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Thoughts about school and park grounds as expressions of Government as Platform

Running at the local high school track on a Saturday morning, I couldn't help but think what a wonderful community amenity this is, being used by hundreds of people of all ages. And how, in an alternate world, this track could be marked with a big "No Trespassing" sign.

When we think about government, it's so easy to focus on what's wrong: too much intrusive regulation, outrageous costs perpetrated by unscrupulous contractors and feckless bureaucrats, vicious politics driven by party rather than public interest. But what about what's right? We have roads that generally take us whereever we want to go, water, power and communications in even the poorest areas, and public amenities like parks and schools that, for all their faults, are available to all rather than, as only a few hundred years ago, only to the children of the rich.

I'm grateful for how much public spirit there has been in the shaping of our society, and how much is still right and good about that shaping.
Pete Anderson's profile photoJacoub Bondre's profile photoBeth Donovan's profile photoAlex Wickens's profile photo
"Wrong" is not so easy to identify. Sometimes, I think, government focuses on the right policies but implements them in the wrong way.
We just need to stay steadfast, to ensure whats right doesn't erode away, and be active as a public to make more right.
Ironically, one of the two public schools near my home is completely fenced in with "no trespassing" signs. (The other one IS open to the community.) However, I do agree with your basic point that there are many amenities that are open to the general population that were not available a few hundred years ago, and that these amenities have benefited society as a whole.
It is a reciprocal relationship here. Good government requires an engaged citizenry. If you don't attend the meetings and get out there and vote and campaign you wind up with the kind of government you deserve.
Name calling is not a productive way to engage.
+Beth Donovan There have been and always will be significant areas of National Parks that are restricted areas for a variety of reasons, including conservation. It's a balance, certainly, but it's not automatically a "bad thing".
I agree but do they have to tax us that much?
I feel under taxed, and under serviced. Would gladly raise my marginal a few points if it meant more better education and healthcare.
The track would only be there if the was a ...DEMAND. At the school I work at, we too upgraded our track. This was entirely paid for by the booster club, i.e. privately. Much of the labor was done by local construction businesses. This was a well run project. The only problem we had was a drainage line that the SCHOOL DISTRICT MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL COMPLETED! Because of pressure from the UNION, WE ALMOST LOST OUR MILLION DOLLAR TRACK.
Behind government, there are people, a story. Don’t just blindly pass responsibility to “government”. We are the government. Don’t give it away to a group or an agency.
+Steve Goggans I love you! We probably disagree with what level of involvement the public and private sectors should have in social projects, but the "We are the government" comment. I have been trying to nail that into peoples heads for decades now.

You know whats more influential than billions of dollars? Fear of not being re-elected. Your elected officials are people, like you and I. If the large chunk of their constituents call and demand something. You better believe he will vote, or table a bill that is inline with the people he represents. Silence is agreement in their minds."

So watch the legislature, or shows that cover it. Decide how you want your MP/Congressman to vote. And call/email/tweet tell them.

It is the belief that some how the government is in charge, and they are a separate entity is what breeds apathy and disenfranchisement. And they like it that way.
I wish our school district opened its outdoor running tracks, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts to the public. The ball fields at the elementary schools are open, but the more elaborate facilities at the 3 big high schools are all behind locked fences with NO TRESSPASSING signs. Not to mention elaborate indoor tracks, pools and weight rooms that non-team-member students at the high schools aren't allowed to use either. I have been told it was the booster clubs and the (teachers' union) coaches who insist that these facilities stay exclusive to their respective teams.
Tom, I did not see any name calling anywhere.
Most of the public schools in our area do not allow non-students to use the sports facilities. There are liability issues.

For example, someone is running on the track by himself or herself and then falls and breaks a leg - there is no one there watching that person. School districts cannot afford to staff their facilities 24/7, nor can they afford repairs to facilities caused by unauthorized usage.
Many high schools, especially in the South, are fenced off, and use of by general public banned, with signs stating the prohibition. I was shocked to discover this when I moved to Alabama, as growing up in Pennsylvania, people used high school tracks, fields and courts as public goods. In Arizona, it's a bit more mixed -- some high schools open to the public, others fenced off. Once a few years back, I squeezed in between the fence to get a run in, and an "official" came by, but said it was OK, he just wanted to keep kids and "other un-desireables" from the premises.

