Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Just let this analysis end all the "birther" conspriacy theories:
I stumbled onto this article and found Stewart's analysis to be extremely, uncomfortably, compelling. I've given you the topic, now talk amongst yourselves. Remember the 4 C's: Communication, Communication, Communication!
By Matthew Stewart
June 2006 | The Atlantic
Most of management theory is inane, writes our correspondent, the founder of a consulting firm. If you want to succeed in business, don't get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead
By Dennis Prager
July 28, 2009 | Townhall.com
1. President Barack Obama repeatedly tells us that one reason national health care is needed is that we can no longer afford to pay for Medicare and Medicaid. But if Medicare and Medicaid are fiscally insolvent and gradually bankrupting our society, why is a government takeover of medical care for the rest of society a good idea? What large-scale government program has not eventually spiraled out of control, let alone stayed within its projected budget? Why should anyone believe that nationalizing health care would create the first major government program to "pay for itself," let alone get smaller rather than larger over time? Why not simply see how the Democrats can reform Medicare and Medicaid before nationalizing much of the rest of health care?
2. President Obama reiterated this past week that "no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition." This is an oft-repeated goal of the president's and the Democrats' health care plan. But if any individual can buy health insurance at any time, why would anyone buy health insurance while healthy? Why would I not simply wait until I got sick or injured to buy the insurance? If auto insurance were purchasable once one got into an accident, why would anyone purchase auto insurance before an accident? Will the Democrats next demand that life insurance companies sell life insurance to the terminally ill? The whole point of insurance is that the healthy buy it and thereby provide the funds to pay for the sick. Demanding that insurance companies provide insurance to everyone at any time spells the end of the concept of insurance. And if the answer is that the government will now make it illegal not to buy insurance, how will that be enforced? How will the government check on 300 million people?
3. Why do supporters of nationalized medicine so often substitute the word "care" for the word "insurance?" it is patently untrue that millions of Americans do not receive health care. Millions of Americans do not have health insurance but virtually every American (and non-American on American soil) receives health care.
4. No one denies that in order to come close to staying within its budget health care will be rationed. But what is the moral justification of having the state decide what medical care to ration?
5. According to Dr. David Gratzer, health care specialist at the Manhattan Institute, "While 20 years ago pharmaceuticals were largely developed in Europe, European price controls made drug development an American enterprise. Fifteen of the 20 top-selling drugs worldwide this year were birthed in the United States." Given how many lives -- in America and throughout the world – American pharmaceutical companies save, and given how expensive it is to develop any new drug, will the price controls on drugs envisaged in the Democrats' bill improve or impair Americans' health?
6. Do you really believe that private insurance could survive a "public option"? Or is this really a cover for the ideal of single-payer medical care? How could a private insurance company survive a "public option" given that private companies have to show a profit and government agencies do not have to – and given that a private enterprise must raise its own money to be solvent and a government option has access to others' money -- i.e., taxes?
7. Why will hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies do nearly as superb a job as they now do if their reimbursement from the government will be severely cut? Haven't the laws of human behavior and common sense been repealed here in arguing that while doctors, hospitals and drug companies will make significantly less money they will continue to provide the same level of uniquely excellent care?
8. Given how many needless procedures are ordered to avoid medical lawsuits and how much money doctors spend on medical malpractice insurance, shouldn't any meaningful "reform" of health care provide some remedy for frivolous malpractice lawsuits?
9. Given how weak the U.S. economy is, given how weak the U.S. dollar is, and given how much in debt the U.S. is in, why would anyone seek to have the U.S. spend another trillion dollars? Even if all the other questions here had legitimate answers, wouldn't the state of the U.S. economy alone argue against national health care at this time?
