Health

Health Care: Whose Option?

Prostesters demonstrate against Democratic-sponsored healthcare reform at a rally ahead of President

Prostesters demonstrate against Democratic-sponsored healthcare reform at a rally ahead of President Obama's visit on August 15, 2009 in Grand Junction, Colorado. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption John Moore/Getty Images

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 46 millions Americans, (under the age of 65) were without health insurance in 2007. So, what have we learned about President Barack Obama's health care plan? Much of the fuss is over the public option — where public and private insurance plans compete for your dollars.

But is it or isn't it an option?

Health care cooperatives, a board of directors and "the people" get to vote. Who are "the people" again? Then there's single-payer health care, which is legislated insurance with centralized payment of doctors, hospitals, etc. Or — bottom line — you'll have to go through the government as the health care administrator; or maybe a publicly owned agency.

That's a lot to think about, right? Is your head spinning yet? No?

Good, because after one week of some very intense and emotional town-hall meetings across the country this battle for universal health care isn't over yet. Let us know whether you've attended a town-hall meeting in your state.

And what's really going on with the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos? Britain has imposed direct rule after an investigation discovered evidence of corruption among the territory's officials (mainly the government of former premier Michael Misick, who is alleged to have acquired a multi-million-dollar fortune since he was elected in 2003). I visited the official tourism Web site of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

It looks cute.

There are 40 islands and cays but only eight are inhabited. And just in case you're a contestant on a game show like Jeopardy: Christopher Columbus walked around the islands in 1492, and salt was a commodity back in the day; the island has been inhabited by the Taino and Lucayan Indians; Bermudians came for the salt; the French and the Spanish took control from the Bermudians; and then the British came swooping back in to deliver a smack down that handed the island back to the Bermudians. The people of the islands are called "Belongers." It sounds a little cultish, but I'll go with it. But I digress (got a little caught up, sorry). I searched for a site that would tell me about the population and the people. The Turks and Caicos Islands have about 33,000 people and they consist of descendants from African slaves, Bahamians, and a large expatriate community of British, American, French, Canadian, Haitians, Dominicans and Scandinavians. It's a shame to know the suspension of the government could last up to two years but, maybe you can benefit from some great travel deal to the island. Take some pictures of your toes wiggling in the sand and post the link for our digital media guy Lee Hill in the space below.

And, just in case you're wondering what we have in store for you next week, let me take you deep inside the Tell Me More editorial meeting. The staff thinks the following stories are HOTTTTTT. (Let me know if you think differently. I only ask that you be gentle when you're smacking down our ideas.):

Argentina is trying to recover from its second winter influenza peak — swine flu or H1N1 is hitting the country hard. So we want to know how the country is preparing to handle disruptions in the schools, workplaces and hospitals.

— And, one of our program's producers was fascinated with the story of former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba. He was recently cleared of corruption charges. Chiluba, who has a penchant for designer clothes and expensive boots with high-heels (he wants to add height to his stature) was accused of embezzling $500,000 during his ten-year presidency.

— Also, the Islamic religious observance of Ramadan, marking the month when Muslims believe God started to reveal the Koran, Islam's holy text, begins on Saturday. During that month, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. And not only do they not eat but they also refrain from drinking, sexual conduct, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured. Well, we hear that children as young as 6 years old may be fasting — not because they have to but because they want to participate with their families. So, one of our questions what should parents know and how do you prepare their teachers and classmates? We'll tell you what we find out and, please, keep listening. You never know what surprises we may have for you.

Any stories you think we should cover? Tell me...

Thanks for listening.

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