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Another Fabulous Father Son Weekend

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Brad and I get together for a father and son weekend each year.

Some of my readers have the impression that we always go to the Consumer Electronic Show in January.

We have gone to a couple of CES because I like seeing the new electronics that are offered.

This year Brad wanted to go to the place where he was born. He was born in 1965 on Blytheville Air Force Base, the home of the 851st Medical Group.

I was stationed at Blytheville Air Force Base from 1965-1967 as a Captain in the Air Force and chief of medicine of its hospital.

Blytheville map

Arkansas International Airport is the old airstrip for the Strategic Air Command base. Brad and I landed there.

 

Cecelia found the hospital bill for Brad’s birth a few years ago. The total bill was 15 dollars

The hospital was a thirty-bed acute care hospital with all the modern equipment for 1965.

B hospital 2018 copy

The hospital seemed much prettier in 1965. There is total rumble within its wall now.

 

Life on the base was great for all of us. It was the first time I made a living wage.

I remember Cecelia walking through this front door with Brad in her arms after he was born to take him to our base housing.

Blythville hospital door

What a thrill to see them walk out of the hospital.

We spent a lot of time playing with Brad in the front of our house at 1924 A Dogwood Dr. Our back yard faced the airfield.

Blytheville in front of 1924 B (1) copy
Cecelia, Brad and Stan. Brad’s 6 months old.

Brad fun on swing Blytheville 1966 copy

Brad at 8 months

Brad and me Blytheville 1965 copy copy

Brad 12 months and me 1966

Brad and I think we found our house during our visit. However, it was impossible to tell. All the street names have been changed.

Blytheville house

This might have not been the actual house but is was the actual configuration.

The government closed the base in the 1998 and gave it to a non-profit charity. Westminster Village of the mid South is now a non-profit a retirement community designed for people 55 years and older with affordable housing. The oldest resident is 101 years old. He is independent and weekly drives himself to a local casino.

All 400 houses on the base were the same. They were duplex Capehart Housing. I flagged down a woman driving a car. She would not take us to see her house. She called the security guard for us. He brought us to the village manager’s office. The manager took us to a guesthouse that had the same configuration our house on 1924A Dogwood Dr.

I showed Brad his first bedroom.

Brad first room repurposed copy 3

This was the place of Brad Feld’s first bedroom. It has obviously been redecorated.

After visiting the remaining notable sites on the base we headed into downtown Blytheville. I could not remember anything about downtown Blytheville except the New York Store. I bought my first Harris tweed jacket in that store fifty-three years ago. It still fits. I wear it on cold winter nights in Dallas.

I was thrilled to visit Blytheville Arkansas.

I know Brad was thrilled with our visit.

Next stop Memphis Tennessee. Brad was hungry so we stopped in Osceola, Arkansas. I could not find the famous Dixie Pig in Blytheville.

After lunch we were on our way to the Hotel Napoleon in downtown Memphis. We checked in and immediately headed for a 4 PM appointment at Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock and Roll. We did not have an appointment but thankfully they were able to assign us to the 4.30 PM group.

Sun studio copy

Sun Studio is a fascinating place. “Sun Studio is known worldwide as “The Birthplace of Rock’n’roll”.

“ It is the discovery location of musical legends and genres of the 50’s from B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Ike Turner and Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis; from Blues and Gospel to Country and Rock’n’roll.

  Sun studio tickets copy                  Sun studio crowd

One can buy all the old original 45s

 

Sun Studio is a small place with all the memorabilia Rock and Roll freaks only can love.

Sun studio museum copy

Sam Phillips the owner rejected Elvis at first because he was too ordinary. He wanted a new sound. Elvis sang tunes he thought would please Phillips.

When Phillips left the room Elvis started singing tunes he liked to sing. Bingo!, Sam Phillips heard Elvis’ tunes and hired him on the spot. The rest is history.

 

Brad and I did not have our traditional hot fudge sundae. We settled for chocolate ice cream malts at the Sun Studio soda fountain.

We both needed a rest. It was pouring rain outside so rather than walk in the rain we got an Uber to take us to the Hotel Napoleon.

 

Dinner was on Beale Street. Beale Street is exciting. It is a little like Nashville’s Music Street and New Orleans condensed into one city block.

