Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thursday links

  • Of course it was a complete accident that Google “disappeared” Protonmail from its search results for months. How could anyone think otherwise?
  • It’s happened as we knew it must: a state has ordered medical cannabis users to turn in their guns. (Via Myself in comments)
  • Six things you learn after shooting a cop in self defense. (Yeah, you already knew; it’s the mainstreamness and millennialness of this source that’s interesting.)
  • Think a Faraday cage has to be complicated? For some purposes, it’s as simple as a bag of chips. (Tip o’ hat to LS)
  • And if you thought gun-free (sic) school zones were dumb, London may be about to get fast-food-free school zones to combat the Dreaded Plague of obesity.
  • Is the Obamacare individual mandate repealing itself?
  • And F*c*b**k is using AI to send Authoritah to your door when its robots imagine you might be suicidal. This via Carl Busjaegger, who writes about potential further ramifications for gun owners.
  • What really happened at that D.C. inner-city school where all the students graduated and went on to college. Sad.
  • I dunno. When it was funky Depression-era roadside stands doing this sort of thing it seemed amusing. But it just seems decadent to build a large hotel in the shape of a guitar, even if it is Hard Rock. (H/T brew)
  • The BBC on 26 words we don’t want to lose. Heh. I think they’re all pretty lame and losable, even the one made up by Tolkein.


  1. He Who Fakes It Well
    He Who Fakes It Well November 30, 2017 7:57 am

    I dunno… “Schnapsidee” is cool. But then, I’m the guy who — when pressed by my commander for morale improvement ideas — suggested a swimming pool. He should have known better than ask me those questions in the bar. And he really, really should have known better than to try it; on a mountaintop in a desert where we already had to truck in drinking water.

    (It was great. Outraged civil engineers, power outage, communications failure, Turkish sergeant wrestling the pistol away from his commander before he could shoot mine*, pissed off command in both countries, minor international incident, RIFfed Captain…)

    * Later — after yet another fiasco — he sat down by my desk and muttered repeatedly, “I should have let him shoot him.” I could only agree.

  2. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran November 30, 2017 8:26 am

    Is the Obamacare individual mandate repealing itself?

    Good news! I’m not sure how this is going to work out when I early retire next year. I’m registering with the VA soon and will seek treatment from them if I need it and I’m not sure if this qualifies as medical insurance as far as the individual mandate goes. I won’t qualify for Medicare for 2 1/2 years after I retire. I hope the individual mandate goes away as it’s forcing us to buy a product/service or punishes us to pay a penalty whether we want to or not!

  3. Adam
    Adam November 30, 2017 9:11 am

    RE: Is the Obamacare individual mandate repealing itself?

    I’ve bought individual health insurance for myself for over 25 years and never with a subsidy, but for 2018, I am dropping coverage. Only one insurance company offers health insurance in my area. The lowest premium policy, the one I bought, from 2016 to 2017 increased 56%. The premiums for 2018 are increasing another 19%. I struggled to make the payments in 2017, and I can’t see spending nearly $10,000 on premiums then having to meet a $6,500 deductible before the insurance pays anything. Fortunately I’m in good health, but why can’t you buy coverage for a major illness or accident at a reasonable price?

    I should qualify for an exemption from the penalty if I bother to fill out the paperwork.

    I’m still several years away from being eligible for Medicare.

  4. Adam
    Adam November 30, 2017 9:17 am

    Update on the NFL and money for activism:

    The WaPo reports:

    “The league and teams are to provide approximately $90 million between the onset of the arrangement and 2023 to social causes deemed important by the players, focused in particular on African American communities, a person familiar with the talks confirmed earlier Wednesday. The terms of the league’s proposal were first reported Wednesday morning by ESPN.”

    “The tentative agreement is subject to final approval by the NFL owners. The owners are scheduled to meet in December in Dallas but might not take up the issue until the annual league meeting in March.”

    “The tentative agreement does not directly address the ongoing protests by players during the national anthem, multiple people familiar close to the situation said earlier in the evening.”

