Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Healthcare: Make Em Pay

In the name of keeping the Titles and Comments somewhat aligned, and since I know everyone cares and has opinions about healthcare.  I have copied these from our Union discussion.

And if you have a thought, don't be shy about commenting.  It really doesn't hurt a bit, and you may help us learn something or consider something differently.
"You are correct when you say that at some point The Law mandated that healthcare providers, in the form of emergency rooms, were required to give away their services for free to anybody that asked. But that is pure socialism and slavery by another name, and it is wrong. Of course we do not want people dying by the side of the road just because they lack the means to pay for simple catastrophic insurance or because they could afford expensive medical insurance but chose to forgo it. The problem is that government consistently drives up the cost of health insurance through mandates of various kinds (and because somebody has to pay for all that free medical care being given away). If government would butt out of the health insurance business, a lot more people could afford it. Then all you have to do is to modify the current emergency care law to minimize the immense amount of freeloading now going on. Simply allow the hospital to bill people who use the service but do not have insurance. It's called personal responsibility and we need to give it a try.
The problem, as it has always been, is not that someone will choose "who lives and who dies" by virtue of the medical care they can or cannot receive but rather WHO DECIDES. It should not be some faceless bureaucrat in Washington DC. It should be somebody standing at the emergency room door – on both sides – both taking responsibility for their personal actions. That is what Republicans want. How is that wrong?"  Anon
If you use the "Search This Blog" function off to the right, and enter Healthcare. You will see that this is a favorite topic of mine, and we have had many discussions on it. Since it involves money, ethics, religion, personal choice, etc. I don't think many people here see that as wrong, though I see it as impractical.
Holding the patient who neglected to get health insurance and is broke responsible is easy if society is willing to do it. Let them die. Unfortunately then the ambulance chasers will show up and try to make the hospital responsible for turning them away unless the law allows it.

Holding the ER Doctor responsible is pointless, they don't control the budget and the hospital can't fund all of the Doctor's choices. Talking about responsibility without authority... Or maybe we should have the triage nurse make the choice.

Now if you are a supporter of getting Gov't out of healthcare, how do you feel about physician assisted suicide? And pro-choice/pro-life? Just curious..." G2A
"Why health care costs are out of control in America is a complex and little understood problem. Because of the polarized and political nature of the issue, there just isn't an independent understanding of this issue. For one thing, it's not obvious to me that whatever mandates we have in the United States are any more onerous than those in countries where health care costs are much lower. I do believe the inefficient and unaccountable way we redistribute the costs of "free" health care is a factor, but hey that's just my unsupported opinion. Other countries don't have "free" health care, it's paid for in ways that are understood and accountable, which I believes results in a controlling of costs."  Hiram
"Or, you could simply treat them and send them a bill. Make them FINANCIALLY responsible and, if they can't pay, you give them easy payments or write off the debt from the hospital's taxes, just like everybody else does with bad debt. This cuts off the freeloaders of both kinds, because they will find (if government would allow it) either that basic non-emergency care is cheaper WITH the insurance, or that serious emergency care is VERY expensive without it.

As for health care costs, we know that getting the government out of health care, in four simple ways, would cut our costs in HALF while improving quality of care."   J. Ewing
"Since most of these hospitals are not big profit centers, especially in the neighborhoods where the poor live. I assume this bad debt would put them in the red pretty quick. Would you advise tax credits to help them stay afloat? (ie write offs don't work without profits)

And how would this be different than today? Other than a bunch of broke folks would get a lot of collection calls. I guess the upside is it would create jobs in the collections and bankruptcy industries.
I don't doubt that it would keep people from getting unnecessary treatment, however I don't see that as a big cost driver. Most folks I know do what the Doctor says, and don't sit around wondering when they can spend more time in the Doctor's office.   (Imagine: "Doctor, Please can I have another colonscopy. Pretty please.")
Maybe if we had the Doctor pay for any tests that don't yield useful information. That would cut back on the running of tests. Though the consequences may not be desirable."  G2A

Monday, January 30, 2012

Robbinsdale Schools Info

The agenda has some pretty interesting links, including GRAD test result predictions based on MAP scores, budget assumptions, teacher ratios, enrollment projections, STEAM admittance policy, hazing policy, and lots more. Also they name the STEAM school, I hope they have a big sign.

RAS 23Jan12 Board Mtg Agenda

Other news...
MN Sun Supt gets new 3 yr Contract
MN Sun STEAM Naming
MN Sun LAC Fed Platform
MN Sun LAC Platform

And don't forget about the other RAS issue Bloggers.
Speed Gibson
281 Exposed
281 Exposed Exposed
Community Solutions

Any thoughts to share, or points I missed?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Are you Right, Left, Up or Down?

After years of people trying to fit me into the Left or the Right, and watching the SC surveys that broke Republican voters into many categories, I decided to do some research and add some dimension to the topic.  Ironically I still land somewhere between Reagan and Clinton on this chart.  (seems about correct)

What are your thoughts on these type of charts or do you believe it is simpler than they make it?  I found it interesting that they put Democrat and Conservative both on the Totalitarian side of the line...  Seems about correct given their desire to impose their beliefs on others.

