Archive for ‘Health care’

October 22, 2008

I wondered what happened to that

by thoughtfulconservative

Wiggy explains

Remember “Healthy Wisconsin?” Even Democrat Ruth Page Jones in the 97th Assembly district is not campaigning on it. In their latest newsletter, Wisconsin Club for Growth tries to explain what happened to Healthy Wisconsin.

You can find that here.

February 16, 2008

Is smoking bad?

by thoughtfulconservative

First of all,

According to the World Health Organization 100 million people died worldwide from tobacco use in the past century and another 1 billion are expected to die this century.

There are an estimated 5.4 million smoking-related deaths a year worldwide, and that number is expected to continue to rise dramatically if no actions are taken, said Dr. Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative.

The report said nearly two-thirds of the world’s smokers live in 10 countries, with China accounting for 30 percent of them, India 10 percent and the rest divided among Indonesia, Russia, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Germany and Turkey.

OK, one billion less people than there would be, 40 percent in China and India. Can this be all bad? A billion less people have got to improve the environment.

Oh, then there’s this,

Dutch researchers have confirmed what fat smokers have waited years to hear – that healthy people are actually a greater burden on the state, because they live longer and oblige the taxpayer to deal with the cost of “lingering diseases of old age like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s”.

That’s according to the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and Environment, which found that while “a person of normal weight costs on average £210,000 ($417,000) over their lifetime”, a smoker clocks up just £165,000 ($326,000) and the obese run up an average £187,000 ($371,000) bill.

As the headline says, “Healthy? You’re a burden on the state.”

February 14, 2008

Fact checking Obama and Clinton ads

by thoughtfulconservative

If you haven’t seen them yet here in Wisconsin, you most likely soon will. FactCheck.org takes a look at them.

# Obama is being misleading when he says his proposal would “cover everyone.” It would make coverage available to all, but experts we consulted estimate that 15 million to 26 million wouldn’t take it up unless required to do so.

# Clinton stretches things a bit, too. Even her plan – which, unlike Obama’s, includes a mandate for individuals to get insurance – would leave out a million people or perhaps more, depending on how severe the penalties would be for those who don’t comply. She won’t say how her mandate would be enforced, but has said that she was open to the possibility of garnishing wages.

# Experts also are skeptical of both candidates’ claims that their plans will reduce the cost of insurance for the typical family by $2,000 or more. ” I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion,” says M.I.T’s Jonathan Gruber.

December 1, 2007

Well, at least MPS is limiting benefits to domestic partners

by thoughtfulconservative

Via The Week magazine (subscription required),

Palm Beach Community College in Florida has angered gay-rights groups by extending health benefits to cover employees’ pets but not their “domestic partners.” College employees can now get a discount on health insurance for their dog, cat, hedgehog, frog, guinea pig, or gecko. Yet a plan to extend health coverage to employees’ live-in partners was rejected in August. “Many pet owners consider their dogs and cats part of their families,” said Deirdre Newton of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council, “but there is a basic disconnect when an employer will insure an employee’s pet but not an employee’s partner.” [Emphasis mine]

OK, I may not agree with extending benefits to gay partners (or heterosexual ones either, for that matter), but is the PBCC board filled with PETA members?

October 17, 2007

“If the government does it, it will save money”

by thoughtfulconservative

Sound familiar?

State agencies will be paying off a questionable computer project for the next 20 years, according to a report by the state’s top computer official. That’s in spite of the fact the project was originally supposed to save the state millions of dollars over just a few years.

Yeah, that’s what some say about Healthy Wisconsin, et al.

(A tip of the conservative cap to Bruce at Badger Blogger)

September 24, 2007

The government can do it more efficiently

by thoughtfulconservative

Are these the folks you want to entrust your health care (in fact, most areas of your life) to?

First from the weekend’s Journal Sentinel,

State’s casino oversight falls short, audit says

[Wisconsin’s] Division of Gaming failed to notice discrepancies in daily casino revenue figures between the state’s computer monitoring system and tallies done by the casinos, the Legislative Audit Bureau report says. The auditors found discrepancies in the numbers for every day of 2006, the report says. The report does not say how far off the numbers were or break them out by tribe or casino. [Emphasis mine.]

Review finds 9 children in imminent danger

A sweeping state review of more than 600 active cases under investigation by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare uncovered nine in which a child was in immediate danger, and child welfare workers were dispatched immediately to deal with the situation.

The review came after the May suffocation death of a toddler, Alicia Burgess, who was left in her home by child welfare workers despite warnings by two doctors that the child and her brother were in danger. Raul Arteaga, 34, the boyfriend of Alicia’s mother, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.

“That’s a 1.5% measurement of cases that did not succeed,” said Reggie Bicha, the administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services, of the nine cases. “Anytime you have that kind of intense review and scrutiny, to have a 1.5% error rate is arguably not that bad – unless we are talking about kids.” [Emphasis mine.]

Now that’s an understatement. Extrapolate that 1.5% to 5.5 million Wisconsinites, or 300 million Americans.

And from the federal government (much too easy to find, most of the time)

Watch list hobbled by data errors: Technical gremlins, clashing rules undermine shared screening center

Four years after the federal government launched the interagency Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) and assigned it the daunting task of harmonizing more than a dozen separate watch lists, balky technology and quirky business practices still combine to introduce gaps and errors in the critical database. [Again emphasis is mine]

And this is for terrorists. Again we’re talking about a small percentage, but it grows to a large number when you include Wisconsinites or all Americans.