    More details here:

  5. jed
    jed November 30, 2017 1:35 pm

    I hope the wonderful, ‘really good thing’ wasn’t getting your wall shimmed for drywall. C’mon, don’t keep us in suspense!

    Meanwhile, some funny pictures, and a cool story. No, it’s not about a guy with a chrome nose.
    Cat Baloo and Henry the dog go hiking together

  6. Claire
    Claire November 30, 2017 2:26 pm

    jed — I luuuuuvvvvv those pictures and the way Henry and Cat Baloo relate. Sounds like they have some very cool humans, too. Thank you.

    And no, the wonderful, really good thing wasn’t shimming the wall. Nor was it (today) finishing up whatever construction work I could do until the Monk returns. (Now I have nearly a week to do some actual work — writing — before it’s back to the grubby grind.)

    The wonderful thing was much more wonderful than that. I’ll post about it tomorrow. Or earlier if my body and mind recuperate from all that drywalling.

  7. Jorge
    Jorge November 30, 2017 2:49 pm

    That DC school: I understand the shenanigans that allowed all the students to graduate. Bureaucratic incentives and all that. How did they get into university? Didn’t they have to take SATs? Didn’t they have to complete an application form which included an essay? What institution would accept them?

  8. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 30, 2017 3:20 pm

    F**k F*c*B**k!!!

    Don’t do it and never will.

  9. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal November 30, 2017 3:45 pm

    I make up new words all the time, and get scolded for it frequently. But sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a word to properly describe a concept. For example, my most recent (and probably most practical) neologism:

  10. Desertrat 1
    Desertrat 1 November 30, 2017 6:40 pm

    From what I’ve been reading, Baltimore is even worse than D.C.

  11. Shel
    Shel November 30, 2017 8:25 pm

    The NFL, which I used to follow closely and waste a lot of time on, appears to be virtually in a death spiral. And I’m O.K. with that. These characters, who don’t understand they’re simply entertainers, somehow believe they’re promoting their cause by permanently alienating millions of their businesses’ customers. Any pictures I’ve seen lately of stadiums show a lot of empty seats. Things will naturally worsen when those customers learn their ticket money is being spent for social justice causes and they watch some players continue to kneel, just because they can and know they will garner much sought after attention. Trump astutely nails them with every tweet. The players are now providing a type of entertainment they never intended. And I’m O.K. with that, too.

    The education racket has been going on for a long time, as we all know. Like pretty much everything else it’s just getting worse. Now some college graduates can’t even read. Some years back California actually made a good decision and eliminated affirmative action in state universities. Pat Buchanan noted that graduation rates rose, so the applicants themselves benefited greatly by being in a institution commensurate with their abilities.

  12. s
    s December 1, 2017 4:49 am

    Heh. ‘Jingle-boy’ a rich man’, or someone who has enough coins in their pocket to jingle as they walk.

    As a young man in college a woman in a group commented on my jingling pockets. I responded that I liked having a bunch of coins, it made me feel rich.

    The most beautiful woman in the group responded ” I have always preferred the quiet rustle of bills.”

    You could see that burn from orbit.

  13. Claire
    Claire December 1, 2017 7:49 am

    “You could see that burn from orbit.”

    Oh, that’s funny. I don’t imagine you were very amused at the moment. But what a cool comeback. Of course, she might have thought differently if she knew the coins were silver and gold. 😉

  14. Claire
    Claire December 1, 2017 7:59 am

    “These characters, who don’t understand they’re simply entertainers, somehow believe they’re promoting their cause by permanently alienating millions of their businesses’ customers.”

    Good link and good observations, Shel. And perhaps the worst of this NFL business is the acquiescence of the team owners and Roger Goodell, who ought to know better. Yet one more example of the divide between the out-of-touch elite and the people off whom they make their money.

  15. fred
    fred December 1, 2017 8:46 am

    RV,yes,VA will cover for Obummercare.I also retired early for my health,VA has been a godsend to beat Obummercare.Im an RN,so I write from that perspective.

    The care is not what you are used to in private care.Dr’s are frequently students.They are very inexperienced and only know what they are spoon-fed in classes,not good.Its much like military medicine,but military had far better care.

