Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Internal Medicine Doctors: Fewer Go Into Field, New Research Shows

The economics of medicine and health care are leading it toward failure from the perspectiv­e of the average consumer/p­atient. Rural medicine was only the first victim.

The high cost of a medical education all too often leaves more debt than a general practice could reasonably pay off, driving doctors to more lucrative specialtie­s.

The present system is no longer viable. Rural medicine, general practice, family practice, geriatrics­, whole areas of medicine are in decline due to the present financial structure.

Slowing the growth of health insurance premiums was only the first step in health care reform.

  • We need to cut down on defensive medicine.
  • We need to find ways to bring down the cost of malpractice insurance.
  • We need to get politics out of the doctor’s office.
  • We need to get the church out of the doctor’s office.
  • We need to get drug salesmen out of the doctor’s office – there are better ways to disseminate new drug information, ways that do not manipulate what doctors prescribe.
  • We need standardized electronic medical records – and very simple, intuitive ways to generate, maintain, distribute, and use them.

The GOP plan to privatize Medicare does none of that. Their voucher subsidy price support plan literally and figuratively passes the buck and doubles down on the very system that is failing.

We may have to redesign how we handle malpractice cases where punitive damages are currently awarded. There seems to be a number of situations where monetary penalties are not working, possibly because it is too easy to pass the cost on to others.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Health Care | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon buying chief: Navy can’t ‘hide’ nuclear sub fleet’s $60 billion price tag – TheHill.com

yellow submarine

Pentagon buying chief: Navy can’t ‘hide’ nuclear sub fleet’s $60 billion price tag – TheHill.com.

The Navy will have to find room in its annual shipbuilding budget for its $60 billion nuclear-powered submarine program, a senior Pentagon official said this week.

And how is it that Congress is not the one to “find room” in the budget for submarines? I know that the Pentagon has serious accounting problems, but they should not even imagine trying to build ships under the table.

This represents a mindset of ‘bills of any size always being paid’ catching a whiff of fiscal accountability and discipline coming down the hallway.

With each new nuclear-powered sub expected to cost around $5 billion, Navy officials have for some time said paying for a dozen models would “squeeze” their shipbuilding budget and threaten shrinkage of its future surface vessel fleet.

Their shipbuilding budget should be based on ships authorized to be built. Perhaps with a small margin for overruns, but not so much as to discourage efficiency. Certainly not enough to build a major ship.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Budget | , | Leave a comment

Marilyn Davenport’s Racist Email Denounced By OC GOP

We have seen this before. The images were different, but the intent to denigrate was the same. The “sense of humor” was the same. And the excuses were the same. The counter-ac­cusations were the same. The pursuit of the whistle-bl­ower, the refusal to consider that they may have been wrong, the refusal to consider the possibilit­y that they should resign for the good of their cause. Pride and arrogance control them.

“I only sent it to a few people–mo­stly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”

Admitting that there are others who think like her is not going to help their efforts to build a non-racist image. Every cause attracts it’s loons, but the honorable causes do not install their loons in positions of power or responsibi­lity – and remove them when discovered­.

Defaming President Obama is hardly the only monkey business incorporat­ed by the GOP:

SD 56 GOP web video prompts call for ouster of district chair
http://min­nesotainde­pendent.co­m/64086/jo­e-salmon-s­d-56-gop-v­ideo (The “Who let the dogs out?” scandal.)

The republican party needs to show less “family values” intoleranc­e and more respect for the rights of others and the basic social necessity of respecting human dignity.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Ethics, GOP | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Labor Battles Heat Up In Florida Against Gov. Rick Scott

The GOP war on the middle class has reached a critical stage, where even republican­s are beginning to see direct harm from the GOP agenda.

As more people realize that driving down working class wages is part of the GOP plan for job-creati­on, they will also realize that the GOP is attacking the financial resources of the vast majority of consumers – and attacking them from all sides. This will cripple 70% of the economy and kill millions of jobs. Republicans never have been very good at creating jobs.

As we can no longer borrow enough money to bail out conservati­ve failures, this will lead to far more than defaulting on our debts and driving the world into another depression­.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

“Moreover, fiscal consolidation programs that decrease the number and compensation of government workers increase the availability and reduce the cost of skilled labor to private firms. The combination of improved expectations about taxes and lower labor costs increases the expected after-tax rate of return on new business investment in non-residential fixed assets in the short term.” (page7)


April 13, 2011 Posted by | Economics, Labor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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