1st Wicked Garden Dinner

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The fresh squash I picked 5 minutes before cooking is stewed (not my favorite, but BuelahLady’s Mom is in the hospital and asked for it… I like it fried).

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But never fear, I did have some fresh green tomato to fry up.

(If you never tried ‘em, you should. Cut thin and covered in cornmeal… Ummm Mmmm)

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The green beans are frozen from last year (but delish, nonetheless). Got my own planted this year…

(Lest I forget all seasoned with an onion pulled up today and a piece of fatback)

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Some grilled pork chops and grilled Texas Toast

And you have a nice, cheap, redneck-country dinner for 3/4 (3, if you are a lard-ass like me). I also have the satisfaction of knowing I grew things my family and I consume*

(*My best cabbage was attacked by a dog’s turd one day. The next day he pissed on it)

Examining the Single Payer Health Care Option

Rep. Andrews Opening Statement

Rep. Rob Andrews, chair of the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee, delivers his opening statement at a hearing examining the Single Payer Health Care Option on June 10, 2009

Rep. Conyers Testimony

Rep. John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) testifies at a hearing examining the Single Payer Health Care Option on June 10, 2009.

Geri Jenkins Testimony

Ms. Jenkins testifies at a hearing examining the Single Payer Health Care Option on June 10, 2009.

Walter Tsou Testimony

Dr. Tsou testifies at a hearing examining the Single Payer Health Care Option on June 10, 2009.

Marcia Angell Testimony

Dr. Angell testifies at a hearing examining the Single Payer Health Care Option on June 10, 2009.

B’Man’s Patriot Watch: Dennis Kucinich (The POTUS That Got Away)

Dammit. We missed having this guy for POTUS because you numbnuts are too stupid to realize that the rest of them are screwing you with a big nasty grin and you seem to enjoy it. What a miserable bunch of idiots I live among.

You squandered away the best chance we had.

Kucinich on Supplemental: “Cash for Clunkers and Bunkers”

Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Washington, June 9, 2009

Congressman Dennis Kucinich D-OH today made the following statement against the war supplemental on the House floor:

“It is good that our Administration is reaching out to the Muslim world. It is bad to spend another $100 billion to keep wars going which will kill innocent Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“It is good that we try to create an incentive for people to buy efficient cars. It is bad that the car vouchers will not be expressly for the purchase of cars made in America. It is even worse that we tie such an incentive to a war funding bill. Cash for clunkers and bunkers in the same bill!

“Cash for more war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  Cash to help China sell its cars to Americans.

“Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A., factories and auto dealers are closing, people are losing their businesses, their jobs, their homes, their health care, their investments, their retirement security.

“Who are these people who keep coming up with these innovative ideas to keep wars going and to move jobs out of America?  Who are these people?”

h/t Dandelion Salad

America’s Health Insurance: Care Is Not The Goal— Profit Is

THOUGHTS ON SINGLE PAYER HEALTH INSURANCE

Richard Scheerer – Early in my work history, the manager of our personnel department came to me with a moral, ethical, and legal dilemma he was facing. Once a month, the president of the company directed this manager to provide him with a copy of the group medical claim report prepared by our plan administrator. From this report, the president could determine which employees or dependents had medical expenses and the severity of the condition involved. If the conditions had the potential of reoccurring costs, the president would indicate his dissatisfaction to the employee’s superior leading to the employee being terminated or better yet, being forced to resign without unemployment benefits. Even valued employees or company officers did not escape; they would be slowly stripped of responsibilities and would never again qualify for a raise or promotion. What makes this situation so reprehensible and eye opening is that this was an insurance company that sold personal health insurance policies.

This is no longer an isolated situation as employers today continue to eliminate employees for medical reasons to reduce health care costs. The “downsizing” craze of a few years ago was a way to get rid of older long term employees and the higher expenses associated with them – salaries, longer vacations, higher health care costs, higher pension contributions, etc.

I have spent most of my career as an officer of various insurance companies and finished my career as a reinsurance intermediary. My insurance colleagues may look disdainfully upon this writing, but I strongly believe that private health insurance can not, and will not, result in the greater good for our society. I have watched the health insurance industry completely change. At one time, probably 30% of all life insurance companies and a number of casualty companies sold medical insurance. Today we are down to a handful that sell individual medical plans; probably no more that five to ten in any one state including a few national marketers.

The employer group insurance choices are not much better. Although there are a limited number of insurance companies offering group health insurance plans, there are a number of insurance companies and non-insurance administrators that provide claim services for employer self-insurance plans. Self-insured plans have become the trend in recent years as another way to control costs. Even these plans need reinsurance for excess and catastrophic losses, but here again we are down to only a few reinsurers willing to offer such coverage. Have one or two large claims and lose a reinsurer, and your plan is in real trouble.

The real problem with our system of reliance on private insurance, whether individual, group or for that matter employer self-insurance plans, is that no plan wants to pay claims. The primary goal of any private company operating under our capitalistic system is to generate as much profit as possible; as a result, the structure of our private health insurance system operates against good public health policy. Care is not the goal; profit is. The welfare our society is not considered. Greatest profit occurs by charging high premium and eliminating or restricting claims. Underwriting, pre-existing condition clauses and terminations are used to eliminate potential claims by assuring only the healthiest receive coverage. With high deductibles, coinsurance percentages, pre-certification, coverage restricted to certain providers, most plans are designed to reduce claims costs to the insurer and transfer these costs directly to the insured. Additionally, it is becoming common for plans to limit one’s choice of providers and to limit treatment by requiring the provider have prior approval.

We spend 15% of our gross national product, basically twice that of most other developed countries, to insure 80-85% of our population. Are we getting twice the benefit? The answer appears to be no, as we have higher infant mortality, lower life expectancy, 50 million uninsured, and many more underinsured – the latter being the number one cause of bankruptcy. Since our system is not universal and public based, we are probably in the worst position of all developed countries to handle a epidemic or pandemic. Our employers are at a competitive disadvantage due to health care costs.

There are two insurance programs that are directly related to health care that also need discussion. First, almost all medical plans, group or individual, eliminate coverage for occupational accident and sickness. Employers are generally required to carry or furnish occupational sickness and accident coverage under mandatory worker’s compensation laws. The cost of mandated workers compensation alone exceeded the wages in many third world companies; a reason in itself for outsourcing.

The second insurance program not being discussed is medical payment coverage under automobile insurance policies. This should not be confused with liability coverage. Medical coverage is immediate and does not require the assessment of liability. This is duplication of costs, but not a duplication of benefits. Injuries can be collected on only one policy.

There is only one true reform that addresses all – universal single payer health. Anything other than universal single payer will simply be a costly government band-aid to continue a broken system that is destined to fail. A universal single payer system will cover everyone. It could eliminate the need and costs of medical coverage under worker’s compensation, and reduce auto insurance premiums by eliminating redundant medical coverage. Universal single payer health care is not a question of additional cost, but a reallocation of that which we already spend.

Richard Scheerer is President Intermediaries Plus

Article found in Excerpts From Reader Comments at UNDERNEWS

Reason

Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.

Martin Luther