10. Contrary to the assertion of President Obama -- "we spend much more on health care than any other nation but aren't any healthier for it" -- we are healthier. We wait far less time for procedures and surgeries. Our life expectancy with virtually any major disease is longer. And if you do not count deaths from violent crime and automobile accidents, we also have the longest life expectancy. Do you think a government takeover of American medicine will enable this medical excellence to continue?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Medicare spends $100 billion annually on patients' final year of life. What the new bill says--and doesn't say--about treatment of the dying.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
|CALLER: Rush, you know what I really believe? I believe they're trying to get rid of the old people so they can insure the illegal aliens for their voting base.|
RUSH: Well, you know, we can guess what they're doing. I mean there are a number of theories. Let's just take your proposition and discuss it hypothetically. They want to get rid of the old people. It's fairly clear from looking at details in their plan that they are not going to provide lifesaving health care for people with certain diseases at a certain age because of cost. Now, from that can we project that they want old people to die? Well, let's hypothetically say, yeah, they want old people to die. Then, okay, why? Well, I can think of two reasons. A, it would free up a whole lot of money to spend buying votes elsewhere. Secondly, it would save a whole lot on Social Security. And if they are looking to save money to spend it elsewhere in society in cultivating younger people to become wards of the state, then it all makes sense. So now the question becomes, okay, we've discussed this hypothetically, and I guarantee you people listening to this radio show and you and me discussing, "This is not America, what do you mean, killing people?" This is Soylent Green, this is Logan's Run? What are we talking about here? People don't want to believe this.
CALLER: I do believe it.
RUSH: I did too, I totally believe it. It's in the bills. The motivation is what we're speculating about, but Obama himself said on national television, when asked a question about a healthy 100-year-old woman getting a pacemaker, he said, no, you know, really, give her a pain pill.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
All you wind hatas will love this article. I thought this particular paragraph was interesting:
"The cost and hassle of transporting the huge, heavy turbines has led to interest in manufacturing turbines in the United States, rather than in Europe. Last year 24 states opened, expanded or announced turbine manufacturing plants, according to the American Wind Energy Association. By value, about half of turbine parts are now manufactured in the United States, said Mr. Dunlop of the wind association."
See, the free market wants to break into wind!
By Kate Galbraith
July 22, 2009 | New York Times
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This is Taibbi Lite: Scheer gets the main points across without Taibbi's vitriol and potty mouth... although though those greedy, unscrupulous, securities-fraud-committing #$!%ers at Goldman Sachs deserve a lot of both. Right after being bailed out by you and me, Goldman posted record quarterly profits. WTF is going on?!
By Robert Scheer
July 16, 2009 | Truthdig.com
Connect the dots: Goldman Sachs made $3.44 billion in profit this past quarter, while the U.S deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time in the nation's history and appeared to be headed toward doubling that figure before the budget year is out. Since most of the increase in the federal deficit is due to bailing out the banks and salvaging the greater economy they helped destroy, why is the top investment bank doing so well?
Well, because that was the plan, as devised by Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Remember that Lehman Brothers, Goldman's competitor, was allowed to go bankrupt. The Paulson crowd wouldn't let Lehman change its status to that of a bank holding company and thus qualify for federal funds; soon afterward, Goldman was granted just such a deal, worth a quick $10 billion. Much is now made of Goldman paying back part of its bailout money, but forgotten is the $12.9 billion that Goldman got as its cut of the $180 billion AIG payoff. That is money that will not be paid back.
Goldman is considered a very smart bank because it was early in reducing its exposure to the mortgage derivatives that in large part caused the meltdown. However, it had done much to expand the market and continued to sell suspect derivatives to unwary buyers as sound investments, even as Goldman divested. The firm still holds $1.85 billion in real estate and lost $499 million in the previous quarter on bad loans, but made up for it by playing the vulture role and issuing high-interest debt to governments and companies made desperate by the recession that the financial gimmicks of the banks brought on in the first place.
And Goldman was not just another bank. Before Paulson ran the Treasury Department, another former Goldman head, Robert Rubin, pushed through the repeal of the Glass-Steagall controls on banking activity. While some now play down the significance of this radical deregulation, not so Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein—at least not back in June 2007, when the markets were still doing well. "If you take an historical perspective," Blankfein told The New York Times by way of explaining his company's spectacular success at the time, "we've come full circle, because that is exactly what the Rothschilds or J.P. Morgan the banker were doing in their heyday. What caused an aberration was the Glass-Steagall Act."
