Category: Health

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Shouldn't Healthcare Reform Reward Accountability?

Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan is a series of compromises that don’t go far enough, but certainly promise improvements. As I write, a vote in the US House of Representatives looms close, and there is much uncertainty that a healthcare reform bill can pass—or should.

A recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece called so-called Obamacare “The worst bill ever.”

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America's Health Insurance Cartels are the Problem

Two things that go oddly together: $20 and a quick physical. That’s what my daughter got yesterday so she could try out for the local high school volleyball team. The school recommended the doctor, who was fast, friendly, thorough and cheap. From watching the patients going in and out of the physician’s office, I observed that he provides a valuable service to San Diego’s uninsured.

The doctor’s visit got me to thinking, again, about what’s fundamentally wrong with America’s health-care system and why the Obama Administrations’ reform proposal can’t fix it. The problem and solution go oddly—and quite badly—together. Litigation, not legislation, is the solution.

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Thanks, Mom

I was 14 when my mother saved my life. It was, in fact, my 14th birthday.

Dad, mom, my three sisters, and I had gone to my grandparents house to celebrate. Nana made tasty pork chops, for which I had no appetite. For dessert, there was fresh baked chocolate cake—yum, my favorite—and actually two. I had no taste for cake, either. Instead, after picking at my food, I lay down on the couch. My sister Annette, who is closest in age to me, also was ill. We both had fevers, and I assumed that we shared the same flu. 

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Not So Fast

I really dig the New York Times redesign that launched yesterday. There’s something blog meets print paper about the new layout. I’m reading more than ever, and I love the great emphasis on digital content. Strange, I likely will continue subscribing to the Sunday paper, which gets opens access to online premium content.

Anyway, today I devoured story “Living on Impulse“, which I probably would have missed if not for the redesign. Reporter Benedict Carey masterfully gets to the bottom of science studies about impulsive behavior. His story is non-fiction, science writing at its best. 

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Man on the Train

Wednesday afternoon, while on the D.C. metro, I saw a homeless man working the train for change. Lots of loafers beg for money around Washington; they’re professional beggars whose job is collecting handouts, sometimes pretty aggressively.

But this guy looked truly down on his luck. I’m not tall, about 1.6 meters, and this guy, sporting a well-weathered sleeping bag, was shorter than me. He shuffled politely through the subway car, asking people for money. What surprised me was just how many folks gave him money. Unlike the professional beggars, which more typically use disposal cups, this guy took cash by hand. Like the others, I gave him some change; I wanted to give more but hadn’t hit the bank machine before going on a trip to New York. He literally got all that I had to give.