And right down the street from me is a complex of little league fields and ball fields (next to a library and dog park) where "non-permit" use is prohibited. Made me so sad to see that, as as a kid, we always played pick-up baseball games and hung out at the park (one of the few "wholesome" activities I engaged in as a kid ;(). The reasoning, from what has explained to me, is not so much liability as expressed in a previous post, but that the field turf gets thrashed and abused with too much use, or "unsupervised" use by those not concerned with caring and maintaining these facilities.
I don't think it's a south v north thing. Here in north Tn, the local high school track is closed, but there is a public walk/jog track on the school grounds. In east Texas, the high school track is open to the public after school hours, and it gets used a lot.
ironically, kids in many schools are no longer allowed to run on the playground. my nieces aren't, for liability reasons, and when I tweeted about that a bunch of people said their kids aren't allowed to run on the playground anymore either. :(
There is a light and dark side to everything. Although I agree with the post on some of the positives of government, what we see is that positive being used against us to gain more power over us. I believe in the need for government, as long as its limited, lean and efficient. Currently its fat, overreaching and inefficient. We are paying a very high price for those amenities that in some cases are limited due to government regulation. The dark side has taken over.
Jacob, if you feel undertaxed in New York, then you must have vast resources. My sister lives in New York State, and believe me, the last thing she feels in undertaxed.

You always have the option of donating money to your State's treasury, or to your local school district, or to the Federal Government.
+Beth Donovan I used to live in NYC, don't know why that hasn't updated. I'm in TO now, but our income tax is much higher than yours. but we have Universal Healthcare and many other perks that you guys do not enjoy.
Also Canadians on average have more wealth than the average American. We still have an income divide, but it is no where near as pronounced.

Other interesting stat, if you are born below the poverty-line in Canada you have a 44% chance to enter the middle class or higher. In the States and the UK that percentage drops to 22, and 21% respectively.

Don't let you politicians tell you a bigger social net means more people on welfare. The social net allows people who have had misfortune get back on their feet.
Oh, I see, +Jacoub Bondre
I have several Canadian friends, and they have differing opinions on your "universal healthcare". Canada has a much smaller and much less diverse population than the USA does. I think that is an important fact to look at.
+Beth Donovan : Why is that an important fact? I don't see how having 30M or 300M people fundamentally changes the problem of delivering health care. If anything, the country with the larger, denser population should have a much easier time of it.

As for "diversity," you're going to need to connect the dots for me. Because I repeatedly hear from small-government types that nothing they do in Europe could possibly work here, and that our "diversity" is a major cause of that.

And not one of them can explain why.
We've a much smaller population, very roughly that of California, but the diversity is as great or greater than in the U.S. Nevertheless, one can enter (or in my case, re-enter (;-)) the middle classes by the simple expedient of working hard.
I've been debating with libertarian friends lately. Those who claim that anything enabled by government could also be done by private industry. I'm just as frustrated as anyone with the problems in our government. But I'm also under no delusions that government is "unnecessary". I'm glad others can find something good in it as well.

I also really like the idea that we are government. We are just missing the critical mass of citizenry for us to reassert our control in our own government. That starts to get at the idea of why our size and diversity are starting to make things more and more difficult. We feel divided more than we find common ground. The people of this country are fighting over who it belongs to just as much as our political parties.
Bryce, show me a country with a population like the USA which has been successful in "Universal Medicine"
How much did that cost per person?

David - Please tell me how Canada is more diverse than the USA. Seriously.

We do not have a parliamentary government here. We are a democratic republic. That is much more fair to those of us in the hinterlands than a direct Democracy or a parliamentary government is.

Our taxes in the US have become way too high, if you figure State, Local, Federal income taxes plus sales taxes plus property taxes plus excise taxes, etc. etc, we are taxed a lot.

And I don't feel underserved by the govt. one little bit. Aside from basic streets and police protection, I don't want the government sticking its nose in my life.
+Beth Donovan Sorry Beth, we have a more diverse population. Toronto is the most multicultural center in the world according to the UN.

Last poll, 89% Canadians still support Universal Healthcare.
+Beth Donovan : Show me a country with a population like the USA. Period. In the history of planet Earth, there are exactly two countries that have ever had more people than we do now. China. India.

