Sunday, July 01, 2007

latest v of expression engine + a post-sicko rant

EllisLabs released version 1.6 of ExpressionEngine last week. Installing it was painless, at least for this blog which is not at all complicated.

There are some URL formatting changes that I have to look at more carefully before I upgrade some of the older installations, such as http://www.westportnow.com—that one would be a nightmare to fix if it breaks and with every version upgrade, something has broken. Though it takes at most an hour to get the fix answer in the EE Forum. One thing I love about EE is the phenomenal support.

So far, it’s been a quiet weekend. We went to see Sicko so now I’m convinced the insurance company will deny Stanley’s clot operation. Just because they irrationally denied the CAT scan with the first request ... please, let me be so wrong.

Sicko is a good movie. Makes it depressingly clear how very much the United States is NOT a Christian nation. Yes, the critics will come out of the woodwork and say how Canada’s system isn’t perfect, or England’s or the one in France and even Cuba. Or the stats can be this way or that way depending upon whose stats you look at for what year. But the bottom line is this: nobody goes bankrupt due to medical bills in Canada or England or in any country with universal health care. Nobody dies on the floor of an emergency room because they don’t have health insurance. Nobody gets dumped on the street because they can’t pay their bill. And these countries manage to afford universal health care. Nobody in these countries has to make a decision on whether to eat or buy medicine. The USA is a Christian nation? What bullshit.

Bitter? You bet. Broke due to our medical bills? Yep. Especially as I write out our insurance check for $815 today.

My only real quibble with the movie is how Moore glossed over Hillary Clinton’s role in killing universal health care with her arrogance, ineptitude, lack of political skill (at that time), and refusal to compromise—he made it seem as if it was just the Republicans who killed it—I was paying a lot of attention to this back then and I blame Hillary and Bubba just as much as the Republican pukes like Gingrich and Buchanan. Now she’s on the take too, getting the big bucks from the medial and pharma lobbies. So I guess universal health care is not on the table if she ever gets elected president.

My mother needs a PET scan to confirm (or rule out) her diagnosis, according to her doctors at the University of Michigan neuropsychology section. But it’s extremely difficult to get a PET scan paid for by insurance or Medicare. The diagnosis has a profound impact on treatment, planning, and care, yet we have to jump through hoops to get it approved or get her into a research program (if we can). Why are PET scans so expensive? Why isn’t it just the next step in diagnostics? Especially at a publicly funded hospital that is a unit of a publicly funded university?

Americans can be so very stupid. In Canada, in England, the attitude is, “Well, we just take care of each other. That’s the right thing to do.” Not in America, this supposedly most-Christian nation in the world.

posted by lee on 07/01/07 at 10:56 AM

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