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Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

Newsgasm:On Clinton/North Korea, Clunkers, LA Fitness Shooting and more…

I’m going to try something a little different here. I had a little bit to say about multiple news stories, nothing I wanted to ramble about. Maybe this becomes a weekly feature maybe not, but can you say recurring? I think so.

Bill Clinton/North Korea: It’s amazing that the United States was able to pull this off with a huge assist from Bill Clinton. But as information came out yesterday that Clinton already had a guarantee that he was going to be taking the prisoners home, I wasn’t surprised. Howard Kurtz, Washington Post media critic, opined that this was the case on @HowardKurtz on Twitter, before it became public. What I find most interesting is that North Korea rejected Al Gore and seemingly Hillary Clinton as emissaries, and asked for Bill Clinton.

Cash for ‘Clunkers’: Click for data on why the program is working. I, like so many others in this country am tired of the political games that seem necessary to achieve progress in this country. It doesn’t matter what your politics are. Let me repeat, this is not about politics. The program set out to improve the average mileage of cars in the United States, have  positive environmental and economic repercussions because of it,  and help Americans who were three of four thousand dollars short of being able to finally get a new car. Guess what. It’s a success. Getting the extra $2 billion should not necessitate arm wringing and nonsensical posturing. This time it was Republicans but neither party is immune to the idiocy that is common place. When progress can only be accomplished at a glacial pace, Americans lose out in the long run.

LA Fitness Shooting: Click for story from CNN. This tragic story may have a lasting impact on law enforcement. Mashable details online diary entries from the  murderer who set out to kill young women. He was planning it and talked about  how he was lonely, hadn’t had a girlfriend since 1984 and that he didn’t want to live anymore. How will law enforcement patrol the internet for dangerous people who are making their criminal intentions known beforehand?

Healthcare: The article explains that Democrats are feeling good about passing healthcare reform after a pep talk from the Head Coach-in-Chief. I know that healthcare is a polarizing issue and even within a party, there is disagreement. I even blogged about an issue that’s been dismissed that may be crucial in the debate. But why exactly are Republicans so up in arms? So astonished, bewildered and enraged about the prospect of healthcare? This was one of the pillars of Obama’s campaign. He won. Did you think he would decide against it once he was able to kick his feet up in the Oval office? I don’t mean to trivialize the issue. But last week Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats have the votes to pass healthcare. Politicians are the cagiest of people, why would she say this and have it blow up in her face? It seems that the Democrats can push something through if they want because of the public signing off on it in the election and because they can get the votes. Disagreement within the party has slowed progress of the bill because Blue Dog(more conservative) Democrats want consessions in the bill that progressives are against. Its pretty clear that Republicans will not work with Democrats for the best possible bill. It goes against their principles to do so. But why the uproar? If its so bad for the country won’t people realize this? If the bill is just another collosal mistake by the Obama administration, won’t this make it easier for a Republican challenger to harness the momentum of public opinion and defeat Obama in the 2012 election?

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Friday Night Links

I’m starting a new weekly feature. Is Friday night the best time time to get readers to check out interesting links? Maybe not. Is Friday Night Links the best ‘links’ related phrase I could come up with? Yes. Yes it is. On to the links.

I defy you to keep a straight face during this:

Groundbreaking stem-cell treatments help animals get back in the game for $3,000. Humans could be next.

Texas Governor Rick Perry may consider invoking 10th amendment’s state’s rights to pushback against a national healthcare plan.

Mayors, assemblymen, and rabbis, oh my. Corruption scandal nets two mayors and other officials from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

Time-lapsed video of Manhattan Bridge swaying with trains and cars. It’s supposed to happen to some degree but it sure is a little disconcerting:

If you like James Blunt’s, “You’re Beautiful”, you will love ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s “You’re Pitiful.”

You know how they say people in sports or pop culture are geniuses? ESPN’s Patrick Hruby debunks some of them.

Just a shoutout(linkout?) to where I like to get my politics fixin’.

Lebron gets dunked on by high school kid. Nike and James went to great lengths to keep this underwhelming video off of Youtube. Here’s the Youtube link:

Bill Simmons answer’s 5 Questions from Mediaite including thoughts on Twitter.

A sentence from this piece says it all. “The transformation brings new blood to the doughnut war in America’s most competitive market.” I knew not of this cutthroat dougnut war. I guess I was naive.

Lifetime’s Movies. An A through Z listing. So amazing. I think “When The Cradle Falls” and ‘Vows of Deception” are my faves.

Newsweek with some not-so objective journalism when it comes to the star of The Ugly Truth.

Saving the best for last. Japanese Fangirl beats over 10,000 people to meet the stars of Harry Potter. What ensues is so fantastic, so unfailingly unique, that you can’t help but watch in utter amazement. You want to look away but you just can’t. Oh and click the link. The one with Daniel Radcliffe(Harry Potter himself of course) is even better than this one.

The Healthcare Debate Heats Up

Obama has thrown himself headfirst into this fight

Obama has thrown himself headfirst into this fight

If you’ve skimmed one newspaper, stopped on a major evening news program, or gone to a news site in the past couple of weeks you have heard about the healthcare debate. You don’t know the details, you know there’s squabbling in congress, party vs. party and party vs. President, and maybe you vaguely remember that it was one of the important parts of President Obama’s campaign.

The current situation pits Obama against Republicans in congress, who he says are exploiting the problem for political gain. Republicans counter that they accept that healthcare needs fixing but take issue with Obama’s plan to do so. Obama operates within a timetable where he knows that political losses now are ok because he isn’t up for reelection until 2012, but Democrats who have midterm elections in 2010 are starting to get queasy about walking lockstep with the President and passing controversial reforms which may be unpopular in the short-term. This is hampering  Obama and his agenda.

Its no fun to even ponder it, but what if rationing healthcare is the only way?

'Rationing healthcare' is seen as a dirty term but what if it's the best way to save the most people?

An article from The New York Times Magazine is a monster one, but it brings up an interesting question in the protracted healthcare fight. Can you put a price on life? Of course, its all about how you frame things. Almost anybody would quickly answer no to the question. But if as the article says, healthcare is a resource, and all resources must be rationed, then is there an answer to the problem? Writer Peter Singer says yes. He uses the example of individuals hurt by a rationing system in England and the public outrage for their plight, while worse things happen to Americans and we don’t bat an eyelid.

When the media feature someone like Bruce Hardy or Jack Rosser, we readily relate to individuals who are harmed by a government agency’s decision to limit the cost of health care. But we tend not to hear about — and thus don’t identify with — the particular individuals who die in emergency rooms because they have no health insurance. This “identifiable victim” effect, well documented by psychologists, creates a dangerous bias in our thinking. Doyle’s figures suggest that if those Wisconsin accident victims without health insurance had received equivalent care to those with it, the additional health care would have cost about $220,000 for each life saved. Those who died were on average around 30 years old and could have been expected to live for at least another 40 years; this means that had they survived their accidents, the cost per extra year of life would have been no more than $5,500 — a small fraction of the $49,000 that NICE recommends the British National Health Service should be ready to pay to give a patient an extra year of life. If the U.S. system spent less on expensive treatments for those who, with or without the drugs, have at most a few months to live, it would be better able to save the lives of more people who, if they get the treatment they need, might live for several decades.

Just the amount of detail required to analyze one aspect of the healthcare question puts into perspective the problem that the country faces. I think we can all agree that Americans are best served if the disagreements in congress lead to viable healthcare solutions and aren’t just for political point scoring, because the issue isn’t getting any less complex, or going away any time soon.