I'm at a loss to see what it is about this country's population or its "diversity" that makes universal health care so impractical here. So far, there's no argument in your argument.
It's not right to assume its ok to take from others no matter how successful to give to someone else. 
I was taught to share in kindergarten. And that generosity was a virtue, and greed and glut deadly sins. Just sayin.
It's not that it is impractical, Bryce, it is not the role of government to 'take care' of citizens.. We can take care of ourselves and those who need help via charity. The government is the least efficient way to do almost anything. I don't want the government managing my health - they totally screw up managing our security via the TSA, and they really screw up managing agriculture with the USDA and FDA. Why should I think there is any reason at all they could manage healthcare any better?

I do not want the money that we work extremely hard to earn to go to the government so they can give it to 'deserving' people.

I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount for the security of our nation, for interstate highways and for basic government services, but healthcare is going way too far.
And I was also taught to share and help others - but that should be my decision to make, I should not be forced to give by the government, that takes all the goodness out of it. My husband and I give a lot to charities, both in money and in work.
Health care is not about feeling smug or putting people in a dependent situation. If health care is an optional good, then so is just about everything else you receive from society.

+Beth Donovan by that token, why should I have to pay for your use of fire departments, roads and military forces? You want help in a fire I suggest you pay for it yorself.
+Beth Donovan : Are you going to concede that the size and diversity of our population don't actually have much to do with whether universal health care is practical or not? After so adamantly expressing that we were being stupid for ignoring these factors, and being so unable to explain why, it would be a good face-saving measure.
+Bryce Anderson actually she is more accurate then you think. Population, demographics and economic mix are controlling factors. Let me be clear, I would not mind nationalized healthcare as long as the government stayed out with minimal regulation and choice was maintained. 
+Beth Donovan : Using our government as proof that government in general cannot deliver services efficiently and effectively is like using Enron to prove that corporations inevitably fail at the same thing. We've suffered under thirty years of mostly right wing misrule and government-is-the-problem propaganda.

Right wingers yelling about "small government" while simultaneously fighting tooth and nail for the right of big corporations to inject as much money as they want into the electoral process. At the same time, they fight for policies that keep wealth flowing upward, ensuring that when it comes time to buy an election, only the top 0.1% can pay the tab.
+Joe Parker : Age demographics are important, but she never mentioned that. Racial demographics are generally what people talk about when they say 'diversity,' and neither you nor anybody else has been able to explain to me how diversity makes it harder to provide health services. I can think of a couple of small examples, but nothing that seems important.

Population seems pretty irrelevant to this discussion. A solution that works for a country of 30M should scale decently to 300M, and vice versa. Population density might make a difference, but again, that subject hasn't come up.

The 'diversity' argument really makes me take notice, because it's trotted out by right wingers whenever anyone on the left tries to compare any policy or practice in Europe favorably against our own. And when you ask for specifics, they either change the subject, or trot out stats that seem to amount to "hey, whites are doing fine." They won't say that, of course. They say the statistics "speak for themselves," and try to make you feel like an idiot for asking them what they're saying.

So bored with it.
I'll give the diversity question a shot. It seems to me that a more ethnically/culturally diverse population would have a much harder time with these things. Not logistically, but politically. The real reason we don't have universal healthcare is because we can't pass it. The reason we can't pass it is because this country has diverged so drastically in cohorts.

Some people are adamant that in their country, they shouldn't be forced to pay for anybody else ever. Some people think that in their country, the populace is civilized enough to ensure healthcare for all as a moral duty. Some people think that their country does everything in it's power to stop them from meeting ends meet, let alone getting ahead. That last group rarely gets to speak in this debate by the way (mostly because they can't afford computers). The other 2 groups argue over their fate like parents.

The problem is all these people live in the same country. We can't even agree on what this country stands for anymore. Diversity is not the right word but the one most often misused to describe this feeling. The feeling is actually lack of shared vision. If you talk to Canadians, any type of Canadian, they all feel pretty much the same way about helping each other out.

We have none of that anymore. We have a bunch of different groups who all swear they have have the right idea about what's best for the majority of people in this country. And because our population is so large, and our electoral process so convoluted, it's impossible to even begin to sort out a majority opinion. And even if we could sort that out, it still wouldn't be good enough because we don't run on simple majority. We legislate based on complex rules of constitutional law, past precident, popular opinion, moral questions, economic standing, personal prejudices etc.

It's a mess and nobody really understands. You can see the evidence of that in this thread full of really smart people making cogent arguments. With still very little progress towards compromise.

