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On Thursday we interviewed Sen. McCain in his office. Since I promised you the blog would provide some "behind the scenes," check out the pictures I have posted. There are pictures you won't see anywhere else... well, some of them are pics you won't see anywhere else.
Some of the pics are from Sen. McCain's inner office — which is where we set up to interview him. As you know, Sen. McCain represents Arizona. Inside his office you see many things from Arizona. What is most notable are all the items Arizona's former Sen. Barry Goldwater gave Sen. McCain.
A few pictures show Sen. McCain's desk — a gift from Sen. Goldwater. When Sen. Goldwater retired from the Senate, he gave Sen. McCain the desk. Sen. McCain told me that Sen. Goldwater's secretary sat at the desk with him and thus there is a leaf that pulls out for the secretary to use. (No, Sen. McCain does not share this desk with his secretary.) I actually enjoyed seeing the piece of Senate history — the desk — being passed from one senator to another. And of course, whether you are a Republican or not, you have to admit that both Sen. Goldwater and Sen. McCain are senators who have greatly influenced history themselves!
On the wall of Sen. McCain's office are many photographs taken by Sen. Goldwater (see pics posted on the blog.) I did not know that Sen. Goldwater was an accomplished photographer.
Last night our new chief White House correspondent Bret Baier helped us out and gave a live report about how the news of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death was delivered to the White House. As I am sure most of you know, Bret just transferred from his beat at the Pentagon to his new White House beat. Right before we started his report, and while in break, we talked. I don't get to see Bret much in person. It occurred to me that he would be going to Camp David to cover the president this weekend. I knew he would be going in the morning. I asked him what time he had to be at the White House to go with the White House pool to Camp David... he said, "4:45 a.m." Somehow the conversation drifted to how he would get there in time (there is no parking at the White House) and he said his wife was going to drive him. We then teased him by asking him if his wife is nuts....
I spoke to Catherine Herridge yesterday — her voice sounded strong. It is expected that she will see her son Peter for the first time since surgery either today or tomorrow. (See the update on yesterday's blog.)
Now for some e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
Greta, I couldn't agree with you more about the state of health care in America. I believe that the problem is a complex one. We have advanced medications and advanced treatments that demand research. We have increasing health challenges such as obesity in children, STDs in teens and young people, and conditions related to declining health in older Americans. We have pharmaceutical companies who have become so competitive with each other and so complacent about making money for the shareholders that they overprice beneficial medicines and skip steps in ensuring the safety of their drugs. And, finally, we have health insurance companies whose executives are making millions of dollars and whose product is too expensive for the average working American to pay for without the help of his employer.
Solving just one part of the complex problem will not work. Maybe it IS just too complex for our legislators to figure out.
E-mail No. 2
PLEASE do a show on health insurance, the poor and both the under-insured and unemployed. I am not a liberal by no means, but people need health insurance. I am a diabetic with high blood pressure and problems with legs and eyes. I am fortunate to have a doctor who let me slide in February about not having my blood work done but I don't think he will when I need my prescriptions refilled next month. That will be over $700 and I will have to charge it. My husband is on full disability because of Multiple Sclerosis. One of his medications is $1200 a month and the other is $280. Thank God MS Lifeline helped him get that medication on a hardship case.
We live in Michigan were the job market is horrible. We have been living off of savings and my husbands $1300 a month disability from SSI. By August all our savings will be gone. BTW, I have been unemployed for over a year. I have both office management & human resources skills and I send out at least 25 resumes a week and I have had TWO interviews in 13 months.
Congress is who needs to be contacted and I have written numerous letters. Others need to do it, also. There is a Web site called www.covertheuninsured.org. There is a wealth of information on there. Please enlighten your viewers and let's do something about this problem.
E-mail No. 3
My husband, anxious for an update on Catherine and Peter, read Gretawire as soon as it came. Wonderful news that both are doing well! Our prayers are with them.
As to the problems with Congress, there's one solution that would help: TERM LIMITS!
Some have been there so long that they feel they own the place.
E-mail No. 4
I appreciate what the people at FOX have done in giving an inside look at this story. I’ve been a fan and supporter of Catherine Herridge for a long time, and am very sorry about what happened with her baby and that both of them have had to suffer through this very difficult time. The video interviews show how beautifully courageous she is through her willing sacrifice to give part of herself so her son has a good chance for life. It is evident that Catherine and her family have struggled over this life threatening issue ever since Peter was born, which in my view makes her courage even greater. Catherine’s pain was so obvious before the operation, and my heart goes out to her, her son, and her family. I’m very happy the surgeries were successful and will keep them in my prayers.
