That was the theory behind the NHS, before the neo-liberals -- may their names be forever cursed -- got hold of it and started privatizing it. (The neo-liberals seem to have the concept that we're going to go wait in doctor's offices for fun, so they've got to charge us for it. Bizarre.)
Anyhow, since Monday -- this winter really seems to have become my season of minor ailments, probably my unconscious telling me something with all those photos of rot -- I've had this superweird ickiness going on my right -- my typing -- hand, and then up my arm, so after my friend in the coffee shop diagnosed whatever the heck it was as cellulitis, from which her husband nearly died because he wouldn't go for treatment, I went to the wonderful Helen Hunt Health Center in Old Town to check it out. Read more about "Free at the point of care"
I got this press release in mail, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere on the web yet. So herewith:
Single payer in Vermont and the U.S.: Now IS the time
The following statement was released today by Dr. Andrew D. Coates, president of Physicians for a National Health Program:
Today, Vermont’s governor, after campaigning for single payer for years, announced that he would not work to pass single-payer legislation in Vermont this year.
“The Healthcare Is a Human Right (HCHR) Campaign expresses its deep disappointment in the failure of Governor Shumlin to act on the will of the people of Vermont to ensure universal, publicly financed healthcare in our state. This inaction is a slap in the face of many thousands of Vermont residents who suffer from poor health and financial hardship in the private insurance market that sells healthcare as a commodity to those who can afford it. The HCHR Campaign reminds the Governor that healthcare is a human right, and that our government has an obligation to ensure that right. Our government also has a responsibility to enact state law, and Act 48, passed in 2011, clearly requires Vermont to take actions to provide healthcare as a public good to all residents by 2017.
We all currently pay for our hodgepodge healthcare system - we just don’t pay in a way that leads to giving people access to care. Moving to a different financing mechanism has nothing to do with raising new money. Vermont’s businesses currently pay 80% of all private insurance premiums. Most of these businesses are large employers; they pay the lion share of health insurance. Individuals who fall sick also pay a big chunk - through roughly $800 million in out-of-pocket costs. The Governor’s task at hand was to shift private payments to a more equitable, public financing mechanism. His task was not to find new money.
t wasn't that long ago, say 2007 or so, when fracking was an issue that wasn't really on anyone's radar, though there was enough concern for the state to place a moratorium on the practice in 2008.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in his state, officials announced Wednesday.
"I will be bound by what the experts say," Cuomo said at a press conference.
While adding 900,000 formerly uninsured New Yorkers to the insurance rolls is no small success, healthcare remains too expensive for the average family.
The costs of deductibles, copays and out-of-network charges remain major obstacles, and these bloated, unnecessary charges we pay to profit-driven health insurance corporations have not been brought under control by the Affordable Care Act.
Shumlin says he likes the idea, but "this is not the right time." It's unclear if he might resurrect the idea in the future.
Well done, Democrats! Read more about VT Governor Shumlin throws single payer under the bus
I read stuff like this and I shake my head. This to me is by far the most interesting fallout from the hacked Sony email saga:
When Sony Pictures began casting last year for a new comedy to be called “The Interview,” early scripts included the assassination of a fictionalized North Korean ruler. It was not until auditions began that actors learned that the movie would portray something much more brazen: the violent killing of the actual leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.Sony’s executives now say they knew that basing a film on the assassination of a living national leader — even a ruthless dictator — had inherent risks. But the studio seems to have gotten much more than it bargained for by bankrolling what it hoped would be an edgy comedy. The still very-much-alive Mr. Kim, the leader of an isolated and unpredictable nuclear-armed nation, appears not to have been amused when the premise of the comedy became clear. North Korea branded the $40 million film, to be released on Dec. 25, “an act of war” and vowed a “resolute and merciless response.”
An "edgy comedy"? About assassinating a head of state? Doesn't that seem to you, like, oh asking for trouble? Then again, we've got elites who are totally down with torture and spent most of last summer looking for a war, any war, until the finally struck gold with ISIS. Read more about Our nutcase elites, as illustrated by Sony's movie about whacking Kim Jong-un
My excitement was minimal for a few reasons: (1) The involvement of King Rat, Al Sharpton; (2) the all-too-evident desire of Sharpton's buddy in the White House, and Democrats generally, to drive the protest movement safely into a ditch; (3) skepticism of "marches" generally (see under Iraq); and (4) a general sense that the action is in the Midwest, in St. Louis, which is where the new and interesting work is being done, instead of on the coasts (San Francisco, New York, Washington DC). For example, if you think about two original tactics that surfaced this time, die-ins and freeway blockages, both of those originated from St Louis, and both scale continentally in a way that tactics developed for non-sprawl areas (like San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC) do not.
So here's a random selection of tweets. But first, Al Sharpton on his way home:
— Dr. Cornel Fresh (@WyzeChef) December 13, 2014
Today is all about saturation: The cloudy sky and late afternoon make for very saturated color, and the 40°s F day has made snowmelt everywhere.
Along the same lines: Read more about In the garden: Persistence of chlorophyll (2)
Sadly I had to take the bus to Walmart (four hours round trip on public transportation). The service was horrible, and I had to go back a second time (total, eight hours) but there was no point losing my temper because clearly all the employees, er, associates, as well as their managers, were in the grip of a system that was being run more cheaply than possible. (I waited outside for the bus home next to some storage containers they had parked outside the building, gawd knows why, and heard a big electrical crackle come from one of them just before the bus arrived. Yikes.)
While I was there I took this picture, because it seemed to sum up a lot of my difficulties with the place:
This is, I believe, a "simpler than possible" awning. Rather it's a notional awning, the dead idea of an awning. It's above an area that serves bread, as you see, so I imagine it's meant to convey the feel of a cheery patisserie. I'm not sure which is worse: The attempt to convey the feel, or success (if any) in the conveyance, because that would have meant such a horridly low baseline for inducing the feel. I hate everything about that awning and no, I don't just strongly dislike it: Read more about The awnings of Walmart