Archive for June 29th, 2012
I often wonder why the Republicans chose the name “Obamacare” in their attempts to ridicule Barack Obama’s “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” After all, the first half, “Obama,” merely gives credit to the person who orchestrated the passage of the legislation and “care” is a benign word, even a pleasant word. Maybe they liked it better than the “Make the Rich Pay for Poor Children’s Medical Treatment Act.” Or maybe they thought that people hate “Obama” so much that just by saying his name it will make them angry. The bottom line is that it seems to be a lot like the phrase “Yankee Doodle,” originally meant as an insult, but adopted and even embraced by the target of the taunt.
Now that the new law has mostly survived, what does it mean for real-life Americans? There are many articles, like this one, that point out some things and make a few predictions, but no one seems to know the answers to two basic questions that are on my mind. What kind of insurance will ordinary Americans be able to purchase with regard to A) Quality of Care and B) Cost of Care? I’m not convinced that the new act has meaningful price controls on premiums or that the quality of care will be well-regulated. In fact, I will predict that the insurance companies will essentially take the following position: “Sure, you can have all of those new bells and whistles demanded by the Act, but you’re going to need to pay for it.” Here are some of those bells and whistles. And then the American public will likely not be witness to the intense behind-the-scenes lobbying that will result in 20% premium increases every year. I hope not, but I’m not optimistic.
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College can be thoroughly educational experience. Many people who graduate college are much smarter compared to when they entered college, but this is not true for all of those graduate.
An indictment of higher education came this year with a book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, by Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia. As reported by the Washington Post, the authors of this book offer these stunning conclusions:
●Gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills are either “exceedingly small or nonexistent for a larger proportion of students.”
●Thirty-six percent of students experience no significant improvement in learning (as measured by the Collegiate Learning Assessment) over four years of higher education.