24 And Obamacare

You never know how a TV show might affect American politics.  The West Wing and House of Cards often have given people a different perspective on pending national issues, and 24 has helped to keep terrorism front and center in the national zeitgeist.

But now 24 may have a new impact . . . on Obamacare.  Everyone knows that Great Britain has the National Health Service, and Republican critics say that’s where Obamacare will lead us — to a single-payer system where the government employs the doctors, pays for all care, and decides how long you have to wait to get that knee replacement.  According to the Republicans, it’s just unacceptable.

But last night, the British National Health System was shown off to good effect on 24.  A terrorist is hit by a bus.  She’s quickly treated by an EMS crew and efficiently taken to the nearest hospital.  When she arrives she’s whisked into the ER room and treated by a team of doctors and nurses in crisp uniforms.  The hospital is spotless.  Not only are there no crowds, the place seems almost deserted, and the warm and caring health care providers have plenty of time to devote to each patient.

Socialized medicine was looking pretty good there for a while – at least until an obviously threatening guy was able to steal a uniform from a room full of them and wander through the hallways with a loaded gun, until the head doctor of the trauma team was willing to give up his patient because some unknown whispering American got in his face about it, and until the threatening guy was gunned down in a hospital hallway.  Thank goodness the desperate crowds waiting for care that the Republicans have talked about weren’t there, or some innocent waiting for their procedure could have been hurt!

Next week, I’m expecting 24 to show a Desert Storm veteran getting immediate and excellent care at a VA hospital.

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Richard At The Trib

This week Richard started an internship at the Chicago Tribune, on the business desk.  He’s living in Hyde Park, just across the street from the President’s old house.  If you’re interested you can follow his work through the Tribune website, here.

Internships often are derided these days, but they have gotten Richard some wonderful experience.  Between San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and now Chicago, he’s gotten a real taste of what it’s actually like to work on a big-city daily newspaper.  In the process, he’s covered some great stories and compiled an impressive set of clips.  He’ll get a chance to add to that set this summer; Chicago is one of the best business cities in the country.

Richard has always had a strong affinity for Chicago, and now he’s back in the Windy City, working for one of America’s finest newspapers.  This will be an exciting summer for him!

(Morning) Walking Again

After three months of being laid up after foot surgery, today I took a morning walk around the Yantis Loop.  With my doctor having cleared me for increased activity, I’m going to make the two-mile trek a normal part of the daily routine again, just as it was before my toes went under the knife back in March.

IMG_6122It is such a pleasure to be walking again in the morning!  I’ve missed hearing the chirping birds and the thrum of the bullfrog as I walk past the creek, and I’ve particularly missed the quiet time where I can let the mind wander from topic to topic, think of things that I should do today, and let the fresh air push my thoughts wherever they might go.  We have so little undirected time in our connected worlds; it’s wonderful to let the brain roam as the body is doing likewise.  And when I get back to the house and pour myself a cup of freshly made, steaming coffee, I feel like I’ve already accomplished something good

My doctor cautions that I not overdo things.  He says too much activity might cause my foot to swell, and I know that standing for long periods still causes my foot to ache a bit.  My goal is to build up my tolerance to the point that I can once again hit the golf course without worrying about my foot looking like a five-toed balloon.  Starting today, I’m doing it one step at a time.