Evening over Japan

Evening over Japan


So I got sick…

I had a slight sore throat Tuesday evening and by Thursday afternoon it had affected me enough to get a fever. Got home and fell asleep, by 10pm my fever was 38.5c (about 102f). Not good and my throat was completely raw. It hurt drinking water.
The next day I decided to go to the doctor. He checked me out, prescribed a LOT of medicine and sent me on my way. Total cost in US dollars for doc visit and prescriptions was about $17.
Now I’m no fan of socialized medicine but here, in Japan, it is the law of the land.
It is well known that Japanese are among the longest-lived people on the planet with a life expectancy at birth of 84 years, ranked third globally. The U.S., by comparison, ranks 50th as of 2011 with a life expectancy of 78.5 years. At the same time, the infant mortality rate in Japan is 2.8, while in the US it is 6.9 per 1,000 live births.
So how can they do it?
This is the difference, the costs are about half of what it costs in the US because the Japanese government keeps costs down is by setting fees for procedures, office visits, and so on and preventing insurers from competing—all insurance pools pay the same rates for the same services and drugs.
If you become sick in Japan, you go to one of the numerous clinics or hospitals, most of which are privately owned and operated, present your insurance information, pay a small co-payment, and receive good care. Perhaps the most significant thing Americans can learn from the Japanese in terms of healthcare is not simply that their system works better than ours, but that the Japanese government conceptualizes the health of its population as a component of national security. There is a widespread attitude among both government officials and many citizens that the health of individuals contributes to a healthy society and that having a health citizenry is a fundamental element in maintaining a secure and prosperous nation. It’s not that I disagree with healthcare, nor do I feel that many on the right in my country disagree either, I feel that some of us disagree with its implementation in a society that was built upon freedom of choice. An unhealthy population is just as much a threat to national security as terrorists and other political enemies.


Japan is amazing

Again I have not posted in quite some time.
Needless to say, but this place can be quite amazing. The language barrier can be steep at times but in most places you will find someone who will try very hard to help and understand you.


Another day, another train platform.

Another day, another train platform.


At your local Japanese shrine.

At your local Japanese shrine.


Starbucks are everywhere…

Even here in Japan. Every shopping center has one and there are thousands (maybe just hundreds) of them too.



Finally back on…

I am here in Japan now and really loving it. The people are all quite reserved and keep to themselves. But always nice. The food is better than I expected. More to come…


Flying over northern Canada - all ice!!!

Flying over northern Canada - all ice!!!


My flight to Japan

So business class on ANA airlines is an amazing way to fly. From the reclining seats to built-in movies to the great food, these guys know what they’re doing.As I write this we are flying over Canada at 32,000 feet, over an iced-over lake, the James Bay, I believe.I am a bit nervous but what a nice way to welcome me to Japan.The guy in the seat next to me is American, is the COO of a large bank in Japan.He is telling me a lot of great information.I forgot to get a gift for my lawyer so I bought some Godiva chocolates onboard. I hope they do not melt.Contrary to what Neil Peart says, this adventure is not sucking so far.