That 1933 act was repealed in a law signed by President Bill Clinton at Rubin's urging, and in the following eight years Goldman Sachs recorded a 265 percent growth in its balance sheet. "Back then," The Wall Street Journal reports, "Goldman was churning out profits by trading credit derivatives, speculating on currencies and oil and placing big bets [on] the roaring stock market."
Big bets made in a casino designed by Goldman, which now makes money off loans to the victims. High on the list of victims are state governments that have to turn to Goldman for money because the federal government that saved the banks won't do the same for the states, which have watched their tax bases shrink because of the banking meltdown. As the WSJ noted, "issuing debt to ailing governments" is now a growth industry for Goldman.
Why didn't the federal government just lend the money to the states? Why was all the money thrown at Wall Street instead of needy homeowners or struggling school systems? Because the federal government works for Goldman and not for us. Indeed, when it comes to the banking bailout, Goldman Sachs is the government.
So much so that last fall The New York Times ran a story, headlined "The Guys From `Government Sachs,' " that stated: "Goldman's presence in the [Treasury] department and around the federal response to the financial bailout is so ubiquitous that other bankers and competitors have given the star-studded firm a new nickname: Government Sachs."
One of those stars was Stephen Friedman, another former head of Goldman. Friedman was both a director of the company and chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank when he helped work out the details of the Wall Street bailout. The president of the N.Y. Fed at the time, Timothy Geithner, now secretary of the treasury, requested a conflict-of-interest waiver that allowed Friedman to buy more Goldman Sachs stock, and Friedman ended up with 98,600 shares. At market close on Tuesday that was worth $14,756,476. That's nothing – three years ago, the 50 top Goldman execs made $20 million each, and this year could be better.
They're not hurting.
See, Israel is perfectly capable of defending itself – and its neighbors – against Iran. Why is the U.S. getting involved?
This terms of this rumored deal between the West and Israel imply that the real impediment to a Palestinian state is Israel: It will happen whenever Israel allows it to happen. Actually, this means it will happen whenever the U.S. pressures Israel to allow it to happen. Hence, the U.S. is the real impediment to the formation of a Palestinian state: It will happen whenever we want it to happen.
I'm not so sure I buy it though. The sides in this deal could be reversed: Israel would use America's "permission" to attack Iran as a face-saving reason to back down to the Palestinians; and the U.S. would use Israel as a proxy to attack its enemy Iran. Israel is probably happy to attack Iran, too, but they wouldn't dare do so on their own without U.S. diplomatic cover in the UN Security Council.
By Sheera Frenkel
July 16, 2009 | The Times Online
Two Israeli missile class warships have sailed through the Suez Canal ten days after a submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile strike, in preparation for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
The deployment into the Red Sea, confirmed by Israeli officials, was a clear signal that Israel was able to put its strike force within range of Iran at short notice. It came before long-range exercises by the Israeli air force in America later this month and the test of a missile defence shield at a US missile range in the Pacific Ocean.
Israel has strengthened ties with Arab nations who also fear a nuclear-armed Iran. In particular, relations with Egypt have grown increasingly strong this year over the "shared mutual distrust of Iran", according to one Israeli diplomat. Israeli naval vessels would likely pass through the Suez Canal for an Iranian strike.
"This is preparation that should be taken seriously. Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran. These manoeuvres are a message to Iran that Israel will follow up on its threats," an Israeli defence official said.
It is believed that Israel's missile-equipped submarines, and its fleet of advanced aircraft, could be used to strike at in excess of a dozen nuclear-related targets more than 800 miles from Israel.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, said that his Government explicitly allowed passage of Israeli vessels, and an Israeli admiral said that the drills were "run regularly with the full co-operation of the Egyptians."
Two Israeli Saar class missile boats and a Dolphin class submarine have passed through Suez. Israel has six Dolphin-class submarines, three of which are widely believed to carry nuclear missiles.
