Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health Care: Part II

Last Monday I took what I call “a ride around the neighborhood,” my way of saying, “I mowed the lawn.” While riding I wear a muffling device designed to ease the tractor noise in my ears. It also has a radio attached so I can listen to something for the two hours it takes me to mow the lawn.

Monday I listened to parts of the Howie Carr Show on WGAN radio. Apparently Howie is off for a few days for a hip replacement and he had a guest host, Jodie Applegate I think was her name. I got the impression she worked for Howie in the past. Her guest in the first segment Tuesday was former Clinton advisor Dick Morris who has since had an out with the Clintons, especially Hilary Clinton.

Because I was driving the tractor, I couldn’t take notes. I wish I had. I think Morris is even more against the Obama health reform plan than I. One major difference, though, is he has done a lot of homework and cites statistics of just how bad the plan is and how it will affect us.

I’m selfish with this concern. Medicare will be significantly cut back or eliminated completely. Many of the treatments we who are over 65 need will not be approved. After all, we have to face our coming time. More than one Democrat in Washington has expressed that sentiment. I’ll bet those people in Congress who are over 65 won’t face the same dilemma because I’d also bet they keep their Cadillac health plan.

According to Morris on that program and then confirmed by a couple of callers, waiting times for normal preventive treatment in Canada is months. One person mentioned that a relative had to wait for more than eight months for a colonoscopy, for example. Morris said, and these are his statistics and not any I’ve looked up, the mortality for colon cancer is nearly twice that of the United States.

I’ve told you in previous posts about my friend from Canada. One of the stories he told me concerned a relative who needed an MRI to determine why she was having massive headaches. The wait was many months and when her date arrived, she had to be driven more than three hours to get to the nearest MRI facility. When she got there, her appointment had gotten lost so she was told it would be a little more than a year before it could be rescheduled.

Canada now allows its citizens to buy private insurance, but Morris said it could not be used in Canada. My friend’s relative used hers to arrange for an MRI in Portland, came within a few days, had the test which showed the problem and the operation was scheduled for the same day. That never would have happened under the socialized plan being promoted by Obama.

We’ve all read about the doctors and facilities that have gone out of business in Canada because of their government run health care. With each closing both the wait time for care and the travel distance increases. Is this really what we need here?

There are many reasons why the cost of health care is so high. Many of those reasons are because of government regulations. In Maine, for example, those regulations have driven all but a couple insurers out of the state. Am I wrong? Possibly. But if I am, answer this one question for me: Why is the cost of insurance so much lower in New Hampshire than in Maine? Of course Maine law says we can’t buy our policies elsewhere.

I for one need a lot more time to get educated on the need for this change in health care. I hope our Congress holds off on this measure so we all can learn how it will affect us. Most of us won’t like it and that’s exactly what Congress fears. So far, Congress under this president’s directions has rushed through several new laws without any time for study or discussion or, for that matter, even time for senators and representatives to read them. How has all those trillions of dollars of debt helped you out? It’s time to slow down just a little.

To top it off, the six o’clock news last night reported that the great Mayo Clinic staff is telling Congress that the proposed plan will only make health care worse and be much more costly. Certainly another good reason not to rush and hurriedly pass a plan that will come back to haunt us.

Finally today, a sports question: A couple weeks ago we celebrated six Red Sox selections to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. One dropped out and another didn't play, but one was the winning pitcher, too. Now shades of the past, the season has resumed and we're seeing what's happening to the Red Sox. Again. I'm wondering, should that all-star game be cancelled?


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