Thursday, July 2, 2009

My brain is tired

(poor little brain. go take a nap.)

It takes a lot of work to stay informed these days. You'd think it would be easy - after all, there are 857 news channels going 24 hours a day. Not to mention websites, blogs, newspapers, facebook and twitter.

(I won't mention radio because I rarely drive anywhere and when I do, the grandbaby is usually with me so we are listening to Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun 492 times in a row.)

Sometimes, just when I think I have an issue figured out, somebody throws me a curve ball. So then I have to go read, research and ponder all over again. (At this point I would rather read Just Me And My Puppy with the grandbaby.)

This morning, for example, I came across this headline:

AMA President: Group open to government-funded insurance

Really? That's good news! I thought they just recently said they were against it. Let's see what they are saying now:


(from CNN - click here to read the whole story)

The new president of the American Medical Association ... said Wednesday the group is open to a government-funded health insurance option for people without coverage.

Dr. J. James Rohack told CNN that the AMA supports an “American model” that includes both “a private system and a public system, working together.” ...

Rohack ... suggested Wednesday that the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program available to Congress members and other federal employees could be expanded as a public option. That would avoid having to create a new program from scratch, he said.

“If it’s good enough for Congress, why shouldn’t it be good enough for individuals who don’t have health insurance provided by their employers?” Rohack said.


Wow. That sounds great, right? So, what is this Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, exactly?


(from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management - click here for the link)

"The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program can help you and your family meet your health care needs. Federal employees, retirees and their survivors enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country. You can choose from among Consumer-Driven and High Deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health savings/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or Fee-for-Service (FFS) plans, and their Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) if you live (or sometimes if you work) within the area serviced by the plan."


Hmmm ... so this "public option" would allow us all to choose between various PRIVATE insurance programs from the various PROFIT-DRIVEN companies who are currently making a total MESS of our physical and financial health.

I'm going to go listen to Mister Sun now.

I'm going to read Just Me And My Puppy.

And I'm just going to pray that I don't get sick. I can't afford it.



  1. About the 24/7 news... I flip through them all only to find each one still talking about Michael Jackson. So much for the economy and our health care crisis!

  2. Yeah, it's like one of those hidden little clauses that they bury deep within a contract so you don't see it. Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth. AMA is sure doing it.

    Do you ever read Jim Irwin's blog at

    He has a political slant similar to yours and I think you would like what he posts.

  3. Lily: I know, the sensational stories always get top billing!

    Rae: I love Jim's blog! Thanks for suggesting it.

  4. Good post Lesley, I'm following your blog and look forward to the new posts. Twitter, as you mentioned in sources for info., is excellent I think.
    I've got more followers there than blog site. I enjoy blogging and it seems you are on your way as well. Good luck!

  5. There is a big difference between health insurance and health care. Until Congress addresses tort reform to bring health care costs into check, we will still have high costs and doctors who are afraid to skip un-needed tests for fear of being sued. Hospitals also need to update their billing system. The last time I went to the doctor for a heart stress tests, I received a bill from the doctor, the lab, and the company administering the test. I saw one person.

    On the insurance side, Congress can mandate a streamline billing system for all insurance companies. I will support a public option but do not like the idea of having to pay higher premiums (taxes) so someone else can have insurance. Everyone has to have some stake in the game. A basic private health family policy costs around $350. If you do not have health insurance but can afford $200 for cable, then do not ask the tax payers for to subsidize your health insurance.

    We need to realize that insurance companies only manage the pool of insurance funds brought in through premiums. The premiums are based on expected health care costs anticipated by the types of coverage allowed under the plan. Most plans will cover a majority of procedures. If they do not, you still have the option to get the procedure. Some of the legislation proposed would actually prevent certain procedures.

    I am for a health care fix. I just do not want this rushed through Congress without a thorough debate and strong support from at least 80% of the population.

  6. Jim - I confess, I still haven't figured Twitter out! I'll have to give it another try.

    David - Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I agree, it would be nice to have health care instead of just health insurance. I am disappointed that single-payer was off the table from the start, since in my opinion it could accomplish exactly that.

    I don't think we'll get strong support from 80% of the population unless Fox News suddenly falls off a cliff and the health care lobbyists jump in after them. But personally, I don't care. I don't even care if we get a bipartisan bill. Just get it done.