Israel will also soon test an Arrow interceptor missile on a US missile range in the Pacific Ocean. The system is designed to defend Israel from ballistic missile attacks by Iran and Syria. Lieutenant-General Patrick O'Reilly, the director of the Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency, said that Israel would test against a target with a range of more than 630 miles (1,000km) — too long for previous Arrow test sites in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Israeli air force, meanwhile, will send F16C fighter jets to participate in exercises at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada this month. Israeli C130 Hercules transport aircraft will also compete in the Rodeo 2009 competition at McChord Air Force base in Washington.
"It is not by chance that Israel is drilling long-range manoeuvres in a public way. This is not a secret operation. This is something that has been published and which will showcase Israel's abilities," said an Israeli defence official.
He added that in the past, Israel had run a number of covert long-range drills. A year ago, Israeli jets flew over Greece in one such drill, while in May, reports surfaced that Israeli air force aircraft were staging exercises over Gibraltar. An Israeli attack on a weapons convoy in Sudan bound for militants in the Gaza Strip earlier this year was also seen as a rehearsal for hitting moving convoys.
The exercises come at a time when Western diplomats are offering support for an Israeli strike on Iran in return for Israeli concessions on the formation of a Palestinian state.
If agreed it would make an Israeli strike on Iran realistic "within the year" said one British official.
Diplomats said that Israel had offered concessions on settlement policy, Palestinian land claims and issues with neighboring Arab states, to facilitate a possible strike on Iran.
"Israel has chosen to place the Iranian threat over its settlements," said a senior European diplomat.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Amid a tight MBA labor market, B-school admissions decisions increasingly hinge on applicants' ability to land a job upon graduation
By Anne VanderMey
July 9, 2009 | BusinessWeek.com
Monday, July 13, 2009
I don't think this is the whole article, but in addition to long excerpts are videos of Taibbi and others talking about Goldman and the financial crisis.
Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression
By Matt Taibbi
July 2, 2009 | Rolling Stone
Friday, July 10, 2009
By Joseph Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes
July 7, 2009 | Madison Capital Times
Last week the U.S. "stood down" in Iraq, finalizing the pullout of 140,000 troops from Iraqi cities and towns -- the first step on the long path home. After more than six years, most Americans are war-weary, even though a smaller percentage of us have been involved in the actual fighting than in any major conflict in U.S. history.
But not so fast. The conflict that began in 2003 is far from over for us, and the next chapter -- confronting a Taliban that reasserted itself in Afghanistan while the U.S. was sidetracked in Iraq -- will be expensive and bloody. The death toll for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan reached 5,000 in June. An additional 80,000 Americans have been wounded or injured since the war in Iraq began. More than 300,000 of our troops have required medical treatment, and Army statistics show that more than 17 percent of our returning soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, even though most of the population has long told pollsters they can't wait for U.S. forces to leave, U.S. officials have said we are likely to station 50,000 troops at military bases in the country for the foreseeable future. This is because the situation in Iraq is highly precarious.
Moreover, the U.S. barely has begun to face the enormous financial bill for the war. By our accounting, the U.S. has already spent $1 trillion on operations and related defense spending, with more to come -- and it will cost perhaps $2 trillion more to repay the war debt, replenish military equipment and provide care and treatment for U.S. veterans back home. Many of the wounded will require indefinite care for brain and spinal injuries. Disability payments are ramping up and will grow higher for decades. The stress of extended, multiple tours to Iraq means that a whole generation of U.S. military men and women may now be suffering from long-term mental health issues. The suicide rate in the Army is at its highest level since record-keeping began.
This wartime spending undoubtedly has been a major contributor to our present economic collapse. The U.S. has waged an expensive war as if it required little or no economic sacrifice, funding the conflict by massive borrowing. As we've observed in the past, you can't spend $3 trillion on a reckless foreign war and not feel the pain at home.
