So if you read the postings I made during the trip then you pretty much know how I spent Saturday afternoon. What you do not know is the extent of political ads I was forced to endure.
Once I reach vegas itself I stopped using the ipod in the car. I listened at the Ipod by way of a small fm transmitter and there were so many FM stations in Vegas it was difficult to find a clear channel for my own music. Because of this and the TV in my room, (Cable but no premium channels.) I saw and heard a lot of political ads during those three days.
I never saw one ad that was pro-Sharon Angel. Oh there were endless ads anti-Harry Reid. Some of them quickly tricky. (“Ladies, Harry Reid wants to take away your right to chose.” Without explicitly stating that what they mean is chose your won healthcare.) To me the ads in Nevada were microcosm of the political winds blowing across the country. It isn’t that the Republicans are suddenly popular with their ideas, it’s that the Democrats are taking a pounding.
You can argue it is because of the way the Democrats passed their bills.
You can argue it is because they tried to push the country to far left.
You can argue it is because the economy is in the drain and they’re caught holding the bag.
You can argue it is because Obama is so arrogant and people hate that.
You can argue all these viewpoints on why, but you cannot prove any of them. You can not disentangle the factors enough to prove any single factor is the principle factor in the coming wave. However, the wave is coming, the question is what happens next year with the new Congress.
Now wether we are talking about the pro-choice or right-to-life side I generally see some hypocrisy in dealing with the issue of rights and the unborn.
For example we know that alcohol consumption by pregnant women is likely to result in serious health issues for the unborn child. The pro-choice side has certain shown a desire to regulate this in the name of the unborn child but without ever recognizing that the unborn child’s right have begun. While on the right-to-life-side they’ll insist that the unborn child has rights but refuse to pass laws to protect those rights — such as the drinking example — except where it pertains to abortion. That said I want to look at the situation as if we applied it logically, consistently, and using the most up to date understanding of human biology. This is not an argument to adopt a particular viewpoint, but an exploration of the viewpoint that rights begin before birth and possibly before conception. Continue reading Where Does a person’s rights really begin? (Part II)→
So I found the comparison chart I had seen a week or two on Health care reform. It shows just how similar the current – and just passed — Health Care reform package is to the one proposed by the Republicans in 1993 as a counter to the Clinton Health care Proposal. What was an acceptable Republican Proposal in 1993 turns out to have been nothing more than naked socialism!
(OR the Republicans were on a mission to had Obama a defeat — which is sound strategy is you win — and nothing Obama could have done would have won him Republican votes.)
So today is the day when we find out if the Democrats can manage to pass their Health Care Reform agenda. As I write this the vote is scheduled but has not yet been taken and so here are a few of my final thoughts on this. Continue reading Health Care Reform 2010→
Well last night I started actual prose crafting of my novel Cawdor. It went pretty well. Sadly today is a migraine day — I’ve been having more of those lately — I do not think I will get anything written today blast it.
So while I was washing the dishes I came up with an idea for Health Insurance reform.
Objective: Get everyone health insurance. Make it affordable. Give widest possible array of choice and interfere with what works in the current system as little as possible.
1) Let insurance companies sell policies across state line.
2) Mandate that everyone must have health insurance just like auto.
3) Policy products can NOT have their pricing vary based on the customer. For example. BIG HEALTH INSURER has Policy PPO Platinum, everyone who buys that policy says the exact same premium. The price of the product is independent of the customers condition.
4) No one can be turned away from health reasons or pre-existing conditions.
5) All policies are open to all customers. (A company cannot say, you can only buy from this list and not that. If I pay for it you have to sell it.)
6) The poor get government assistance in paying for their policies.
This solves the problems of people with pre-existing condition being priced out of the market. It requires everyone be in the pool to spread the risk. It leaves the final solutions to the market, which I think works better than state solutions.
IF this did not work, then we could look at public-options and such, but I think this would give the market a chance to make it happen.
So I gave my thoughts on health care reform, now some quick thoughts on the future of medicine. (I am a science-fiction writer after all.)
Three basic scenarios in my opinion. All of these are looking at the state of medical science about the year 2050.
Scenario One: The Conservative Nightmare.
Financial crash due to bloated spending and regulatory overload kills innovation and development. We haven’t progressed much beyond where we are now. Very little research being done as nearly all medical science dollars are consumed in treatment. With or without healthcare reform the government is buried under a crushing load of debt and bills to care for its population.
Scenario Two: The Liberal Nightmare.
Breakthroughs lead of significant advances in health and life extension, but the costs are high. The processes can not be made cheaper by economy of scale or mass production and only the well-off can afford top-end care. For the wealthy life is very good. Disease and morbidity are things that happen to other people. As side from trauma, there is little to fear health-wise and maybe even aging itself can be prevented. For the poor and most of the world it’s a game of watch as the rich go on and on while you get sick and die. Expect vast social upheaval and disruption as this is not a stable system in my opinion.
Scenario Three: Medical Transformation.
The way computer sciences changed our world, advances in medical science make the world of 2050 as unlike todays as our computers are to roman numerals. Quick and easy genetic testing and treatments means that everyone get treatment and drugs designed for their unique genome. Treatment of disease is cheap and plentiful. Healthcare for all is taken for granted because it costs so little. People live long and productive lives without the infirmities and indignities of old age today. Our decedents look upon our medical treatments of today the way we look on witch-doctors and leeches.
I work in the healthcare industry in my day job. I help drug companies get their products to market. Some of you might read those words and think I work in some kind of advertising and you would be wrong. Most of my experience in this field has been helping doctors and patient get their drugs via their health insurance. Currently I help uninsured patients get access to certain medications. (I am not at liberty to say which drug companies I work for or which products I assist with, but I only bring it up as background on my experience with the subject.) Continue reading Thoughts on Health Care Reform→
Last night (Monday July 27th) Jon Stewart had Bill Crystal editor of The Weekly Standard on as his guest for The Daily Show. This promised to be a lively show as Mr. Crystal is a big supporter of Sarah Palin and is often credited with bring her to the attention of the McCain campaign. (So you can curse or praise Mr. Crystal as you see fit.)
The interview was long and it was lively. In fact they have placed the entire interview on-line as it would not fit within the time constraints of the program.
After the expected Palin back-and-forth Mr. Stewart and Mr, Crystal got into health care. Jon Stewart was in favor of a public option for health care, that is government run health plan, and Mr. Crystal was against the concept.
During the back and forth the military’s health care came up and Mr. Crystal basically agreed that the health care enjoyed by our military is top-notch health care. Jon Stewart leapt for the kill like comic-con fan on a copy of Action Comics #1. It seemed, Stewart pointed out, that the government can< run a top flight single payer health-care systems since it is already doing that for the military. Mr. Crystal tried desperately to get away from the point, going so far as to say the American people do not deserve the quality health-care system that the military gets.
This of course is the wrong counter argument entirely. Naturally since neither Mr. Stewart nor Mr. Crystal have served in out military they do not understand how it's health-care actually works.
It is free and it is very good. (Oh there are horror stories and I know a few personally, but those are the exceptions and not the rule.) But it removes all freedom from the patient. I'm not just talking about choice in doctors or hospitals or even treatments -- though all those decision are removed from the patient -- I'm talking about how the patient gets to live their life.
In the military they can make you lose weight if they think you are too heavy.
They can make you exercise if they think you need it.
They can ban activities that they think are a cause if injury. (Such as motorcycle ownership.)
The trade-off for such an expansive health-care system is the loss of freedom. This is exactly why I do not like the idea of a single-payer health care system, and why I am against the Public Policy option being debated now.