Quick Hits for July 31, 2009
* I just have to wonder how a public option would do both: Be so horrible no one would want it, and undermine the private insurance companies by having everyone join them. If no one would want it, then how would it do anything but boost private insurance company sales? And if it would undermine private insurance companies, doesn't that mean they would be providing better services at better prices, so who wouldn't want it? Their arguments make no sense except to expose their poor reasoning against health care.
* After using the Wii Fit, I have to wonder why we can't use a platform like the Wii to create Wii Medicine tools to create telemedicine from home as a way to evaluate whether patients just need bed rest, to pick up a prescription, to go to the doctor's office, or to go to the emergency room, to save health care costs and increase safety from people with contageous illnesses. It just seems too easy and too much of a common sense approach that I have to wonder why it hasn't already been done.
* The average family pays $12,000 a year in health care costs. Really, how much more could a public option cost than that for families?
* As silly as I thought it was to report the choice of beers that President Obama was going to drink at a meeting, it is even more embarrassing to watch a US Representative whine about the President's choice of beers. Thought I have to admit that I didn't know that Bud, Miller, and Coors were now owned by companies overseas. I guess there is just one more case for drinking American made microbrews, Sierra Nevada being my choice (hint hint for endorsement dollars for my 2 followers.)
* While driving while texting is absolutely more dangerous to everyone on the road and ought to not be done, is anyone else surprised that the federal government is reacting so strongly to the new study out that says it is 23 times more dangerous to drive while texting than not? When did we lose common sense so much that we thought to ourselves, "it is a good idea if I read these text messages and respond while driving instead of watching the road?" Maybe someone could just enforce wreckless driving laws instead.
* Cash for Clunkers sounded like a really great deal until someone underfunded it. Who would have thought that almost a billion dollars in tax credits would move so fast at $3,500 to $4,500 per car? That is over 211,111 cars cashed in and probably sold to replace those old cars in just SIX DAYS!! Heck, at that rate, if American automakers had been making more fuel efficient vehicles, they probably could have made a fortune on Cash for Clunkers. I am hearing that some cars are already sold, loans signed, but people are sitting without their new cars waiting on Congress to say "we will fund the program for more than its original budget." Let's hope they keep going.
* Bipartisianship is overrated considering that all it takes is one side to simply insist on saying "no" all the time so that the other side can't fulfill promises of bipartisianship. If you watch the state congresses in California and New York, it is one of the biggest reasons why they have their budget problems: the minority party has simply said "NO!" in a way that it gridlocks the state's budgets. If Democrats did that in some predominantly Republican states, we could be saying those things about Republican states that they are saying about New York and California.
* I used to wonder why Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) opposed universal health care, being a doctor. A friend told me the story that he was a doctor who lost a lawsuit over his care, and became an administrator. That might explain why he is focused on protecting doctors from lawsuits by limiting payouts, even if a patient is now crippled for life and will have need for constant care and no future possible income. Yet, he will talk about patients, but it is always in the context of protecting or giving power to doctors, not the patient's health care. For Burgess, doctor is a title he earned through school, but administrator or elected private sector bureaucrat is more like it.
* Some environmentalists have announced a "clean energy race." I think it is a cleaver take off on the "space race", but it needs more context. To simply say "clean energy race" seems rather simplistic by itself. To say something like, "China and India have 2.3 billion people and tons of US dollars to spend, with massive plans on modernization that traditional energies can't meet, thus creating a need for a clean and renewable energy race for nations around the globe to suck up their modernization spending. If America can lead the way and produce massive amounts of clean and renewable energy for their rural villages and towns, it could be a massive boon for American businesses, American workers, and the foundation for a revolution in America's energy future. It is a race we need to win to re-emerge as the world's technological leader!" would probably dramatically help their cause.
Strange Things Are Afoot at the Lege
5 months ago