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Archive for August, 2009

How trivial are we?

August 30th, 2009

picture-1After seeing that YouTube now has over 120 million viewers, it is no wonder why the attention span of many Americans cannot focus on important issues facing the country.  Just a look at the most popular YT videos right now reveals the following of interest: The Death Game, Angry Beaver, Hottest Girl On The Internet, Show Me Your Boobs, WWE, and so on.

Now I am all about fun and games.  Woot!  However, with so much at stake with the Healthcare Bill on the table one would think it should come up as a Top 100 Google Trend.  Sorry.  Doesn’t make an appearance.  What bothers me so much is that with all the firey rhetoric out there about the government staying out of the business of healthcare, it seems our nation is stuck on the trivial channel.

This is all coming from a guy who is blogging, Tweeting and on FB.  However, I think everything has its place.  C’mon America….start researching, discovering and exploring what the internet can really provide you.  It is more than cheap video of keyboard cats and disingenuous diatribe from people acting out at town hall meetings just so they can be the next YouTube hottest video.  At least start by searching for things that matter.  Information is your friend.

healthcareNo, this is not a cry for help.  It just is an observation of mine when I read about the justification as to why insurance companies try to avoid covering so called “pre-existing conditions.”  I understand that as a business, you would not want to keep producing a product with inherit defects requiring constant repair or replacement.  That business would not be a very profitable one.

However with healthcare, I feel that it is not a person’s desire to be sick, or require updates/repairs.  It is the human condition which makes this a necessity.  From the moment of conception we begin the process of decay.  It is called living and dying.  This is why the “business” of healthcare is inherently fraught with cost.

The American healthcare system has progressed to the point where health is treated as a profit machine.  Hospitals make money.  Insurance providers make money.  Drug companies make money.  The only component of this machine that loses is the patient.  When healthcare is treated as a profit center, it is the patient that is the raw material for its success or failure.

In short, we as Americans need to start looking at healthcare as a matter of national security, national pride, national need and collective import.  The socialism tag has been bandied about by many opposing reform.  However, what is wrong with certain things in our society being socialized?  We are social creatures aren’t we?  We allow for the government to provide for our security.  Isn’t that a more perverse power laden with the potential for abuse?  Or how about education?  I don’t hear people upset about education spending–in fact we often wish for more education spending.

It all boils down to who “controls” our health in this country.  Currently, it is being controlled by an elite oligarchy of conglomerate hospital systems, insurance companies, drug companies and medical equipment companies all feeding off one another.  I am not against capitalism in any way.  However, our government from time to time cracks down on monopolies to ensure competition and prevent high consumer prices.  I feel the healthcare system in the US is long overdue an overhaul.  If we do not act now, costs will continue to rise until the system collaspes upon itself and all Americans will suffer the consequence.

P.S.  While writing this, I have seen a commercial on TV for Chantix, Alavert, Abilify (in addition to your other anti-depressant when it just doesn’t do the trick) and Zyrtec.

Here are a few interesting facts from Harper’s Index followed by an insightful graphic analysis of healthcare cost via NewScientific:

-Percentage by which spending by an obese American exceeds that by an American of normal weight: 36

-Rank of the U.S. health-care system among the most efficient in the world, according to the World Health Organization: 37

-Factor by which the percentage increase in the cost of a U.S. employee health plan since 2001 has exceeded inflation: 7

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Blogging again to keep up….

August 17th, 2009

After much hand-wringing, I decided to restart my blog. The decision was due to my desire to keep up with programming trends, to experiment a little and to just opine. Not that anyone hears me really, but figured it is kind of like journaling.

Facebook has its place along with Twitter. However, not really the forum to voice one’s opinion about topics of the day. Hard to make a point (other than a clever one) in 140 characters. I also don’t feel like subjecting my FB friends to a policy blast. So I’ll be commenting from time to time in this forum.

My next post will be something having to do with the Healthcare debacle going on right now. My feeling now is that I voted in November for things to change. It is increasingly obvious that unless members of Congress can get past their parochial interests and look at Healthcare as an issue of national security and economic progress of the Nation, meaningful change to the state of healthcare in the US will not change.

There has been way too much Dems v Repubs in the struggle so far rather than a collective struggle to solve the problem. It is disheartening. Maybe I am too altruistic, but I think we need to hand this cause over to a body of “intelligent, thoughtful” people to sit down and analyze the situation and make sound recommendations. I suggest a group like TED, which I admire for its work.  Check it out!