Archive for October, 2009

Pumpkin Liberty

Free to do whatever on halloween…
~ mahalo to DM

091031 at 8:36 am Leave a comment

Did I do That!?


091029 at 8:37 am 8 comments

America the Beautiful

091019 at 8:59 pm Leave a comment

What Kind of Health Insurance Did They Have in the Olden Days?

– from KnowledgeNews

Health insurance in the USA is a modern invention—and by modern, we mean only 80 years ago. So, what did people do before that?

“Bring Out Your Dead”

Many historians trace health insurance back to ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome. Imagine, for instance, you lived in Roman times. You might join a collegium—a society, usually with both a joining fee and a maintenance fee, that existed for the benefit of its members. Of course, little could be done for you if you became seriously ill. But when you died, your collegium would ensure that you had a decent burial.

Collegia were precursors to the medieval guilds, which operated along similar principles. Like-minded people, sharing a craft, profession, or religion, formed a guild. Guilds influenced the politics of town life and the prices of goods, but one personal benefit of belonging to a guild was that if you died, your guild would bury you and take care of your family.

Are you seeing a trend here? Health insurance was not a concern, because medicine was not very advanced. People who became seriously ill in ancient or medieval times were more likely to die than recover. So, collegia and guilds basically offered burial insurance, not health insurance.

“The Doctor Will See You Now”

Now fast-forward a few hundred years to the end of the 19th century. Medical knowledge had advanced, but if you fell ill, you were almost certain to be cared for at home by your family. In the United States and Europe, most people still lived on farms. There was no way to contact a doctor, no local hospital, and probably still no cure for your illness. In 1900, the average life expectancy in the United States was only 47 years.

U.S. Life Expectancy 1900s
Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics

But the world was modernizing. By the turn of the century, the telephone and the automobile had been invented. People were moving from farm to town and from town to city. This meant more people had access to doctors and even hospitals, which were improving rapidly.

In 1904, the American Medical Association created the Council of Medical Education to standardize medical school admission and to ensure that medical training was uniform, including two years of clinical rotation at a teaching hospital. By the 1910s, state licensing boards were also enforcing regulations. American doctors were starting to professionalize.

“Do You Have Insurance?”

Even so, your biggest worry around the turn of the century was not the bill from your doctor. It was your lost wages from missing work due to illness. So, after 1890, there was a growing demand for “sickness” insurance. It wouldn’t pay your doctor’s fee, which was still low, but it would pay some of your lost wages if you were laid up. By 1911, the employees of Montgomery Ward had joined the first group “sickness” plan.

Before too long, progressives—including former president Theodore Roosevelt—sounded the call for national insurance. In 1912, Roosevelt ran for a third (non-consecutive) presidential term on the Progressive, or “Bull Moose,” ticket. At the Progressive National Convention, he said, “the hazards of sickness, accident, invalidism, involuntary unemployment, and old age should be provided for through insurance.”

The official Progressive platform called for “the protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment, and old age through the adoption of a system of social insurance adapted to American use.” But obviously, it did not come to pass. Roosevelt lost the election to Woodrow Wilson, and World War I put warfare ahead of health care.

—Rebecca Bigelow

091016 at 11:43 am 1 comment

Last Committee Vote Clears the Way for Senate Showdown

– from National Federation of Independent Business

Just two days ago the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve America’s Healthy Futures Act of 2009.
It’s not perfect, but of the bills that have won committee approvals in the House and the Senate, this is the only one that gives us a real chance at reaching the goals that we’ve worked so hard to achieve.
However, you need to know this is just one more step to a final bill, and tough debates lie ahead. We’ll be watching these debates carefully, as we’ll have to weigh the benefits of reform against potential new costs of doing business. Rest assured we won’t support a final health reform package if its long-term costs outweigh the benefits we’ve secured in the Finance Committee’s bill.

Those benefits include:

  • Individual and small group market reforms that include protections against preexisting conditions, and rating reform that accounts for variations in age, geography, family composition and personal behavior.
  • A health insurance exchange modeled on provisions under the SHOP legislation (S. 979) that will improve competition, allow small businesses and individuals a broader choice of plans and create a simpler and more efficient way to purchase insurance.
  • Provisions that will allow national benefit plans to be purchased across state lines that will increase competition and give more options to consumers.
There’s no doubt that some members of Congress will make a strong push to ensure that both an employer mandate and a public option are part of the final bill, so we have our work cut out for us to prevent these bad ideas from becoming the law of the land.
Our message to you is also our message to Congress: We need reform efforts that provide more affordable and accessible healthcare options for you and your employees. And we will do everything we can to ensure that a final bill makes your needs a priority.

091016 at 9:35 am 4 comments

Obamacare Prescription


-mahalo to JC

091008 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

Live RPG removed from soldier

Spc. Channing Moss was hit by a live rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan. For medics and the helicopter crew there was… Read it All

091004 at 7:47 pm 2 comments

e Komo Mai!

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