Category: Policy

The Catalan Independence Movement

I fully support the independence of Catalonia. The reason I say this is because I think I understand why the Spanish government is being so irrational about the whole thing, what with dissolving their legislative branch and police leader.

I’ll explain why Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is being this way. Catalonia represents a full quarter of the Spanish economy. Without it much of Spain would suffer. That’s why Rajoy and his administration are doing this.

That’s all you have to do, follow the money. It explains Spain, Gaza, Quebec, etc. Their host countries will pretty much never let them go because they’re too economically important to those host countries.

Some ideas to curtail gun violence

Earlier I had posted a comment on Facebook and I thought it would bear a post to WP too.

So here are three things we should require of gun purchasers:

1) Liability insurance – if it’s required to drive a car, it most certainly should be required to keep guns.

2) Psychological evaluations for at a minimum the purchaser of the gun(s) if not members of the family too.

3) Require proof of purchase of a gun safe. Prices can get steep for a long barrel gun but lock boxes for handguns all hover in the $100 to $150 range. You can see a whole bunch of options here.

I might add, just that last part – requiring a gun safe may well have saved the mothers life in the Newtown tragedy as well as the lives of 26 other people.

In essence what I’m suggesting is requiring a level of responsibility on gun owners that wouldn’t necessarily ban weaponry, but make you think a little harder before you bought one.

Put it this way , a .45 ACP pistol will cost about $1,000. A gun safe about $150, and a psych eval probably in the $500 to $600 range. Insurance will cost $960 per year. So fixed costs are $1,750, with first year being $2,710 and subsequent years being the $960 insurance cost.

Make it not cheap to buy and own a gun.

Interesting medical bit, a novel idea from the past

I remember house calls going out of vogue about the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Yes yes, I’m THAT old.

But now an old idea is new again.

A couple things jump out from the linked article. One is that the Missouri VA program for veteran care saw a drop in cost per patient of 62%! It went from $45,000 per year per patient down to $17,000. That’s no small feat.

The other little fact that really jumps out is that patients with multiple chronic conditions use up two thirds of Medicare money which approaches $500 Billion this year. If say we could realize the savings that the VA saw, we could chop that $500 Billion down to about $190 Billion. That’ where the savings multiply.

Another fact that jumps out about this new move, which by the way is included in the health care bills floating through congress. That is, patient outcomes IMPROVE when doctors make house calls.

The other little fact that really jumps out is that patients with multiple chronic conditions use up two thirds of Medicare money which approaches $500 Billion this year. If say we could realize the savings that the VA saw, we could chop that $500 Billion down to about $190 Billion. That’ where the savings multiply.

I’ve written about this before. If there’s one thing the U.S. is absolutely on top of it is emergency medicine. Education and technologies have evolved to the point that most every state has one or more Level 1 Trauma centers. The one near me is about 1.5 miles away. You can be shot, have a heart attack, stroke, etc. but the emergency folks can patch you up and keep you alive in most cases.

Where we absolutely fall down is on preventative medicine. And that is what doctors doing house calls would return to the equation.

But I think the reason we’re seeing such a fight over health care reform is because there are businesses out there that stand to loose a lot of money if we implement common sense ideas about medical care. Think about it, Medicare would save $310 Billion in costs. What could we do with an extra $310 Billion? Fix deteriorating infrastructure like roadways and schools? That’s just a start.

You have to look at who stands to lose when disruptive change like this occurs. The quick list I can think of is the hospitals, the insurance companies, the billing companies, the ambulance companies, cities (You think rescue runs are free?), and even states at some level.

The above is what I see as the prime opposition to true reform in health care. But we the people must let our legislators know that we know how disruptive this change will be, but we’re willing to work with them to see it passed.