Category Archives: health care reform

March 6, 2012, 11:37 am

The Gospel of the Toothbrush; Or, How Many Teeth Does Your Child Have (Left)?

Just when you thought that middle-class parents had reached the limits of ignorance, the New York Times reports today that children under the age of five are showing up at the dentist’s office with a dozen or so cavities.  Some need the kind of extensive repair that is usually characteristic of people my age. One little darling featured in the story had 22 cavities, and was due for a root canal — at the age of two and a half years.  Go read it here.

My first thought was, well, these are probably parents working 3-5 jobs between them: things like toothbrushing just fall through the cracks as Mom and Dad pass each other in the hall like ghosts between day shift, night shift and swing shift.  But apparently not. The kid with the root canal?  Mom is described as a homemaker and Dad is in IT. Homemaker is not an easy career, I’ll grant you, which is a reason I checked the “historian” …

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August 4, 2011, 5:36 pm

As President Obama Turns (The Clock Back On Women’s Rights)

Is President Obama now starring in Ronald Reagan Theater?

In case you think nothing good came out of the Congressional budget free for all negotiations that ended at the beginning of this week, think again. You will be cheered to know that Secretary of  Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius seized the moment. While everyone was distracted by the Tea Party and the President taking political a$$hattery to a new low, Sibelius slipped a major reform enacted under the Affordable Care Act over the transom:  no co-pays for insured women seeking gynecological care.  As WebMD reported: “Health care reform requires new insurance plans to fully cover women’s preventive care, which now will include free birth control, yearly wellness visits, breastfeeding counseling and equipment, and screening for…

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March 20, 2010, 7:49 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Impending Socialism And Other Edgy Stuff

We Haz National Health Cayuh? As I write, Bart Stupak (pictured at right with a Finnish comedy troupe from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) and his merry band of anti-choice Democrats have been reassured that the Hyde Amendment will be defended by an executive order. It looks like the Health Care legislation will pass now that these gentlemen are all aboard. Of course, in order to get national health care for everyone, we threw women overboard. Again, Barack. So almost everyone will almost get almost all the care they need. Ho-kay.

I have actually listened to the debate off and on, being as I am a political historian. We in the Radical household are amusing ourselves by quoting arcane points of parliamentary procedure and asking each other to yield time in increments of less than a minute. John L. Lewis was a stunner, as usual, and I felt lucky to have tuned in at the moment he spoke. …

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March 11, 2010, 4:14 pm

London Calling: A Few Thoughts On The Mother Country

What — the Radical is tracing her heritage to England? Well yes, sort of. To make a long story short, the Paternal Unit’s family came to the colonies, from England, in the seventeenth century. The Mother of the Radical (MOTheR) traces her line of descent from somewhere in the Germanic middle of Europe and from Selkirks, who were herded onto ships two loaves short of starvation and sent to make a living in Canada circa 1811. The latter group, although ruined by colonialism were then, in a twisted historical accident, saved by it. As a result, my family came to identify as English in Canada. True, until Canada began to recognize that there were not only white people in the world, one had limited choices: English or French, Protestant or Catholic. Nevertheless, I have met other Scots-descended Canadian folk who identify ethnically as Scottish and do a lot of Scots nationalist things…

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October 21, 2009, 6:49 pm

Here’s A Place To Begin Reforming Health Care: A Letter To My (Former) Primary Care Physician


Dear Dr. PCP,

I called your office this morning at 9 a.m. because I realized this morning that a cold I had yesterday had triggered an asthma attack. I am currently on maintenance medications for asthma (Singulair and Zyrtec), which means I am almost never actively asthmatic. The corollary to this is that when an asthma attack commences I know that the situation is potentially serious, and I explained this to the woman who answered the telephone at your office. I asked for a prescription refill for an albuterol inhaler and an Azmacort inhaler, and told the administrator that my history of asthma, and the drugs I have been prescribed in the past (including these) could be found in my file. This is what followed:

I offered to come in to the office if a doctor wished to see me before refilling my prescriptions.

The administrator said that you were out of the office, but that there was an…

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