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March 5th, 2007
10:29 pm
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Any excuse to use the AHCIPOS tag
Today was the big day: A visit to the gastroenterologist for a follow-up on the intestinal woes.

It was yet another quintessential health care experience for me. Which is to say, nothing really got accomplished other than a little hand-holding, a little draining of my pocketbook, and an extended argument with billing personnel over insurance. (In this case, since I was stupid and let them xerox my insurance card, they're refusing to let me settle the bill at the 40% cheaper self-pay rate. Sigh.)

I really hate to lead off my doctor report with the bad news, because the good news is tremendous: I'm feeling better. Last weekend's relapse cleared back up after a day or two, and I've been holding my breath on it all this time, trying not to jinx it ... but I'm feeling better.

Yesterday, for the first time since January, I ate something rich and quasi-spicy without freaking out about the gut consequences -- in this case, fettucine curry alfredo. Said gut consequences don't seem to have materialized, and I feel tentatively like I can lift my month-long dietary restrictions again. The doctor listened to my symptom history and told me there's no point to a colonoscopy as long as the general trend is toward Better. And it is -- I graphed it out while I was sitting in the exam room waiting for him, and it's been one big roller coaster but each high has gotten higher and each low has gotten less vile. So I'll continue taking the probiotic for a week or two, and chalk this one up as another painful and unnecessary lesson about unfettered capitalism.

Speaking of which, this has been a big week on the blog front. In a previous post, I said I didn't have the energy to round up all the political arguments on American health care; but I picked up a full handful just in today's web trawling, so here's some troubling and powerful reading for your (and my) later reference:

* http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com/2007/03/its-time-to-take-health-insurance-out.html
The middle class -- not just the poor -- are being increasingly hit by the nation's lack of health insurance; and people who have ever had an expensive condition are pretty much screwed no matter how comfortable they are. Also includes some useful statistics, such as the median U.S. household income being about $46,000. In 2005 kadyg and I were in the top half of American income-earners ... and look at how much good it's done us. (In 2006, what with the hike and her job shuffle, not so much.)

* The Walter Reed Medical Center scandal has been hitting the headlines, and has been getting some thought-provoking coverage across the spectrum. Worth pointing out is http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=7945, which examines how an obsessive drive toward privatization contributed to the hospital's woes. Kevin Drum chips in a complementary post to remind us that the VA is still an excellent system, in large part because of its government nature.

* The most arresting health care story in the news, though, has been Deamonte Driver's death from not getting $80 removal of an abcessed tooth. bradhicks has been all over this, and is highly worth reading. Another one that LJ'ers might miss is over at Orcinus, where a Canadian examines how that case would have been handled north of the border. Very educational if you haven't heard much about our neighbor's system beyond the right wing's old "socialized medicine" and "long waiting lines" canards.

Also, many good wishes and positive energy to gridlore and company, who do have insurance but are going through significantly more dire medical circumstances than I.

Current Location: ~calorg
Current Music: Internet 70s radio, "Lay Down Sally"
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From:baxil
Date:March 6th, 2007 09:47 am (UTC)
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And statistics showing cost versus benefits for the U.S. and about 20 other nations:
http://kriswager.blogspot.com/2007/03/is-universal-health-care-affordable-in.html
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From:roaminrob
Date:March 7th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
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...Because I love rubbing salt into a wound:

A comparative map of military expenditures by country. You'll never guess who the biggest spender is.
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From:baxil
Date:March 7th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
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Without even looking, I can tell you that one. The only thing I didn't remember offhand was whether we outspent the rest of the world combined.

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2067rank.html has the hard numbers, but I'd have to do the addition to confirm whether we're >50% or not.
From:premchai21
Date:March 7th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
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Looks like 48%: 518_100_000_000 USD versus 559_031_489_729 USD for the rest of the listed countries combined. However, "Countries for which no information is available are not included in this list," so.

From:premchai21
Date:March 7th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
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Also note the amount of variance in the dates.

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From:ounceofreason
Date:March 6th, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)

Timely Pandagon article

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From:taral
Date:March 6th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
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AHCIPOS?
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From:baxil
Date:March 6th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
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From:lhexa
Date:March 7th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)
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Hehheh, yeah, considering your recent topics it didn't take me long to figure out that acronym.
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From:baxil
Date:April 10th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
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Closing comments on this post due to a recent influx of comment spam. My apologies.
(Screened comment)
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From:baxil
Date:August 5th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)

Re: Нужен совет знатоков

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For the record, I got a spam comment here in Russian. Google Translate renders it as follows:

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Greetings to all!
I have a question, who tell interesting that I should be grateful.
We are going with friends to go to cruise on spaces Russia and CIS for two months at their cars, but not as unable to agree on the route, if one has already been the experience of such travel, can that posovetuete.Devchonok not take with them, think that all the cities of Russia this will not be problems if one will be recommendations and the issue of rest with girls, too, should be grateful.

Sincerely Senchik
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... I have absolutely NO IDEA.
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