Sunday, March 28, 2010

MD Whistleblower

I've added a new link I'd like everyone to check out. It's in response to a comment on my Tort Reform post.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tort Reform

When Republicans had to face the fact that American health care needed to be reformed they decided to fight the “No” party perception with fixes of their own. Until the last two years of Bush’s administration Republicans owned Congress and the executive office and health care wasn’t even a blip on their radar.

It kind of reminds me of when Reagan said, “That was before we even knew there was a race problem in America.” I think some Americans knew it!

When forced to face the issue their answers were tort reform and buying insurance across state lines. I want to talk about tort reform.

For ten years I videotaped depositions and played them back in court houses for a living. It was lucrative for me. I did a lot of work in Madison County. It’s been nick named the lawsuit capital of the world. It’s America’s railroad hub and there are a lot of injuries in that line of work. There are a lot of frivolous lawsuits too. The judges there are famous for being very pro- plaintiff and lawyers flock there to settle their cases.

Needless to say corporations hate the place.

The fact of the matter is states like Missouri and Texas have had caps on settlements for almost five years. It’s done absolutely nothing to bring down the cost of premiums and everyone knows it.

It seems like it should though, doesn’t it? Doctors pay less for insurance so why isn’t that cost passed down to us?

The fact of the matter is insurance represent a very small part of the cost of health care. Not to mention $250,000 would hardly compensate someone for the loss of a wrong leg due to a hospital’s negligence and these things actually do happen.

One of the things that drive up costs is our romance with all things high-tech. Doctors cover their butts against law suits with expensive high tech test that are for the most point redundant.

I’ll never forget getting ultrasound pictures of my kids in the womb. I got a videotape of my son crossing his legs and flashing a big peace sign with his fingers. I had to settle for stills of my daughter though. By then, they said if there was proof of anything potentially going wrong on it they’d be held liable.

I wonder if there really are well meaning Republicans that believe tort reform would address these things.

I doubt it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Let's All Stop Buying Health Insurance!

The only politician I really have any respect for is Dennis Kucinich. Both sides have done everything they can to shut him up. He decided to go along with Obama’s Health bill. I can only think he believes it can be fixed.

Obama's solution will pour billions of dollars into the pockets of the same people who caused this mess: insurance companies.

Insurance companies make their money denying claims. Their lobbyists protect regional monopolies. They raise rates faster than inflation, underpay doctors and kill people by denying claims and charging rates that are unaffordable. They pay their CEOs tens of millions a year.

We should start by shutting down the health insurance companies and nationalize the entire system. Public health should not mix with private profiteering. Obama won't do a thing to stop the insurers. For-profit healthcare will gain up to 30 million new customers.

I’m telling you, he’s a shill!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Scrap It

I hate to hear myself say it, but Obama has compromised the healthcare bill into oblivion. I honestly think it would be worse than nothing at this point. His plan does practically nothing to control costs and he knows it.
The argument that growing the pool to everyone will make it cheaper is the same kind of argument Republicans make about tort reform. We've had it in Missouri for almost 5 years and it hasn't affected prices at all. Well insurance costs did go down for doctors but that certainly wasn't passed along to the rest of us.
Focusing on the insurance companies is stupid too. They only account for about 2% of costs. It's systemic. We have to go after drug companies, doctors, hospitals and lobbyists.
I was a little suspicious of the Hope and Change slogans of Obama's campaign. I believe he's too weak for the job.
I know there are people out there that are sick and clinging to whatever insurance they can get, but in a perfect world we could fix it all by not buying health insurance. I mean all of us!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Corporate Shill?

Amerin UE aired commercials last year that gave the impression they were implementing carbon capture in their coal fired power plants today. That technology is still at least ten years down the road.

Now that Americans don’t think we can have a negative effect on our environment they don’t even bother with these kinds of ads and I bet carbon capture will never happen.

I had a delivery last week that took me to a coal fired coal plant that is under construction in Southern Illinois. I spent an hour dealing with the bureaucracy it took just to get in. In that time I got pretty chummy with some folks there. We were joking and generally having a pretty good time.

They told me the plant was going do great things for the economy of Southern Illinois. They were probably going to reopen a lot of coal mines.

Without even thinking I casually asked about carbon capture. The atmosphere totally changed. They were no longer friendly and wouldn’t even make eye contact.

When I got back to my company’s warehouse I told my dispatcher about the sudden chill. She said they probably thought I was a spy.

Obama is getting behind subsidizing Nuclear power plants to cut down on our carbon footprint. There is still no place to dispose of the spent fuel rods. These rods are beginning to pile up and Yucca Mountain is, in Obama’s words, off the table. God I hate that expression..

Nuclear power plants are ridiculously expensive and wind power is making incredible strides without subsidies.

I really am beginning to think Obama is a corporate shill. What the Hell is he thinking?