Health care reform…where are you?

I haven’t felt much like writing lately.  Some loved ones have been suffering and my attention has been focused on them.  I stare at my Samsung monitor, try to get up the energy to post a new blog, and then retreat to e-mail, a few worn out websites and solitaire.  Oh, and a glass or two of wine helps to pass the time.

My exercise routine has suffered too.  Half-heartedly I row and sometimes hop onto the treadmill.  Rowing requires two hands.  Treadmilling two feet.  The choices on early morning TV are limited and repetitive.  I often wonder how many times Direct TV can repeat a boring Sandra Bullock movie without a general public uprising.  But treadmilling leaves my hands free to click in the hope of finding something new and interesting.  Alas, my fingers tire before I can locate the holy grail.

CNN is no better.  Every positive event is qualified with a “but”.  Every negative event is highlighted, dissected and accompanied by predictions of more gloomy days to come.  Now I know how Dubya felt.  Hey, but that’s show biz.  This morning was no exception.

The perfectly coiffed Heidi Collins was doing her best to put a negative spin on the better-than-expected first-time jobless claims report.  Repeating the usual “yes, but can it continue?” caveat, she scanned the horizon for some depressing health care reform news.  Brianna Keilar appeared on the screen, standing outside the Capitol where left-over Tea Partyers were protesting the looming destruction of our perfect health care system.  “There are folks here who want to be heard.  They’re not happy.”   No kidding.   Brianna looked like a windblown high school cheerleader as she tried her best to top Heidi’s negativism.  But her heart wasn’t in it.  The Partyers were also uncharacteristically muted as evidenced by their tepid rants of “your granny is dead meat” and other debunked urban myths.

Moving to the current meat of the matter, Heidi asked Brianna “but do the Democrats have enough votes?” Obviously without a clue, Brianna focused on whether taxpayer dollars would pay for abortions.  This, the latest straw man standing between us and a revamped health care system.  I turned to Sandra Bullock for revitalization.

Apparently there are not yet enough good reasons to push this thing through Congress.  Alabama’s Senator Shelby, who looks suspiciously like Shelley Berman, had this warning for those who dare to tinker with the status quo.  President Obama’s plans amount to “the first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known.”  Really?

Putting aside the fact that 40 or 50 million of us can’t even participate in our current perfect system, the good Senator chooses to forget the essentials.  Forgets that we spend lots more for care that produces lots less.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Wade through an August Robert Wood Johnson report  entitled How Does the Quality of U.S. Health Care Compare Internationally.  Knowing full well that you won’t, here are the parts I liked.

—Among 19 countries included in a recent study of amenable mortality, the United States had the highest rate of deaths from conditions that could have been prevented or treated successfully. 

 —In the light of the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person on health care as its peers, those who question the value for money obtained in U.S. health expenditures are on a firm footing. 

 —In short, health reform can be seen as an opportunity to systematically improve quality of care, rather than as a threat to existing levels of quality.

So what’s the hold-up?  There are more Democrats in Congress than fleas on Paul’s dog, Chumba.  We threw the other guys out because they lacked any constructive ideas other than stopping Bill and Jim from getting married, and executing first-time flag burners.  We took the country back.   We said “We can do it.”

Where’s Sandra Bullock when you need her?

sandra-bullock

3 Responses to “Health care reform…where are you?”


  1. 1 art vander November 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    For those who want a quick summary of the RWJ report and other facts, here is a link for Kristof’s op-ed piece today in the NY Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/opinion/05kristof.html

    Like

  2. 2 leila November 7, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you Fred for voicing the frustration so many of us live with. Oh to have the medical coverage the congressmen have.

    Beee well
    love to you all
    leila

    Like

  3. 3 Aryna November 7, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks to you Fred, and to Art for the excellent reference article. I’m so disappointed with the lack of progress. It does help to talk about it to like minded friends.

    Like


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