I was glad to see that former Gov. Sarah Palin was forced to choke on her own words thanks to a major blast of reality from folks like my blogging friend Southern Beale.
Palin's idiotic "government death panels" are fantasy, but the reality is insurance companies DO have them, as Beale experienced first-hand. Her blog post has been rocketing around the internet:
"I’ve been part of a death panel conversation. I know about death panels.
You have no idea what it’s like to be called into a sterile conference room with a hospital administrator you’ve never met before and be told that your mother’s insurance policy will only pay for 30 days in ICU. You can't imagine what it's like to be advised that you need to “make some decisions,” like whether your mother should be released “HTD” which is hospital parlance for “home to die,” or if you want to pay out of pocket to keep her in the ICU another week. And when you ask how much that would cost you are given a number so impossibly large that you realize there really are no decisions to make. The decision has been made for you. "Living will" or no, it doesn't matter. The bank account and the insurance policy have trumped any legal document.
If this isn’t a “death panel” I don’t know what is.
So don’t talk to me about “death panels” you heartless, cruel, greedy sons of bitches, who are only too happy to keep the profits rolling in to the big insurance companies while you spout your mealy-mouthed bumper sticker slogans about the evils of socialism. You don't even know what socialism is. You don't know what government healthcare is."
Other tales of of the way our current insurance systems operate (or fail to provide for operations perhaps) are in Salon today.
At KnoxViews, TN Senator Lamar Alexander says no reform bill currently being debated is worthwhile. Certainly, what is being termed "debate" has no value.
At MetaFilter, their readers comment on the way wild rumors are getting credibility thanks to enablers from the lunatics and protectors of big insurance companies with some humor:
"Two recent concerns appear to have been omitted:
(1) "Obama's gonna EAT mah BABY!!1"
(2) "Keep the government out of my Medicare!"
"I'm convinced Americans have gradually been duped into becoming the best consumers in the world: a whole nation full of dyed-in-the-wool suckers whose biggest blind-spot is thinking ourselves savvier than everyone else.
So we gladly pay for food packed with cheap fillers (practices like injecting water into meat products to weigh them down that might have gotten a butcher's hand chopped off in a medieval marketplace are routine in ours). And by default, the beverages in restaurants and bars come with more ice than beverage in them. And our health insurance policies feature high deductibles and so many exclusions they don't even cover things as fundamental to human health and continued existence as childbirth. Hell, after Katrina, how many people in the affected regions were astonished to learn that their catastrophic hurricane insurance included a flooding exclusion that allowed insurers to get out of paying claims if they could demonstrate virtually any degree of water damage (even if the damage was due to rain coupled with wind damage, not flooding)?
And yet, we always remain convinced that the choices we have as consumers are better than the equivalent choices available to consumers in any other part of the world. My first extended stay in Germany, seeing first hand that my mom and my sisters, even living near the bottom of the economic ladder as they did, ate better food and enjoyed a better quality of life and higher standard of health care than virtually any American I knew--man, that was something.