Monday, August 03, 2009

Asking Again


I'm asking all U.S. readers to please send a letter to their Senators or Representatives...I don't do it often, but I feel this is very important to the welfare of our country.

Health Care
Despite what doctors, hospitals and insurance companies will tell you, our current methods of providing (or denying) healthcare to citizens is insufficient and unsustainable.

If you're lucky enough to have medical insurance, try doing something...find out how much you pay for a year of medical insurance. Add to that the cost of your family deductible or at least try to estimate how much you'll have to pay this year in addition to the premium to keep your family healthy. For me, that's about $3500 to $4000 a year to cover Thaddeus and I.

Now consider how much of that goes towards bonuses for the CEO's at CIGNA, Prudential, Aetna, Kaiser, etc.

Having profit-driven companies adjudicating medical claims for the people in this country is insane. It basically means that the more they deny in claims, the more successful they are as a company...and I'm sure you have experienced more and more of this in the past couple of years. I'm convinced that my medical insurance often denies every claim I submit the first time, and only pays them when I make complaints.

We need a better health-care system in this country.

Here are some typical arguments for keeping our current system in place:

1. We don't want government bureaucrats making decisions about our health care.

You currently have profit-driven companies making those same decisions...is that better? They succeed by denying your claims or paying a fraction of the cost of your medical services.

2. Other countries with universal insurance deny or delay health services on a regular basis.

First of all, so do our insurance companies. How many times have you needed pre-approval for a procedure? Referrals from your primary care provider? Denials for payment of drugs that aren't specifically made for a particular condition. Insurance companies and primary care physicians are rewarded for NOT approving specific procedures in today's profit-driven system.

Second of all, most folks in countries that do have some sort of socialized medicine will tell you that denials and delays aren't very common, and usually only for issues that can reasonably be delayed.

3. In a universal health care system, the government decides what a doctor can charge and they all make the same amount. There is no longer a reason for a doctor to strive to be the best because there is no reward for doing so.

This just isn't true. Successful doctors in countries with universal care are incented differently perhaps, but their profession is still quite lucrative. If the doctor is incented with keeping a patient healthy instead of charging them for expensive unnecessary procedures, both the patient and the doctor win.

4. The cost will be prohibitive.

The cost is already prohibitive and getting untenable. I can't imagine anyway this government would ever have the spine to put through a full revision to healthcare, but the closer we come to it, the sooner we'll start to get to a system that will be cost-effective and not growing exponentially.

5. The government can't do anything efficiently.

Ask the folks you know on Medicare which is run better...standard medical insurance or Medicare and most folks will agree that Medicare, even though it provides insurance to only folks over 65...typically needing more medical care than younger folks...is run incredibly efficiently.

Please don't fall for the rhetoric and lies about this issue. If you research any of them, you'll find they're typically just scare tactics to try and go after a gut fear in folks in this country.

Please send a quick letter to your senators and/or representative (here's how, if you don't know)...if you can't do that, call them (phone numbers are on the same web site. Let them know that providing medical coverage for all citizens is critical to you and ask them not to water down any proposals.

I want to make sure before they go back from recess, that they get to hear how important this issue is to their constituents...anything you can do would help.

Current Knitting
I got through the first ball of MiniMochi on my scarf, and I'm satisfied that I have enough of this colorway to make an acceptably long scarf.



This is about 19 inches of scarf, so I've still got quite a bit to do on it.

I also finished a square for a charity blanket for the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat in Seattle in a month (yes...it's only a month away!).



I used sock yarns from James at J.O.Y. (btw, his yarns are still inexpensive, even with shipping based on New Zealand dollar exchange rates!), Unique Sheep (their colorways are amazing and made this square interesting) and Universal Yarns (love how the self-patterning showed up).

I hope to make at least one more 7" square to donate.

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