    I use VA for labs and tests,I keep my private Dr and pay for my visits.We collaborate on my care,he works with me,unlike VA that dictates to you.I do NOT allow VA to set my care standards and needs,they just arent designed to do anything but dictate.

    So I have a Dr who knows me,in VA you are strictly a number and one of the cattle where one care measure must fit all.NOT good.VA will also turn you into a walking pharmacy and vaccine receptacle.Man alive can they push drugs.

    I find it easier to just pay for generic meds or use the free goodrx coupons available online.Im not impressed with their pharmacy set up/rules and regs at all.Frustrating waste of time.

    Good luck RV,you can make VA work for you,if you are knowledgeable or have a family member in medical field they can be a huge help.

  16. fred
    fred December 1, 2017 8:53 am

    Also regarding the NFL,the brain injuries are going to finish them off.No way can they escape that IMO.

  17. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran December 2, 2017 7:00 am

    Fred posted: Good luck RV,you can make VA work for you,if you are knowledgeable or have a family member in medical field they can be a huge help.

    Thanks for the advice, Fred, much appreciated!

    I have three other service buddies who use the VA and they did warn me of the pitfalls, but also reported that it took care of their needs, but sometimes they had to wait.

    Thanks again!

  18. Claire
    Claire December 2, 2017 7:18 am

    Not quite repealed YET. There’s still that reconciliation process to go through between the House and Senate versions of the bill, and I suspect a fair bit of pressure for dropping that provision.

    It would be good, though, if those bumbling eejits could finally repeal Obamacare (which a repeal of the individual mandate would effectively accomplish, even if the law remained on the books).

  19. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran December 2, 2017 8:04 am

    Yup, Claire, I jumped the gun on this with the hope that the Forced (aka Individual) Mandate is repealed! 🙂 I’ve read though that the chances are pretty good that it will get through the reconciliation process.

  20. Myself
    Myself December 2, 2017 10:40 am

    the repeal of the forced mandate is a great first step, the next needs to be a repeal of the law that requires emergency rooms to treat a person even if they can’t pay, then we need to get rid of publicly funded medics.

  21. ExpatNJ
    ExpatNJ December 3, 2017 12:22 pm

    ‘Myself’ (12022017, 10:40am) –

    Your idea will backfire on you. Because there’s a GOOD reason for that rule:

    If you are a victim of a terrible auto accident, your wallet will be stolen by street urchins. After which, you will be delivered unconscious to an Emergency Room without your magic “Medical ID Card”. At which point, the staff will allow your to die – rather than at least temporarily stabilize you – until they can ascertain that you actually DO possess a magic “Medical ID Card”.

    First rule of fighting Socialized Medicine is not to let Socialized Medicine cloud your judgement.

  22. Myself
    Myself December 3, 2017 1:51 pm


    There is never a good reason for socialism, and yes if you can’t afford to pay a hospital staff should let you die.

    You are not entitled to my income to pay for your medical bills.

  23. Claire
    Claire December 3, 2017 3:38 pm

    “yes if you can’t afford to pay a hospital staff should let you die.”

    Wow. Thanks for wishing so many of us dead simply because we’re caught in a world where ordinary people can no longer afford outrageously inflated medical costs.

  24. Myself
    Myself December 3, 2017 3:47 pm

    I don’t wish anyone dead, one reason medical cost are inflated is because hospitals must by law treat people who cannot or will not pay, this cost is passed on to those who can.

    the answer is not socialism it is a return to a free market

    But in the end medical care,, just like food, transportation, liquor or anything else, is not free, if anything is provided “free” it is because wealth has been stolen from someone else.

  25. Claire
    Claire December 3, 2017 4:41 pm

    “the answer is not socialism it is a return to a free market ”

    Of course it is.

    However, you can’t deny that you just said all people who can’t afford medical care should be left to die. You very clearly did say it. And your remark very clearly meant me and many, many other good people I know. Denying that you wish us dead (should we ever be so foolish as to get seriously ill or be in a bad accident) when your statement is right up there in plain English is pointless.

