Friday, January 31, 2014


A clever friend posted a video by some guy who explained in an entertaining manner that a hip replacement in Spain is so much cheaper than it is in America.  Here's the response I wanted to make:

A cool video link.  Informative.  But most American hip replacements would be covered by Medicare or private insurance and the patient would pay far less than $7,371, let alone $40,364.  We have had a Mervis Diamonds radio commercial out here for decades:  "Nobody pays retail any more.  Why should you?"   That's American healthcare. 

But I don't think it's really fair to compare between countries.  Quality might be different.  We go out of plan to choose our pediatric dentists and are amazed at the difference in how much insurance pays for a procedure and what we are charged.  But it is our choice. We choose quality over price.

Here's an author that discusses how his American private hospital hip replacement was probably better than a run-of-the mill operation done by an American doctor or a Canadian one would have been.

Total Government Spending Chart

Facebook postings and comments are great for inspiring thoughts and ideas.  When I saw someone posted that federal DISCRETIONARY spending shows 57% being spent on Defense, I thought that was an incomplete statistic. For a different, comprehensive perspective, this pie chart shows ALL spending - discretionary and mandatory - for Federal, State, Local governments.

Anyway, an argument could be made that the ONLY necessary federal spending is for Defense.  All other functions could be left to the states.
John B. Ramsey's photo.

Medical Billing

Steven Brill wrote an excellent piece in TIME last year which included some discussion of the "list prices" and real prices for various services and products. As with many issues, the problems are easier to identify than the solutions.,2,26,MedicalCostsDemandAndGreed.pdf
Brill- "thousands of nonprofit institutions have morphed into high-profit, high-profile businesses that have the best of both worlds." The article pointed out that "non-profit" MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas had an operating profit of "$531 million. That’s a profit margin of 26% on revenue of $2.05 billion, an astounding result for such a service-intensive enterprise."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Mitt" Netflx Movie Review

"Mitt" was good but I was hoping for a different ending. (ha ha) Romney demonstrated that he understood his strengths and weaknesses and was able to realistically assess his own performances. He appreciated the fact that he started life with great advantages due to his father's business and political success. I didn't see him surrounded by yes-men. He gave a great analysis in the middle of the movie that the basic flaw of the Obama Administration is that Obama's people have no clue what it is like to be in the business world because they are all lawyers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So much to say . . .

My daughter is noticing that I get into political "conversations" with friends on Facebook.  And she's concerned that the Facebook friend's family will not like her any more because of my political views.  I don't think she's right, but I have always felt uncomfortable using Facebook for political expressions.  My practice of late has been to merely comment on the political posts of others.  Little bugs me more than when someone posts a political view as though it were the last word and that no one of any intelligence could disagree.  I feel obligated to say something.  So, maybe I will try to just say it here.

It was two or three  four years ago that there was so much made about a Focus on the Family commercial starring Tim Tebow and his mom which gently supported the cause of the right to life.  We have so lost the social values battle in our mainstream media.  The one 30-second FOTF ad versus a mass gay wedding at the end of the Grammys last month.  As I almost posted to a Facebook comment: That mass "SLGBTQ wedding" had nothing to do with music and everything to do with politics. It reminded me of the Moonie mass weddings of the 80's.  (I guess they still have them!)  Weird.   Especially since this was a music show.  Next year, perhaps it  will be polygamous marriages hooking up legally?  Why not?  Those "sister wives" probably feel oppressed too.  

I choose to teach my children that marriage is between males and females.  Why shove that in our faces when you know that a large segment of the population feels strongly about that issue. Their goal is to marginalize opponents, shut them up and call them names. If you disagree, you will be ostracized.  It's a brutal industry your daughter has chosen that will try to chew up her values.  

 Not my quote, but I agree with it:  "It's clear what they were doing at the Grammys [Sunday] night -- and the same at the Academy Awards.  They make fun of the people in flyover country, which is the bulk of the audience. They laugh at them, or they purposely try to offend. They make fun of their own audience -- and they laugh all the way to the bank doing it."

Oh, and guess who's hosting the Academy Awards?  Ellen "Yep, I'm Gay" Degeneres.

And the Disney Channel (!) aired a kids show that same night that highlighted a gay couple.  No warning. No ratings modification.

Many of our Republican colleagues are buckling in the face of the media onslaught.  Consistency doesn't matter.  The fact that almost all of the Democrats had stated their opposition to gay marriage over the past 20 years doesn't matter.  No core values to guide them. Mere political opportunism.

The State of Virginia's Attorney General is refusing to defend the constitution of his own state in the Gay Marriage issue.  Somehow, for the nearly 225 years of the United States Constitution, states were committing violations by only permitting men and women to marry each other.  Isn't that something?  Isn't that infuriating?  Just make it all up after hundreds of years of precedent because it suits one's cause.