Thanks all, this has really helped me solidify some thoughts that have been nagging at me.
+Joe Parker +Beth Donovan "Let me be clear, I would not mind nationalized healthcare as long as the government stayed out with minimal regulation and choice was maintained." that is exactly what Obamacare is.

And up hear, Canadian's choose their doctors, their specialists, their coarse of treatments. AND if there is a procedure your doctor recommends, and it is unavailable in Canada, you can travel to any western world, pay for the procedure, and be reimbursed by the government.

Where is the lack of choice and over "regulation".

In Canada access to Healthcare is a right. In our charter of rights and freedoms. No one dies for being poor here. and no one goes from upper middle class to bankrupt after a heart attack.

When I live in NYC, my employer had what all my american peeps called "the Cadillac of plans", and I STILL had to pay 10k out of pocket/yr. THAT'S INSANE!

I can only imagine the number of sick people and children that don't go to the doctor because they can't afford to (I'm talking middle class Americans).

I had a creative director/friend I worked with in the states. Had horrible breathing problems, and pulled in 6 figures, but because he had broken his arm previously he was still paying back a $30k hospital bill.

I convinced him to come work with me in TO after I moved back. 3 months after being here, he was fully covered. He chose the same Dr. I had based on my recommendation (not based on the government).

They found a spot on lesion lung.

He never would have found it, or had been treated in the states.

The very sad end . . . his parent were struggling after the financial collapse in Cali, moved back with his pregnant wife. She started having complications, but didn't go to the Dr. because they couldn't afford it, the baby died a week after birth.

Argue all you want about who should pay for what, but as a society we find that unacceptable.
The government will decide who gets treated and what treatments will be allowed - that is NOT minimal regulation. Thousands upon thousands of regulations are being written based on this law.
+Beth Donovan : Who decides "who gets treated and what treatments will be allowed" now? Insurance companies. And they're doing a crappy job.

And it is my understanding that Obamacare doesn't decide what treatments will be allowed. Here's what it does do: it creates a list of treatments and services that must be covered under any insurance plan worthy of the name. It also requires that the health care industry collects data that will ensure that we can distinguish between cost-effective and cost-ineffective treatments. What insurers do with that information is their business, but it's likely that private insurers probably won't want to continue paying for treatments that don't work.

When you stop screaming about "intrusive regulation" long enough to look at what the regulations actually do, it gets a lot harder to argue against them.

The health care sector is a complicated beast. If you want to keep private insurers, and not go to a genuinely national system, this is minimal regulation.
Japan has not diversity whatsoever, whoever it was that thinks the USA is comparable to Japan. Plus, they are literally dying out. They are not having children.
+Beth Donovan : There you go again, talking about diversity without ever once explaining why diversity is even relevant to the conversation.

Japan isn't diverse. That's a given. But it's not relevant to the discussion, as far as I can see. At the time Japan was brought up, you'd been asking for examples of large-population countries with successful universal health care systems. You were given an example. At that point, you did what you've done at every stage of the conversation: ignore the fact that you were proven wrong, and pivot to talking about something unrelated.

Which is how you got back to square one: diversity.

We have a diverse population. That makes it possible for amoral rightwing greedmongers to use racial jealousies to undermine the political will for a universal system. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of administering such a system. So please knock it off.

I could argue about why Japan's low fertility isn't particularly bad for it. But I'm struggling to imagine the line of reasoning that makes it relevant to the discussion. Even if Japan is "dying off" as you so melodramatically put it, it's not due to its poor health care system, which we could learn a lot from.

The only other reason I can imagine you bringing it up is that you think "declining population" is somehow synonymous with "failed state." Which is absurd, but I can see how you might get caught up in the symbolism.
Half the people in this thread must not realize that medicare exists or know anything about the history of the program. Medical care for people over 65 is VASTLY better now than before medicare.
I'm not against Medicare. I am against universal health care.
+Beth Donovan : Medicare is probably the most effective part of our whole medical system. The simplest path to universal health care is to drop Obamacare and just let everyone join Medicare.
+Beth Donovan you are repeating talking points instead of looking into things. Currently in the states, your doctor says you NEED this, and insurance says NO YOU DON'T. It doesn't get covered.

Under universal healthcare, you doctor says YOU NEED THIS. You get it, and pay nothing. In Canada, the doctor/patient decides treatment. Insurance and government has no say.