  26. Myself
    Myself December 3, 2017 5:13 pm

    Of course people who can’t afford medical care are not entitled to have someone else pay for it, if that means they die, so be it, this doesn’t mean I wish them to die, just like people who can’t afford food aren’t entitled to have someone else pay for there meals, doesn’t mean I wish people to starve.

    What do you think should happen to a person who can’t afford to pay for medical care?

  27. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 6:50 am

    “What do you think should happen to a person who can’t afford to pay for medical care?”

    I think we should have a combination of free markets (which as you note would make medical care far more affordable), flexible insurance plans, and non-governmental charity for the poor.

    I also think statements like, “yes if you can’t afford to pay a hospital staff should let you die” are precisely the sort of remarks that cause average people to recoil from libertarians, concluding that we’re all ice-hearted bastards who would, in fact, be happy to see the poor dead in the streets for the sake of our philosophy.

    Most of us wouldn’t regard a world in which the poor died for lack of food or medical care to be Libertopia. Most freedomistas I know are good people who would seek alternatives between socialized medicine and “pay or die.” But propaganda — reinforced with remarks like yours — often views freedomistas as being exactly as brutally uncaring as your remark makes freedom appear.

    It’s even worse now that we live in an era when even many hardworking people can’t afford medical care — when even many people who have insurance STILL can’t afford medical care. “Pay or die” now applies to millions of us. “Pay or die” represents a false set of alternatives. “Pay or die” is a viewpoint that shows not only inhumanity, but an absolutism that omits many possible solutions. “Pay or die” is a cruel viewpoint that tars many of us, either for our freedomista views or for the simple fact that we live in a world whose economics are not of our own choosing.

  28. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 7:18 am

    if a third party wishes to pay someone else’s medical cost, fine but if some person cannot pay for something they want, and no one will buy it for them, then they are not entitled to it, this is as true for Insulin as it is for a Big Mac.

    ExpatNJ argued in favor of keeping a law that mandated business (hospitals) provide a product (medical care) to people regardless of their ability to pay, because to not force them to give away their products and skills for free would mean would die

    Ending welfare would mean people would suffer and some would likely die, in time however most people would find a way to get by.

  29. Pat
    Pat December 4, 2017 7:52 am

    I just read this exchange this a.m; I hadn’t seen it before.

    Myself asked, “What do you think should happen to a person who can’t afford to pay for medical care?”

    Let me tell you what has happened to MY self. None of this is anybody’s business, but here it is.
    I recently got a bill for $30000 for two “minor” operations and two ER visits. I’ve had to borrow all the money I’m good for to pay off as much as possible, and will be paying the hospital monthly on the balance for the rest of my life. Any plans I had to start a small DTP business is shelved because I don’t have the money to get some items printed to sell. Any plans I had to get cataract surgery will have to wait for an unknown length of time because I can’t afford to save for that surgery. I have no medical insurance; I haven’t been able to afford it *before* ObamaCare, let alone afford it *since* ObamaCare was passed.

    That’s what has happened to me. I would prefer to pay it all upfront and have the bill off my record, but I can’t. Better I should die?

    I don’t expect charity, but I was in the medical profession long enough – 56 years as a nurse – to know what the medical field SHOULD BE about. And ignoring people’s needs are neither humane nor the reason for medicine in the first place.

    Medicine has always been divided between those who saw the needs of people and responded with help, and those few who have used it for their own “practical” purposes – whether research, money, or quackery. But there’s no reason a hospital can’t make money at the same time it shows some understanding for the patient’s financial predicament; they do not have to fight each other – even in a “free society.” (If you can find one. And I would hope that society had compassion for the have-nots and the strivers-to-be. Voluntary organizations can cover loans and “charity” until people get on their feet.)

    Hospitals and doctors’ offices used to accept monthly payments regularly, knowing that patients could not always afford to pay the entire amount in one lump sum. And the payments were tolerable. Now they want the whole thing upfront, regardless of one’s income or other obligations.

