Tag: Washington Post

News: If this were a pill, you’d do anything to get it [Washington Post]

by on Apr.02, 2013, under Articles, Culture, News, Politics

If this was a pill, you’d do anything to get it by Ezra Klein [Washington Post]

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.

Source

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Nuclear power plant explosion!

by on Mar.13, 2011, under Articles, News, Politics, Science

Doom! Gloom! Japan’s nuclear power plants are exploding!

Explosion rocks Japanese nuclear power plant; 5 reactors in peril by Steven Mufson [Washington Post]

It really does amaze me sometimes what passes for news. I realize that news can be boring if you don’t editorialize or sensationalize it but… dammit if the news is boring, let it be boring. Don’t put your unintentional spin on it. Read the above article. It is kind of hard to get away from the tone of ‘OMG nuclear plant is exploding! Japan is going to die!’ but if you read it critically, you can see the few statements where someone other than a journalist, a specialist who understand the situation, is talking about the situation and explaining that while things are broken, the safety precautions are working to keep people safe. The seriousness of the situation is in the damage and possible loss of a functional nuclear power plant, not in radiation exposure or nuclear explosions.

A good article would present the facts. Tell the problems. Give interviews, even provide links to where readers can find more information about the facts such as the Wikipedia entry and entries on HowStuffWorks.

[spoiler show=”Lets analyze this article a little”]Lets analyze this article a little.

Page 1

Opening line: “An explosion rocked one of Japan’s nuclear power plants Saturday, causing a portion of a building to crumble, sending white smoke billowing into the air and prompting Japanese officials to warn people in the vicinity to cover their mouths and stay indoors.”

 

Doom & Gloom: “In what may become the most serious nuclear power crisis since the Chernobyl disaster”

 

Within the first two paragraphs we’ve already set the tone for the article. This isn’t telling you about how nuclear power plant have triplicate power safety systems or shielding that worked make the explosion damage everything but the key systems that could lead to radiation getting released. Instead we focus on the scary parts and make a rather gross comparison to the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history.

Page 2

News & Follow up: “Earlier, NISA said no dangerous radioactive material had been released, but the government evacuated people as a precaution nonetheless.”

 

Relevant News: “Edano said the explosion blew off the roof and walls of the building around the containment vessel but did no serious damage to the container itself.”

 

Immediate Followup: “However, authorities widened an evacuation zone to a 12.5 mile radius from the plant and prepared to distribute iodine tablets to people in the vicinity to protect them from exposure to radiation.”

 

By page two we finally start to learn that officials and specialists say there is no actual radioactive danger and that the government is being cautious. With plenty of right to be. There are non-nuclear explosions happening in an earthquake and tsunami torn area! But the annoying part is for every interviewed statement regarding safety is immediately followed up with words like “but” and “however” with a reinforcing statement showing how people are acting like there is a danger.

Page 3

More doom and gloom followed by statements, at the end, regarding how officials say that none of this is harmful. The actual amount of talking about how things are going wrong is a ratio of 209 words to 29 words. Which do you think has more of an impact?

 

The rest of the article barley focuses on the plants and instead points out American involvement or lack of involvement.[/spoiler]

The Irony

I find this statement on the second page to be the most ironic: “In the United States, it was likely to deal a severe blow to advocates of a nuclear power renaissance.”

And why do you think that is after such an article was written? And don’t think that I’m trying to pick on the Washington Post. Actually I am but there are other such media outlets that report on nuclear energy in a similar fashion, such as the Huffington Post.

Perhaps the most is by the New York Times that did give an equal balance between what officials were saying and what events were actually happening, without need to refer to other disasters or report on non-factual comments like ‘nobody knows about this possible danger’.

In the end it should be you who goes and finds out what is happening. Ever source has a bias. Look at me, I’m trying to convince you that nuclear power is safe and that all the action being taken now in Japan is apart of what happens because nuclear power is safe but I’ve also done research and listened to experts on the subject and I encourage you to do so.

Here is a link to get you started: http://www.epa.gov/radtown/nuclear-plant.html

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