimer's the patients develop.

Sounds like a good reason to keep that good mental attitude, beginning now.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mom Medical Update

Portrait of a group of doctors having a discussion in a hospital operating room

Well, I’m at Mom’s again. We had three medical appointments yesterday and another skin cancer surgery today. This one is on her cheek. We’re weary and she’s in a lot of pain tonight. I haven’t felt like doing much else while here. I’d love to help her begin eliminating some of the junk and clutter (although she doesn’t have as much as many elderly), but for some reason I lose energy when I’m here. After rushing from medical appointment to medical appointment, I run out of steam.

Meanwhile, back home, hubby has not been feeling well. He stayed home to see his doctor and had a CT scan today. No results yet, but we are praying that it’s nothing serious. It was a tough call to decide whether to come here or stay home with him. I figured he was somewhat more able to manage getting himself to his appointments than Mom was to hers. But I feel smooshed again.

I’m grateful for the good medical coverage we all have, and am aware that under most nationalized health programs, Mom would not have been given surgery for squamous and basal cell carcinoma. Not at her age. And if she had been able to get approval, it wouldn’t have been as quickly. And hubby was able to get a CT scan within 24 hours. Contrast this with a story out of Canada that I read just today regarding a 30-year old man trying to get treatment for a malignant melanoma. After fighting for two months to get approval, he’s being sent to a facility four hours away (in the US, by the way) when a facility just over the border could provide the same care. Folks, enjoy our excellent care while you can.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wishing Won’t Make it So

Obama Signs The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

This week President Obama and the Democratic congress is beginning work on what they call health care reform. While many trial balloons have been sent up, the consensus seems to be landing on Senator Kennedy’s plan, which theoretically creates a public/private option. In reality, it creates a lot more requirements for private plans, which will undoubtedly push private insurers out of the market. Scott E. Harrington, professor of health-care management and insurance and risk management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, analyzes this plan in the Wall Street Journal, suggesting that it won’t be long before private plans are driven out of business.

Folks, let’s face it. It’s government involvement in the health care system that has caused most of the problems we have today. Health care prior to 1960 was quite good and quite affordable. From the beginning of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s, the government has paid less than the cost of care while increasing regulatory requirements. When I worked in the hospital field 25 years ago, we were struggling to make budget under increasing federal cost constraints. The situation has only gotten worse. Yes, some people have problems getting health insurance and yes, the cost is exorbitant. But government involvement will only make it worse. It will ultimately result in shortages and rationing, just like in every other country with a national health system. And just how do we expect inexperienced politicians who've never run anything to solve a problem that has baffled the professionals for decades?

The Obama administration still doesn’t know how it will cover the cost of this plan – approximately $1 trillion over 10 years. Obama has proposed $634 billion in tax increases and spending cuts as a down payment on the plan and is soon expected to outline an additional $300 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. And this in addition to the trillions already spent on bailouts and the proposed new budget. The administration has proposed taxing employer-paid health benefits, which will result in fewer of those and reduce personal disposable income -- a plan which he criticized McCain for proposing during the campaign, by the way...

Ask yourself: what has government ever done well or for a lower cost than private industry? If you love the DMV and postal service, you’ll love national health care. Personally, I’ll keep what I’ve got.

By the way, now the Kennedy Plan proposes covering long term care – a true sink hole.

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