Monday, April 26, 2010

Americans are going to countries with socialized medicine for treatment

Remember all those arguments about Canadians crossing the border to escape Canadian single payer health care and coming to the United States for medical procedures?

I debunked that in a post a couple of years ago called, The 'flood' is a trickle' in which we saw that statistics where available actually showed that the number of Canadians coming to the U.S. for voluntary medical prcedures was a vanishingly small number-- far fewer than the number who were forced to seek medical care in the U.S. because of accidents or other medical emergencies they experienced while visiting. The reason people who make that argument typically name names and tell individual stories is that this is the only way they can make the argument, because there are so few that you actually could name them.

What we see now though is that there is another foot for that shoe to be on. An article about an uninsured American man who was forced to go to Wales for medical care due to cost concerns and gets the same treatment at a far cheaper price there gives some statistics further down:

An estimated 878,000 Americans will travel internationally for a medical procedure this year, according to a report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. That number is expected to nearly double by 2012.

The majority of medical tourists are uninsured; however, the cost of health care in this country has become so expensive that even some U.S. health insurance companies are coordinating with hospitals overseas.

Luckily it probably won't rise anymore after 2012 because then the full force of the recently passed health bill will kick into effect.

But at least for now, it appears that far more Americans are seeking medical care in other countries than the reverse.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brewer to sign SB 1070

It appears that Jan Brewer has decided that it is more important to her to look good to the Republican primary electorate than to show the kind of leadership that fellow Republican Governor Charlie Crist showed last week when he vetoed a bill that was popular with his partisans because it was a bad bill.

The word is that Brewer will sign SB 1070, which makes it a crime to be an undocumented alien in Arizona and will force all local law enforcement agencies to profile and round up potential undocumented immigrants and force them to prove their citizenship.

This has of course already been going on for several years in Maricopa County (and in fact one of Brewer's opponents in the GOP primary is our good friend the Sheriff of Nottingham himself) and if what has happened there is any indication a lot of people in Arizona who happen to be Hispanic are in for a lot of trouble. Numerous Americans who happen to be Hispanic have been detained and in some cases taken to jail by Sheriff Joe's minions even though they are American citizens-- a clear case of racial profiling.

Arizona already has a reputation (well-deserved, I'm embarrassed to say) for being intolerant. One has to wonder what kind of long term damage this is likely to do to our state-- especially since tourism is supposed to be one of the few 'growth' industries in the state.

South Park insults Muhammad and gets death threats

I've never been a fan of the TV show South Park. In fact, even if I watched much television it would generally be a show I'd tune out.

Nevertheless I am now compelled to post the above South Park cartoon of the prophet Muhammad because the show's producers have been threatened with death for putting the cartoon on air.

Apparently the group called, "Revolution Muslim" is based in New York and made the threat to murder producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone and posted on its website the work addresses of both men in New York and California. The threat also included graphic pictures of the body of Dutch film artist Theo van Gogh, who was murdered after making a movie that Muslim leaders didn't like.

Apparently these Islamicists don't understand the American psyche. There have been very few who have been quicker to condemn violence or threats against muslims than I have. But that condemnation is just as much valid in condemning muslims who make these kinds of threats against others. Americans may fight like cats and dogs on everything else but if you issue a death threat (against anyone,) especially over an issue of free speech then as Americans we all stand together.

Monday, April 19, 2010

We can't afford any more GOP control in Arizona

Sometimes when I tell people what a weird, wicked place Arizona has become courtesy of our GOP legislative leadership they have trouble believing it.

Sure everyone in the country knows about Sheriff Joe and his pink underwear, but that's about the extent of what is common knowlege.

But with the new bill that has now been passed it's likely to put more of a focus on undocumented workers. The bill will require local law enforcement to begin investigating, arresting and locking up people who have no proof of citizenship. Of course there is no money forthcoming from the legislature to pay for it (of course local law enforcement has been cut to the bone and beyond just like every other state agency or department,) just the unfunded mandate coming down from Phoenix.

Only in the Arizona GOP is a guy like Buzz Mills, a developer who is spending millions of dollars on the race and promising to revoke all state taxes (That's right, he is pledging 'no tax' and to put the state government, including schools and other agencies effectively out of business) a serious candidate for Governor.

This is a state where the birther bill stands a decent chance of passing the legislature. This bill would not allow a Presidential candidate onto the ballot in Arizona unless (s)he has produced a valid birth certificate showing that (s)he is eligible to serve in that office.

In fact, only a minority of Arizona voters agree with this kind of stuff. But they form a majority bloc in the Republican party, and the Republican party has controlled the legislature for four decades. So not surprisingly we have the results of dogmatic governance, including the biggest by percentage hole in the state government in the country despite ranking below most other states in both per capita spending and taxation rates (courtesy of the Symington-Brewer tax cuts of the mid 1990's combined with a law pushed by the right and passed by the voters in 1992 that makes it virtually impossible to ever raise taxes back again if you find you've cut them too far.

There is an easy solution to that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Health reform is a BFD.

Unless they call me back to be a courier my work with the census is now done.

So let's make up for some lost time.


Republicans are still trying to score political points courtesy of their scare tactics and lies (which I alluded to in my previous post, actually written when I shouldn't have, but it was hard to not make the point.) But as the plan starts to kick in, Americans will see for themselves that the dire changes that were predicted don't happen. Then those who claim there will be death panels and socialized medicine will pay at the ballot box.
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