A lot of people have asked my opinion on the recent round of health care reform, and I have to admit I don't have much confidence that we are going to get much done. The way I see it, everyone debating health care has made up their mind before coming to the table, and is shouting their opinion so loudly, they can't hear the other side. I see images of people on Medicare, a government health plan saying that government health plans would be an abomination and should not be allowed to exist. http://www.nj.com/ledgerlive/index.ssf/2009/08/health_care_reform_town_hall_n.html
I honestly don't think all of the shouting will amount to anything, but the truth remains, that is our American way. We debate our country's business in public, and every voice, no matter how stubborn or ornery has an equal right to be heard. I bet we would have a plan in place already if we were in a country where policy could be enacted in secret, but that is not our way. For my part, what I think we need to decide is if we believe that we citizens have a right to the benefits of health care, or if it is a privilege for those who can afford it. Day after day I take care of children regardless of whether they have insurance or not. Everyone who works in an ER in this country does the same. It's kind of hard to achieve the inalienable right to pursue happiness for ourselves and our children without health. I'll bet most Americans feel this way about themselves and their families. It isn't too much of a leap to listen for a moment and realize that our neighbors feel the same way we do, and we should pull together to make sure no one gets left behind.
Free Range International is the blog of a security firm operating in Afghanistan. Their commentary and photos offer a country-wide view and I found them to be very educational. The authors come from US military and other global communities. They are not afraid to offer honest, critical opinion.
My favorite fact I learned today:
Nickname for Bagram AB = "Pogadishu" . I think that beats "Mortaritaville" !
I had not heard of them before. Has anyone out there worked with them?
I have had the same email address since 1994. That's quite a long stretch for some people to keep the same physical address, much less email address. At the time, I was actually using POL.COM (physicians online) as my Internet service provider, buzzing, clicking dial-up and all. Because I've had the same address so long, I think that I have ended up on every spam and Internet scam list possible. I'm pretty used to deleting about three quarters of my email. This week I got an email scam that was particularly odious. It was a variation of the Nigerian scheme. Here is the text:
"United States Marine in Iraq. We have some amount of Funds that we want to move out of the country. Can you receive this funds on our behalf? Once the funds get to you, you take your 30% out and keep our own 70%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. Regards, Sgt. Phillip Newman"
It didn't take long to discover that Sgt Phillip Newman was a British soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2007.
Meredith and I will run the Marine Corps Marathon this fall as part of Team Fisher House. We will be raising money to support the Fisher Houses, homes away from home for families of injured troops undergoing treatment at military medical centers.
Thank you for visiting. I am Chris Coppola, a pediatric surgeon. I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2007 with the US Air Force. As a trauma surgeon at a combat support hospital in Balad, Iraq (42 miles north of Baghdad), I treated injured troops, detainees, civilians, and children. My experiences are published by NTI Upstream. Drop by here for updates and discussions about our troops and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.