It’s Friday! Although I am never quite sure what day it is anyway, I do know Friday and today is it, Friday, Friday Friday. Speaking of Friday..quite a week has passed.
Snow, snow and more snow slammed the East coast in case anyone missed it. Government shut down, as if anyone noticed. The capitol and the White House will crank out next year’s Christmas cards from the snow draped scenery. They will be beautiful. I have already seen the White House pics with the fading sky and the homey lights reflected on the snow drifts. I think there was even a call to Al Gore sarcastically asking him about the absence of global warming. I guess we’ll just have to wait until the heat of summer refreshes their memories. Of course the conspiracy-theorist in charge, Glenn Beck, thought that the U.N. climate change scientists should commit Hara-kiri. That is probably a little over the top, even for Glenn…or not.

Kyler Van Nocker

Speaking of Hara-kiri, Toyota had a big recall not once, but twice this week. The first recall was about the gas pedal that can become stuck making driving the car, a challenge. I guess the “slogan” ‘Toyota, moving forward’ was kind of prophetic. Andy Borowitz thinks the slogan should be changed to Drive a Toyota, you’ll never stop. All kidding aside, when the head of Toyota who was at a meeting in Switzerland was informed of the situation with the gas pedal he immediately returned to his hotel…in a BMW (true story). That should give Toyota owners some smidgin of faith in their cars. Thankfully, the recall was not politicized and took off by mid-week. But, when it rains it pours (I never could figure out what that meant as a slogan for Leslie (now Cargill) salt…does it mean that Leslie (now Cargill) salt still pours out of the package when it is raining? Which begs the question, why are you pour salt outside in the rain? Longing for the ocean? But I digress)…getting back to raining and pouring, it seems that another Toyota recall is needed to fix the computer communication under the hood when it comes to breaking in the Prius. Do you have one of them green machines? Well on the one hand, the car is so computerized that there is a complicated and sophisticated series of instructions the computer makes when you press on the break pedal which slows the car down, hence it’s name, break. On the other hand, it is so complicated because there are no cables involved that I just get a headache when I try to understand how it works, or supposed to work. So, two problems for Toyota this week can be summed up this way, they don’t stop when they go. Got it? OK, now there will be a test, so I hope you were taking notes.

Finally this week there’s the story of a youngster caught up with real “death panels” not the ones fabricated by the quitter Sarah Palin. No, these are the panels set up by the Health Insurance Cartel. Yesterday Paul and Maria Van Nocker, along with their five-year-old son Kyler, filed a complaint against Harrisburg-based HealthAmerica insurance company on the grounds that the company breached its obligations and duties when it denied coverage of a potentially life-saving cancer treatment for Kyler. Doctors say that MIBG treatment is standard care for a child in Kyler’s position, but HealthAmerica repeatedly denied the claim because it deemed the procedure “experimental” according to internal guidelines.

Kyler was diagnosed with nueroblastoma, a rare and particularly lethal form of childhood cancer, in 2007, when he was about 2 ½ years old. HealthAmerica OKed experimental treatment that seemed to work, but the cancer returned in 2009.

In direct contradiction of the advice of medical professionals, the HealthAmerica insurance company denied the treatment, calling it “experimental” and “not medically necessary.” According to Kyler’s physicians, MIBG treatment in children with refractory neuroblastoma is medically necessary and is not investigational or experimental. The treatments in this case are more expensive.

Government death panels? Nah, worse, profit-driven death panels. Whatever your political leaning, you really have to ask yourself a few questions: “What is going on here?” and “What would I do to keep my son alive?”

There is a way out, maybe a couple of ways out, single payer (Medicare for all) or create a law which demands that the Health Insurance Industry become not-for-profit. Write someone! Now!

Have a good weekend, as Olympics start tonite remember there are Haitians still sleeping outside… make sure you curb your tires and put your Toyota in ‘park.’