Friday, January 15, 2010

Health Care

On a health care cost comparison per person annually of six of the developed nations, Canada at $3,895, France at $3601, Germany at $3,588, Switzerland at $4,417, United Kingdom at $2,992 and the United States at $7,290, our cost is about twice or more that of the four of the five countries and more than half again as much as The United Kingdom, even though their systems cover ALL their people.

And it might come as a surprise to you to know that the people of Canada, France, The United Kingdom and Switzerland like their health care better than we like ours.

A survey by The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions of 14,000 people in these six countries records our percent of satisfaction as fifth. Only the Germans had more negative experiences than we did.

I imagine you are absolutely and totally convinced that our health care service is superior to those of other countries. Well the figures for infant mortality and longevity, the two primary indicators of a nations health, just don’t support that. According to the CIA World Fact Book the U.S. is 48th in longevity. That means there are 48 countries where people live longer lives. There are 21 countries that have fewer infant deaths per thousand than we do. That means that more of our babies die.

However, if you are thrilled and happy with the current health care you receive and don’t want to see it changed you are surely blessed by the God’s and I salute you!

If you are already on a government health care program such as Medicare, Medicaid, VA or as a Government Employee you are risk free!! Why worry about all those pesky other people even if some of them ARE your grandchildren and great-grandchildren? Only you can answer that.

If your health care is not guaranteed by any of the above programs your satisfaction indicates that you are supremely confident that you will never lose your job and therefore your healthcare, that your spouse or any child of yours will never develop an expensive-to-treat condition and be expunged from your policy, that your health will never falter or you will never be left permanently altered by an accident, causing your policy to be canceled or at the very least, turn you into the proverbial pauper when you reach the “maximum” of your coverage.

You are confident that if any of these situations occur, usually in your thirty’s, forties or fifties, you can as easily get additional coverage as you did fifteen years ago when you were younger and less encumbered with a medical record, a spouse with a medical record and children with a medical record. You have no doubt that employment will be renewed elsewhere. Oh that it were so!

Employers seeking new employees have this ghastly little habit of seeking the most profitable employee and medical backgrounds are crucial to the cost of any given employee. And they can and do check!!

Your satisfaction also indicates that you are absolutely and positively certain that your marriage, and the insurance benefits attached, will never end. Ooookaaaay!

Health care reform is going to cost a bundle. Nobody ever mentions how much NO health care reform is going to cost. I am happy that you are not particularly disturbed by projections of your premiums expanding another 150% this next ten years as they have the past ten.

Those committed to destroying this administrations efforts on any subject with any objective have really done a number on any hope we have for health care reform. Now it looks like we may not achieve any bill at all.

We will live to regret this. Well, not all of us. According to several studies, most recently the 2009 Harvard Medical School study, 45,000 uninsured or under-insured people will die this year for lack of medical attention.

Too bad about them I guess.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Professional Knitting for the Advanced Knitter

I have taken up knitting! And I am really, really good at it! I just finished a pair of mittens for Ainsley, my 16-month-old granddaughter. They became hers when I realized that I didn't yet grasp the "thumb" segment of the instructions. Babies don't need thumbs on their mittens do they? I now have three mittens. The first one came out great with only a few lumpy spots. The second one looked better..almost professional if I do say so, but it was somewhat smaller than the first one. Well actually quite a bit smaller. I tried stretching and pulling on the smaller one and scrunching up the bigger one but in no time they were back to "too big" and "too little".

So I made a third mitten thinking that whichever one it matched most closely would become its partner and I would have a pair. Well that worked out pretty well so now I am in the process of trying to make the fourth to match the one that has no partner.

Yes, I can see the possibility of a problem here so you don't have to point it out to me. It's possible that this can go on forever without attaining the miraculous even number of relatively similar sized mittens. But surely the odds of that happening are no more than fifty-fifty! And fifty-fifty is good when your dealing in mitten pairs isn't it?