Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lewie's latest...

You all read this, the latest by Lewis Diuguid in the Sunday Kansas City Star--or on line?  I'll link to it, and you should read it, because it is a truly breathtaking piece.  Here is the link to "The very wealthy are driven by a silent addiction for more." 
What do you guys think?  I found it a racially and economically charged piece, designed to divide and induce guilt, that is what I think.
Words fail me. Maybe when I am not trying to hurry I can take this failure apart more thoroughly.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"50 Million Uninsured"

I recently engaged in a discussion about this claim that 50 million people in the United States do not have health insurance.  It wasn't so much about how true this worn out bumper sticker of a political saying is, but its validity and helpfulness in the debate about the health care system in the United States.  As most bumper stickers do, it overly simplifies the situation and raises up strong feelings in people who see it.
The implication becomes that 50 million people are dying in the streets for lack of medical attention.  This is not true, as there is a law that requires health care institutions to treat people with life threatening conditions.  Now, of course, this does not mean that those people working under that situation get terrific medical care, but they are not dying in the street.  Further, the law is an unfunded mandate, leaving health care providers giving care without hope of full compensation.
Some choose not to carry insurance for whatever reason.  Some are just willing to toss the dice.  Some do not trust the medical system, so they just stay away.  Some are wealthy enough that they can, for all practical purposes, self insure, with a special health savings account.
Some have insurance, but with absurdly high deductibles, that cover almost no preventative care.  $5000 is a hard number to reach without a hospital stay.  How "insured" are those folks?  So you see, this statement about how many uninsured there are only serves to inflame the passions of the "sides"--something that is completely unhelpful in formulating a solution to the problem of the dysfunctional health care system.
Yes, the system is still a problem.  The awkward, overly complicated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the spring of 2010 is not the answer.  Despite its 2000 page bulk, it is not complete due to the compromises it contains.  It does not address tort reform.  It really doesn't aggressively demand an accounting of the charges that health care providers put on their bills.  It is an uncomfortable amalgamation of public stick and private sector for profit service.  It is the first program that required participation and a payment--thus the Supreme Court's tortured ruling that it is a tax.
Employment and the middle east have emerged as the issues driving the presidential campaign thus far and health care reform has been shoved aside.  After the election, when the dust has mostly settled, the nation and the occupant of the White House will wake up and realize that this legislation has been implemented in its many pieces.  What will that mean to our nation and our nation's finances then?
Talking in bumper stickers does not help us now, and it will not help us then.  So let's drop the cliches.  All they do is engage feelings, not thinking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The first time twin towers of light were used to memorialize the losses of September 11, 2001 was six months after the attack.  The site was still a pit of loss and destruction.  The simplicity of the simple beams of light and the way they reach up to the sky; it is my favorite of all memorials I have seen over the years.

Never forget.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

State of the Blog Report

It has probably been over a month since I posted here and longer on some of my other blogs. The third anniversary of this blog passed without me taking note of it. I gave some thought to shutting down this blog and my others too.
Part of the lack of posts was a lack of time discipline with regard to a decreased amount of time to blog. Another part of the lack of posts was being discouraged about the state of our city, our world, the election and the rest of the mess.
Well my free time situation has changed-- an unfortunate thing since it involved a change in my employment status. Further, while still discouraged, I am beginning to think that my moderate voice does have a place in this mess. The left and right talk to themselves becoming a giant echo chamber that becomes louder and louder and more and more distorted to those of us standing outside. When they talk outside their group, it is to yell at the other, degrading the opposing view, working up spin and volume rather then logical arguments and debate.
So where does that leave the South Kansas City Observer? I can't see my self posting quite as frequently as I did. But I don't think I'm ready to shut it down just yet.  Especially during a presidential election year.  I mean, really, no blogging during this fall campaign?  (Even if it is to say that neither candidate rocks my world in any sort of way...)
So you all are stuck with me.