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.
I have been thinking about Chicago recently for two reasons; the Daley dynasty is ending and my son has been offered a job there on the near Northside. The Daley’s, father and son, reigned in Chicago for most of my life; an era is ending. Chicago is known as “the city that works.” The Daley’s got things done. Business leaders liked that even though democracy suffered. The other modern city with a similar reputation is Singapore, another city-state with one person rule. Businessmen and women like Singapore because it is clean and orderly. Democracy can be messy and it is the citizens of Singapore who give up some of their rights, not the business people who fly in and out to make deals and money. Chicago resembles Singapore; at least it did when I was a resident of Chicago. My knowledge of Singapore is limited to what I have read.
In the 2008 election, we heard much about how bad Chicago politics and politicians were and that was applied to Barack Obama. I am sure that we will hear the same things and more said again in the 2012 election. Guilt by association. When I lived in the Republican suburbs around Chicago, it was said that the dead voted in Chicago and the living voted more than once. Some of that was probably true. I don’t think that business leaders in Chicago care that Chicago is a one party city; they care only that Chicago caters to business. Republicans complain about the woeful state of democracy in the city, bemoaning the fact that it has been a one party city for so long. I believe that what sparks their indignation more is not that it is a one party city as much as the fact that it is a Democratic administration, not a Republican one.