Wednesday, February 13, 2013
It's unhealthy to let insurers call the shots
Re: the article on readmissions in Monday's paper ("Medicare cracking down on hospitals"):
After reading all of the tips to help avoiding a return, I realized that not once was it mentioned that allowing a physician to determine a patient's initial hospital stay might avoid the patient's return.
We have too many drive-through surgeries, too many patients sent home before they're ready. We allow an insurance company, instead of the physician, to determine the length of stay.
If the argument is that it is safer and healthier for the patient to be at home instead, for fear of contracting an additional infection in the hospital, then we have a bigger problem. It would seem to make more sense to fine the hospitals for secondary infections contracted while in the hospital.
An inexplicable fatal attraction
I've been trying without success to understand the gun issue, specifically what it is about assault weapons that gun lovers really love. I've heard a lot about the right to possess these weapons, but little about why people like, want or need them in the first place. Explanations, when forthcoming, have been pretty inane.
Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association explained that a gun is a tool. Granted, but so is a howitzer or an atom bomb. Where do you draw the line?
We've evolved from muskets to AK-47s. Does "shall not be infringed" mean the right to bear arms is absolute? After all, A-bombs don't kill people. People do. The problem isn't nukes; it's mental illness. I hope you find this paraphrasing absurd. If not, God help us.
What are the reasons for this assault weapon love affair? What I've heard so far, considering the slaughters our nation has endured, makes no sense to me.
Lawmaker should pray privately
Re: "Stanley shelves prayer amendment," Feb. 6 news story:
State Sen. Bill Stanley has the right to pray anywhere he chooses. I ask only that he please do it quietly and keep it to himself, as I have the right not to have to hear it.
Math error undercuts defense of teachers
Meg Gruber ("Let's invest in real solutions," Feb. 10 Point/Counterpoint) writes that Teach for America is "responsible for only some 10,000teachers in a nationwide teaching force of 3.2million. That's fewer than one-hundredth of 1percent."
This is instructive. The math works out to more than 30 one-hundredths of a percent, more than 31 times what she claims it to be. This is elementary school math, and being wrong by a factor of 31 shows a lack of basic understanding of the scale of the numbers. In our heads, we can say, "1percent of 3.2million is 32,000, and one-hundredth of that is 320. Since 320 is nowhere close to 10,000, it simply can't be right." Easy.
Gruber writes passionately about "stable and committed faculties," "how complex teaching is," "how to reach students with diverse learning styles," "this is not work for the minimally trained" and "latest research and methods." All well and good, but this illustrates the vague concern many have with the "latest research and methods." When the head of our education association and her staff disseminate obviously incorrect elementary-level math as a basis for the defense of the teaching profession, she does her good teachers a disservice.
Armed guards won't make school safer
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre demands an armed guard in every school so that his members can enjoy unlimited gun rights. NRA members and other gun owners, not taxpayers, should pay for those guards. An annual fee for every bullet sold would be fair.
Those guards will not stop gun violence in schools; the next few mass murders will prove the lie of LaPierre's "solution." LaPierre's demand is nothing more than a tactic to make people think they are safer when they are not, just like Transportation Security Administration machines that strip travelers naked at airports.
The fortunate mustn't lose sight of the needy
Let us not forget the homeless. Those of us who have the necessary things of life are fortunate. Let us think of those who are less fortunate.
Let us remember them through charities and organizations.
Let us pray for the less fortunate.
God bless them.
God bless us.
RUBY C. McCULLEY