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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jarey on Healthcare Reforms and Ambulence Chasers

Jarey points out that part of the problem with the proposed Healthcare Reforms is the industry of litigation that has developed around around medical care in the US.

Most Americans believe that the US has one of the best health care systems in the world. They want to improve the current system without reducing the quality of care for all Americans. And they know that enacting tort reform is a first step. Research has shown that tort lawsuits (A tort is a legal wrong; negligence, intentional interference and other wrongful acts) cost the doctors and the insurance industry over $65 Billion each year. (Jay Leno said that when the word 'tort' is mentioned, most people think you're talking about a French pastry! Wink )

This does not take into account the extra proceedures doctors order just to cover their legal backsides each year, which also run into the billions of dollars. In addition, doctors are abandoning certain specialties (i.e. OB/GYN) due to the high cost of insurance to protect them from lawsuits. In Texas, prior to Gov. Bush's tort reform laws, physicians in the OB/Gyn field left the field altogether. One OB/GYN physician said she was paying over $250,000 per year in premiums. After the tort reform was passed in Texas, many went back to the profession. A recent poll showed that 40-50% of physicians say they would consider leaving their practices if ObamaCare is enacted.

Arrow Tort lawyers, often called 'ambulance chasers', receive from 30 to 40% of the settlements in cases of medical 'malpractice' suits. Doctors and insurance companies pay billions of dollars annually to defend themselves against malpractice suits. The current system rightly allows patients to sue for money lost or additional costs incurred because of malpractice. But it is the unlimited damages for “pain and suffering” that allow trial lawyers to abuse the system. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, 40 percent of medical malpractice suits filed in the U.S. are “without merit.”

Despite the frivolous nature of many of these suits, juries often award hundreds of millions of dollars to plaintiffs — and their trial lawyers. There is no way to predict these costs, so every doctor must purchase malpractice insurance at great expense to protect against frivolous lawsuits. A Department of Health and Human Services study found that unlimited excessive damages add $70 Billion to $126 Billion annually to health care costs.

Doctors are so concerned about frivolous lawsuits that they order unnecessary — and expensive — tests and procedures that are of no benefit to the patient. The costs of litigation and defensive medicine are then passed off to the patient in the price of health care.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Muslims who Fought the Nazis

This is part of Alejandro's larger post about relationships between Christians, Muslims & Jews in different times and places. See the full post here.

Some Islamophobes and critics of Islam have pointed out that during World War II, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was one of Hitler's Top supporters and there were 2 Nazi Waffen-SS divisions that were Bosnian Muslim.

However these critics fail to point out that most of the Nazi military units of the time were mostly Christian - Roman Catholic and Lutheran. There was even a Nazi Waffen-SS Hindu division known as Azad Hind.

Now get ready for some heroic examples of Muslims during World War II:

When France fell in 1940, the Republic of Turkey recalled it's Turkish citizens, knowing very well that 80% of it's Turkish citizenry in France was Jewish.

When Hitler asked King Mohammad V of Morocco to turn over it's Jewry,his reply was, "There are no Jews here,we are all Moroccans!", knowing full well that there were plenty of Jews in Morocco who to this day have coexisted peacefully with their Muslim countrymen.

When Albania was invaded, the Albanians hid their Jewish countrymen and made them pass for Albanian Muslims, and many managed to escape to Turkey which welcomed them all with the help of their fellow Muslim Albanian countrymen.

Also, Nazi General Rommel was defeated and repelled at El Alamein by General Montgomery and his British Muslim Egyptian Army.

So Christians and Muslims fought on both sides of the conflict. We Anglicans were with the Allies, since we're really the Church of England!Smile
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mother Rectoress weighs in on whether polygamy should be a crime?

This post responds to a speech given by Keysar Trad at the 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas' where he suggested that it's time polygamy was decriminalised. The essence of his argument was that while affairs are common to most marriages, at least in a polygamous relationship the 'other woman' can be given some dignity and rights.

I think admitting there is an issue is crucial and for this reason I support the debate because with the current system of marriage, society is selling the dream of finding one's soulmate and living the fulfilled ever after dream. Women buy that more readily than men (men encourage it in the early stages). Hence the huge disappoinment and personal hurt felt when it is realised that what they together had was not unique, just good timing.

Lies and deceit are the issue here and yes openly polygamus relationships can help with that but I wonder if even these relationships are enough. We are uncomfortable with ourselves and the known and crave to be unknown again. A bit like the apple in the garden of Eden perhaps.

I believe it is the adrenalin of the chase of the new and unknown, where we can make believe we are what our new love interest believes us to be that is fundamental to the high rate of affairs. We need to avoid who we know ourselves to be for a time. It is our desire to escape self that needs to be addressed. Our partner knows us too well. It is the need for the discovery and the revealing of a new mystery that appeals I think. Perhaps more needed is finding the right tension between the known and unknown in our relationships could help.

Therefore I see polygamy as only solving part of the problem. To move towards that we would need a huge shift in how our whole society works. This has taken generations where polygamy is lawful. I leave out the religious sects that justify is it as God's will here.
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Narjoy asks what the problem is with Obama's Health Care reforms?

I am by no means an expert on American politics, and I freely and cheerfully admit that I probably don't understand much of the major issues here.

I do know one thing though. We have had universal health care (Medicare) in Australia for as long as I can remember, and it is fantastic. I can only surmise that the American people are opposed to this wonderful initiative because they don't understand how it works.

For too long, our American cousins have actually had to PAY to visit their local GP for their coughs and colds. My mother recently passed away from ovarian cancer, and received the very best in palliative care in one of our leading palliative care hospices ON MEDICARE, making it so much easier on my father, as he was able to concentrate on what was important........caring for my mother. We as a family will be forever grateful for Medicare.

Perhaps someone would care to outline their opposition to universal health care.