We ate in the BB King building’s top floor at Itta Bena. The live blues music during dinner was wonderful. I had lamb chops. They were great.

http://ittabenadining.com/memphis/?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral

After dinner we walked Beale Street.

Beale St copy

 

 

We stopped into A. Scwab a trading store that was established in 1878 for a real hot fudge sundae.

Soda fountain schwab

Soda fountain big scwab copy

 

 

“In 1876, Jewish immigrant Abraham Schwab opened a store on Beale Street.

Over its 138-year history, A. Schwab has become a Memphis institution, beloved by many generations.

  1. Schwab is the only original business remaining on Beale Street.”

It was time to go to sleep. Tomorrow, “We are going to Graceland, Graceland in Memphis Tennessee”.

Graceland is one of the places I have never gone too. I am excited because Elvis was “my man.”

To my surprise Graceland was overwhelming.

Graceland entrance copy

The entrance with gift shops, memorabilia and Eliv’s car collections, clothing collections, electronic collections, airplane collection and auto collections are housed across the street from the mansion. I could spend hours there. We only spend two hours going over the collections.

The Mansion copy

Elvis bought this house in 1957. It was 7,000 square feet. He extended the house to 17,000 square feet. He liked a lot of rooms with a lot of different themes.

Elvis price 1957 copy

He paid $102 500 for the house and 7 acres. The house original cos Dr T Moore 37,636, in 1937.

Cost of graceland 1937 copy

 

Elvis livis room copy

This is the living room at Graceland. It is a little loud but wait until you see more.

Elvis bedroom copy

This was his bedroom. Purple is a good color for a bedspread in the 1950s.

Fun room copy

This is a billiards room and meeting room. Elvis was into color.

Elvis playroom

This was Elvis’ playroom. I still have not figured it out.

Media room copy

This is the media room. He have multiple TV. Everyt ime RCA came out with a new one he good it. His love of music resulted in his buying every new media gadget. He love all the electronics of the time.

 

Elvis was a good looking guy who who was a man of the 1950s and 1960s

He was not a hick copy Another one copy

He knew how to dress when it was appropriate.

He was a great collector of cars, electronics and man toys.

Neet toy

Here is one of the toys he drove around Graceland.

 

His plane copy

Here is a toy he would fly around the word in

That is it folks

That is it folks. 

I apologize for not discussing all the chocolate ice cream on this trip. Let me just say we had plenty. We covered every meal.

Except there is one last thing.

Brad gave me a party present for my love of Elvis and his music.

Me in elvis outfit Back of jumpsuit copy

It is a little big on me because he bought an xx large but some safety pins got it to be presentable.

 

Daniel asked me if we could revisit his birthplace in Boston on one of our next father-son weekend trips. Who could blame him. My answer was why not?

I always have a fabulous time on my weekends with one of my sons.

Remember I lived in Boston for two years when I was an endocrine fellow at the Mass General. I know most of the fun places especially Fenway Park.

Daniel, Boston it is.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.



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Here They Come Again

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Democrats have tried to pass a single party payer healthcare system since 1935. Slowly, but surely, the American population has been indoctrinated into believing that a single party payer system run by the government is the best healthcare system to have.

Americans have been filled with disinformation about the wild successes of single party payer systems in the rest of the world.

The economics of these single party payer systems are seldom discussed in a coherent way. The American public has no idea of its economic burden to its countries.

The fact that these governments continue to raise taxes to pay for their single party payer system while decreasing their citizens’ access to care is hardly ever discussed. Only the favorable statistics that fit the progressive narrative are published.

In Norway the income tax rate is 50%. This is mostly because of its universal single party payer healthcare system. Norwegians seem happy with the system. If they get sick they have nothing to worry about. Their health care is free.

The fact is nothing is free and only 20% of the population interacts with the healthcare system at any one time.

In Britain taxpayers are unhappy with the National Health Services. Consumers recognize the bureaucratic waste in their healthcare system. They also suffer from decreased access to care. Wait times for health care and surgery are ridiculously long.

The private healthcare system is flourishing in Britain for those who can afford it.

The British healthcare system is unsustainable. The British government cannot figure out how to make it more efficient.

America has a single party payer system for Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and the VA system.

Seniors love Medicare. They could not afford to get treatment if there was not a Medicare System. Policy wonks and Democrats refuse to recognize that in 1965 after Medicare was enacted, healthcare prices exploded. The price of healthcare has continued to explode yearly.

