Senator Kennedy was far more than health care reform. For much of his time he fought an uphill battle for the disenfranchised. Also, many of those battles were thankless, until this last eight year regime. It was only then that the American public realized the excesses that could result from an indifferent government.
Kennedy’s difficulty was methodology. He and like-thinkers seemed to seek solutions beyond the acceptable ratio of government-private ownership and control.
Modern liberalism gravitates toward a central power source, as opposed to traditional Liberalism that focused on individual genius and freedoms. This fundamental difference is what is now surfacing in the health care debate.
I wrote this in May of last year.
Senator Ted Kennedy has brain cancer. One of the few in Congress that takes his work serious. Over the years I have questioned his methods many times, but not his heart. His heart has been secure with the disadvantaged, the downtrodden, the sick, the disconnected, the disenfranchised, and those with various human struggles. A liberator; rare in our times.
This week Sen. Grassley of Iowa said that he and his colleagues were not prepared to pass any bill that cost one trillion dollars. Well, that let the cat out of the bag. Any discussion about public option insurance or various provisions of several bills in the House and Senate, are immaterial for his support.
By Sen. Grassley’s criteria the Congressional Budget Office has closed the door of health care reform. The CBO quoted 1.3 trillion over 10 years.
As the health reform debate lingers, more light and truth, is coming out of the conflict.
It is becoming obvious many want a Medicare or single pay system for everyone. This includes a sizable number of Congress. Maybe, as many as 100 members in the House alone. For these advocates of the single payer system, Medicare is cited as a government program both successful and popular.
Well, it is a far stretch to say Medicare is successful in terms of a well-managed program. Medical providers have learned to game the system. Powerful lobbying interest have learned how to rig the system. In fact, it is the bad influence of Medicare management that has brought us to health inflation today. Medicare itself, flirts with insolvency. The latest deadline is 2016.
The faulty policies of Medicare have been accomplices in much of the current fraud, inefficiencies, abuse, and corruption in medical services.
Much of the talk about euphanasia has to do with fears and suspicions of a collapse in values regarding the sanctity of life. Are we a nation that has lost it’s “natural affection”? After all, we have killed 41 million or more unborn babies in this country, by and large, for birth control. People 65 and older make up 48% of all impatient hospital days and 32% of a doctors surgical care. I guess you could wonder how some deranged numbers cruncher might look at stats like these.
That being said, some of this concern could be unwarranted, notwithstanding the inflammatory language we have heard recently. Some of the media conversationalist could have less than noble aims. We just don’t know! When you get into individuals motives, you are treading on dangerous grounds.
The life of man is three score and ten, according to scripture (Psalm 90) and if per chance we make it to 80, it will not be the best of times. Don’t expect this to change.
Our medical know-how and laboratory discoveries has not off-set reckless and depraved lifestyles to produce exceptional longevity. Currently, we rank 42nd in the world, at 77 years. Some think this may decline due to the health habits of the current youth.
We know we are only passing through, but when the time approaches we are willing with our hearts and our pocketbooks, to appeal for more time. I don’t see anything wrong and everything right with this thinking. It seems altogether normal. Some of us will make an investment to keep and old pet going.
Personal mortality is best left alone! Those decisions must be patient-family-doctor decisions in that order. Insurance adjusters and bureaucrats are not equipped to handle such powerful decisions.
The years, that a life happens to be most valuable, or even valuable, is also impossibe to determine. My great-grandmother lived to be right at 100 years old. In her last years I would sit at her feet and listen to her personal experiences of the horrors of the Civil War. So, she was valuable to me.
Many more contentions, regarding features of health reform, await an honest and informative debate. Hopefully, it will be domninated by thoughtful and truthful commentators.
The Senate wants a resolution to the health bills by Sept. 15. If so, it will probably add more layers and modifications to the hybrid system we have that don’t work well. I fear any bill will do little to reduce health costs.
We have so many romances going on up there. It looks like Love Boat. Politicians, both new and old are being seduced by the health care interests. The health insurance business is now being brought in to show the government how to control health care inflation. Why would they want to control costs or reduce medical services?
In the end I think we will find this class of politicians are not tough enough to make many worthwhile policy changes, but are capable of making a more complicated and intractable problem.
Today, I turned on the television to discover a live “town hall” meeting in Pennsylvania on health care. It was conducted by Sen. Arlen Spector. The crowd was rocking him pretty good, but in decent order. Spector looked puzzled by the abrasiveness of some of the comments and questions. He looked like he might be out of touch or something. Of course, he has been up there a long time. Some, go to Washington out of touch and get more out of touch once there.
Some of the comments have been “leave us alone”. These are people who have an innate and very healthy distrust of the federal government.
Of course, we know health care cannot be left alone. When premiums double in 10 years it can’t be left alone. But, it is time to consider approaching the problem in a different direction. Rather than a comprehensive policy change, maybe we need a sheriff. If hospitals and doctors are lying and stealing maybe they should be dealth with in a punitive fashion. If insurance companies are dealing in bribery and fraud, maybe we should consider punitive measures. If doctors and hospitals are using malpractice claims as a pretext to order more tests and make more money; then that needs to be dealth with first.
What influence would a good sheriff have on health cost? Well, a lot, no doubt. Maybe, many of these people that cannot now afford medical needs would find health care more realistic. Maybe, some of these big statistics would start changing some. Changing for the better.
Of course, medical care is very complex and policy changes will always be necessary, but a good sheriff might work until we are more clear-headed.
This week the Sulphur Springs community of Washington County, Tennessee is having their annual Methodist Camp Meeting. This revival started in 1820 when James Monroe was President.
There are no horses and wagons tied off at the camp ground now, but a lot of gasoline engine automobiles, parked wherever they could find a 10 Ft. gap. The local police were helping with the crowds and traffic.
The open-air shed that the services are held in was filled up Sunday and the throng was spread deep,on the outside all around the building. Outside worshipers brought folding lawn chairs and some sat on the ground. It was announced that one lady, present Sunday night, had attended 91 consecutive camp meetings. This was nearly half of the time the services have been held.
It was a relief, considering the present weak condition of the Church and muted Christian message, to find a service undisturbed by the world or the world’s values. A worship that could simply proclaim the powerful truth of the salvation and the life in Jesus Christ. There is still power in the blood.