Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some health care thoughts

There was a survey done by Investors Business Daily of physicians regarding the current health care reform proposals from Congress and the White House. I found it very interesting.

I found most interesting that almost half (45%) of the physicians surveyed said they would consider just up and quitting their profession if Congress passed the current proposals. There were an estimated 800,000 physicians practicing medicine in 2006. That means about 360,000 physicians would consider quitting.
There are probably a hundred issues that will arise if that happens. Here's a couple I gathered from the article and just by thinking this out
  • I'm not very good at math, but it seems to me that adding 47,000,000 people to the health care system to a system with a full slate of 800,000 is going to be tough in the first place - about one physician to every 60 people. If half the doctors bail - deciding the trade-off of a decade of education, crazy hours and tremendous debt - that will bump up the ratio to 120 citizens to every physician. I have a hard time believing that this type of system will provide better, cheaper health care than the current system provides.
  • Another stat that increases the discrepancy between physician and patient: Between 2003 to 2006 the number of active physicians in the U.S. grew by just 0.8% a year, while the population has been growing at 1% a year. If patients are being added faster than doctors...
  • A recent study found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980. The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025. If as many as say they'll back out do back out, that number jumps to over 500,000.
  • One of the biggest ways - according to the President and Senator Baucus (writer of the Senate proposal) - this $1,000,000,000,000 is through an increase in taxes on the wealthy. Aside from the immorality of this, there are going to be 360,000 less people to foot the bill if these physicians jump ship.
Anyway check out the article and decide for yourself.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Spectacular September Saturday

As a dyed-in-the-wool, true-blue BYU fan, I am ecstatic about what I saw on Saturday night against #3 Oklahoma. OU’s (deservedly) highly touted QB didn’t play the 2nd half, and as Bronco acknowledged, that’s a big deal. More on that later. What I saw from BYU that I haven’t seen in the past in big games was:

  1. Big Defense Stands
  2. Poise when playing from behind

One thing that’s always frustrated me about my favorite team was the seeming inability to take on a bigger, better equipped team and give them a game. That didn’t happen this time. Unlike last year, Max Hall stepped it up when the game was on the line (9/10 passing on the final drive, including key 3rd and 4th down conversions) and it has come to my attention that he called all the plays on that final drive. It was all very Manning-esque.

Another reason to be happy about this win is because it’s not like BYU played a perfect game and managed a 1-point win – they were sloppy at times, like any team is in Week 1. And, with all the injuries they had (yes, BYU was playing hurt, too) they are only going to get better with time.

Now for why I’m miffed. I have spent the past couple of days scouring the internet and the TV for some acknowledgement that BYU beat OU. I’ve found two articles that give the Cougars any credit: one by Mr. Pat Forde from ESPN and one on else is hanging BYU’s win on a missing Sam Bradford and other OU mistakes. Well, the facts are stubborn things and I’ve gathered a couple of them to illustrate that BYU didn’t have any advantage in the game that allowed them to win – they just won.

OU: Four new offensive linemen
BYU: Four new offensive linemen (returning lineman playing with broken finger, other projected starter out for season with torn rotator cuff)

OU: Missing All-American TE; did not play
BYU: Missing 2-time 1000 yard RB; did not play

OU: Lost starting QB, 2nd to last play of 1st half
BYU: Lost starting LB mid-way through 1st quarter

OU: Replacing top two WR
BYU: Replacing top three WR

OU: Returning 9 starters on defense, including entire front 7
BYU: Returning 6 starters on defense (2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB)

OU: Returning two 1,000 rushers, Heisman Trophy winner (for ½ the game)
BYU: Returning 2nd team all MWC QB, TE w/ 1,000 yd receiving

OU: Approx 60,000 fans in attendance
BYU: Approx 15,000 fans in attendance

OU: Norman, OK to Dallas, TX = 200 miles
BYU: Provo, UT to Dallas, TX = 1450 miles

OU: Penalties – 12/93
BYU: Penalties – 10/87

OU: Turnovers – 2
BYU: Turnovers – 4

OU: Offense: 158 yds w/ Bradford; 103 w/out Bradford
BYU: Average starting position for offense in 2nd half: Own 15 yard line

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Motor of the world, football and cheaters

I just finished reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

The book's a little over a thousand pages. I hadn't read a book from cover to cover for a while, and at first the task seemed a bit daunting, but as I read I couldn't put it down. Ten days later Paula was returning the book to the library. A lot of people have heard of the book, but it seems the number of pages have deterred many from reading it. I'm not going to do a book report here, but I highly recommend it for a read.
A couple things that stood out to me: first, the book was published in 1958, though Rand began writing in 1948. Despite being over 50 years old, I found myself amazed at the accuracy in defining the attitudes that are prevalent in our society and that I feel and sending it in a downward spiral. Second, there was a lot of talk about money and people who make money. One thing I noticed throughout my life and never understood was why those with money feel a need to apologize for their wealth and those who are poor seem to wear it as a badge of accomplishment. Am I alone in noticing this?
Even in high school, people would apologize for coming from wealth. Unless the money was obtained though some nefarious means, people should never have to apologize for making money. And I think the only reason people should brag about their poverty is if they were able to rise above it.
Finally, I'm going to be using the words 'looter' and 'moocher' a lot more than I did in the past. These two words were used repeatedly in Atlas Shrugged and the applications were apropos.

Today marks the beginning of the college football season. I love college football and am thrilled to be able to spend some time watching it. I was fortunate to marry a SEC woman - a woman who understands and appreciates the sanctity of a Saturday afternoon and evening. Paula provides not only guilt-free watching of as many football games as I can get a hold of, but encourages this. She even goes shopping on Friday or Saturday morning to pick up snack food for me to enjoy while watching. Incredible.

Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio personality) was talking about Alex Rodriguez a while ago and said that it wasn't a big deal that A-Rod took PED's because it's a game, and that it wasn't like Enron or anything. I got to thinking about that and gotta disagree. A-Rod, in my opinion, is a cheating tool. Here's the deal - baseball isn't a game at that level: it's a business. And A-Rod cheated and lied his way to the top of his industry. A-Rod cheated on his wife. A-Rod has cheated in the two major aspects of his life - his work and his relationships. What else is there to judge the character of a man on?
Then you got Rick Pitino having an affair, paying $3000 for an abortion, and getting blackmailed for it.
Then you have another of John Calipari's NCAA basketball final four appearances being voided out. Two schools, two NCAA Final Four banners taken down.
Then you have Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer cheating on their wives.
Here's the deal: all these guys are liars. They are liars because they all apologized. None of these punks are sorry about what they did. They'd do it again if given the chance. And I don't know about the rest of you, but the first time I was pulled over for speeding wasn't the first time I sped; the first time I got in trouble for swearing wasn't the first time I swore; the first time I got busted for being somewhere other than where I said I'd be wasn't the first time I was somewhere other than where I said I'd be.
Bottom line, these guys are apologizing they got caught. That's all. That makes the liars on top of cheaters. That makes them bums. Throw the bums out.