Burned by the difficulties in Iraq, our political leaders have no illusions about the length and difficulty of the challenge facing us in Afghanistan. But in other respects we seem set to repeat the same mistakes that we made in Iraq. The president has just signed yet another "emergency" supplemental appropriations measure ($80 billion) to fund continuing operations in Iraq and expansion into Afghanistan. This means that for the 30th time since 2001, war spending has been rushed through the budget process without serious scrutiny.
Obstacles continue to beset returning veterans too. Despite an increase in the Department of Veterans Affairs budget, the backlog of disability claims has reached its highest level.
Early this year, President Barack Obama committed 20,000 troops to a "surge" in Afghanistan. That, combined with a large, ongoing presence in Iraq and continued reliance on private contractors for virtually every aspect of military support, remains a recipe for staggering out-of-control expenditures. Surely we can draw some lessons from the Iraq debacle and set aside money to care for our veterans, crack down on fraud and profiteering, and account for the true costs of the war in the budget so the American taxpayer can see what we are paying for.
Linda J. Bilmes of Harvard University is a former assistant secretary of Commerce. Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University is a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. They are the co-authors of "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict."
URL: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism"1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles."
URL: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/socialism"1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved."
URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism"1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done"
URL: http://www.conservative-resources.com/definition-of-socialism.html" The definition of socialism, then, may be said to be a formal economic system in whichsociety exerts considerable control over the nation's wealth and property in the pursuit of social justice. "Considerable control" may or may not entail public ownership, while "social justice" usually depends upon the whims of a bureaucratic elite. Generally speaking, a market-based economy is antithetical to socialist principles, and some form of benevolent planning is advocated." Of course, such a definition of socialism is exceedingly vague, but the pursuit of "fairness"—the ultimate goal of socialism—is necessarily vague, given that each of humanity's several billion individuals has a unique view of what 'fairness' entails." [Emphasis mine]
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
By Rhonda Hackett
June 7, 2009 | The Denver Post
As a Canadian living in the United States for the past 17 years, I am frequently asked by Americans and Canadians alike to declare one health care system as the better one.
Often I'll avoid answering, regardless of the questioner's nationality. To choose one or the other system usually translates into a heated discussion of each one's merits, pitfalls, and an intense recitation of commonly cited statistical comparisons of the two systems.
Because if the only way we compared the two systems was with statistics, there is a clear victor. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to dispute the fact that Canada spends less money on health care to get better outcomes.
Yet, the debate rages on. Indeed, it has reached a fever pitch since President Barack Obama took office, with Americans either dreading or hoping for the dawn of a single-payer health care system. Opponents of such a system cite Canada as the best example of what not to do, while proponents laud that very same Canadian system as the answer to all of America's health care problems. Frankly, both sides often get things wrong when trotting out Canada to further their respective arguments.
As America comes to grips with the reality that changes are desperately needed within its health care infrastructure, it might prove useful to first debunk some myths about the Canadian system.
Myth: Taxes in Canada are extremely high, mostly because of national health care.
In actuality, taxes are nearly equal on both sides of the border. Overall, Canada's taxes are slightly higher than those in the U.S. However, Canadians are afforded many benefits for their tax dollars, even beyond health care (e.g., tax credits, family allowance, cheaper higher education), so the end result is a wash. At the end of the day, the average after-tax income of Canadian workers is equal to about 82 percent of their gross pay. In the U.S., that average is 81.9 percent.
Myth: Canada's health care system is a cumbersome bureaucracy.
The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. The provincial single-payer system in Canada operates with just a 1 percent overhead. Think about it. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to decide who gets care and who doesn't when everybody is covered.
Myth: The Canadian system is significantly more expensive than that of the U.S.
Ten percent of Canada's GDP is spent on health care for 100 percent of the population. The U.S. spends 17 percent of its GDP but 15 percent of its population has no coverage whatsoever and millions of others have inadequate coverage. In essence, the U.S. system is considerably more expensive than Canada's. Part of the reason for this is uninsured and underinsured people in the U.S. still get sick and eventually seek care. People who cannot afford care wait until advanced stages of an illness to see a doctor and then do so through emergency rooms, which cost considerably more than primary care services.
