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I like watching her jumpCourtesy of Facebook.

The Greek track star was booted off the Olympic Team. No, it was not because of the Euro… It was because of her slur against Africans. People need to keep their mouths shut. I was glad the Olympic Committee was adhering to high standards.

Later, another report came across the wire. This one actually had translated what she had said…… It was something like …”with so many Africans here, the West Nile Mosquitoes will be able to dine on local food.”

I read it again, because that didn’t sound horrible.

“with so many Africans here, the West Nile Mosquitoes will be able to dine on local food.”

I HAVE to be missing something…. I read it real slow.

With….. so…..many….. Africans….. here, .. the….. West….. Nile…. Mosquitoes…. will…. be….. able…. to…..dine…. on …..local…. food..

Didn’t see it that time… I tried reading it real fast.

Withsomany Africans here, theWestNileMosquitoes willbeabletodineon localfood.

No it is not in delivery…. Is there something racist about West Nile Mosquitoes?

Google Search of West Nile Mosquitoes lists these locations…. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Atlanta, Rockville, and Illinois. Someone just died of it in Arizona. These mosquitoes are all over America, and it appears they bite white people as well as nonwhites too. Oh, crap. They just found one in Tom’s River!!!!! Now even I’m worried. I saw one on my arm earlier today….

Is the joke in regards to the Nile River? It is, after all in Africa. But is that pejorative? After all, most of us associate the Nile with Ancient Egypt, where mankind began civilization. The Nile almost has a regal nature to it. Do we preach defamation when someone says “Mississippi”? or “Missouri”? or “Ohio”? They are rivers too… How about… “Amazon”? Ooooh. There is pejorative turn of a word. That makes me think of tall scantily clad Lucy Lawless. … If there was a mosquito disease originating in Jefferson County outside of New Orleans, and we said, the same thing when the Saints come up to Philadelphia to play… ” With so many Saints fans here in Philadelphia, all our Jefferson County mosquitoes will have local cuisine.” ( I would have added) “I hope they didn’t lose their tolerance for cayenne.”

Would I be cast off an Olympic Team?

The Phillies play the Colorado Rockies at home next on September 7,8,9th. Must I pencil myself a note never to say… “Rocky Mountain spotted fever” on those three days? Especially if to do so is….to lead me “to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”

Or if I go up to New London, Connecticut, I must be very careful not to think of ticks and if I do get bitten by one on the back of my hairline, while there, I must be very careful not to say in the local’s presence… Lyme Disease. Old Lyme is only a couple of towns west of New London. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone, or encroach human rights.

Encroach human rights? How.

How does either statement encroach human rights? Does either statement bring down people from Colorado or Connecticut?

Are you a bad person just because there is a disease that originated in your country? If so, all Africa is doomed. And so is South America. And syphilis came from the New World! So we are all in this together.

Mosquitoes dine on everyone, myself included. They ARE color blind.

Where is the racist remark? “There are so many Africans here?” Should she have said Negroes? or blacks? Do we take offense when we get called Americans while we are abroad? “kick that bitch off the team. We are United Staters; not Americans. Everyone in the Western Hemisphere is a damned American…”

I’m struggling here. Someone help me out. I’m trying to think of a slur made at Americans that would require an apology and a kick off the Olympic Team… and for heavens sakes, I just can’t think of one.

Basically her point is…. Gee, there are a lot of Africans here… Yeah.. duh… it’s the Olympics……
You take that and put it with the fear of West Nile, which in Greece is at a higher preponderance than here in the US.

The Olympics must have the highest standards. Without question. But there is the other standard, the one requiring a burden of proof. It appears all we have to have is a prosecutor and boom, a sentence is levied.

And this is not one occasion. Nancy Grace on Fox is a case. Bloggers comments are another case. Everyone has an opinion. No one stops to look at facts. They judge based on one or two words in the question. “Sure, if someone slurs a race, they should be thrown off the team. I say throw them off the team. We need to make an example so powerful it never happens again!” Hey, everybody! Let’s judge by popular opinion and not the facts.

Everyone has an opinion before anyone knows what she said. The implication is: “oh, it doesn’t matter what she says. If someone complains and thinks it is derogatory, then that is what matters. Whether it is derogatory or not, is inconsequential. After all, how can she not be guilty, if someone complains?”

Uhhhhh. perhaps the person doing the complaining is simply not that smart? If affects 50% of the worlds population you know?

I remember saner times.

how can you not like someone who laughs when they hit dirtCourtesy of Facebook

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This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

The standard mantra of any insurance company is to “deny, deny, deny. They can always appeal.”

