Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday night

Watching Keith Olbermann now. Glen Beck really is dumb. I've been reading a three-part series of articles about him in Salon.

Recently in one of the now three magazines I read (on paper) -- I can't remember which -- I read an article on taking drastic measures to cool the planet down until we get a handle on the greenhouse gases. I found a similar article here. I think it's going to come to this. (Click on WSJ image below to enlarge.)

Wrote an email to Sen. Bill Nelson, who's on the Senate Finance Committee. My personal subject line was "Please Read My Story and Support the Public Option."

Dear Sen. Nelson:

As a Florida resident (5th generation) and one of your constituents, I would like to commend you on your work in the Senate on behalf of health care reform, your efforts to end the drug industry windfall, in particular. I have a chronic ("pre-existing") medical condition and must take prescription drugs that cost well over $3,000 per month. Fortunately, at this time I have health insurance through my employer and pay only $90 per month in co-pays for these incredibly expensive drugs. One of my biggest concerns, however, is what would happen to me if I became unemployed and lost my health insurance. I certainly would not be able to afford these drugs on my own, most especially with no job. Would I end up having to sell my condominium and become destitute in order to, say, qualify for Medicaid? The prospect is frightening. Therefore, I strongly urge you to support a vigorous "public option," not only as a safety net for otherwise uninsurable people like me but also as a measure that will put pressure on the private insurance companies to keep costs down for everyone else and put a check on the pressure from Wall Street to profit ever more at the public's expense. The status quo is no longer viable.

Thank you for your attention.


Yes, my drugs now cost over $40,000 a year. (I'll do some research on what they would cost in other countries.) [A few minutes later] Just did a quick search at Canadian pharmacies online. The drugs that here cost over $3,300 a month would cost $1,187.99 in Canada. There is no end to articles available on the Internet about the pharmaceutical companies, but see this, for example. Also I suggest reading this book: The $800 Million Pill: The Truth behind the Cost of New Drugs. From the publisher's blurb:

Why do life-saving prescription drugs cost so much? Drug companies insist that prices reflect the millions they invest in research and development. In this gripping exposé, Merrill Goozner contends that American taxpayers are in fact footing the bill twice: once by supporting government-funded research and again by paying astronomically high prices for prescription drugs. Goozner demonstrates that almost all the important new drugs of the past quarter-century actually originated from research at taxpayer-funded universities and at the National Institutes of Health. He reports that once the innovative work is over, the pharmaceutical industry often steps in to reap the profit.

Everyone should know this.

The ice machine is still working, thank God. I'm a typical American in that I love my ice. But another thing has been aggravating me lately -- the weather. I'm so sick of the heat. It keeps me shut up in my place at night. Next month should bring nicer weather. I just don't remember it being this hot here when I was growing up. (I should do some research on that.)

I've decided I can no longer watch political shows after 11:00 at night. They get me worked up and make it harder to unwind before bed. Watching Anthony Bourdain in Japan now. Perfect.

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