E-mail No. 5
I really like your show. You have made a great transition from trial lawyer to talk show host. I respectfully disagree with your comments on the need for dramatic congressional reform of our nation's health care policy. Specifically, the reason that Catherine Herridge and her child are at the University of Pittsburg, and not at a similar facility in Toronto, Brussells or Paris, is that our health care system reflects the increased quality that a capitalistic, and not socialistic, system provides.
Trying to "reform" our health care system, by making its funding and delivery system more closely resemble state-sponsored health care, will result in the quality of our care more closely resembling that of our Canadian and European counterparts.
Although our system is quite imperfect, fixing it should not involve emulating lower quality health care systems.
P. S. Jerry Buck Inman was apprehended about 25 miles from my home last night.
E-mail No. 6
In today's blog you mentioned our health care system. My husband and I are seniors, retired, on Medicare and the new Medicare prescription plan.
Imagine our disdain when we realized that the co-pay we pay at the drug store for our medications is deducted from the $2250 that the government allows us as our prescription plan benefit.
The total is $2500, from which is deducted, the deductible amount of, $250, leaving a real benefit of $2250. I personally pay $28 each for two prescriptions and $5 each for two additional prescriptions. That totals $66 a month that is additionally deducted from the total benefit. Over a 12-month period that's $792. Additionally deducted from the total benefit leaving me with a benefit of $1458 — hardly worth the effort, and get this I've paid the $792. Something doesn't compute here.
Am I stunned by this? Of course! Why is the co-pay that I pay in cash deducted from the total benefit? That's an answer I'd like to get from our president or Congress or Medicare. It would make more sense to me if my cash, out of pocket, were not deducted from the total benefit.
So the new Medicare prescription plan is not all it's cracked up to be. Just blows my mind that if I were an illegal immigrant, and needed medical care, I'd get it free and some saps, like my husband and I, would help foot the bill.
We will certainly look further into this benefit when the new year rolls around and, yes, it will affect our vote this November.
Thanks for being a sounding board — my love and prayers to Catherine Herridge, Peter and her family.
Lake Ariel, PA
E-mail No. 7
I'm so grateful that you shared the story of Catherine and Peter with America. This is truly an example of the depths of a mother's love. I am so proud of the courage both have shown at this trying time. I've been following their progress and was thrilled to hear that Peter was at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is such a blessing not only to Western PA, but to the entire country. They do tremendous work each day with such compassion and understanding for each family, making them feel they are the only patient. This hospital and staff do not seek publicity or praise, they seek rewards in smiles and hugs. I would ask anyone who was inspired by the story of Catherine and Peter to donate to the Children's Free Care Fund — www.chp.edu/giving/03cdonate_freecare.php — so that all children in medical need can receive this world class care.
Kudos to the doctors and staff for showing the heart of Western PA.
Sugar Hill, GA
(Native of Western PA)
E-mail No. 8
I likely never told you about this, but my son died in 2002 at age 28. He was born with Hepatitis and at the time he was one of only three patients known to have been born with it. He had three liver transplants, basically one every three years, beginning in 1992. He never did lead a normal life. During my dozens of driving trips with him to the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha, for transplants, many, many biopsies and other associated problems, I came to know many dozens of other transplant patients and their families, some livers, some lungs, kidneys, three and five organ transplants... adults and infants... biliary atresia is actually somewhat common... and I have to say that I would NOT recommend it for anyone. For every positive story the public hears about, there's two negatives. For every one patient that has his transplant and is basically never heard from again, there's five that live with a lifetime of severe problems. Tim was one of those and overall I'd say that if he'd had the choice, he'd have chosen not to have been born, it was that bad. He certainly hated what the transplants did to him. In the end the meds destroyed his kidneys and he eventually succumbed to Leucoencephalitis secondary to his renal and hepatic failures. I hope that Ms. Herridge's baby has better luck, but I fear the baby may well be in for a very difficult life. When listening to these stories, remember that those involved, the surgeons, the transplant staff, the networks, the transplant coordinators... all have a vested interest in transplantation. They however do not have to live the life, nor die the death. Ms. Herridge is facing some dangers herself in this. Living donations of livers has shown itself to be problematic to say the least. If you have any questions, feel free.
Rod C. Venger
Colorado Springs, CO
E-mail No. 9
Do you think any one cares a bit about the killing of a miserable, murdering terrorist? The best outcome, for him and for us, was what he got — death — without the loss of any more coalition lives by this mad man.
Your show is sinking in my estimation and you better start bailing your boat. HGTV is better entertainment. And, no loyal American gives a hoot about the well-deserved death of a murdering terrorist.
Get a grip.
ANSWER: Jerry, it is with some amusement that I noticed your e-mail came in at 10:55 p.m. That means, even though you don't like the show, you hung in their for 55 minutes. Thanks.
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