Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hope you all are having a good Sunday.  We did get a tiny bit of snow yesterday but all precipitation for the next week should be in liquid form.  But still we don't expect enough moisture to relieve the dry conditions.

Yesterday I saw a news report on the Hurricane Sandy relief legislation of which a small portion of just under $10 billion was passed after Speaker John Boehner tried to adjourn the House without voting on anything and ran into a firestorm of protest from various representatives from the affected area.  The report featured a Texas Rep who voted against on the grounds that the Feds shouldn't be involved in helping with local disasters.  So somehow the droughts and wildfires that afflicted Texans this year are national problems deserving of national relief while the Hurricane is purely local and don't.  Susie Madrak noted the same hypocritical failing in a Colorado Representative who vote against the Sandy relief package and introduced a bill to restrict the President's authority to issue disaster proclamations (prerequisite for Federal assistance) only a couple of months after requesting additional FEMA funds to deal with the aftermath of one of the Colorado wildfires.  A lead character in one of my favorite Sci-fi novels told a small group with him after a world wide mega-disaster that they needed to decide what to do and whether there was a 'we' to do it.  These Repthuglicans have decided that whatever there is to do there is no we--unless, of course, they and their constituents are the receiving end of the effort.  As the old quip goes: they name streets for these guys.  (One Way for those who have forgotten.)

After listening to Mom as she read the latest reports from her health insurance programs--all detailing increases--I am not at all surprised at this story.  Somehow no one ever discusses the increases in health insurance costs as a cause of our outsized health care expenses.  The insurance companies always deflect the attention to things like 'outrageous' malpractice judgements or 'over usage' of health care services or the increase of expensive end-of-life care or whatever.

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