Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good Morning, All. The car is still in the shop so we are making do. Yesterday we decided to walk over to the bank so Mom could deposit a check and since the grocery story was only a block away we went there, too, to pick up a gallon of milk. We had often talked about the possibility that, should anything happen to the car for any length of time, that we could walk that distance but we thought this was a good time to find out if we can walk it. We tried to pick up our daily walks in the spring but Mom's sinuses became so congested she could hardly breath. No such problem yesterday. We made it in good shape and fairly good time. It did take about 45 minutes for an errand that would have taken about 10 with the car.

We notice that the public option has come back from the dead just in time for Halloween. From what Mom read to me on the details it has become something of a vampire. The terms she saw would have restricted participation to those whose employers do not offer health care plans. In other words, this is a full employment plan for the health insurance industry. I have been in one situation which reveals the weakness of the proposal. My last job, two years ago, provided a health insurance plan so I would have been barred from participating in the public option. However, my monthly take home pay was too low to allow me to participate in my employer's plan. I wonder how many others would have been in the same situation. I also wonder whether the legislation as proposed would force individuals to switch from plans they signed up for either when unemployed or when employed by company that did not offer health insurance if they become employed by a company that does? What does that do to Obama's promise that if you do have coverage you like you won't be forced to change? We need a public option that is open to all.

I just found a site I wish I could have read. It is in Arabic but had an interesting teaser. That teaser (in English) claims that informal street herbalists and healers provide a significant part of India's health care economy. The western oriented medical establishment labels these practitioners as quacks but without them many would be without health care of any kind because the cost of 'approved' doctors is beyond them. Interesting. Given the cost of health care and of health insurance in this country I wonder..... .

Well, the car is back. And like every other perverse piece of machinery it behaved beautifully for the mechanic. I am glad the tow truck driver also tried to start the car because otherwise we would have appeared as a pair of batty old ladies. Our mechanic thinks a relay got suck and the towing jolted it back into operation.

Foreign Policy In Focus has a nice article on the Yes Men who made the news this last week for a hoax news conference where one pretended to be a representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announcing an end to the Chamber's efforts to derail climate change legislation. The author makes some very good points about why companies cannot be relied on to 'do the right thing' even if that right thing is very evident.

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