What the American taxpayer may not realize is that such care costs about $45 billion per year, and someone has to pay it. This is why insurance premiums increase every year for insured patients while co-pays and deductibles also rise rapidly.
Myth: Canada's government decides who gets health care and when they get it.
While HMOs and other private medical insurers in the U.S. do indeed make such decisions, the only people in Canada to do so are physicians. In Canada, the government has absolutely no say in who gets care or how they get it. Medical decisions are left entirely up to doctors, as they should be.
There are no requirements for pre-authorization whatsoever. If your family doctor says you need an MRI, you get one. In the U.S., if an insurance administrator says you are not getting an MRI, you don't get one no matter what your doctor thinks - unless, of course, you have the money to cover the cost.
Myth: There are long waits for care, which compromise access to care.
There are no waits for urgent or primary care in Canada. There are reasonable waits for most specialists' care, and much longer waits for elective surgery. Yes, there are those instances where a patient can wait up to a month for radiation therapy for breast cancer or prostate cancer, for example. However, the wait has nothing to do with money per se, but everything to do with the lack of radiation therapists. Despite such waits, however, it is noteworthy that Canada boasts lower incident and mortality rates than the U.S. for all cancers combined, according to the U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group and the Canadian Cancer Society. Moreover, fewer Canadians (11.3 percent) than Americans (14.4 percent) admit unmet health care needs.
Myth: Canadians are paying out of pocket to come to the U.S. for medical care.
Most patients who come from Canada to the U.S. for health care are those whose costs are covered by the Canadian governments. If a Canadian goes outside of the country to get services that are deemed medically necessary, not experimental, and are not available at home for whatever reason (e.g., shortage or absence of high tech medical equipment; a longer wait for service than is medically prudent; or lack of physician expertise), the provincial government where you live fully funds your care. Those patients who do come to the U.S. for care and pay out of pocket are those who perceive their care to be more urgent than it likely is.
Myth: Canada is a socialized health care system in which the government runs hospitals and where doctors work for the government.
Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt says single-payer systems are not "socialized medicine" but "social insurance" systems because doctors work in the private sector while their pay comes from a public source. Most physicians in Canada are self-employed. They are not employees of the government nor are they accountable to the government. Doctors are accountable to their patients only. More than 90 percent of physicians in Canada are paid on a fee-for-service basis. Claims are submitted to a single provincial health care plan for reimbursement, whereas in the U.S., claims are submitted to a multitude of insurance providers. Moreover, Canadian hospitals are controlled by private boards and/or regional health authorities rather than being part of or run by the government.
Myth: There aren't enough doctors in Canada.
From a purely statistical standpoint, there are enough physicians in Canada to meet the health care needs of its people. But most doctors practice in large urban areas, leaving rural areas with bona fide shortages. This situation is no different than that being experienced in the U.S. Simply training and employing more doctors is not likely to have any significant impact on this specific problem. Whatever issues there are with having an adequate number of doctors in any one geographical area, they have nothing to do with the single-payer system.
And these are just some of the myths about the Canadian health care system. While emulating the Canadian system will likely not fix U.S. health care, it probably isn't the big bad "socialist" bogeyman it has been made out to be.
It is not a perfect system, but it has its merits. For people like my 55-year-old Aunt Betty, who has been waiting for 14 months for knee-replacement surgery due to a long history of arthritis, it is the superior system. Her $35,000-plus surgery is finally scheduled for next month. She has been in pain, and her quality of life has been compromised. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Aunt Betty - who lives on a fixed income and could never afford private health insurance, much less the cost of the surgery and requisite follow-up care - will soon sport a new, high-tech knee. Waiting 14 months for the procedure is easy when the alternative is living in pain for the rest of your life.
Rhonda Hackett of Castle Rock, Colorado is a clinical psychologist.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv and Sarah Baxter
July 5, 2009 | Timesonline.co.uk