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Black Hills, by Nora Roberts

Black Hills

I believe it is no secret that I enjoy most of what Ms Roberts writes to one degree or another. Like so many things in life, this is a two-edged sword. While this is good because it means that I can look forward to a number of books each year that, odds are, I’ll enjoy, it also raises my expectations as to the quality of each new novel. Ninny that I am, this may mean that I avoid reading the next book for a bit…

Yeah, I’m an idiot, go ahead and laugh.

After avoiding anything remotely resembling spoilers for more than six weeks, I finally cracked open my signed copy* of Black Hills last week—and stayed up all night reading it, all four hundred and seventy two pages of it. After reading the last line, I closed the book, sighed happily, went about my daily business with all the energy of a half dead mouse and, come evening, cracked the book open on the first page again.

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Readers share their experiences of health care in the USA.

A Romland regular writes:

My poor coworker has colitis. She recently ended up spending the weekend in the hospital with full-blown diverticulitis.

A. She got a bill from a surgeon who walked into her room and was there two or three minutes and told her she didn’t need surgery. The bill even after the insurance portion was around 300.00

B. The doctors insist she have a colonoscopy. Insurance won’t cover it UNLESS there is SOMETHING WRONG.

Her husband got laid off last November and he’s been doing contract work for a company–they think the company won’t hire him full time because they don’t want to pay benefits but his COBRA runs out soon. She’s terrified that one of them will get really sick and he already takes five or six medications a month.

I realize that healthcare isn’t perfect pretty much anywhere–my dad told me about some 69 yo dude from his church who left Canada because he had cancer and they said he was too old to be worth treating which I think is downright horrible–but at this point, I’d say the US insurance companies and the US pharmaceutical companies are no better than companies like Exxon.