Saturday, August 29, 2009


I am not a Kennedy fan. I do appreciate his fight for the poor- which I think he saw as a family legacy. I do not appreciate that he found a way to get his marriage annulled or fought for abortion rights. I appreciate that his family came out to greet those who stood in line to pass the casket. I would probably stand out to witness my own Senator's passing. I think the entire Kennedy thing is simply an acknowledgement to the country's need for sensational news. Where are the pictures of the soldiers dying in Afghanistan? Oh yes, those are people who CHOSE to serve their country- so they are not worthy of our eyes.

I was on another board taht I read often and the topic was a family who has $8000 in debt over lots of small medical bill and $320. a month in medication ( They still paid $145 a month in insurance). The family made $50,000 a year - but were struggling. This was my favorite reply:
"Geoff Says: August 28th, 2009 at 6:28 am
And you crazy Americans still are protesting about health care reforms!!! So what happens now if you get sick and you can’t afford it?
The Australian system with an English NHS style ‘free’ minimum cover (at a cost of 1.5% tax on salary) for everybody, but still with a very active Medical Insurance industry. If you earn over a certain amount and do not take out insurance, the government taxes you roughly the equivalent cost of health insurance - stopping the ‘free’ service from getting too overcrowded.
Most people from the rest of the world cannot understand the heartless approach to your health care system, but then cannot comprehend why people are protesting so much about changing it."

Couldn't have been said better!


Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about Kennedy as well.

I don't know how much he changed but it seems like he got away with manslaughter in the case of Mary Jo Kopechne's death "Kennedy's lawyers arranged for him to plead guilty to leaving the scene of the accident involving personal injury with a two-month suspended sentence and one-year probation."

I also heard a story told by Orrin Hatch about Kennedy accepting Orrin's invitation to speak to a group of 200 Mormon missionaries - which surprised Orin.

It is wonderful that Kennedy did that - but, for me, the sad part of the story is that Kennedy had been drinking when Orrin asked him and the next day Kennedy asked Orrin what else he agreed to do...

Drunken politicians making deals... not good.

Personally, I hope his death signifies another milestone in the changing of the guard in US politics - hopefully, the "good ol' boys" political era that he was part of will not morph info another form.

At least it seems that Kennedy tried to "pay it back" by being a champion for me as "one of the little guys" in so many ways - sad that he is not here to fight for affordable health care for me now.


Janette said...

I can see the pay it back as a part of the equation- restitution.

Elena said...

Kennedy was a deeply troubled individual. He was a long-running senator from Mass., and that's about it.

I think everyone agrees Health Care needs reform. Not everyone agrees that it has to be done super fast before the end of the year, or that it has to look like the current house bill.

This is a big step. Let's examine it and take our time and not have something we're going to regret in five years.

RAnn said...

Why am I not eager to trust the government with a large part of our economic system? Maybe because the evidence shows that's not a great idea. Public schools generally work well in middle and upper class communities, and not so well in poor communities. Generally, the wealthier the area, the better the roads. Generally private contractors have done more for less when they've taken over governmental functions like trash pick-up.

Will healthcare for the poor or lower middle class improve under a government-run scheme? Medicaid gives the poor access to medical care now--but it is hard to find a doctor who will take medicaid, unless it is a practice geared toward the poor, because of the low reimbursement rates. Also, the lack of payment required from the recipient makes fraud a constant threat. Is the government going to give us all medicaid?

Insurance companies get labelled as the bad guys when they deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, but homeowner's insurance companies won't cover you for any hurricane that has formed when you buy your policy. If I could wait until I got a serious illness before buying health insurance, there would be no incentive for me to get it to deal with routine bills.

There are basically two ways to price any insurance--you can price the individual risk or you price the community risk. With health insurance, most of us want the individual price when we are young and healthy, and the community price when we get sick. Unfortunately, insurance companies can't stay in business like that. Is it right to charge young health adults, who are probably at the low end of their lifetime wage scale higher premiums so the older, wealthier and sicker folks don't have to pay as much?

I don't think people are blind to the problems with the current system; I just think we aren't blind to the problems with other systems, or to the advantage of ours.

Janette said...

RAnn- if the public sector is SO bad at education- why is it the one that people run to if they have problems?