the gRumpcAst

Not for the mearly gloomy or the slightly crabby, the gRumpcAst is for the professional grumps. We feature rants, raves, dreams and some amazing music to provide a yang to the yin.

Archive for the 'insurance' Category

We need to be healthy to be competitive.

Public health nurse visiting a family during the first great US depression. US Government image from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

Orange

… is the color for National Security and has been since 911. There are any number of possible acts of terrorism that could cause a disaster that no individual, or groups of Insurance company could pay and we would be bailing them out again!

U.S. Business has to compete in a World Market where competing companies in both Canada and Mexico do not have to pay health care cost.

It makes no sense that if I hire a person to work for eight hours I have to cover their Insurance cost as well as their spouse and kids for 24 hours.

I thought I had a good policy with a good company but the fine print canceled my coverage. I complained to the Fl. Dept of Insurance and was told it was “Buyer Beware” on policies sold in Florida. Their job was the financial health of the companies that sell the policies.

We need a Public Health care plan that both protects the health of the American Public and not corporate profit, but also makes us economically competitive in the World Market.

Peter Broderson lives in North Florida and isn’t the least little bit grumpy.

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Florence Nightingale – Health Care Hero

With all the talk from the “I hate my government” tea bagging  anti-health care crowd, I figured it was time to take a break from politics and revisit some of the hero’s from the past who advanced the concept of public health.

German stamp with image of Florence Nightingale

From the German stamp series "helper of mankind VII", Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) - The first name was printed as Florentine by mistake

The other night, at a party, a friend asked if I knew the one thing that Florence Nightingale did that saved the most lives.  While I have dim memories of the “lady of the lamp” from my misspent youth, I mostly got to know her while teaching computer classes at the FSU College of Nursing.  To nurses, Nightengale is a hero.  She was a woman of wealth who grew up in Victorian England.  As a young woman, despite the wishes of her parents, she studied nursing and became a force for good in the world of health care.

Like many people, I thought that Nightingale was a sort of folk hero, caring for the sick and injured victims of the Crimean War.  To my nursing school colleagues, she was the founder of “professional” nursing.  Actually, her most significant contribution to  health care was her invention of a type of  pie chart.

It turns out that Florence Nightingale, in addition to being a nurse, was a statistician and a lobbyist.  Like many of today’s politicians, the English Parliament of her day were not always the brightest candles in the lamp.  In order to explain the statistics of disease, and to educate politicians on the importance of health care, she used a pie chart, a new technology invented in 1801.  Her testimony and advocacy resulted in some of the earliest public health legislation in the United Kingdom.

So as our ‘leaders’ decry the idea of universal health care, let’s stop and raise a glass to Florence Nightingale, an early adopter of using graphics to educate management and a hero who knew that being healthy is good for everybody.  Anyone who puts up a PowerPoint presentation owes her a debt.

Country Joe McDonald (another hero) built a beautiful web tribute to Florence Nightingale.  You can find it here.

Thanks to my friend Stephen who educated me on Florence Nightingale and so more.

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Socialized Banking vs. Socialized Health Care

Bond Community Health Care Center in Tallahassee

Bond Community Health Care Center in Tallahassee

Over the past few months, the financial system in the US has suffered a bit of a meltdown.  The politicans are all pointing fingers at each other, while riding to the rescue of ailing insurance companies, banks and brokerage houses to pay for their errors and, in some casese, criminal misconduct, with taxpayer dollars.

If you ask those same politicians about a national health care system, they are quick to call it “socialism” and “welfare” and say it’s not the American Way.  Apparently, with the current financial problems, those same politicans are not quite so opposed to socialism.

The case for universal health care in the United States.

Americans pay 40% more per capita on health care than any country in the world that has universal health care.  We’re far from the healthiest nation with a higher infant mortality rate and a lower expected life span than many other countires.

To me, this is the “sentinal” issue that I use in deciding who I vote for.  As you might guess, Barack Obama is going to get my vote.

The image in this posting is from the web site of the Bond Community Health Center, a group of local heros in Tallahassee, Florida who operate under a very limited budget and who provide health care to a limited number of local citizens.

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Death and taxes.

Alpha Omega Tax Service
Creative Commons Attribution Licensed image by rachaelvoorhes via flickr

When someone dies, there are taxes to be paid. The estate pays taxes and individuals who receive assets from the estate pay taxes too. There are ways to “minimize” taxes and the current bunch running things in Washington would like to eliminate what they call “death” taxes.

Actually, from where I sit, taxes are not an evil thing. I try to look at the other side of the equation; what I receive for what I pay. The closer I get to my home, in terms of governments, the better deal I get.

My county taxes provide fire and police protection, environmental management, trash disposal, and excellent schools. I don’t mind paying my county taxes at all. In my state, the state revenue comes mostly from our version of the V.A.T., the state sales tax. I’m a little less happy with how my state government spends money. They seem to waste a lot more of my tax money than the county does.

Don’t get me started about my federal income taxes and how they are spent. Geesh.

Then, along come this new “run the country like a business” and “cut taxes, downsize government” crowd. These guys really piss me off. They get their money from folks who make their money through their investments and pay a much much much smaller share of their earnings in taxes than working people do.

Of course, they’re not doing much cutting of federal taxes here in the U.S. Instead, they’re spending money that they don’t have and putting our great great great great grandchildren in debt. They’re spending on big defense projects that put a lot of money back in the pockets of the rich folks investment club. Meanwhile, the services to working people; the folks who get most of their money from their paychecks are being eliminated.

Don’t even start on health care. They used to fool us by pointing to long wait times for medical services in countries with single-payer government-run health systems. Now, with “managed” care, it’s not a bit different. What is different in the US is that a large number of hard working Americans don’t have any health coverage.

We spend way too much of our national health care budget on paying for useless insurance infrastructure, not to mention the obscene profits being made by the “investors” in the scheme who make more money by not providing services to insured sick people.

It’s disgusting.

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