Health Care Insurance The debate over health care and who pays for it boggles the mind. It’s pretty well agreed that our system needs an overhaul and the future could be worse. The U.S. is the only developed country that has no comprehensive health insurance for its people. Not only that, we have the most expensive medical care prices in the world. Also the highest drug prices. That’s a sick combination. Health insurance companies as a group are firmly entrenched and don’t want any tampering with their cash cow. Same is true for drug companies, hospitals, and professional medical organizations. When Medicare was in the process of being adopted (1965), private medical insurance companies were against it, which tells you something. I’m not a fan of Big Government, but I notice that the Postal Service does a good job. I have Medicare and, under it, have had doctor visits, drugs and surgery. The difference between my hospital bill and what I paid was huge. Without Medicare, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be writing this column today. The medical establishment is spending $millions for lobbying against change. Part of their money goes as campaign donations to both Republican and Democratic politicians. Some of the politicians are “bought,” some not. Those who aren’t know perfectly well the donations might dry up for them. I admire them for choosing high principles over high profits for insurance companies and the drug industry. Mistaken identity Walking through San Francisco’s Chinatown, a tourist from the Midwest was enjoying the artistry of all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners. Then he turned a corner and saw a building with the sign, “Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry.” The man was startled. “Moishe Plotnik?” he wondered. “How does that belong in Chinatown?” He walked into the shop and saw a fairly standard-looking place. He could see, though, that the proprietors were clearly aware of the uniqueness of its name. Displayed for sale were baseball hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs, all emblazoned with the logo, “Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry.” The tourist selected a coffee cup as a conversation piece. Behind the counter stood a smiling old Chinese gentleman who thanked him for his purchase. The tourist asked, “Can you explain how this place got […]
Should the government be in charge of our health care? I think it’s time that we discuss the new health care reform initiative that is working its way through Congress. Most of us will agree that our health care system has problems, and those problems have to be addressed. Most of us will agree also that our health care system really has no equal in the world when it comes to delivering health care to the public. If I have an immediate health problem, whether I have insurance or not, I can go to any one of a number of emergency rooms in the area and very quickly be well-taken-care-of. If I should require surgery, it’s scheduled and gets done. We don’t have the delays that our friends up in Canada encounter. The Canadians come south of the border to our Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic for diagnosis and/or surgeries when their system is out of money for the year. We also don’t have the end-of-life issues that some of our European friends encounter. It’s expensive, really expensive, to care for our elderly, but no government bureaucrat is presently making an end-of-life decision for us based on the economics of the situation. It’s hard for me to imagine that a government bureaucrat in Washington, who has written a set of guidelines, could decide that one of us is too old to have a surgery, too old for a certain procedure, or just too old to treat. That’s a little scary. However, we have several negatives in our present system. We have an inordinate amount of people who are not covered by insurance and the number of people who can’t afford to pay for any coverage seems to be rising daily. We have a system with costs that are spiraling upward at a rate faster than the cost of attending college. We have the baby boomers, a group of people who are all getting older at the same time. They are going to live longer than previous generations and are going to put stresses on the health care system that could be crushing. We are a country that is searching for a blue-ribbon solution that will take the best part of our present health […]
by MITCH HARVATIN Road rage contributed to a rollover accident on U.S.-131 south of 12 Mile Road on Friday, July 31 around 2:17 p.m., according to a Michigan State Police report. “They threw two McDonald cups at me,” said Bruce Huntley of Grandville, driver of the vehicle that rolled. Huntley said “I couldn’t see, and that’s when I hit them.” He said that one cup hit his windshield and another cup entered his car through the sunroof, hitting him in the face. He said the driver who threw the cups also responded with a rude hand gesture. According to the police report obtained by The Rockford Squire, Huntley was in the passing lane when we shifted off the highway, shifted back on and then struck a white Ford vehicle driven by 61-year-old Joan Starr of Florida. “I was taking my mother home from the emergency room over in Detroit,” Starr said. “I saw him in my rear-view mirror, coming at me at a high rate of speed and it looked like he was out of control.” Huntley was driving a blue Pontiac he bought just two months ago. It has six airbags in the SUV, none of which deployed, he said. Huntley did not receive treatment at the scene but later drove himself to the hospital with a fractured rib and bruising. Starr and her passenger, 83-year-old Mabel Starr, was taken to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance with minor neck injures and bruising. Michigan State Police closed one lane of the highway while Algoma Township firefighters and Rockford Ambulance attended the scene. Nobody was ticketed in this incident.
Pick up a free park pass at any Kent District Library branch The Kent District Library (KDL) is participating in the Park & Read Program through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Park and Recreation and the Library of Michigan. KDL cardholders can visit any of the 18 branch locations—including Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford—to borrow a book and a one-day vehicle permit good at any Michigan state park and recreation area. Many parks will also have hammocks available for Park & Read participants, so they can fully enjoy a great book in Michigan’s great outdoors. Michigan’s park system includes 285,000 acres of land, 13,500 campsites, 879 miles of trails, and nearly infinite opportunities for outdoor adventures. The Park & Read certificate will give people the opportunity to visit one of these many parks for the day—for free! To participate, library cardholders should look for the Park & Read posters and displays in KDL branches. If there are any cards available, take one to the library desk to check out a pass. You will then get a certificate good for a one-day park entrance within the next seven days. Passes cannot be reserved ahead of time, and they cannot be renewed. Each KDL branch will have two passes available for check-out. So grab a book, pick a park, and enjoy a relaxing day of outdoor reading. For more information, visit www.kdl.org or www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Friday, August 7 Debbie Reynolds Show for Seniors—at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theater, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. The performance includes storytelling, songs, movie clips, bloopers and impressions. The day includes coffee and sweet rolls, complete lunch, and matinee performance (all taxes/gratuities included, plus motor coach driver). Cost is $119 per guest, payable in full to secure your reservation. For a detailed itinerary and registration form, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Saturday, August 8 Rockford Farm Market—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. Blood Drive—9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hope Community Church, gathering room, 7000 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford. Register to win a family “Staycation.” Rockford Celtic Fest—all day, vendors offer a wide array of Celtic merchandise, including foods, jewelry, clothing and more. The traditional beer tent appears beside the pavilion, with both domestic and special brews (Guinness and Harp from Ireland). Entertainment includes Celtic-flavored bands, the Grand Rapids & District Pipe Band, step dancers and audience participation “set” dancing from Scotland and Ireland. Also, a children’s area in the Garden Club Park features storytelling, historic re-enactments, face-painting and a blacksmith! 4-on-4 “Volley for Mitchell” Volleyball Tournament—starting at approximately 8 a.m. at The Score Restaurant & Sports Bar, 5301 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids (rain date: Aug. 9). Rally-style scoring, mandatory one female per team (all-girl teams welcome), two matches guaranteed, and first place wins a prize. Entry fee is $60 per team; deadline is Aug. 5. All proceeds go to Parent Project MD. Visit www.volleyformitchell.org. Sunday, August 9 Breakfast—8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park Drive, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads on Northland Dr.). Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors over 70, and $3 for kids, which includes eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice. Tuesday, August 11 Huntington Rogue River Blues Series “After the Blues”—7 to 9 p.m. at the Garden Park Stage, along the White Pine Trail near the dam, every Tuesday through August 11. This week features Delilah DeWylde & The Lost Boys (honky tonk). Blood Drive—3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Oakfield Baptist […]