Archive for September 20th, 2009

by Pete Talbot

I was relieved when I heard that Dustin Frost had come out of his coma. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know that Dustin was the most seriously injured in a boating accident earlier this month. Also injured in the crash were Rep. Denny Rehberg, another of Rehberg’s staff (besides Dustin), the boat’s driver (State Senator Greg Barkus) and Barkus’ wife.

Recovery from a head injury can be a long and arduous process. How does a family cover the costs? This, from the Montana Kaimin story:

… the creation of “Team Ginger” attire to raise money for the “Family and Friends of Dustin Frost Fund,” which will assist with medical expenses …

I’m not sure what the “Team Ginger” alludes to. Maybe someone can explain this in the comments. The “Team Ginger” refers to Dustin’s red hair. Apparently its usage comes from South Park television episodes. A “Team Ginger” logo is on merchandise available to the public at this website.

Here’s the irony — at least for me. Rehberg is fighting any meaningful health care reform tooth-and-nail. He likes things the way they are. And this status quo? It means you have to sell t-shirts, baseball caps and other paraphernalia to pay your medical bills.

Now I’m sure Rehberg’s most excellent, taxpayer-subsidized health care will cover the majority of the costs related to his injury. Regular folks, however, face financial ruin when suffering a serious injury or other health problems. Or I guess they can sell t-shirts to help make ends meet.

by jhwygirl

Lotsa links, and looks to be what appears a comprehensive summary of the current amendments.

This article, from the Washington Post, is quite lengthy, but it does a great job of trying to quantify the actual costs of health care – the costs that seem to be lost on many. It uses the Kaiser Foundation’s 2009 Employer Benefits Survey as its basis. Most people recognize the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation as a well-respected, non-partisan source for health insurance and health industry analysis.

The Kaiser Health News is a daily must-read for me, and I’ve had a link up over there under “Citizen’s Info” for quite some time.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has proposed a five-member Health Care Services Commission and an Office of the Forum for Quality and Effectiveness in Health Care (how’s that for panels, folks?), which would be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

What do you think is meant to happen when those panels and commissions come to the conclusion that certain things aren’t covered, or aren’t reimbursed enough?

Coburn’s proposal mirrors what happened in the House for HB3200 – Republicans offered up amendments at the speed of sound that added cost and expanded both coverage and oversight.

That’s what people call “making sausage.” Now the key is to keep track of what’s going in – and as one person I know recently noted – keep the pig’s ears and other undesirable parts (he used other words) out.

Of course – he was saying that they already went in to the Baucus bill and it’s hard to get ’em out….

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