It is flat out propaganda that bureaucrats decide treatment.
LOL Medicare IS Universal health care. It's just limited to people 65 and over. These comment threads are hilarious
+Beth Donovan : Free, no. Half-price, probably. Since nobody here believes it and nobody is arguing it, why say it?

There's a certain pool of money that's going to be spent on health services one way or another. So it doesn't have to be "free". So long as the health services are delivered more efficiently (which, as every single industrialized country on the planet has shown, is not a difficult task), it doesn't have to be "free" to save us boatloads of cash.
Yes, this has left the topic. Be that as it may, I am not a German citizen. I don't want to live in Germany. Germany is honestly not my ideal country. It's a fine, lovely place.

The government does not exist to steal money from some and give it to others. This is not charity - this is theft, and they fill the pockets of bureaucrats with outrageous salaries and benefits before any money goes to someone who needs it.

I give to charities that spend very little on personnel because I know my money will be well spent, not wasted.

The government does nothing as efficiently as the private sector. They don't have to make a profit, they can just raise taxes and fees when they are inefficient.

The UK's economy is really being hurt by their NHS. They don't treat people for cancers like the USA does. Canada rations surgery and I've read horror stories of people whose lives have been wrecked by the bureaucrats.
And, since I'm not a German citizen, I don't feel the need to critique how your country decides to do things. Which is kind of why I wonder why people from all the world get so excited about telling us how to live or what to do.

Our government has grown tremendously in the last 15 years. Our debt is overwhelming, and Obamacare is going to increase that more than anyone originally admitted.
+Beth Donovan how much do you or your employer pay monthly for health insurance? In Canada about $145.00/mnth is tax covers all. Companies have started moving north, because its cheaper for businesses to give benefits in Canada.
+Jacoub Bondre , are you saying that the government does not subsidize those payments to pay for medical care in Canada?

Why can't people go to private doctors there? Why do so many Canadians come to the US for health care?

I am self employed. We pay about 1500 a year.
What I am saying is that from our taxes, we pay. $149.00/mnth (this is the approximate amount of provincial and federal tax allocated to healthcare) in Ontario for 100% coverage for everything, sometimes even plastic surgery.

And everyone gets that. Not the rich only, not the poor only, everyone. Because healthcare is considered a human right in my country (and by the UN). The government is the people, we pay, but we all pay a little, and get a ton, and it takes the burden off of families, and businesses.
Jacoub, fine, you are a Canadian. I am not. I do not want Canadian style or UK style or Cuban style universal health care. I want to make my own choices when it comes to what doctors I go to and when. That's why I remain an American Citizen.

The government will only screw it up beyond recognition.
LOL, who said anything about medicare being free? What are you even talking about? Apparently this is all going completely over your head
Jacoub, less than 2% of your population is Black. Less than 1% is Hispanic.

I have to wonder if you ever visited any city in the US outside of New York City?
+Pete Anderson who are you talking to? Me? I don't think medicine is free. I think it costs tons more than it should for far worse results in countries with socialized medicine.
+Beth Donovan 1) What the hell does race have to do with anything?

2) There are more than 3 cultures in the world. Arab, Persian, Asian etc...

3) Black and Hispanic people pay the same taxes you do.

4) Blacks and Hispanics deserve the same benefits as all Americans

5) I've been all over your beautiful country, and most Americans are wonderful rational people, you Madam are not one of those Americans.

I'm done with this conversation. You obviously have some prejudices, which means you are not a rational person, which means arguing with you is a waste of time.
Race is part of diversity. Unfortunately, African Americans in the USA have a much higher rate of diabetes, heart disease and stroke than other races. So yes, there is a difference. I am not a bigot. We also have many Asians in the USA - many more percentage wise than you do. Over 12 percent of our population is African American, we have a huge Hispanic Population and a decently large Asian Population - all those folks have their own cultural Mores, which I am not making judgement on, but I will say that if you have as many people with as many backgrounds as we do (And Canada, no matter what you think, does not come close), there are more health issues to deal with.l
+Beth Donovan The NHS certainly treats cancer, perhaps you have been misguided by some of the fallacies addressed here:

The US also spends more money per capita on healthcare than any other developed country, with no tangible result. As such, relying on vague claims about the efficiency of the private sector seems to be unjustified. Bureaucracy is multiplied in private healthcare systems as administrative jobs are duplicated in different companies.
Yes, Alex, but the outcomes in the UK for breast cancer and for prostrate cancer are no where near as positive as they are here. I did not say they don't treat cancer, they just do not treat it very well,
There's not much difference actually, a large part of the better recovery rates as stated comes from the fact that the US overdiagnoses, and therefore overtreats, for prostate cancer (the PSA blood test).

