Main Street by Roger Allen publisher – September 10, 2009

 

Roger Allen, publisher.

Roger Allen, publisher.

Good news

Latest reports indicate the recession may be nearing an end. This is typical of business cycles; we’ve always had them and probably always will. That’s capitalism for you.

The TARP funds, despite starting out with poor oversight in 2008, have helped avert a longer and deeper financial mess, and by any measure, the stimulus program of 2009 is working. Capitalism can use some government help from time to time.

The current recession is not the worst we ever had and we will come out of it.

Less than good news

The President’s health insurance initiative seems to have foundered on vociferous protest from those who resist change. In retrospect, the plan probably should have been called Medicare for All—no ifs, ands, or buts. Medicare and Social Security have been well accepted and have done a good job. Simply expanding Medicare into universal health care might have gone over.

Medicare has money problems because our population is aging and we have more money going out. Growth in the working population has not kept up, so we have less money going in. The result is a foregone conclusion, which has nothing to do with politics. It isn’t rocket science to know we will have to cut benefits, raise taxes, or cut costs of the program.

The hundreds of private medical insurance companies, most of them “for profit,” each has its own bureaucracy to support. Seems to me, eliminating multiple insurance bureaucracies would help cut costs of medical care.

The fantasies about government “death panels” would actually be funny if so many people didn’t take them seriously. Those of us who have private medical insurance are already at the mercy of our insurance companies. Their expensive lobbying to kill the President’s initiative tells us a lot.

And one more thing: we taxpayers already are paying the medical costs of many of the poor, particularly uninsured sick children. Is that “socialized medicine”? Let’s get organized and not allow the shouters to sabotage our opportunity to bring America’s healthcare delivery system into the 21st century.

“Doctor will see you now”

Supposedly, these are actual hospital notes in patient records. A little reform might be in order.

1. The patient refused autopsy.

2. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

3. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

6. On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

9. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

Health tip

For bird flu you, need tweetment and for swine flu you need oinkment.

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