24 March 2010

Facts are stubborn

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
-John F. Kennedy, 1961 Inauguration Address

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
-Leo Tolstoy

Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.
-John F. Kennedy, 1961 Inauguration Address

FACT CHECK: Spinning the new health care law
Facts are stubborn, the saying goes. But myths about the legislation are likely to persist as well. And a lot of people don't agree on which is which.

With the U.S. population getting older, and medical science pushing the technological envelope, there's very little reason to think premiums will go down. The best Obama can hope for is to slow the pace of increases.

The legislation sets up a research center to compare the effectiveness of medical treatments, and critics fear that bureaucrats will start issuing justifications for denying patients access to the latest medical technology.

Although some polls show a majority oppose the bill, most surveys find the public about evenly divided. Blendon, the public opinion expert, believes it's premature to say that the public has rejected it. Curiously, many individual components — doing away with insurance denials for pre-existing conditions, tax credits to help pay premiums, insurance purchasing pools — are widely popular.

Health bill may exempt top Hill staffers
[Interesting to note that, contrary to popular myth, members of Congress do, in fact, have to buy insurance through the exchanges. But their senior staffers - the ones who actually wrote the policy - may be exempt. Just goes to show you it doesn't always pay to be on top...]
The health care reform bill signed into law by President Barack Obama Tuesday requires members of Congress and their office staffs to buy insurance through the state-run exchanges it creates – but it may exempt staffers who work for congressional committees or for party leaders in the House and Senate.

Staffers and members on both sides of the aisle call it an “inequity” and an “outrage” – a loophole that exempts the staffers most involved in writing and passing the bill from one of its key requirements.

Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears into sea
[I shouldn't laugh at this, but this struck me as supremely hilarious. But since no one died, I can laugh.]
For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged.

"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.

Study: Last Supper paintings supersize the food
[Amidst all the news...just remember, this is life for some people.]
The food in famous paintings of the meal has grown by biblical proportions over the last millennium, researchers report in a medical journal Tuesday.

The study is "not very meaningful science," said Martin Binks, a behavioral health psychologist and a consultant at Duke University Medical Center. "We have real life examples of the increase in portion size — all you have to do is look at what's being sold at fast-food restaurants."

No comments: