Health Care and the Prince of Darkness

Well, with much to do and little time, this may be the last blog entry I make for a week or more. I have surgery scheduled this Friday for cubital tunnel syndrome, also called ulnar neuropathy, also called an ulnar nerve lesion, also called ulnar nerve compression.

I was a little confused when my doctor’s office gave me an estimate of how much the surgery would cost, and then I got a different, much higher estimate from the hospital. I called my doctor’s assistant for clarification, and it turns out both estimates are right — one is for the doctor’s services, another copayment is for the anesthesiologist, and a third sum will be due to the hospital for use of their facility. And . . . it’s a lot of money. I can afford it, thankfully, but it’s surprising to me that there’s such a heated debate over health care reform. We need reform. Costs are high. People go bankrupt over necessary medical expenses. I’m in the camp that believes costs can be reduced, and that the government should play a role.

Isn’t this supposed to be a photo blog?

I will try to get a nice photo of my scar when I can, and post it here for your aesthetic appreciation.

In other news, Robert Novak (“The Prince of Darkness”) died today. I met him two years ago and took quite a few photos. (I’ll dig some up from my archive and post them here shortly, if time permits.) I disagreed with most of Novak’s politics, and I believe he shares some responsibility for a shift away from information-based journalism toward opinion-based journalism. (Which is a resurgent trend, not a new concept in America — read Ben Franklin’s old articles for example). And of course he will be remembered for his role in outing Valerie Plame’s CIA credentials, thereby derailing her career. But I will admit that the cranky curmudgeon did have charisma. I liked him.


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August 2009
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