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Editorial: On a kneed to know basis

After years of hearing how wonderful replacement surgery turned out for other people, I decided to add my right knee to history's bone pile in the spring of 2012.

It would be wonderful to report that I was just as pleased as every other person I had talked with who had undergone the procedure, but that wouldn't be true. Yes, after a few months my right leg was mostly pain-free. But my left leg, which had spent years serving as a minor annoyance, put in for a promotion to major.

Promotion denied.

Instead, the left knee was added to the bone pile on Sept. 26 and I have now returned to work after spending many productive hours flat on my back waiting for the next football game to start.

In between games and physical therapy I read my share of books and more or less kept track of the tragedy/comedy taking place in Washington. In the aftermath, I'm marveling at the news coverage that declares the Republicans won or the Democrats won.

How did any party "win" when the decision was made to increase the debt by another trillion-plus dollars? When are enough politicians going to wake up to the fact this colossal debt - now racing toward the $18 trillion mark - can ruin us?

That debt blind spot by too many elected officials is equaled (or perhaps overshadowed) by the inaction in response to the pain caused by Obamacare. Some examples:

• According to Kaiser Health News, Florida Blue is terminating about 300,000 policies, roughly 80 percent of its individual policies in the state.

• Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people - about half of its individual business in the state.

• Highmark, a Pittsburgh insurer, is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers.

• Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.

The above data was gleaned from the Patriot Post, but there are literally millions of these examples all over the Internet. Yes, there are Obamacare success stories, but can you name one that didn't come at someone else's expense? And is anyone buying any of the excuses surrounding the "launch" of the healthcare.gov. After spending well over a half-billion of our dollars on the website, citizens have run into a brick wall of incompetence that has Big Government - slow, inefficient, indifferent - written all over it.

Right now the website is just about trying (and failing) to buy insurance while giving away as much private information as possible in a non-secure environment. But what happens when the real plan - single-payer - takes over and the "glitch" postpones your MRI or urgent cancer surgery for months and months?

And why in the world would Obamacare being horrible serve as an excuse for even more government health care involvement in the form of single-payer?

I don't have the answer to that, and I really don't care which party wins and which party loses according to the press.

But I am pretty sure we can't afford too many more years of victories like the ones being won now in Washington.

And do yourself a favor and get those knees taken care of before government "health care" makes it impossible.


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