When taxes are too low, there is great incentive on not paying claims, but instead, keeping that money as profit.

You, the claimant probably pay $300 dollars per month for your medical insurance. Your company probably also pays $300 a month for your medical insurance. (Unless your were grandfathered and now have your employer paying the full $600 per month of your contribution).

$600 a month equals $7200 a year.

Your deductible is probably $2000… meaning you have to spend the first $2000 out of pocket before the insurance kicks in… On that $7200 let’s assume the insurance company probably pays 15% in total taxes, meaning that it keeps $6480 to itself.

If tax rates return to 50% as they were during Ronald Reagan’s term…. The insurance company nets $3600 to itself.

Some may cry (boo, hoo, hoo) that higher taxes cost the insurance company $2880… They will raise their rates….

Probably not. Because a wiser insurance competitor will steal you away without costing you more money.

What will most likely happen, is that the insurance company will approve more claims. If the insurance company by lowering or removing its deductible for example, pays out $2000 more in benefits to its recipients, then of that $7200 it took from you, it will make in after tax (50%)profit , … $2600… or a thousand less than if no claims were processed…

But wait.. They paid out $2000 dollars, but the bottom line cost to them, was only $1000?

Exactly. Which is where high taxes on profits, helps you and me and the rest of the middle class… Why risk losing a paying subscriber by denying his claim, when that denial is only going to the Federal government anyway?

“Aww, go ahead, approve it”, the supervisor chimes.

Now you probably can’t use that $2000 coming back to you from what used to be medical expenses, for anything else in your budget, but I sure could…

It’s about time that all America realizes they were guilty of one gigantic scam these past thirty years… All this crying about no higher taxes…

It has reached the silliness of Republicans parading around naked, (not just showing their body parts on Twitter). Each and every Republican pledged that a 10:1… cuts/tax increase ratio was too high of a tax hike…

Which means, they don’t want that $2000 dollars in paid benefits to hit your pocket. They’d rather you pay your $2000 on top of the $7200 your insurance costs you…..

Higher taxes on corporate profits and on investors, solve a lot of the middle classes problems.

So of course we are being fed a bunch of lies about health care; the headwater of all mistruths being the top echelons of the Health Insurance industry….

So where does one find truth?

That is an easy answer. One looks at reality…

Let’s take a look at other nations and see what works and what doesn’t…. Below are some examples…

We’ll start with McDowell’s favorite: The Netherlands…The Netherlands has introduced a new system of health care insurance based on risk equalization through a risk equalization pool. In this way, a compulsory insurance package is available to all citizens at affordable cost without the need for the insured to be assessed for risk by the insurance company. Furthermore, health insurers are now willing to take on high risk individuals because they receive compensation for the higher risks. This is the suggested model for the US. Those with time to watch video with English subtitles, here is a link here…

Moving on… Russia: Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia embarked on a series of reforms intending to deliver better health care by compulsory medical insurance with privately owned providers taking the role of the former state run institutions. According to the OECD none of this worked out (PDF) as planned and the reforms had in many respects made the system worse.

Taiwan: Taiwan changed its health care system in 1995 to a National Health Insurance model similar to the US Medicare system for seniors. As a result, the 40% of Taiwanese people who had previously been uninsured are now covered. It is said to deliver universal coverage with free choice of doctors and hospitals and no waiting lists. Polls in 2005 are reported to have shown that 72.5% of Taiwanese are happy with the system, and when they are unhappy, it’s with the cost of premiums (equivalent to less than US$20 a month). National Health Insurance or NHI premiums is similar to that of social security contributions in the US. Employers and the self-employed are legally bound to pay them. Unlike funds raised via US social security taxes, which can be borrowed in the interim to fund military and other spending, the NHI is a pay-as-you-go system. The aim is for the premium income to pay costs, but there is also a tobacco tax surcharge that goes to the NHI.

Germany:  Germany has Europe’s oldest system, with origins dating back to Otto von Bismarck‘s Social legislation, which included the Health Insurance Bill of 1883, Accident Insurance Bill of 1884, and Old Age and Disability Insurance Bill of 1889. As mandatory health insurance, these bills originally applied only to low-income workers and certain government employees; their coverage, and that of subsequent legislation gradually expanded to cover virtually the entire population. All salaried employees must have a public health insurance. Only public officers, self-employed people and employees with a gross income above ca. 50000 EU (adjusted yearly) may join the private system. There are two separate systems of health insurance: public health insurance and private insurance. Both systems struggle with the increasing cost of medical treatment and the changing demography. About 87.5% of the persons with health insurance are members of the public system, while 12.5% are covered by private insurance (as of 2006).