Politisite - Take the Test
CIVICA US Political Categories
COBSlog Nolan vs Asplund Chart
NCSU Left / Right
Freedoms Phoenix Nolan Info
Transcend Include One Chart

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unions in the Global Work Force

It looks like a new topic has found us per my last post and I am very busy, so here we go.
"As for my Union comment. As long as compensation is based on "Years of Service" instead of "Results and Effectiveness", companies in competitive fields are doomed to failure. This is why Unions are only proliferating in the Public sector."   G2A

"Republicans have a problem. There economic policies fail when they are put into practice. Eight years of the Bush Administration cost this nation millions of jobs and plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. How, exactly, do you spin that? The Republican answer is to find scapegoats. So they blame the housing crisis. Not of course the free market environment that led to the easy money policies that they so fervently supported, and which inflated the budget. Instead, they blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose major blunder was to join the party late. Republicans also blame, basically us. We shouldn't have bought homes, we shouldn't have taken out mortgages. We should have been content with our lot in life. And finally, Republicans blame unions. The fact that the union movement is in irreversible decline, a decline which, by the way curiously coincides with the decline of the middle class begun with Ronald Reagan's assault on PATCO, doesn't seem to faze them. It's better even for the Republican attack on unions, that unions are in such a greatly weakened position. It means that they find it very difficult to defend themselves."  --Hiram

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Religious" People Confuse Me

This post was almost called, Attack of the One Issue Voters.  Now I am not sold on Romney yet, but how can these "Evangelicals" totally ignore Mr Gingrich's past transgressions?  He isn't on his 2nd marriage...  He is on his third !!!  On top of that he has a questionable ethics record at best.  And according to Wiki, he is on his 3rd version of Christianity.

Whereas Romney appears to be a devout Mormon, Husband, Father, etc.  Yet somehow the pious church members want to support the individual that aggressively broke one of the top 10 twice.  Thoughts?

WP Gingrich and Evangelicals
Huff Post Gingrich Ethics
Wiki Romney
Wiki Gingrich

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pirating Content: SOPA / PIPA

Well if you have not heard about this topic, I think you had better turn in your web user card on the way out the door.   Wiki SOPA and PIPA   Apparently our government is considering some laws that would make it challenging and expensive for many web sites to operate.

Being a supposed "Small Government Libertarian", I really do not want the government putting anymore rules on the web or spending my tax dollars enforcing them.  Yet due to my strong belief that people should pay others for their work, I am fully in support of doing something.  As usual, I AM CONFLICTED !!!

A brief story: when I was younger I would pirate "free" music from my friends by copying it onto cassette tapes.  I mean I was broke and my friends had some cool tunes.  Yet when I got a job and matured (slightly), I started to truly understand that it was wrong to steal people's intellectual property without paying for it.  So I discontinued the practice and began paying for all of my tunes, movies, software, etc.  By the way, we do still "share" within the family. (I think that is ok, though I may be rationalizing...)

Now compare this with an acquaintance of mine who has 30,000 songs, another who watches "free" movies instead of renting or buying them, another that rarely buys software, and dozens of other examples of freeloaders extraordinaire.  And the scariest part of this is that most of these folks are at least comfortable with their pilferage, if not down right proud of how good of a deal they are getting.  On top of this...  Many of them are neither young nor broke...

I wonder if these folks would be willing to slip into a bakery and grab a "free" roll while the baker wasn't looking.  Or how many go to church on Sunday morning and pledge not to steal, just to come home and download that "free" content.

One more story: In a book named Predictably Irrational by Dan Arielly, they discuss some social experiments they ran and how the results did not always make sense. (a fascinating read)  One related to this post is when they placed bottles of pop in a shared college dorm fridge.  Not surprisingly, within a few days they were ALL gone.  So next they placed a plate with the same number of dollar coins in the fridge.  Surprisingly, all coins were still present at the end of the test.  Apparently we can rationalize taking things, but have a harder time with cash.

Thoughts?   STEALING  or A GOOD DEAL?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mitt Romney?

I have been spending some time with my peers over at MNPublius, who of course are vilifying Mitt Romney.  Which seemed interesting, since I am getting the feeling that he is more of a moderate than the other Republican candidates.  Maybe that concerns them since this may allow him tro get more votes, maybe even stealing some from Obama.

So what do you think of Mitt and his candidacy:
  • Will his Mormom beliefs prevent the Conservative Christians from voting for him? 
  • Is he the evil corporate raider that MNPublius is trying to paint him as?
  • Are his views on healthcare reform acceptable? 
  • Other important issues?
If he gets the Republican nod, I am thinking he probably has a high likelihood of beating Obama.  Probably definitely worth discussing.

