Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings

They say it is never over until the fat lady sings. I think Joe DiMaggio said it first. But like Dirty Harry and "Make my day" it has been said by so many people since does it matter?

The health care reform bill - or should I say the silly and often irrational fight against it - has gone on for so very long that I had almost forgotten about it until I was reminded this Sunday by a friend it was coming up for a final vote. President Obama is planning a signing party for today. Then he goes on the road to sell what it is that has been passed. McCain is launching a national campaign for its repeal already and asking for $25 donations from everyone that doesn't want access to health care? I am a little unclear on the concept. Another friend of mine into holistic medicine (as am I) is protesting the new bill because it will not cover acupuncture and herbal remedies. Hard to find insurance not that does.

Amendments to this very new bill loom in the wings already. It was a pass what you can and then modify as able effort. But we are no longer the only developed country in the world without open access to health care and insurance. The mere outlawing of exclusion for pre-existing conditions makes it worth the fight. But clearly the fight is not over.

A friend of mine noted recently that the world seems to be speeding up with all the technology and communication available but when it comes to laws and legal matters the wheels grind ever so slowly. I maintain something needs to be done. My relative small legal issue in the scheme of things has lingered on for two and a half years and already taken a full day in district court and likely to take another. And then there is the judge's time in considering the matter after both sides rest. My legal aid council figures roughly $50,000 spent to defend me against my house being taken from me. I estimate that opposing council has billed $36,000 to his client for an original $21,600 lien with no back up proof that has already been amended to $14,000 by the plaintiff because of an accounting error.

I believe that now we are on the road to a reformed health care and health insurance system we need to work on reform of litigation. Our legal system is almost as screwed up as the health insurance industry. It is just that people don't die waiting for decisions from judges like they do HMO's. A book I was reading about a murder in Victorian England has the accused tried and hung within three months. Average wait on death row in America today is 9 to 15 years.

On other news there is an extreme Cabernet shortage because of the Chilean earth quake, sharks lost their bid before the UN to be protected (did a legal shark plead their case?), and a Nazi man in Germany was convicted for 1944 murders. Now there is a legal case that has taken forever.  And Google China has decided to leave the Chinese mainland and relocate in Hong Kong. Fear of reprisal?