Saturday, February 21, 2009

Community Lenten Luncheons

Community Lenten Luncheons sponsored by the Coffeyville Ministerial Alliance will begin on March 4, 2009. Food Service will begin at 11:30 am and a short devotional service will follow. Schedules for preaching and food service appear below. The First Baptist Church at 9th and Elm will be hosting this year.

Ben Nguyen — March 4, 2009
Gary Stevens — March 11, 2009
Diane Massey — March 18, 2009
Nathan Smith — March 25, 2009
Steve Griffith — April 1, 2009

Grace Fellowship — March 4, 2009
First Baptist — March 11, 2009
First Presbyterian — March 18, 2009
First Christian — March 25, 2009
First United Methodist — April 1, 2009

Painting in the Bathroom

Last evening I went to Sherwin Williams and bought paint for the bathroom woodwork. I will re-paint it sometime today. After I did the kitchen woodwork, the bathroom woodwork looked shabby. I couldn't find any of the original paint so I chose a different but similar color and will paint over it all.

Whoever owned this house before we bought it began painting the natural woodwork. It had been stained dark oak. The trouble is, they only painted part of it. None of the bedroom woodwork in painted or the half bath either. Eventually, I will paint all of it. The natural woodwork is kind of beat up looking. If I had my choice I would leave it all natural but after half of it had been painted, I just re-painted. The original is very dark. Painting does lighten it up and make it clean looking.

I don't like dark wood. The cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are dark oak and there nothing I can do about that. It makes the kitchen dark. There is only one window in the kitchen and it looks out onto the covered patio. That makes the kitchen dark. The living room is dark too because it too only has one window. Since the front is brick, there was no way to make another window in there without re-making the house.

This house is a compromise, that's for sure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lunch With Leslie

We went to Independence this morning and took our daughter, Leslie, to lunch. We went to a Chinese restaurant, Great China, and it was pretty good. Afterward, we went to visit Ivan Miller, who is living in a nursing home. Has doing well but is so thin and so weak (at 88) that he must live there with supervision.

This afternoon, I want to get some beige colored paint and do the bathroom trim and door.

This morning I did three loads of laundry and changed the bed and washed the towels. Just the same old routine.

I paid a bill online. Also, I stopped at the bank this afternoon and spoke to them about a finance charge they put on the allotment Scott sends to me. I had them remove the $12. charge and then link the account to my Advantage account. That way there will be no service charges.

Something all the time!!

I think we will have just a hamburger for dinner. We had such a big lunch.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

America's Political Busybodyness

I received a letter from Senator Brownback this week explaining why he voted against the stimulus package.

I answered him like this:

Dear Senator Brownback:

I see your point about the stimulus package but do you have a better plan? We cannot just sit and do nothing. I understand that the Roosevelt plan was not what dug us out of the depression. But it certainly helped. It provided work so men could feed their families.

My grandfather lost his job in 1929 and mowed yards and shoveled snow all during the depression while he searched for work. Finally, he did some CCC work and some WPA work to feed his family of six. My grandmother cleaned houses for the rich here (who didn't even feel the effects of the depression) and did their laundry and sewed for them. My mother dropped out of school in her junior year of high school and went to work as a collection agent...great work, I am sure. The other three children stayed in school. It was World War II that finally got the economy working again. Well, I certainly do not want another war with Iran or North Korea to dig us out of this one. My sons have both been deployed in this war, one of them three times, and their lives have been in shambles ever since.

And, we cannot afford the war we are involved in now. Not only have we wasted billions there but it has cost families lives and grief. This is a clash of cultures caused by our unconditional support of Israel. We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stay out of the political business of other countries. We would have an absolute fit if they interfered in ours.

We need to always put the shoe on the other foot before we act in another's political business and consider the consequences of our actions if we were the ones on the other foot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Busyness

Today I go to Independence and have my hair done at 8:15 then I have a meeting at 11:00 at Quinn Chapel to help plan the Palm Sunday service for the IMA.