Great Britain…Health care was reformed in 1948 with the creation of the National Health Service or NHS. It was originally established as part of a wider reform of social services and funded by a system of National Insurance, though receipt of health care was never contingent upon making contributions towards the National Insurance Fund. Private health care was not abolished but had to compete with the NHS. About 15% of all spending on health in the UK is still privately funded but this includes the patient contributions towards NHS provided prescription drugs, so private sector health care in the UK is quite small. As part of a wider reform of social provision it was originally thought that the focus would be as much about the prevention of ill-health as it was about curing disease. The NHS for example would distribute baby formula milk fortified with vitamins and minerals in an effort to improve the health of children born in the post war years as well as other supplements such as cod liver oil and malt. Many of the common childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, and chicken pox were mostly eradicated with a national program of vaccinations. The Blair government retained elements of competition and even extended it, allowing private health care providers to bid for NHS work. Some treatment and diagnostic centers are now run by private enterprise and funded under contract. However, the extent of this privatization of NHS work is still very very small, though remains controversial. The administration committed more money to the NHS raising it to almost the same level of funding as the European average and as a result, there has been a large expansion and modernization program and waiting times are now much more acceptable than they once were.

Switzerland… The very year insurance lobbiests defeated the Clinton health reform plan, another nation, more conservative than the US, after taking a national referendum, took on the health care industry and won. In a nation housing most of European Insurance companies and headquartering most of Europe’s pharmaceutical industries, a nation whose health care system resembled identically to what the US has now,… health care reform was began… Those opponents against healthcare reform, are now in favor. It works so well…

The Swiss are required to purchase basic health insurance, which covers a range of treatments detailed in the Federal Act. It is therefore the same throughout the country and avoids double standards in healthcare. Insurers are required to offer this basic insurance to everyone, regardless of age or medical condition. They may not make a profit off this basic insurance, but can on supplemental plans. The insured pays the insurance premium for the basic plan up to 8% of their personal income. If a premium is higher than this, then the government gives the insured a cash subsidy to pay for any additional premium..

Across the globe three trends can be seen as working….There are three requirements needed to fix Health Care….

Requirement 1

insurance must be bought by everybody;  insurance cannot make a profit on basic care.

Requirement 2

everybody is required and must buys insurance;  the  government  pays the premiums for the poor.

Requirement 3

All doctors and hospitals must agree and use a standard set of fixed prices….

Some say Americans don’t have the will to stomach these changes…   Well, if truth be known, we are a lot more familiar with these concepts than we let on…

Every military American veteran uses a health system modeled on  Britain’s NHS.

If you are a senior, you are using the Taiwanese model.

If you are a working and gainfully employed, you use the German model.

If you are poor,  you use the model found in impoverished third world nations….

So across the globe one thing is perfectly clear. Even the most capitalist countries don’t trust the care of their own bodies, to a totally free market system of health care… They all impose controls to prevent a free market system from taking off. Only here in America, do we have a health care system based on the free market model, that took off and left America behind… The only thing with teeth in the current bill which tames the free marketeers, is the public option. That is the absolute truth about health care.

It was as if the whole town was getting excited about the new Wal*Mart coming in on it’s edges, and the town council votes to allow it, only if the owner of that town’s businesses, can be in charge and set Wal*Mart’s prices.

What then is the point?

That, my friends, is what Health Care Relief is, without the public option…

Don’t take my word for it: Here are the words of Republican chairman Michael Steele, in an recent ad lit piece seeking donations to the RNC….

“Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress are pushing for a government-run, health-care scheme that is inefficient, limits choices and hemorrhages taxpayer money like the Post Office,”

Great Point: It costs me, if I use Federal Express, $7.95 for them to come to my door and pick up a letter… It costs me .44 cents if I choose to use the inefficient, choice limiting, and taxpayer hemorrhaging U. S. Post Office to drop by and pick up the same letter…

If the same were true for health care, which would benefit you for the same service? The cheaper inefficient, choice limiting, and taxpayer hemorrhaging bureaucratic public option, that happened to be much cheaper, or a service that charges 1700% more for the same option, which no one can afford?

The sprawling bureaucracy is starting to look good…

It is obvious why Steele brings up this point. The Democratic reform plan modifies the current price structure and that threatens their enormous profits, generated from hospital charges like $6,000 a day for semi-private rooms, $30 for two aspirin and a single round of chemotherapy for $13,000. Of course such costs are ridiculous; but they get collected every day, because there is no other option for citizens to turn to…

Public option is the only way Health Care can be reformed… There can be no relief, no lowered costs, and by default, no hope for America, if the public option is not somewhere in the Health Care Plan that passes Congress.

