It's the end of the world as we know it...

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Until health care is run as a service and not as a business, we are going to have problems in the US with health care

I went to the Judge's reunion yesterday. I spent more time in the car on ONE DIRECTION than I spent at dinner. And naturally, we got into political discussions. The Judge is a Democrat, appointed and friends with Clinton, and his political stance is known. I felt bad for the secretary b/c the Judge was totally toying with her. "I might vote for Bush" [insert secretary's clapping] "because he has never made a mistake. He told me." and "I might vote for Bush" [insert secretary's cheering] "because I support affirmative action and, the way I see it, Bush is America's first affirmative action president." Each time she thought that he was serious.

She kept saying, "I'm a Democrat and I'm voting for Bush." At one point, I said, "I could call myself a Republican but that doesn't mean that I am." She is one of those Bush supporters who believes everything that the administration is saying. She still believes that Iraq has WMD (and they are just hiding), then changed it to "the terrorists are in Iraq" and then said that we are there b/c Saddam tortured his own people. When I kept asking why, if she is right in claiming that is an appropriate reason to be there, we weren't in Saudi Arabia or North Korea or China, she said that they were all the same. I mean, and then we went back to the weapons were in Iraq. Another clerk , a Republican said, "I am glad that people think these wrong things b/c it's a vote for Bush." I was would rather have an uneducated voter because it's a vote for your guy than have the American public know the truth and make an informed decision?? Ugh!

We were also talking about how flu shots are just not as profitable as other types of medical shots - and health care isn't a service, it's a business. One of the clerks with daughters said that he had a big problems getting mumps and measles shots last year for the same reason. So I come back this year and read that:

"Preventing a flu epidemic that could kill thousands is not nearly as profitable as making pills for something like erectile dysfunction, a decidedly non-fatal condition. Viagra, for example, brings in more than $1 billion a year for its maker, Pfizer. The profits to be made from selling flu vaccine are measly in comparison. If selling flu vaccine were as lucrative as marketing Viagra, sports broadcasts and the nightly news would be flooded with commercials warning that "winter is almost here; ask your doctor about flu vaccine" - and it would be available to anyone who wanted it. Instead, while many of those at risk of the flu go without the vaccine, primetime programs are sponsored by the makers of Viagra ("Get back to mischief"), Cialis ("Will you be ready?") and Levitra ("Stay in the game").

To understand what has gone wrong in health care, one need only look at the booming market for prescription drugs. Once upon a time, drugs were a needs-based product. You received a prescription when you were truly ill. Now many drugs are demand-driven, just like Froot Loops and Lucky Charms. Instead of using the cartoon characters that sell cereals, the drug companies employ celebrities."

Do I think that the flu vaccination problem is Bush's fault? Actually, no. The fact that what should be a service is run like a business - cost analysis - that is the problem. Does Bush have a plan to address that?? He isn't even properly identifying the problem. The fact is, the flu vaccination shortage is the symptom for the problem, not the cause of the problem. And we are not even good at health care. "We spend more per capita on health care than any other developed country. Yet on the important yardsticks, like life expectancy measured in healthy years, we don't even rank among the top 20 nations. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, we come in an embarrassing 29th, sandwiched between Slovenia and Portugal."

In other election news, this is the reason that I am going to volunteer as a challenger for the Democratic Party in Lake County on election day (assuming that I can get the day off work).

Meanwhile, Republicans are switching parties of college students. Are the Republicans going to go into the polling booth and vote for them as well?

And like Ohio, Pennsylvania, another important swing state, has said that Nader will not be on the ballot there either. This is a troubling statement though, "Mr. Nader would continue to appeal rulings made on the state level, even after the election."Great...just what we need, the courts involved after the election for a guy not even on the ballot. (This shows where Nader is and isn't on the ballot, if anyone is interested.) One of the clerks made an interesting point - if (as appears to be likely) the election is contested for months again in the courts like last time, as our attention is focused on that, wouldn't that be a good time for terrorists to attack? Though there doesn't appear to be any such evidence that such an attack is in the plans. But really, I don't think that for an independent, it's a bad thing to require that the people supporting to put you on the ballot are registered voters. Isn't that the same as the primaries for the parties - they decide who the candidate will be from registered voters?? Though I still believe that the election should not be decided by courts, but the Supreme Court has asked for this. (And how do they count those votes so quickly anyway?)

And in football - 43 seconds into the game, Cleveland was already down 7-0. Nice...This is going to be one of those types of games, huh?

And I think I'm getting sick -- I've had a sinus headache for about 27 hours -- coincidentally, the amount of time when I was in the car driving...


  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger deuddersun said…

    Aaah, so sorry, a fellow Democrat in a "Swing State", but my beloved Eagles are now 6-0, much to your distress. There is however, one thing we can both agree on, George Bush needs to lose.

    Football is fun and promotes local pride, but the upcoming election is deadly serious. We must all do everything we can to insure that John Kerry is the next President of the United States.

    Glad I found you. Best of luck for the rest of the season. Please feel free to visit me and mock me IF the Eagles lose. BTW, your Browns put up a hell of a fight, much more han I expected.


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