Congress has ignored the basic defects that have caused this explosion. A few congressmen are making feeble attempts to correct this continuing price explosion.

The political establishment largely ignores these congressmen.

As attempts are made to try to control costs through regulations the bureaucracy grows and the system becomes more inefficient. The reduction of reimbursement to physicians has resulted in the explosion of concierge medicine.

The result is an increase in costs and greater opportunity for abuse by the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals and healthcare providers and government.

Medicaid has experienced the same increasing costs. It also created a shortage of physicians because of low reimbursement. Obamacare has expanded Medicaid. This has decreased the availability of medical care for Medicaid patients.

President Obama’s law increased the number of Medicaid recipients but did not cure the reasons for the lack of providers. Many clever Medicaid providers have figured out how to exploit Medicaid rules only to suffer from investigations and government penalties in the long run.

The VA system is the purest example of sheer failure. Not only are the patients unhappy but the providing administrative bureaucracy is riddled with inefficiency, corruption and waste.

The inefficiency, corruption and waste have not been able to be fixed but many notable private sector executives. They have all ultimately resigned or were fired.

The VA system’s single party payer system remains an incurable failure.

These examples have proven to me that a single party payer system is unsustainable and not economically feasible. The government continues to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Are these mistakes intentional?

The government’s goals are to gain power and have control over the population. If its goals were to have an efficient and effective healthcare system, it would provide the resources to permit all consumers to drive the healthcare system. It would create a system that would motivate consumers to be responsible for their healthcare.

What is happening now?

The healthcare policy ideologists are using the New York Times as their propaganda vehicle to promote a single party payer system.

The article, Back to the Health Policy Drawing Board” is intellectually simulating to readers of the Sunday Times. However, many of its details are untrue.

After one casually reads the article on a pleasant Sunday morning it would seem much simpler to have a single party healthcare system controlled by the government than the chaotic system that presently exists.

However, the cost of the Medicare system is out of control. America cannot continue to print money forever. America’s political class is ignoring this fact.

It is so out of control political wonks are starting to talk about having another Debt Jubilee.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_Debt_Coalition

The New York Times article starts by saying:

The Affordable Care Act needs help.

It sure does. The problem is there are too many defects in the structure of Obamacare that led to the increases in costs to the government and consumers. Obamacare is beyond repair.

After scores of failed repeal attempts, Congress enacted legislation late last year that eliminated one of the law’s central features, the mandate requiring people to buy insurance.

There was only one failed repeal attempt not scores of repeal attempts. The one repeal attempt failed by one vote. It seemed to me to be a vindictive vote. It was not on the bills lack of merit. It seemed to me to be on John McCain’s personal animosity toward President Donald Trump.

There has been a total lack of bipartisanship in trying to repair Obamacare. The have been no ideas offered by Democrats. Its goal was to stymie the Republican administration.

Many establishment Republicans’ goal was to also stymie the Republican administration.

Obamacare had three principal features:

  • Insurers could not charge higher prices to people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Those without coverage had to pay a penalty to the government (the “mandate”).

President Trump slipped the elimination of the mandate into the tax bill to bring a speedier death to Obamacare.

  • Low-income people would be eligible for subsidies.

Each feature represented a death bell from the onset

A June 2017 poll showed that 60 percent of Americans said the government should provide universal coverage, and support for single-payer insurance rose more than one-third since 2014.

Americans are frustrated with the dysfunction in the healthcare system. Premiums have increased tremendously since Obamacare. Its regulations and defective principles increased dysfunction.

Enormous deductibles have resulted in individual buying defective insurance policies. Consumers have ended up with essentially no insurance coverage except for catastrophic illness. Only people at risk for high cost treatment have bought these policies.

I cannot imagine what the 60% who want a single party payer were thinking. Can a government run system improve the inherent inefficiency, waste, abuse and unsustainability of Obamacare or a VA like healthcare system?

A government run single party payer system can only make things worse.

The healthcare system will not improve until congress acts to level the playing field and fix the defects inherent in our present healthcare system.

I believe a universal consumer driven healthcare system, available to all, can “Repair the Healthcare System” at a much lower cost to society and individual consumers than a single party payer system.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2018 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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