After that, I will go out to Leslie's and take some photos of the house progress. This photo shows the back splash in the kitchen. The top one is the back of the house where they are laying brick on the fireplace wall.

Bob will stay home and work on his shed door. He won't be able to put it up until I get home in the afternoon.

When I got up to put Slinky out at 5:00, I had to admire the looks of the kitchen woodwork and back door. It looks so much better. My next project is to paint the woodwork in the bathroom. It too is scratched up thanks to Missy Kitty. She digs under the door to get me to open the door and let her in when I am making up my face. I probably not be able to keep it looking nice since she will continue to do that.

Cats and dogs. They can be such a problem as well as a joy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wild Day

This has been a wild day. I spent a couple of hours with my sister this morning while my brother-in-law went to eat breakfast with some of his friends. Poor guy! He's got to get away some time. I enjoyed the visit with my sister. She seems to be doing a little better. But she's still not getting on her feet except to go to the bathroom. She says it hurts. Of course, it's going to hurt. Everyone who has broken a hip says that. But you have to do it or the healing will never be complete. She will not walk again if she doesn't make the effort. The danger of blood clots remains as long as she sits most of the day.

When I got home I began working on the symposium business again. I stopped after lunch and painted the woodwork in the kitchen and the back door. It looks so much better now!

Then I went back to work on trying to recruit moderators for the symposium. I got four right away and three rejections. But I'll continue sending out e-mails to recruit help.

Then I went to the market and bought a few groceries. Since I had been so busy today, I just bought a skillet supper to have a quick dinner. Those are great emergency meals.

Slinky has spent the day outside. It was 50 degrees out there. He just started barking to come back in so I let him in. It is getting colder outside now. In fact, the furnace is running now for the first time today.

Bob has been building a new door for his shed. The old one is so heavy that he can't keep it level. We have adjusted it several times each summer. Maybe a lighter door will be more stable.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Busy Monday

Bob and I went to the doctor this morning. He had an appointment for his diabetes. It is doing well. He doesn't have to go back for four months. His A1C, which had been 10, is down to 6.7 and she was very pleased. He has been incredibly good about watching his carbs.

I spent the rest of the morning scrapbooking my daughter's book with the progress on their new home. I hope she can send me some new pictures since I am now caught up to week 33.

I read for awhile after I cleaned up my mess then began fixing dinner.

Bob took Slinky for a walk. They both needed it.

Tomorrow morning I will go over to my sister's and visit with her while my brother-in-law meets his friends for breakfast.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More About Universal Health Care

Why doesn’t the United States have universal health care as a right of citizenship? The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to health care as a right of citizenship. 28 industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems, while 1 (Germany) has a multipayer universal health care system like President Clinton proposed for the United States.

Myth One: The United States has the best health care system in the world.

Fact One: The United States ranks 23rd in infant mortality, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990.

Fact Two: The United States ranks 20th in life expectancy for women down from 1st in 1945 and 13th in 1960.

Fact Three: The United States ranks 21st in life expectancy for men down from 1st in 1945 and 17th in 1960.

Fact Four: The United States ranks between 50th and 100th in immunizations depending on the immunization. Overall US is 67th, right behind Botswana.

Fact Five: Outcome studies on a variety of diseases, such as coronary artery disease, and renal failure show the United States to rank below Canada and a wide variety of industrialized nations.

Conclusion: The United States ranks poorly relative to other industrialized nations in health care despite having the best trained health care providers and the best medical infrastructure of any industrialized nation.

Myth Two: Universal Health Care Would Be Too Expensive.

Fact One: The United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care.

Fact Two: Federal studies by the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting office show that single payer universal health care would save 100 to 200 billion dollars per year despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits.

Fact Three: State studies by Massachusetts and Connecticut have shown that single payer universal health care would save 1 to 2 billion dollars per year from the total medical expenses in those states despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits.

