Singapore and surroundings (Photo credit: The Shifted Librarian)
Tonight on ABC World News, there was a short report on how difficult it is to find out in advance what a procedure will cost. Advocates of the current system frequently tell us to shop around. With insurance company restrictions and the unwillingness of hospitals to be forthcoming, comparison shopping is usually impossible. Tonight’s example was a routine appendectomy with a total cost of $50,000+. The insurer paid $30,000+ leaving the patient with a bill of approximately $23,000. When the surgery can be postponed for a few days or a few weeks, I would suggest considering medical tourism. That is flying first class to Thailand or Singapore or India where there are US standard medical facilities that charge a fraction of US prices. I have had expensive knee surgery and eye surgery here in the US and I was well insured as a hospital employee. I am still paying on old debts, and I would certainly consider medical tourism in the future.
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Tonight on ABC World News, the reporter did the usual when gas prices rise; go to a gas station with high prices for the area and interview drivers who are spending big bucks to fill their tanks. No mention whatsoever of the speculators who are presently responsible for rapidly rising prices. No mention either of declining demand for gas to the extent that gas is being exported because the US supplies are greater than demand. When oh when will the corporate media give us the information we need to demand better from our government regulators and our lawmakers. I advocate that we break apart the oil companies as Teddy Roosevelt did with Standard Oil 101 years ago. That would be my long term solution. In the short term, I would ban the export of refined gasoline, and I would regulate or tax or both speculation in petroleum.
Please see Strait of Hormuz | Strait of Hormuz part 3 | Strait of Hormuz part 2
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Last evening on ABC World News, George Stephanopoulos sitting in for Diane Sawyer, mis-spoke that our enemy Iran had captured a US spy drone. George W. Bush declared that Iran is a part of the Axis of Evil, but that did not make Iran our enemy. The Neocons in Washington and elsewhere want to start a war with Iran, but that would be a very bad idea which we cannot afford in any case. Please see my prior post If John McCain had won for my take on what would happen in a war with Iran.
George Stephanopoulos worked in the Bill Clinton White House and he was a principal spokesman defending Clinton against all the women who accused Bill of sexual misbehavior. If I had been in George’s shoes, I would have resigned rather than attack one woman after another. However, until you actually walk in someone else’s moccasins, you cannot judge. After he left the White House, George wrote a book, All Too Human, in which he told about being actually ill from stress. I do not recall if that was attributed to the Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky investigations.
I like George. I hope that he will be the permanent anchor when Diane Sawyer retires. He will need to be more careful in the future when he characterizes our foreign friends and foes.