Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Health Insurance

Matt was watching a programme on TV last night and I was being distracted from my reading and ended up watching some of it. The most tragic scenes about people in the US without health insurance. Intellectually one knows about this, I have also experienced some of it when living in North Carolina, we couldn't poke our nose into our local hospital without shelling out about $2,000 but we couldn't afford insurance and our Canadian insurance didn't cover us. However, on the programme they told three stories of families, two of whom lost loved ones. Some of the scenes were so heart wrenching I was in tears. The third story was about a man with a major spinal problem, who, because he was on the programme, attracted the notice of one hospital who agreed to operate for free. Apart from the cost of the actual medical treatments and the fortune they spend on medications, these families suffer badly from loss of a wage earner. The whole thing is tragic and I cannot understand why America doesn't do something about it. Although I gather both McCain and Obama have "plans". We all know what happens to election promises. One of the women, who lost her husband, said something I have always said, she lived in what was supposed to be the richest country in the world and yet she had lost her husband through lack of health coverage. Before you say, they should have insurance, it is cost prohibitive for many families. We took the risk and we were lucky, these people have to take the risk and are often not lucky. In many cases its insurance or food. It makes me appreciate that most of my life I have lived in either Britain or Canada where we do have national health coverage.
This blog will probably be delayed as I have a lot on this morning, the young man who repaired my PC has to return to fix my USB ports which aren't working properly, and I have to make some phone calls. Which means instead of sitting around here in my nightdress, I have to get a move on and leave blogging til later. Sorry Kevin.

Here's a different version of Crème Brulée which I haven't tried but which is listed as easy.

Ginger Crème Brulée

Servings 6

2 oz. ginger root, pared, grated

1 qt. heavy cream

10 egg yolks

9 oz. sugar


2 tbsp. sugar

candied ginger, as needed

berries, as needed

6 mint leaves

Combine ginger and cream in sauce pan; heat to boiling. Remove from heat; let cool 15 minutes. Strain. Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl; mix using hand whisk. Slowly whisk in cooled cream. Pour mixture into soup cups. Place in hotel pans containing 1 in. water; bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Remove from oven; refrigerate overnight.

TO SERVE Sprinkle 1 tsp. sugar over each cup; brown in salamander or with hand torch. Garnish with candied ginger, berries and mint. Have a great day.


  1. Our french health system is about to change a lot in in next years i suppose, that is real problem in every country.

    I thought it was stupid to have a health mutual insurance in my job, inside my earnings.It used to sound ridiculous for me because we all were used to have mutual insurance. But i begin to think that i might be lucky about this in the futur.

  2. Any kind of health insurance is a good thing to have Gynie, you just never know what may happen. When you are young and healthy, you don't worry about such things, but later in life, things can get difficult.

  3. Health insurance was an absolute godsend for both my parents - well, 'godsend' in the sense that God helps those who help themselves, they paid all the subs of course.

    I had health insurance as a student, my late father included me on his BUPA scheme. Once I started work he told me it was up to me to arrange my own, which was fair enough I suppose. Trouble is, I've never earned anywhere near as much as he did, haven't been able to afford it and certainly can't afford it now. Fortunately we do have a State health system here, though it's different from the UK one and a bit limited. If I ever get to later life, I expect it will be difficult.

  4. My family and later Matt and I, were members of BUPA for many years. Daughter #1's family are also members which has helped them over the years. However, they, and all Brits, still have National Health to fall back on. Same in Canada, we have a national health system. In the States they have NOTHING. So if you can't afford insurance, you are sh*t out of luck. The big problem with national insurances is that the systems get overloaded and one has to wait so long for everything.

  5. Jo --

    Not having health insurance is a problem here too despite that the French state health system is excellent. There are treatments though that it does not cover, and it also does not pay for a bed in a private ward, so we all do still have private health insurance as well. It is also very expensive here to die, Jo, with a plot in a cemetery costing something like 50,000 Euro.