It’s been a while since I last posted, and that was not my plan. This will be sort of a catch-up message, and then maybe I’ll get back on a more frequent schedule. Our big recent event was the trip to Italy of forty members and twenty friends of the San Diego Festival Chorus. Among the cities we visited were Venice, Florence, Lucca, Palestrina, and Rome, where we performed a Mass at St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Our final concert was in Amaseno, the home town of our Musical Director, Maestro Anthony Mostardo. We were welcomed by the mayor and it seemed like the whole town turned out for the concert. Tony was given the key to the city. If you would like to read a personal log of the trip with pictures, check Italy 2009.
Old Town San Diego
On Saturdays in July, Teresa and I have been putting on our 1865 period clothing, and handling the “Letter Writing” demonstration table. In those days, children were trained in Spencerian Script, and used quill or metal pens you dipped in ink. (The Palmer method was soon to follow.) In those days a letter cost 3 cents to mail, and rather than use an envelope, the letter itself was folded, origami style, into a rectangle that could be stamped and addressed. I was happily surprised to see how eagerly children and adults tried their hand at the script, and wrote actual letters. We had a good time helping people do things the really old fashioned way.
Health care reform is one of today’s big issues, and Obama has touted the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic as examples of how excellent care can be given at lower cost than more traditional hospitals and educational institutions. The key seems to be that the doctors are part of multi-specialty medical teams that collaborate on patient treatment. They are on salary, rather than being independent practitioners that are paid on a fee-for-services basis. Obviously there is not much incentive to provide unneeded services at the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics. Also, the medical system is highly computerized at those clinics, which is a big saving.
The current medical reform bill does provide for some experimental pilot programs to incorporate some of these principles. Let’s hope the bill gets through, and that the pilot programs are astoundingly successful. It will be quite a challenge to convince U.S. doctors to forgo their independent status and go on salary, or more significantly perhaps, the fee-for-services approach.
The main thing is that people who were previously uninsured will have a chance to be insured. That’s a big step forward.