Medicare is considering shutting down an experimental program they’ve been running for years that cuts cost to over eighty percent of medicare users while improving their lives and health. In the above article, Ezra Klein explains a company called Health Quality Partners has been receiving from medicare will have their funding cut, despite having scientific and statistical proof that their program, which aids people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart problems, and much more, is both successful and more than cost-effective.
The program involves personal care by a nurse, once a month to once a week, depending on the person and the chronic illness. It isn’t a radical or new idea but it is a highly effective one. People have known this for years. The rich have private nurses and even private doctors. Home treatment and a personal relationship with a health care professional allows for far more effective medicine to be administered. People who are intimidated and rushed by our hospital system are more relaxed and open in their own homes, but what is the most surprising and interesting is that it is proven to be cost-effective in the long run.
Ezra says that Medicare management is taking away HQP’s funding due to concerns that it is not easily scaled to a national system and also by pretending that they doesn’t have the authority to continue or grow the program, which they might. Experts theorize that it might be do to a systemic issue with current healthcare practices, in particular a focus on hospitalizations. Hospitals, when run like a business, create a ton of money. The more people get sick, the more money hospitals make. A system which helps reduce the amount of hospitalizations people need, like HQP, is counter productive to a lot of the people who invest in healthcare, who expect a return on their money.
Speculation but it seems sound. If you’d like more information, the link is above and below. I’m not sure if there is anything we can do, other than talk to politicians of course. I’m not sure if there is anything they can do. Hopefully, if medicare does cut HQP’s funding, that they will find some other way, or some other source of money, to continue their programs.
Myke Cole is an author of books I have never read but heard amazing things about from friends and the internet. I’ve never read anything by him until I read the following blog post about his experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. The following are a few excerpts:
I had a hard time admitting it to myself. There was a culture in my line of work, that PTSD was the province of the hard operators, the doorkickers who got into 2–3 firefights every single day. Like most cultures, you bought into it silently, it was simply a thing that was, not worth questioning any more than the law of gravity.
I mean, sure I’d supported certain specialized units, sure I’d been to some funerals, sure there’d been some danger close indirect rounds. Sure I’d had some misgivings about what I was fighting for, what my actions were contributing to. But, I’d seen the ads on AFN, showing young men with gunpowder still on their hands, often fresh off the battlefield, having trembling flashbacks of a firefight where their best friend went down right next to them. THAT was PTSD.
Except, it wasn’t.
Because the truth is, I’ve never heard anyone, medical professional, spiritual leader or otherwise describe the PTSD I know. What I see are people embracing a definition that explains PTSD using the vocabulary of classical pathology. It implies that, like a disease, you can prescribe a course of treatment and fix it.
But, in my experience, PTSD doesn’t get fixed. That’s because it was never about getting shot at, or seeing people die. It was never the snap trauma, the quick moment of action that breaks a person. PTSD is the wages of a life spent in crisis, the slow, thematic build that gradually changes the way the sufferer sees the world. You get boiled by heating the water one degree each hour. By the time you finally succumb, you realize you had no idea it was getting hotter.
Because you kept adjusting.
Because PTSD isn’t a disease, it’s a world view.
Nobody talks about this. Nobody talks about the boredom, the impossibility of finding meaning in 8 hours work in an air-conditioned office after you just spent months working 18 hours a day on a battlefield where your touch altered history. Nobody talks about the surreal experience of trying to remember how you got excited about a book, or clothing, or even a car or house. On the battlefield, in the burning building, the ground trembled, we felt our impact in everything we did, until the world seemed to ripple at our touch. Back home, or off shift, we are suddenly the subject of sympathetic glances, of silly, repetitive questions. The anonymity of the uniform is nothing compared the anonymity of comfort. We drown in it, cut off from what makes it worthwhile for others, unable to carve out a piece of it for ourselves.
Time helps you to shift back, but you never shift back all the way. You develop the dreaded “cop’s eyes,” where you see the potential threat around every corner, where you ask the waiter for the chair with its back to the wall. Where the trust essential to build relationships is compromised, because in the world you live in, everybody is trying to harm someone.
And if you’re a vet, or an EMT, or a cop, or firefighter and you’re reading this, I want you to know that you can’t put the curtain back, but it’s possible to build ways to move forward, to find alternatives to the rush of crisis. There are ways you can matter. There is a way to rejoin the dust of the world, to find your own space on the dance floor.