Seeing as you didn't read the link I posted, let me quote from it:

"Another big difference between UK and US cancer statistics is that in the UK, every single cancer diagnosis and death is registered nationally. In the US there is not nearly such complete data."

So the "better" statistics for the US partially reflect that the worst off people in the US never get diagnosed and die off without leaving any evidence.

The NHS is really amazing, worth every penny and privatisation would be a tragedy.
Really? That's your reasoning?
Okay, then. We cannot discuss anything, because you are under the assumption that socialized medicine is good, while I have seen where it is very bad. I did a lot of work on the NHS software, and heard many horror stories when I was working in Kent.

Nurses too busy to bother washing their hands between patients, spreading MRSI all over hospitals - no thanks. I prefer private medicine, private hospitals.
Don't force me to accept what I see as inferior medicine practiced in the UK and other places where socialized medicine is the only option.
+Beth Donovan Non of what you said is fact, your heard stories . . . I assure you, doctors and nurses in other countries car for their patients too. Your conservative friends will say anything to ditch healthcare. The only REAL reason is Conservatives don't want to pay for other peoples health.
Jacoub, that is not true. I was in the UK working on NHS software implementation and these facts were in the newspapers there.
+Beth Donovan papers owned by Rupert Murdock. We all know how honest and reliable British papers are.
1) I never said it was perfect, but there are incredably few cases like this out of 37 million people, versus thousands of people dying and or going bankrupt.

2) The fact the drug had yet to be approved in our country, has nothing to do with how healthcare is paid for.

3) That is where free choice comes into play. The only time a reimbursement isn't paid, is if the DR says the treatment is not necessary. IE could her cancer be cured with the same prognosis with already approved treatments. The answer was a yes. Your article highlights that the treatment method was cruder, and would be more invasive. No argument here. But she had the same chance of surviving if she receive the treatment in Canada. She could chose to pay for meds, but they still hadn't cleared our national tests yet so she had to go to the states.

See when the FDA approves something, Canada doesn't go "well the states says its safe". It is why Canadian milk can not contain hormones, and anti-biotics are only applied to dairy cows for acute illness, and why in the states there is traces of cow puss in the commonly drank milk"

My wife has a tumor in her knee, it is benign, and in 99% of cases, it causes no pain. In my wife's case, she is in daily pain, but her application to insurance was rejected.

However, her Dr. now rights a letter explaining that it is the rare case that causes pain, and her treatment will be approved.

Yes it can be a hassle, you can wait up to 3 months for non-critical surgery, these are all by products of everyone having access.

But we feel that her waiting 3 extra months is a good trade-off for everyone being covered.

The states will always get treatments first. The FDA moves quicker than our body, and the states is a Market 10x the size of hours, so a submission for approval often are made for the FDA first.

This article tries to make it sound like she needed life saving care and was denied. But the truth is that she PREFERRED the less invasive treatment that was not yet available in our country.

I'm not taking away from the pain that Chemotherapy patients face.

But if the above is the nightmare that you feel is unacceptable, then well that is your opinion. Our system is proven to work better, we have higher life expectancy, preventative care is covered so people are generally healthier so less strain on the system.

In the end the question comes down to selfishness. Should I sacrifice the potential for a little more pain, or a little longer wait to make sure the least of our brothers receive healthcare?

89% of Canadians say yes, and so do the vast majority of Americans, but the US stopped being majority rule a while ago.
+Beth Donovan One last thing, when we lived in New York, our private insurance wouldn't cover my wife's knee surgery, but there was no appeal process available.
That completely depends upon the State you live in. And what kind of insurance coverage you purchase. New York is a far cry from Kansas. Each State has a process for dealing with insurance - these are State issues, that's how our government works.

I can see now why you are pissy about the way we do things here. I think you chose one of the three worst States to live in. I prefer the relative liberty I have out here in the hinterlands.
Your experience in New York is not typical of the rest of the country.
+Jacoub Bondre You have the patience of a saint, but I think you're wasting your time here.

For the record, the British papers are decent, and Murdoch's papers are in trouble for the methods used to get the information they printed, not for the information itself being false.

Unless you meant the tabloids, those things aren't even aiming for the truth.
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