Fact Four: The costs of health care in Canada as a % of GNP, which were identical to the United States when Canada changed to a single payer, universal health care system in 1971, have increased at a rate much lower than the United States, despite the US economy being much stronger than Canada’s.

Conclusion: Single payer universal health care costs would be lower than the current US system due to lower administrative costs. The United States spends 50 to 100% more on administration than single payer systems. By lowering these administrative costs the United States would have the ability to provide universal health care, without managed care, increase benefits and still save money.

Myth Three: Universal Health Care Would Deprive Citizens of Needed Services.

Fact One: Studies reveal that citizens in universal health care systems have more doctor visits and more hospital days than in the US.

Fact Two: Around 30% of Americans have problem accessing health care due to payment problems or access to care, far more than any other industrialized country. About 17% of our population is without health insurance. About 75% of ill uninsured people have trouble accessing/paying for health care.

Fact Three: Comparisons of Difficulties Accessing Care Are Shown To Be Greater In The US Than Canada.

Fact Four: Access to health care is directly related to income and race in the United States. As a result the poor and minorities have poorer health than the wealthy and the whites.

Fact Five: There would be no lines under a universal health care system in the United States because we have about a 30% oversupply of medical equipment and surgeons, whereas demand would increase about 15%.

Conclusion: The US denies access to health care based on the ability to pay. Under a universal health care system all would access care. There would be no lines as in other industrialized countries due to the oversupply in our providers and infrastructure, and the willingness/ability of the United States to spend more on health care than other industrialized nations.

Myth Four: Universal Health Care Would Result In Government Control And Intrusion Into Health Care Resulting In Loss Of Freedom Of Choice.

Fact One: There would be free choice of health care providers under a single payer universal health care system, unlike our current managed care system in which people are forced to see providers on the insurer’s panel to obtain medical benefits.

Fact Two: There would be no management of care under a single payer, universal health care system unlike the current managed care system which mandates insurer pre-approval for services thus undercutting patient confidentiality and taking health care decisions away from the health care provider and consumer.

Fact Three: Although health care providers fees would be set as they are currently in 90% of cases, providers would have a means of negotiating fees unlike the current managed care system in which they are set in corporate board rooms with profits, not patient care, in mind.

Fact Four: Taxes, fees and benefits would be decided by the insurer which would be under the control of a diverse board representing consumers, providers, business and government. It would not be a government controlled system, although the government would have to approve the taxes. The system would be run by a public trust, not the government.

Conclusion: Single payer, universal health care administered by a state public health system would be much more democratic and much less intrusive than our current system. Consumers and providers would have a voice in determining benefits, rates and taxes. Problems with free choice, confidentiality and medical decision making would be resolved.

Myth Five: Universal Health Care Is Socialized Medicine And Would Be Unacceptable To The Public.

Fact One: Single payer universal health care is not socialized medicine. It is a health care payment system, not a health care delivery system. Health care providers would be in fee for service practice, and would not be employees of the government, which would be socialized medicine. Single payer health care is not socialized medicine, any more than the public funding of education is socialized education, or the public funding of the defense industry is socialized defense.

Fact Two: Repeated national and state polls have shown that between 60 and 75% of Americans would like a universal health care system (see The Harris Poll #78, October 20, 2005).

Conclusion: Single payer, universal health care is not socialized medicine and would be preferred by the majority of the citizens of this country.

Myth Six: The Problems With The US Health Care System Are Being Solved and Are Best Solved By Private Corporate Managed Care Medicine because they are the most efficient.

Fact One: Private for profit corporations are the least efficient deliverer of health care. They spend between 20 and 30% of premiums on administration and profits. The public sector is the most efficient. Medicare spends 3% on administration.

Fact Two: The same procedure in the same hospital the year after conversion from not-for profit to for-profit costs in between 20 to 35% more.

Fact Three: Health care costs in the United States grew more in the United States under managed care in 1990 to 1996 than any other industrialized nation with single payer universal health care.

