Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, August 16, 2009
ISSUE #564
#564 August 16, 2009

Health care solutions and Hiney flu

COLUMBUS: This month Congress is learning that folks doubt that our government knows more than doctors about how to keep them healthy. There’s nothing wrong with a Dept. of Health keeping an eye on the whole industry and heading them in the right direction when they get off track. But the government doesn’t need a representative standing there beside the doctor while they ponder whether to prescribe two aspirin or to operate.

It’s kinda like farmers who don’t want the Humane Society of U.S. put in charge of teaching them how to raise and care for their chickens, cattle and hogs. One of the first things a farmer learns at a young age is if the animals aren’t well-fed, cared for, and healthy they sure aren’t going to lay more eggs, give more milk, or add more pounds of lean meat. And the more efficiently the animals produce eggs, milk and meat, the less money you need to spend on food.

In the U.S., everybody has a choice. If you want eggs layed by hens that roam free (like all of them did fifty years ago), then you can buy ‘em. The price this week is over $3.00 a dozen. Regular eggs at the same grocery are ninety cents. You can’t tell any difference between them, but HSUS wants everybody to pay $3.00. Or stop eating eggs at all. And no meat either.

Now I don’t blame the President for trying to improve health care and reduce costs. But there is legitimately only about 5 million Americans that can’t afford health insurance; for the others uninsured, it’s their choice. If they drive a car, they know how to buy insurance. And their health ought to be worth more than a car.

I read in the newspaper where Charles Krauthammer has a great plan to cut out the lawyers’ share of health costs. Instead of malpractice trials, where the lawyers get a third, create boards of medical professionals who will punish the guilty doctors and hospitals, and award reasonable payments to the victims, all paid for by a small insurance charge. That alone would save enough to cover the 5 million uninsured.

You’ve got to remember that about half of the cost increase in the last thirty years has been from new medicines, new technology and other advancements. We don’t want to give that up. What we should give up is overeating. That might save the other half.

While we’re on the subject of health, have you noticed how many news folks still incorrectly call the flu outbreak that started in Mexico as “swine flu?” It’s really H1N1, but nobody wants to say “H-one-N-one” so they say swine. I suggest a nickname for H1N1: call it  “Hiney flu.” With hiney flu you’re just as sick, but you’re not impugning innocent hogs as contributing to your illness.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“This Alaska is a great country. If they can just keep from being taken over by the U. S. they got a great future. There may be some doubt about the Louisiana purchase being a mistake, but when Seward in 1868 bought Alaska for $7,000,000 he even made up for what we had overpaid the Indians for Manhattan Island.” DT #2815, Aug. 13, 1935 (one of the last columns by Will before his death Aug. 15.)


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