S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Health care-a personal perspective

from my perspective is an every day thing. I am on Medicare, I go to more than one doctor, I am retired and aging. This would not be my choice of focus, but the passage of time has had its inevitable bodily consequences.
It is enough to say that what government does indirectly affects my health, as it affects every one of us. To one degree or another, our health needs are well- or poorly-served by our leaders' decisions.
Here are two current issues on the health care horizon.

Health care program budget cuts* threaten Medicare and Medicaid (see *Reference below). None of these cuts affect me or anyone I know. But those affected will feel the difference. To quote from this WaPo article,

President Bush has requested billions more to prepare for potential disasters such as a biological attack or an influenza epidemic, but his proposed budget for next year would zero out popular health projects that supporters say target more mundane, but more certain, killers. If enacted, the 2007 budget would eliminate federal programs that support inner-city Indian health clinics, defibrillators in rural areas, an educational campaign about Alzheimer's disease, centers for traumatic brain injuries, and a nationwide registry for Lou Gehrig's disease. It would cut close to $1 billion in health care grants to states and would kill the entire budget of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center. . . .
In a $2.8 trillion budget, the amounts involved may seem minuscule, but proponents argue that the health care projects Bush has singled out are the "ultimate homeland security," as Vinay Nadkarni put it. The spokesman for the American Heart Association said he cannot fathom why the administration has recommended eliminating a $1.5 million program that provides defibrillators to rural communities and trains local personnel on how to use the machines to restart hearts that go into cardiac arrest.
Bird flu continues to spread moving westward and southward to Europe and Africa, according to this Yahoo News story. Again this does not directly affect me, but it may in years to come. And how well the U.S. government attends to the possiblility of a world-wide pandemic affects all of us. To quote,
Experts said it was only a matter of time before bird flu erupted in Europe, the
word's biggest poultry producer after Brazil and the United States.
"We have absolutely no control over the introduction of the virus by migratory birds that are about to start returning from Africa to Siberia, Scandinavia and Greenland.
It is unavoidable," French food safety agency panelist Jean Hars told AFP.
"Six months ago, we alerted the international community to the risk of bird flu reaching Africa," said Food and Agriculture official Samuel Jutzi in Rome. "Now we have to say that there is a risk for Europe in the spring."
My health depends on my lifestyle decisions, as well as what medicine can do for me. Stress management and exercise will help my blood pressure. A healthy diet will help high cholesterol. My mental health depends to an extent on venting my frustrations, anxiety and complaints.
See there, I feel better already!


  1. Happy News linked to several good Valentine's Day "Health Tips."
  2. Reuters carried this excellent *fact sheet on the health care changes in the above budget proposal.
(This post was edited)

No comments: