Is preventative healthcare cost-effective? Reply


By Tom Quiner

According to Rutgers economist, Louise Russell, “prevention usually adds to medical spending.”

She’s studied it. She wrote about it in the Journal of Health Affairs in 2009. She says that :

Four out of five preventive options “add more to medical costs than they save.”

The President doesn’t care about the cost, as he told us last year:

“insurance companies [under Obamacare] will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies, because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.”

I applaud prevention, but someone has to pay for it. Who? The poor?  Of course not. The middle class? Obama said no in a presidential debate, that he opposes anything…

“that is primarily funded through taxing middle-class families.”

But why shouldn’t folks pay for at least a portion of their own prevention? Isn’t that kind of important to keep medical costs from spiraling even more out of control? If you’ve got a stake in paying the tab, won’t you be a little more accountable?

One of the many flaws of Obamacare is the mandate on insurance companies that they provide  45 preventative care services at zero cost to patients. Sounds good on paper. But eventually you’re going to have to pay. You’ll feel the pinch when healthcare gets rationed and waits for care get longer.

The 19th century French economist put it this way:

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

It won’t work, and people are going to get hurt.

 

Do you want Kathleen Sebelius to tell your dentist how to clean your teeth? 3


I just got back from the dentist where I had my teeth cleaned. Section 4102 of Obamacare is charged with setting standards for “tooth-level surveillance.” This is but one of 1968 new powers granted to government bureaucrats. My dentist has done just fine without Obamacare telling him how to do it. Butt out, Mr. President and Ms. Sebelius. More…

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin? 1


By Tom Quiner

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can anybody tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good they die young
You know, I just looked around and he’s gone.

Didn’t you love the things they stood for
Didn’t they try to find the good in you and me
And we’ll be free
Someday soon and it’s a gonna be one day.

[Lyric excerpt from Abraham, Martin, and John by Dion]

***

I’m thinking about Martin Luther King, this January 17th, 2011. It’s Martin Luther King Day.

I re-read his I Have a Dream Speech today. To me, it’s the greatest speech of my lifetime. This line stood out:

“But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.”

Since he delivered those important words, America changed. The Civil Rights Act was passed with bi-partisan support which outlawed major forms of discrimination on the basis of race.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was formed to protect against workplace discrimination.

Affirmative Action policies were put in place that allowed race-based quotas and reverse discrimination to redress past racial grievances, a form of national reparations, so to speak.

America takes discrimination seriously. Since Mr. King’s great speech, segregation and discrimination have been rendered illegal through a series of national and state legislative initiatives.

To amplify America’s repugnance for race-based discrimination, some states passed addendum’s to their Constitutions prohibiting any kind of discrimination. For example, here is the key wording from California’s Proposition 209 which was passed in 1996 with an overwhelming majority:

(a) The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

Interestingly, the ACLU and other liberal organizations fought ferociously against the above language, language that was the fulfillment of Mr. King’s dream, because they did not want reverse discrimination ended.

So what happened with the passage of Proposition 209?

African-American enrollment at Berkley dropped, proof to liberals of the fallacy of ending race-based discrimination.

On the other hand, black enrollment improved at rank and file colleges in California. Even more, graduation rates went up for African-Americans. Proposition 209 has produced just and moral outcomes.

America has moved into a post-race era with the election of its first African-American President. What a tribute to this great nation.

Still, voices of victimhood emanate from the political Left suggesting that the troubles in the African-American community are the result of persistent racism. And yet the data doesn’t seem to support their premise.

Did you know that only 30 to 40 percent of black males graduate from high school? What a tragedy since education is critical to success in this nation. Our school’s are very much dominated by the teacher’s union who overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

Did you know that black males represent 70 percent of our prison population? Is discrimination at work here? I don’t think so. The Department of Justice reveals that 80 percent of crime against blacks was in fact perpetrated by blacks.

Let us look at black families. In Philadelphia in 1880, three out of four black families were intact, nuclear families with two parents and children.

In his book, “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925,” Herbert Gutman wrote:

“Five in six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents.”

In 1960 the illegitimacy rate in the black community was 22 percent. Today, it’s nearly 70 percent. The family clearly hasn’t broken down because of discrimination. Black families were much stronger when discrimination was rampant. More likely, the African American community has been a victim of welfare and Great Society programs that rewarded illegitimacy and penalized marriage.

Mr. King said:

“In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

America has done much right in ending discrimination. And it has damaged a group through the promotion of victimhood. This has got to end in the name of compassion, in the name of decency.

Let us honor Martin Luther King’s dream:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Didn’t you love the things [he] stood for
Didn’t [he] try to find the good in you and me
And we’ll be free
Someday soon and it’s a gonna be one day.

America has made progress. Our work isn’t done.

God vs. Science, part 2 2


[The following essay came across my e-mail yesterday. You know the type, it’s been forwarded around the world. I don’t know who wrote it, so I apologize to the unknown author for not giving him or her proper attribution. It is a wonderful discussion of God vs. science.]

***

God vs. Science

“Let me explain the problem science has with religion.”

The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’

‘Yes sir,’ the student says.

‘So you believe in God?’

‘Absolutely.’

‘Is God good?’

‘Sure! God’s good.’

‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’

‘Yes.’

‘Are you good or evil?’

‘The Bible says I’m evil.’

The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. ‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’

‘Yes sir, I would.’

‘So you’re good…!’

‘I wouldn’t say that.’

‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?’

The student remains silent.

‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. ‘Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’

‘Er…yes,’ the student says.

‘Is Satan good?’

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. ‘No.’

‘Then where does Satan come from?’

The student falters. ‘From God.’

‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?’

‘Yes.’

‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

Again, the student has no answer.

‘Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’

The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes.’

‘So who created them?’

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them?’

There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. ‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’

The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’

‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’

‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’

‘No, sir, I have not.’

‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’

‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’

‘Yet you still believe in him?’

‘Yes.’

‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist.What do you say to that, son?’

‘Nothing,’ the student replies.’I only have my faith.’

‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. ‘Professor, is there such thing as heat?’

‘Yes.’

‘And is there such a thing as cold?’

‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

‘No sir, there isn’t.’

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’

‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation. ‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’

‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. ‘So what point are you making, young man?’

‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’

‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains. ‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?’

‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.’

‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. ‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean. The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’

The class breaks out into laughter.

‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’

‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues. ‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’ Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.’

The professor sat down.