The Intermittent Kevin

As rarely and randomly updated as most blogs

Archive for September 2009

Health care: My response to Carter’s response

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…In response to the previous email, I just sent my Congressman the following email. It built on the research I’ve conducted so far (and required a couple hours’ additional reading) but I’m relatively proud of it.

Congressman Carter,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply to my email, in which I expressed my support for health-care reform proposals currently being discussed. I hope you don’t mind if I offer a point-by-point response.
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Written by Kevin Miller

September 25, 2009 at 11:30 pm

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Health care: Carter’s response to my response

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As I mentioned in my very first health-care-related blog post, my Congressman—John Carter—sent an email poll asking what his constituents thought of Congress’s health-care proposals. Rather than clicking a button, I sent a quick response indicating my general (and uninformed) support for Democratic proposals.

Congressman Carter, or one of his employees, responded not long after with a lengthy and impressively thorough description of exactly why he thought the Dem plans were a bad idea. I’m reprinting his letter here, then I’ll post what I just sent him.

From: Congressman John Carter
Subject: Responding to your message
Date: July 31, 2009 4:38:49 PM CDT
To: house@happywaffle.com
Dear Kevin:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for President Obama’s health care plan. Access to quality health care is a critical issue facing our country, and I appreciate your input.

America has the highest quality health care in the world. A recent medical study on cancer survivability rates showed that Americans are in a lot better shape than Great Britain, Norway, and the European Union nations, all of which have government run health care. For example, the survival rate for those diagnosed with prostate cancer in European Union countries is only 77%; it is 99% in the U.S. Additionally, all female cases of cancer have a survivability rate of 62.9% in the United States, but only 52.7% in England.
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Written by Kevin Miller

September 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm

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YouTube Top 100: #1, “Evolution of Dance”

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It’s hit me recently that it’s no big deal any more to get a million views on YouTube. (Probably while I was watching a really bad video that had a million views.) This gave me the curiosity to look up YouTube’s most popular videos of all time:

http://www.youtube.com/browse?s=mp&t=a

Check out our top-vote getter, “Evolution of Dance,” starring “inspirational comedian” (?) Judson Laipply. No, I mean just look at it – you’ve already watched it. So have 125,950,053* other people.

It’s definitely not the best video on YouTube. It’s not even particularly good. And yet there it sits, millions of views ahead of others perhaps far more deserving. What gives?
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Written by Kevin Miller

September 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm

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Health care pt. 5: ye olde NHS

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medoctor001

Let me lead off the discussion of Her Majesty’s National Health Service with an interesting op-ed by Mr. Stephen Glover:

I deeply resent the Americans sneering at our health service – but perhaps that’s because the truth hurts

In it, Glover does an appreciable job knocking down some of the sillier rumors about health care in the UK whilst (whilst!) affirming that it’s not all lollipops and zero-quid bills on the other side of the pond. (Captain Obvious alert: dentistry is a particular problem.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Kevin Miller

September 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm

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Health care: A bit about malpractice reform

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I commented earlier about how tort reform for doctors seems like a good idea. This NYT editorial is informative on the topic:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/opinion/17wed2.html

With regards to overall health-care spending, it looks like frivolous lawsuits (obnoxious as they are) don’t contribute much to the big problem we’re facing. “[The CBO] estimates that caps on damages would ultimately reduce malpractice premiums for medical providers but would have a ‘relatively small’ impact on total health spending, reducing it by less than half a percent.” So, Republicans who gripe about frivolous lawsuits with regards to the big honkin’ health-care money problem aren’t really swinging at the right piñata.

I Googled for "doctor piñata."

I Googled for doctor piñata.

But there IS a piñata worth swinging at here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Kevin Miller

September 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm

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Health care: fact-checking Obama’s speech

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I wasn’t going to post about it, since the info is readily available elsewhere, but I might as well link to what factcheck.org says about Obama’s speech…

http://factcheck.org/2009/09/obamas-health-care-speech/

— Joe Wilson’s wrong and Obama’s right about whether the bill covers illegal immigrants. It doesn’t. But it’s not quite as simple as that; the GOP argues that the bill lacks a proper enforcement mechanism to make sure people taking advantage of the public option are US citizens, or even legal immigrants. Good point, except any illegal immigrant who applies for a public insurance plan is committing insurance fraud and taking on a rather huge risk of being caught. Would some still do it? Sure, there’s always weasels. But certainly not enough to constitute a significant drain on public resources. Seriously, I think Republicans have a secret crush on illegal immigrants or something.
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Written by Kevin Miller

September 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

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Health care: Wait, I HAVE to be insured?

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Shortly after last night’s speech, I received the following amusingly over-the-top text from an unknown number.
IMG_0202

Whoa, nelly. Turns out it was from a former coworker… I have no idea how he had my number in the first place, but he apparently thought strongly enough that Obama was the anti-Christ to share it with his entire address book.

(Whichever phones allow you to text everyone in your address book simultaneously should be burned in a fiery pit. Just saying.)

Admittedly, though, that was the one part of Obama’s speech last night where I could see pitchforks being raised and torches being lit in some quarters – “Hell, no, the guv’mint ain’t gonna require me to be insured!”

Show me your insurance card, punk.

Show me your insurance card, punk.

But yeah, what’s the deal? Will I be arrested and beaten for not carrying insurance?
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Written by Kevin Miller

September 10, 2009 at 10:40 am

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