MNPublius Romney and Understanding
MNPublius Romney Capitalism goes Wrong
Wiki Romney
Mitt Romney site
Romney Weakness

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Correlation Does NOT Imply Causation

Since the terms Correlation and Causation have come up in our discussions, I decided to provided some serious and humorous links to help folks learn about this concept that is so critical in our normal discussions.

Any good or humorous examples that you would like to add of where people have abused this?

Dilbert Correlation does not imply Causation
Qualtrics Correlation and Causation
Prudent Investor: Correlation vs Causation Cartoon
Wiki Correlation does not imply causation
Stats Help Correlation vs Causation
Youtube: Correlation and Causation - Employee Satisfaction
YouTube: Correlation Does NOT Imply Causation

As it applies to our recent discussions.  We know that many things are Correlated to poor test scores.  Meaning that they tend occur at the same time.  Some include:
  • Lower incomes
  • Minorities
  • Urban
  • Public Schools
However it is irresponsible to say that lower income, minorities, urban or public school Causes poor test scores.

It is likely that there are a number of additional factors that are not listed that may actually Cause the poor test scores. Some may be:
  • Less access to books or other supplies
  • Ineffective Teacher(s)
  • Too much screen time
  • Not doing homework / studying
  • Parents irresponsible / Poor modeling

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Compensating for Demographics

J recently left this comment back at G2A Blame vs Contributions  and I thought it was worth more attention than it would get back there.
"The school funding formula is SUPPOSED TO "fully compensate" for demographics. If it does not, it is simply one more failure of government to solve the problem that some kids are being systematically deprived of the education "guaranteed" them. I would like to think that, if you started every kid out with the expectation he could learn, and properly nurtured that desire to learn we all have, it wouldn't cost more to educate a poor kid than a rich one. Other than the free lunch.

Of course, I'm willing to see the high differential of the current formula stay in place, so long as results are brought up to somewhere near equal. I mean, I can understand poor results if I'm getting by cheap, or paying more to get better results, but spending more and getting less just does not compute, not to mention the tragic loss of human potential.     J. Ewing"
So what are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Magnet School Model? 2 and 7

I proposed this crazy idea in the previous post's comments.
"I had a creative idea. How about we convert all but 2 of the RAS elementary schools to Magnets? And the only way students can get and stay in is by having Parents that are willing to prove their academic support of the child. This way we can co-locate all the unsupported kids in the 2 "community" schools. Thoughts?"
Currently RAS has 9 Elementary schools. (Forest, Lakeview, Meadow Lake, Neill, Noble, Northport, Spanish Immersion {RSIS}, Sonnesyn, and Zachary Lane)  Only Zachary Lane and RSIS are currently meeting AYP.  And this Fall RAS will open the new STEAM school.

My rationale is that if we take a rule from the Charter and Private school rule book, we could make the education experience more effective and controlled for the majority of RAS students.  And quite likely only 2 schools would be failing AYP when we were done.  Imagine if 7 of the schools had admission and continued enrollment requirements that the students and parents both had to meet.  And if they slipped from the path, they would be expelled back to the "community" schools.

Now I know that there are probably laws against this sort of thing, but it is an interesting concept.  I mean it seems in line with the Conservative's parent choice concept, it gives the Liberal and the Public school folk a way to succeed with the majority that are willing to work hard and perform, and finally it identifies the non-conformists early, and it may enable them to obtain the specialized help they need.  And it really is just an extension and sharpening of our current reality. 

Of course the cost per student in the "Community" schools will be quite high, but there won't be too many kids there.  By the way, I just guessed at 2 of 9 in our district, this may vary by community...  Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Conservatives Stumped?

We didn't get very far on this, so I will put it out there again.
G2A Why Neighborhoods Decline?

Repeatedly the Conservative folks point at the "Government" and "Public Schools" as social systems that are failing the Poor citizens of our country.  In fact, often it seems that they believe these entities are causing or encouraging the poverty.

Often their solution is to make it easier for the Lucky kids to segregate from the Unlucky kids. (ie open enrollment, vouchers, charters, home schooling, etc)  All this being above and beyond the normal means. (ie living in more affluent communities, private schools, etc)

So how does this all apply to our local RAS community?  We have elementary schools where the majority of the kids receive free and reduced lunch, and many are not meeting academic expectations.  Many middle class and affluent families have run already or they are flocking to the Magnets.  This chicken or egg discussion seems pretty important if we intend to reverse some the decline we have been experiencing. Thoughts?

Can a school really compensate for the situational realities of these students and communities?  Do we need to do something else above and beyond the schools?  Or are we just in the gravitational pull of a growth and decay cycle that most inner ring communities experience? 

See Pg 9 of this Link for a Graphic View

For more detail see the links in this post

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Plea for Support

In a search for new opinions and commentors, every so often I ask my readers to forward information regarding give2attain to their friends, enemies, anyone that may find the site interesting or those that think differently.  Just create an email, address it to your whole contact list, copy the address below and hit send. Or tell them to web search give2attain !!!

Send That Email NOW !!!  

And just think, you can support a good cause without even needing to provide a credit card number.


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