Month: December 2010

Death Panels Revisited – WSJ.com

In the wake of a “stealth regulation” end-run where the medicare guru (Dr. Berwick, who was recess-appointed in July 2010, thus bypassing Senate confirmation) approved end-of-life consultation payments in spite of it having been pulled from the Obamacare legislation I commented on that and now another thoughtful piece appears that bears consideration: [Previous media carping was made] to avoid reckoning with this inexorable rationing reality that President Obama has himself implicitly acknowledged. In a 2009 interview with ObamaCare advocate David Leonhardt of the New York Times, he called for “a very difficult democratic conversation” about the costs that are incurred in the last six months of life. The President even mused about whether his own grandmother’s hip replacement following a terminal cancer diagnosis represented “a sustainable model.” via Review & Outlook: Death Panels Revisited – WSJ.com. As this article mentions, health care rationing is part of the president’s thought pattern. The notion is one that ought to be confronted with less political rhetoric (I know, good luck on that one!). It seems that everything this administration and (at least the now-ending) Congress does is not with any real policy principle in mind, but on pure politics.  The article concludes: The real problem is the political claim that Medicare and other entitlements are imposing on the culture of U.S. health care. Everyone, on the left and right, now behaves as...

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Bertram Loop 28.5 miles — so much data, so little time

Click here to view the online dataset for Bertram Loop 28.5 miles at Garmin Connect.  It’s just one of at least 3 places I save data from runs and rides.  The Garmin Forerunner 305 “sport watch” comes with it’s own software, then there is Sporttracks and its various add-ons that escalates the amount of data analysis and logging, and now this site. I had forgotten about Garmin Connect until Don Bynum posted a “like” on Facebook to another person’s track. Santa Claus brought me a Garmin Cadence Sensor (GCS-10) that for the bike adds the data of the cadence, i.e. the rpms of the pedals.  To top all of that — if such be possible — I have both the FR-305 AND a Garmin Oregon 400t (originally acquired for geocaching) mounted atop the Scattante 570 bicycle, and recording the data in parallel. On Christmas morning, having dragged the bike into the living room in order to mount the cadence sensor to the chain stay, Jennifer was watching, quietly and thoughtfully, when she finally just had to ask the obvious question:  “Why do you need this?”  Implicit in that question is the larger inquiry of “what do you do with all of the data collected?” The simple answer is that I can analyze it in order to figure out how to be a better cyclist or runner.  My response to...

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Those who don’t know their history, are ….

A president steeped in history would have never pushed ObamaCare on so thin a reed of public approval. In the great movement of American history, Americans haven’t worshipped at the altar of charismatic leadership. They have been the most skeptical of peoples. They may have trusted several of their presidents through wars and economic downturns, but they have insisted on the wisdom of the public and on the ability of this republic of laws and institutions—and precedent—to see its way out of great dangers. via Fouad Ajami: Obama’s Presidency Joins the Fray – WSJ.com. Great article which succinctly explains so much about this president. It’s good analysis, not a political hatchet job.  It also explains a lot about this country and foretells something of what the next couple of years may look like. How could a president not be steeped in history, and if not, why would he not get the Cliff’s Notes and be thereby guided? Ajami explains: We shouldn’t be surprised [that Obama was “prickly” in a meeting with presidential historians]. What most engaged Mr. Obama before his rise to the highest office in the land was his own biography. He had stood aloof from the weight and the lessons of American history; where so many of his predecessors had sought comfort and guidance in the ordeal of presidents past, there was no great deference in him...

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Death panels or essential consultation?

That is the question, and it probably depends on the details (where the devil usually hides) and in who administers the rules.  Supposedly new guidelines have been issued on “end-of-life-consultations” being paid for by medicare. New Medicare guidelines allow doctors to get reimbursed for holding voluntary end-of-life consultations with patients during annual medical checkups. The inclusion of more extensive end-of-life consultations in early drafts of the Democrats’ health-care legislation last year sparked controversy—former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin characterized them as “death panels—and the Democrats withdrew them. The draft legislative language on what is known as advance-care planning would have given specific directions to doctors on what they should tell patients, including discussion of palliative care, hospice and other services that could cost less than an all-out effort to prolong life. The new Medicare rule, issued Dec. 3, is less specific. It says advance-care planning includes a discussion of setting up an advance directive that would tell doctors what to do if the patient is too ill to make medical decisions. Doctors and patients can also discuss “whether or not the physician is willing to follow the individual’s wishes as expressed in an advance directive,” it says. The White House on Sunday said the new Medicare directive, reported Sunday by the New York Times, doesn’t constitute a resurrection of the original health-care-bill language. It said the George W. Bush administration...

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