Thursday, July 23, 2009

A little reality...

...with your mythologizing.

Myth: Canada's government decides who gets health care and when they get it. While HMOs and other private medical insurers in the U.S. do indeed make such decisions, the only people in Canada to do so are physicians. In Canada, the government has absolutely no say in who gets care or how they get it. Medical decisions are left entirely up to doctors, as they should be.

There are no requirements for pre-authorization whatsoever. If your family doctor says you need an MRI, you get one. In the U.S., if an insurance administrator says you are not getting an MRI, you don't get one no matter what your doctor thinks — unless, of course, you have the money to cover the cost.

This and seven other myths about the Canadian health care system debunked at the Denver Post. Go ye forth and read. And tell me again why the American health system is so great?

Monday, July 13, 2009


...and infuriating.

An interview with Wendell Potter, formerly a high-level PR guy with Cigna. Among other things he discusses the company's plans to discredit and defuse both Michael Moore's 'Sicko' and the controversy over Nataline Sarkisyan's liver transplant -- which didn't happen, because even though the doctors said she needed one, Cigna said she didn't.

What really got me is the number of politicians parroting the industry's words. They'll say things like 'The government will be standing between you and your doctor', when right now, it's for-profit insurance companies standing between you and your doctor. I ain't a huge fan of the government's efficiency and compassion but they've got to do a better job than some bureaucrat whose job is to make his investors more money.

Go, and see what the enemy is saying. Go, and read what we're standing against. And go, and read the story of a man who realized what he was doing was wrong, and what he's doing about it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This is...

I am sad.


Scared, for myself and for everyone else in the US who doesn't have health insurance.

I've been following my friend Branwen's fight with cancer -- much expanded, now, with the discovery of both endometrial and ovarian cancers -- and mixed in with my pride in her strength and my concern for her well-being and considering shaving my head in solidarity (which I'm probably gonna wuss out on, but I'm still trying to talk myself into it) is this occasional, quiet, totally selfish thought:

If this happened to me, I would die.

Not because of any great difference in outlook, or strength, or my body versus hers, or anything like that.

Simply because I cannot afford health insurance.

And then today I was catching up on my blogs, and I saw this post by Wormwood's Doxy in which she tells the tale of a friend of hers, who got cancer, and died, because she didn't have health insurance.

Between the two, I have gone from being angry and frustrated at the United States' health system (but only when I'm reminded of it), to FURIOUS.

HOW can anyone consider this right?

I can only hope that the vast majority of people who support the current system are doing so simply because they haven't thought it through.

I'd rail further, but Doxy (as she so often does) did an awesome job of ranting for me, and there's really not a lot I can add.

Yeah, I needed this...

A wonderful post by Rev. Dr. Kate:

You can't save all the starfish...can you?