A Burning Question About Kennedy-Care

By now it is no secret that Senator Ted Kennedy is dead.  The TV Guide Network is already planning to cancel the rest of their Michael Jackson programing and replace it with Ted Kennedy specials and interviews for the rest of the year.  Sen. Robert Byrd’s aides asked him if he wanted the Senate to rename their healthcare bill the Kennedy Health Bill, and reports are that Senator Byrd smiled and  nodded.  One dissenting former aide suggested it was just gas.

So as we prepare to turn this trillion dollar government healthcare takeover into the Official Kennedy Memorial, I have one question that continues to nag at me.

Certainly we need to fix our healthcare system.  The World Health Organization ranked 36 countries as better than the US when it comes to healthcare.  Among those were Columbia, Morocco, Costa Rica, Oman, Monaco, Singapore, Andorra, and San Marino.  Actually, I always thought Andorra was the name of one of the planets on Star Trek (the one with the blue guys with white hair and antennae).  No, apparently it’s the fourth best nation in the world when it comes to healthcare.

Then there are better known, more obvious countries like 1. France, 2. Italy, 14. Greece, 18. United Kingdom, 33. Chile, etc.  I’ve been to each of these countries.  Greece doesn’t even have a satellite over it (as we discovered when we got 5 miles out of the center of Athens with our GPS).  Chile is where I went to an orphanage full of children whose parents could not afford to feed them anymore.  And the United Kingdom is where recently 4,000 women gave birth in lifts, offices and water closets (toilets) due to lack of beds.  Number one France seems to be doing pretty well, except for the high costs which are shutting down hospitals and causing a doctor exodus.  But according to the World Health Organization we are worse than these nations.  And the WHO is part of the UN, so their information has to be accurate.

So this leaves me with my burning question:  Ted Kennedy’s 2007 net worth was estimated to be more than $100 million.  Kennedy could have gone anywhere in the world for treatment, yet he chose to be treated at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  Why on earth would Ted Kennedy, who is going to have a bill named after him to make our healthcare more like number one France, choose to be treated in the 37th best healthcare country in the world?

Perhaps someone sat down with him and convinced him that his best days were behind him and he shouldn’t burden his family with the travel costs.  Perhaps he didn’t want to have surgery in the elevator and recovery in a window stall in the W.C.

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