I know this.
Because I did it, am still doing it, every day.
Don’t give up.
I found this video. It was posted months ago, during the election hype but I didn’t realize that when I watched it. I found it very interesting.
Like all things on the internet, I tried looking into how verifiable correct it is. After all anybody can make a video on the internet, and make up “facts” as they choose. However the video links to several references. The references are all secondary references, but several of those references are from primary references like the Congressional Budget Office, assuming the secondary references aren’t lying. Seems unlikely at this point though.
So I offer you this video on the wealth distribution of the United States of America, circa 2013
I know I just posted one like this yesterday but this one can’t wait a week. Enjoy!
So the MoMA, or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, is building an exhibit that will be open in March. But what will the contents of this exhibit be? Video Games!? But Video Games Aren’t Art! Or so plenty of critics want to claim.
Except that legally, they are, according to United States Supreme Court. But some of modern culture seems to have hang-ups over the idea. Video games are not new. They’ve been around since the sixties. Yet they’re only now starting to receive mass acceptance, mostly because the adult world has grown up with them. The average age of a person who plays video games is 30 years old, according to studies done by the Entertainment Software Association.
But that isn’t the only reason. Even people under the age of thirty might question the artistic value of video games, and I’ll agree, as a whole, most video games are created with the intention of being entertainment to make the creators money. But not all. And even those video games which are created with this intention can have significant artistic merit, for which Mike Rugnetta from PBS’ Idea Channel happily provides many examples.
That is because video games are a unique type of medium. Unlike almost every type of artistic endeavor commonly accepted as art, video games have interaction. Which is what the MoMA is focusing on for their first exhibit.
Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe. The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design—a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity.
The exhibit opens on in March in New York City and will feature 12 different video games from classics like Tetris, to more modern video games like Portal and flOw, and will attempt to expand to many other types of video games.
Video Games: 14 in the collection, for starters by Paola Antonelli [Museum of Modern Art]
Video Games as art [Wikipedia]
Video games can never be art by Roger Ebert [Chicago Sun Times]
Sorry MoMA, video games are not art by Jonathan Jones [The Guardian UK]
Top 5 Most Artful Video Games with Mike Rugnetta [YouTube PBS Idea Channel]
Industry Facts [Entertainment Software Association]
The following is an article discussing how guns have affected the life of one particular woman, how she grew up with them, loved them, feared them, and feels about them now. A very eye-opening tale for both sides of the current argument and I highly recommend reading it.
“The center for disease control says that men’s violence against women is at epidemic proportions, is the number one health concern for women in this country and abroad.”
“I need you[men & women] on board. I need you with me. I need you working with me and me working with you on how we raise our sons and teach them to be men — that it’s okay to not be dominating, that it’s okay to have feelings and emotions, that it’s okay to promote equality, that it’s okay to have women who are just friends and that’s it, that it’s okay to be whole, that my liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.”
Happy New Year
Mused is a comic written by Kostas Kirakis. I highly recommend reading both of them. It has two episodes.
A deep and interesting comic discussing the value of questions and answers.
An esoteric story about names, nonsense, and memory.
Unfortunately the website was having problems loanding when I tried to read it. Please try multiple times if you have similar issues.
That is an awesome super power. I wouldn’t mind having that ability. Now am I talking about Elliot (the guy) or Susan(the girl)?
This is amusing and awesome on many different levels. For one I love the clear-cut reversal of how most female gamers are treated by the video game industry/(male) video game fans. It is a problem that needs attention thrown on it. On top of that making the human equivalent of Fluttershy sexually harass someone is hilarious from an absurd-ist standpoint but requires knowledge of My little Pony:Friendship is Magic
That poor kitty. Also hilarious punchline!
So obviously a continuation of the last link. There were a few comics in between. You might consider reading them. Also my suggestion would be to remove the warning.
While I don’t actually feel the argument that people are required to live by the word of their bible even if they use it as examples of what they believe in I do feel the above video states some particular facts that should be shared, in particular the idea of voting with your money. Corporations like Chick-Fil-A are becoming the defacto leaders of our society because of the money and power that they wield against our governments and, in essence, are bribing us for our vote with their products. And while we can’t always know what corporations like Chick-Fil-A, Walmart, Google, Apple, and the like are doing with their money, we can at least send messages to those who make a public stance for ideas that are hurtful by not giving them money.