Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
When the list of the causes that Ted Kennedy supported, worked for, fought for, and even took risks for came on the TV screen today, I said to myself, "Well, of course." By that I meant, well of course a person would be against the war; well of course, a person would want to help people with disabilities; of course, a person would work against apartheid. The list was quite long.
So many of these things that Kennedy promoted, and worked for, are things that people now take for granted. Hindsight is wonderful; it lets us forget that some things were just not there for certain groups at one time. We forget that some people, not just senators, went out on a limb for certain causes, even suffering for a cause. We get to take good things for granted. There may also be things that I disagree with or ideas that are good, but the implementation is problematic. But all in all, Kennedy worked to make life better for many people.
About the time that Reagan was president, Ted Kennedy was promoting a single payer health care system. I was adamantly against this. I had selfish reasons. With the benefit of age, I can see now how strained out current health care PAYMENT system is, and how close so many of us are to losing our insurance, if we even have any. And I see how some people have to pay a lot for insurance because they are not in a group or in a small group, while others practically have it for nothing. Some employers are generous; my son worked for a billionaire's large company where the $8.00/hour employees could buy their insurance if they chose to (yeah right.)
I sincerely hope that we can honor the memory of Ted Kennedy by getting a new system that treats people fairly and does away with the ridiculously complicated insurance claim system that clinics now have to deal with. Good health care needs to be available to everyone. A simplified health care PAYMENT system should be a reasonable goal.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I got a follow-up email saying that my email was forwarded to a department head. This was at 8:00 am. At 11:15 am, exactly one week from my initial appointment, I finally did get a call from a scheduler. I scheduled my appointment, then I asked her why she had called. She said her supervisor told her to call. I told her the whole story, so that she could understand the patient's point of view. I thought she was genuinely empathetic and understanding. She said she will personally follow up on some details.
But when I wrote that email, I thought to myself, I will just document everything and if they don't exhibit better customer relations, I'll send the info to the CEO. Head will roll.
BTW, I am always extremely complimentary when I write if there are positive aspects of a situation. I find I get better results that way.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I made a comment, not about the issues voted upon, but about the idea that how could anybody possibly know God's mind. And isn't it just possible that we could interpret it as the convention center being spared? And what happens when that pastor's parishioners have storm damage, how does he counsel them? Pastors who claim to understand the mind and intent of God are an irritation to me.
Commenters were all over the place in their views, praising the pastor, condemning the sinners, warning all of us in the US to be wary of God's wrath because of materialism and gluttony, praising God for loving all of mankind, etc. Some posters keyed in on literal interpretations of the Bible, in a particular English version, of course. Others cited verses about God and/or Jesus controlling the weather. Others gave verses about certain things happening to people regardless of whether they are righteous or not. One person even looked into the history of the blogger's church and claimed that it has been hit by a tornado in the past. You get the picture.
I got about 400 comment emails in my in-box. They wouldn't turn off. I repeatedly clicked the unsubscribe. Finally, there was a long comment from another pastor who called the original blogger on the carpet, detailing errors in specific references to scripture, citing science, citing errors in interpretation and inconsistencies, of both scripture references and from the blogger's past writings.
Then the comments stopped. Cold. I checked the blog and it no longer showed a comment box. But this morning, the plague of locusts returned.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This appointment was set up through my regular family doctor, and it took about 5 weeks until I could get in. I had hoped to see the specialist, but I was assigned to the CNP. I thought she was really good. She asked about 100 questions and made a point of making sure she understood my answers. I was impressed. I've actually seen another specialist twice a few years ago, at another clinic, but he asked only a few questions, proclaimed a very general diagnosis, never even checked my body, and sent me on my way with no tests, with no care plan or suggestions or patient information about the supposed diagnosis. Needless to say, I was POed.
The CNP told me what tests were needed; that was not a surprise, because I've had those before elsewhere. She told me to stop taking one medication, but to start two others. She then walked me out to the desk, where she told the clerk to schedule me for four tests and a followup visit. That woman said, "I don't know how. The schedulers are in the back." She asked me if my phone would take a message when they called.
I had no message when I got home. I had no calls the next two working days. But by then, it was obvious I was reacting poorly to one of the medications, so I called the office and said that I was in "extreme pain," that I wanted to stop the medication, that I wanted to talk to the CNP, and that the schedulers hadn't called back. The response was that she would "send an email" to the CNP's nurse and that the schedulers were very busy. Six hours later, I was called by the nurse. Same story. She'll send an email to the CNP. She'll tell the schedulers. The scheduler called at 5:03 pm, made one of the test appointments, but couldn't make the rest because everybody had gone home.
Two days later, I'm feeling much better, but I still haven't heard from anybody else.
I've already written two complaint letters, but I haven't mailed them. I was too hot about this when I wrote the letters, so I know better than to send something like that. Since I'm feeling better, I've decided to wait about another week, and then I'll write to the CEO, not just to the department. Unfortunately, I've learned today that this may not be an isolated incident. I asked a friend if she had ever been to that clinic. She said no, but related a very similar story about a good friend of her's, but in that case, the person had a disease that was fatal if not treated promptly.
In my most desperate and snarky moments while waiting for the call backs, I've contemplated what I might say to the schedulers if and when they do call. I might say, "Oh, you want my sister. She was in extreme pain when she called on Tuesday. She keeled over and hit her head, and is now in surgery." Or maybe it will just be, "Can I have your name and the name of your supervisor and the head of your department, as well as the CEO of the clinic?" I honestly hope that I'm not feeling humbled and grateful that they finally decided to call.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In Palin’s fantasy, the death-panel “bureaucrats” were going to pick winners and losers based on a judgment about their “level of productivity in society.” Well, if you view income as a gauge of a person’s productivity in society—and God knows there are Republicans who do—then the quality of health care is already correlated with “productivity in society.” Obama’s plan, by making health care more affordable to lower income people, would make that less true.
This is just another way of making a point already made by Peter Singer in response to less delusional concerns about the possibility of rationing under Obama’s plan: we already ration health care; we just let the market do the rationing.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
The other big business (said with tongue in cheek) here is the tourist industry. Of course, that doesn't pay well. And since, weather-wise, this has been the summer that never came, I'm sure that the resorts can't be doing all that well. This is the first summer that I haven't seen any employment ads for resort cleaning people.
Even the school districts are hurting, with about half as many students as ten years ago. You can extrapolate what these tough times are doing to giving to area churches. My church is hoping to do a large remodeling project while there is some economic stress in the area, because we're hoping that bids come in quite low. Kind of sad to be selfishly hopeful about that.
A town, just a scenic 50 mile drive away from me, was named one of the 10 Best Small Towns in Outside magazine. Love it. I can take advantage of all the amenities without having to deal with the traffic on Ely's main street, ie cars with canoes on the roofs. also: Ely and Ely on Wikipedia.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
First part of article:
Right-Wing Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed In Memo: ‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’
This morning, Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls. For example, in one incident, right-wing protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety.