What a combination!
This morning I awoke to another snow fall - all of 1/4 of an inch, so the snow shovel won't be needed, maybe a little salt on the steps.
Another earthquake in Haiti, this one was a 6.1 (as compared to the 7.0 they suffered last week) No further damage was reported, although they did say that there is so much damage from the first one that it would be hard to tell if there was more damage.
A Republican won Ted Kennedy's old seat in Massachusetts. Quite an upset! I'm afraid it means that everyone will have to stay real healthy as the Health Insurance Companies will once again be able to cancel anyone who has the temerity to get sick! Once again the US will be the only civilized country in the world that can't afford or doesn't want, to cover all it's people.
You all know my love for figures, I am going to play with some now. 750,000 families a year go bankrupt in the US over health care costs. Lets assume their creditors lose $100,000 from each bankruptcy, the total then is $75 billion a year or $750 billion over ten years (Which seems to be the preferred way of stating these things) That pays for the cost of Universal Health Care right there! But, we still have to give everyone the care - hospitals HAVE to treat anyone who presents themselves there! If they can't pay, they don't pay. Who does pay? The hospital, and therefore us! Us, in the form of higher costs. And the cost for someone to go to a hospital for care is much higher than if they went to a doctor, probably $1,000 at the hospital as opposed to $100 at the doctors. In addition to this we still have the Health Insurance Companies soaking us 30% of the premiums for "Administration Costs" (To my mind that means hundreds of bureaucrats figuring out ways to NOT pay for your treatment.) This compares to 3% to 4% Administration costs in countries that have Universal Health Care for their people. Countries like Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia, Taiwan, Japan etc where the people seem perfectly happy with their care and where the cost of that care averages HALF of the cost in the US! Health Care costs per person in the US are $16,000 per year, in those other countries - $8,000. Also, in all other countries the care is non profit. Of course Doctors, nurses etc are paid, but there are not the obscene profits that the Health Care INDUSTRY in this country makes. For example, Health Ins CEO's making millions in bonuses because they managed to cut costs. (For cut costs read - "They didn't pay for your treatment. They cancelled people who got sick. They didn't take on anyone who was sick. They refused to pay for new treatments. They refused to pay for experimental treatments. They cut costs any way they could - at your expense, not at their expense, and were handsomely rewarded for it. At our expense.") I guess I have to stop. A proper Universal Health Insurance - paid for by everyone paying a % of his or her income would cost half of what we now pay. As evidenced by all the other countries that already have such a system. To repeat, a non-profit system as opposed to the for-profit system that we have here. In my mind at least, my health should not be for-profit. We should have some inalienable rights and I think that one of those should be a Health Care System that can't bankrupt me or refuse to treat me.
(Investors - if you have any money left, I suggest buying Health Ins stock quick, it will be soaring!)