Private only? Might as well not build that Wal*Mart on the town’s edge if your going to keep the same high prices Colonel Potter charges in his downtown businesses, simply because he can….

Public option is the Wal*Mart of Health Care… Without it. We’re poor.

a) I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch.

b) There is agreement in this chamber (House) on about eighty percent of what needs to be done, putting us closer to the goal of reform than we have ever been.

c) Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.

d) The plan I’m announcing tonight would meet three basic goals: it will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance to those who don’t. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.

e) If you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.

f) Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

g) It will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most.

h) They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime.

i) We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.

j) Insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine check-ups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies – because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse.

k) If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage. We will do this by creating a new insurance exchange – a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices.

l) For those individuals and small businesses who still cannot afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we will provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need.

m) For those Americans who can’t get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill.

n) Individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers.

o) Consumers do better when there is choice and competition. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75% of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90% is controlled by just one company.

p) We can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.

q) The public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers.

r) It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.

s) I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice. And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.

t) There will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialise.

u) Most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system

v) The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in (Medicare) waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies.

w) This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money – an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts.

x) Many in this chamber – particularly on the Republican side of the aisle – have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care. I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. So I am proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practising medicine.

y) Add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years – less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.

z) I understand that the politically safe move would be to kick the can further down the road – to defer reform one more year, or one more election, or one more term.

But that’s not what the moment calls for. That’s not what we came here to do. We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it. I still believe we can act even when it’s hard. I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress. I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history’s test.

PARTS LISTED IN THE REPUBLICAN PLAN ARE HIGHLIGHTED
IN RED.

PARTS LISTED IN THE TEA BAGGERS PLAN ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN BROWN.

PARTS LISTED IN TOM CARPER’S TOWN MEETINGS AND BLOG, IN BLUE

This is flat out a bipartisan plan.  Most of what has been argued for or against on blogs, op ed pieces, and television talk shows, the likes of death panels, total loss of Medicare  coverage, funding of illegal immigrants, overwhelming deficits, and Canadian styled national  health care rationing, … all of these are not even an issue.  In a deft move, our  president shifted the debate from the past month of Republicans and Democrats barking up trees,  over to fertile ground where if seeds are correctly sown, a bountiful harvest can be reaped…..

We stand in line for some of that harvest when it’s ready.

Here is an update (very late in coming) on the status of Dick, whose child’s operation was postponed by his insurance company (State employee plan of Delaware through Blue Cross/ Blue Shield) at or about 4:00 the day before his 8:00 operation.

The next morning it was determined that the insurance company did not receive a critical piece of paper from the Doctor. Yet the physician’s office claimed the paper had been sent weeks prior. The paper was re-retrieved by the office staff, and re-resent, and the operation went though at 3:00 causing family members to call off work for the evening.

How could that happen, just one business hour before the operation? Sinister motives?

Perhaps not. Here is the business day of one person who works in the medical insurance field.

“At 9:35 am a fax comes into my office (I work in the medical insurance field), from Hanover Hospital stating the physician had approved this specific procedure to be done. But at the top of the fax had jammed and the information of contacting had all run together. I had no idea of who the patient was, who the physician was, or which employee or private plan this incident concerned. Now we are a big insurance company with multiple offices, multiple floors in each office, and multiple cubicles on each floor. I have no idea where this approval is supposed to go.”

“My only option is to call the hospital, and see if they can find out who sent the fax, and from there find out which patient’s account the fax is for. So I spent most of my day tracing down this account and by 2:35, was finally able to route this information to the person responsible for that account. It was important; I felt I had to do it, even though it put my own accounts behind…”

“But I see how such a situation could happen.”

In such a scenario, both parties could be right. The Doctors office: “We sent the information weeks ago”; ….. Blue Cross/ Blue Shield: “We never received the required authorization from this persons physician“.

I’m thankful for this insight. Quick to bash the insurance company I was. Perhaps, maybe, perhaps not? Questions that could be solved by a national data pool that electronically handles all medical issues. Privacy could be jeopardized, but lives would not.

We can handle privacy issues by making the penalties for violating patient trust (such as an insurer telling a corporate entity about upcoming health issues of a certain employee), so severe, that the corporate entity would back off first, saying “don’t tell me… I don’t want to know”. Headlines like “State of Delaware Lawmaker Tony DeLuca Loses 65 million Lawsuit on Violating Insuree’s Privacy” would insure our privacy remains intact.

That is how you handle privacy issues.

And Dick extends his thanks to all who responded with support, caring, and offers of assistance. (All of which because of my slow response time, came long after the medical crises was averted.)