Fact Four: The quality of health care in the US has deteriorated under managed care. Access problems have increased. The number of uninsured has dramatically increased (increase of 10 million to 43.4 million from 1989 to 1996, increase of 2.4% from 1989 to 1996- 16% in 1996 and increasing each year).

Fact Five: The level of satisfaction with the US health care system is the lowest of any industrialized nation.

Fact Six: 80% of citizens and 71% of doctors believe that managed care has caused quality of care to be compromised.

Conclusion: For profit, managed care can not solve the US health care problems because health care is not a commodity that people shop for, and quality of care must always be compromised when the motivating factor for corporations is to save money through denial of care and decreasing provider costs. In addition managed care has introduced problems of patient confidentiality and disrupted the continuity of care through having limited provider networks.

Overall Answer to the questions Why doesn’t the US have single payer universal health care when single payer universal health care is the most efficient, most democratic and most equitable means to deliver health care? Why does the United States remain wedded to an inefficient, autocratic and immoral system that makes health care accessible to the wealthy and not the poor when a vast majority of citizens want it to be a right of citizenship?

Conclusion: Corporations are able to buy politicians through our campaign finance system and control the media to convince people that corporate health care is democratic, represents freedom, and is the most efficient system for delivering health care.

Universal Health Care

Some thoughts shared by an Independence native:

Would a government funded health plan for all citizens help in solving the economic crisis? I think the answer might be “Yes”, if you consider the following factors:

1. Employers are working fewer people more hours because the cost of providing government mandated health care is so high that it costs more to pay benefits for an additional employee than it does to pay overtime. Relieving business of the cost of health insurance would result in business hiring more people rather than working fewer people overtime. This would reduce unemployment.

2. Hospitals and doctors are required to provide needed medical services regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. This means that the cost of providing these services has to be added to medical bills for those who have insurance or the ability to pay out of pocket. The cost of treating the needy should be borne by the population at large, not just by those who are able to pay their medical bills.

3. A U.S. business has to increase the price of their product to recover their cost for employee’s medical insurance. This places U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage when competing with foreign businesses that do not have this cost. This should reduce our foreign imports and the relocation of production facilities to other countries.

Universal health care would not solve all our economic problems, but it appears to deserve serious consideration.

Huge Day

This will be a huge day. I have to make coffeecake for church breakfast this morning and then attend church. After church we will probably eat out somewhere. Then I will write my notes in the afternoon. This evening at 6:00 we have a "Living the Questions" supper over at Wanzer's house. I have to make salad for that.

I painted for several hours yesterday afternoon with Leslie, Cyndi and Jeff. The painting is really shaping up and I believe that's all she's going to do of it until they finish and she gets the furniture in there. The walls everywhere else are just "knock down" and white. The great room is a green/brown and the master bedroom is a shocker. The ceiling is cream, three walls are a bright gold and one wall is cinnamon. It is bright but it should be interesting when the furniture is in there. Those are the colors in the new bedspread. The carpet in there will be beige. There will be hardwood floors in the breakfast room, great room, dining room, walk in closet, upstairs hall and office upstairs. There will be tile in the kitchen, bathrooms, utility room and foyer. The three bedrooms will be carpeted with the same carpet.

The kitchen is slowly getting finished. She had to return the sink for another that had to be ordered. The contractor cracked it. They said it was already that way but it has been out of the box several times and was never cracked before so somehow, they cracked it. They have the under the cabinet lighting in and the cabinets are finished. There's still an awful lot to do though. They are laying tile in the master bathroom now and also putting the tile on the walls around the shower enclosure. They sure seem to move slow and they never seem to finish one job before moving on the the next one. The outside cement board siding is only half painted and the brickwork has only just begun. They are trimming out the windows downstairs but haven't done the ones upstairs. There is no water in the house yet.

It will be a great looking house when it's finished...if it ever gets finished.