Friday, October 2, 2009

Frontline Health Reform

I downloaded this program from Netflix to exercise by and I learned a few things from it about health care delivery system in other countries. The reporter visited the UK, Japan,Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland and found in some respects we resemble each of these countries in parts of our health care system. Each country has problems and some dissatisfaction but none of them comes even close to paying as much as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product as the US. What the hour long program does conclude is what the reporter states at the outset: the US "system" needs to be repaired. He does it with an eye on what might or might be acceptable to the average (insured) American.
As we watch our leaders inch forward in an attempt to debate how to make the needed changes. It's impossible to have a debate when the only people open to change are tghe Democrats. The Republicans for some reason continue to refuse to contribute to the debate. As long as they say there is no need to make changes the Democrats have to form their usual circular firing squad, to the detriment of what's left of the debate. That people without health insurance can support the Republican rhetoric is an ongoing source of amazement to me. My wife and I paid a preventative visit to our family doctor yesterday. Her copay is $20, mine is $25 through our work insurance. She pays $320 a month for insurance, I pay nothing. We still get heaps of paperwork and occasional refusals to pay. However over the years we have learned how to refute refusals to pay but it is painstaking and irritating. I still support Medicare for all and would join medicare now if I were allowed to.

The Higgs Beach People

I have been drawn to the water lately and apparently I am not alone. I got to see a whole range of people hanging out at Higgs Beach.
Not all of them alive. The African Cemetery is coming along nicely and should be quite spectacular when it's done:It's the estimated burial site of several hundred more or less freed slaves found on a ship bound for Cuba, liberated and dropped off in Key West and pretty much abandoned by the government until they were "repatriated" to Liberia, a corner of Africa they knew nothing about. They survived in Key West thanks to the representative of the Federal Government, the Post Master who fed them and housed them and was never reimbursed by the government for his trouble. Across the street we find the dog park which makes me want to get a Labrador or two from Florida Labrador Rescue. Then I'd have to get a sidecar for the Triumph.And the West Martello Tower home to the Garden Club written about in January of this year: Immortality is available if you have enough cash. For everyone else there is a chance to appear on the Internet if you are enjoying the beach, as a place of rest or as temporary accommodation:Or as a place of work. Higgs beach is in the city but is actually owned and operated by Monroe County. The county has offered it to the city but the city has said, no thanks, we can't afford it:The county found some money to tart up the beach and also some cash to pay off-duty details to have a Sheriff's deputy patrol the beach. But this is the land of the free and you can't ban people from the beach because you don't like the look of them, and people complain in the paper all the time about the residentially challenged at Higgs Beach:Others use the beach as a place to enjoy the view as they exercise:Or to keep up with their diaries. Journaling they call it nowadays, turning nouns into verbs, without so much as a by-your-leave.
Welcome one, welcome all.