    Medical insurance was affordable once, insurance companies covered reasonable illness and disease without trying to get the most buck for the least service, and they did not rely on government to cover their a$$ when they drew a short straw with patients who became chronically ill. Government interference and regulations have jacked up all prices across the medical field (offices, hospitals, and clinics, drugs, medical supplies, and what-have-you), and has drasticially decreased the caring that was once the criterion of medicine.

    The medical field has traveled from a respected, even revered, profession to one of distrust and disbelief today. Government has headed it down that path, but the profession itself has helped its negative reputation by eager compliance with government’s wishes. There are too many specialists, too many ancillary departments across the medical field trying to get in on the gravy train, when less numbers of people could accomplish the job quicker and better.

    Myself – When you say that people who can’t afford medical care should be “allowed” to die (or simply should not be given care), do you propose they be turned away from the office or hospital door? Should they be told at the door, “How much can you afford? That is the amount of service you will be given.” Should the medical facility ask for the patient’s financial statement before s/he be allowed in the door?

    To put it another way, how would you refuse care to, say, a bleeding have-not who showed up at your ER? WOULD you refuse them care? And would you tell the family why?

  30. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 8:53 am

    Pat do propose that money be stolen from people to pay for things (including medical care) for people who can’t afford them?

    Do away with the law that requires hospitals to provide goods and services to people who can’t pay and medical cost will drop, and private charities would likely fill the gap

    Do you propose that a hotel in Fargo ND be required to furnish a room to a homeless person when the temperature drops below zero?

  31. Pat
    Pat December 4, 2017 9:07 am

    No, and No.

    Is there only Either-Or in your choices? Why must one “stea” for med care, or “give away” a room to the homeless? You said yourself that private charities are an option.

    And you haven’t answered my questions.

  32. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 9:25 am


    I have, and will do so again if a person wants something and they can’t afford, and no third party will pay for it for them, they don’t get it. , this is as true for Insulin as it is for a Big Mac.

    It’s true that capitalism and free markets have some sharp edges but they are far better than the alternatives

  33. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 9:44 am

    “Is there only Either-Or in your choices?”

    Pat has hit the nail on the head here. Myself, your thinking is so absolutist I’d have to call it totalitarian. You propose no way of getting from where we are now to where you’d like us to be. You present freedom as being without either options or compassion. You just say, “Tough luck. Let poor sick people die” — a statement that doesn’t advance your agenda, but kicks potential allies in the nuts.

    I know that you personally are generous. I don’t doubt that at all. But it’s going to take boundless creativity and both individual and group efforts to solve the medical mess, and your statements are the equivalent (both in practicality and in human kindness) to “let them eat cake.” They don’t help. They do the opposite.

    It’s true that capitalism and free markets have rough edges. It’s also true that they enable solutions to problems — something that absolutist statements don’t encourage.

  34. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 9:48 am

    Pat — Thanks for sharing your story. Your struggles and their cause may be “none of our business,” but you’ve given a perfect example of what many good people are suffering now from even brief encounters with the medical system, and given it from an insider’s point of view. I’m sorry for what you’re going to be stuck with for the rest of your life.

  35. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 9:56 am

    Options are:

    1: Pay for the things you need or want

    2: Accept private charity for the things you need or want

    3: have the government provide or force some other person to provide the things you want

    4: Do without

    If there is a fifth option I’m missing I would love to hear it

  36. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 10:07 am

    “If there is a fifth option I’m missing I would love to hear it”

    Yes indeed, you are apparently missing the very concept of options — and of getting from here to a freer society that would offer many, many options, including, just for starters:

    Affordable, varied types of insurance.

    Alternative forms of care.

    Insurance for Americans that would cover much less expensive offshore medicine.

    Doctors that offer services for barter.

    More independent care; less institutionalization of care.

    Varieties of medical schooling don’t cost so much that money becomes a primary concern for graduates.

    Foundations covering medical education for doctors, nurses, and other types of medical personnel who want to be able to offer free or low-cost care.

    And much, much more.

    Your insistence on such limited options show exactly how narrow your view is on the subject.

  37. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 10:07 am

    solving the medical mess,is simple really a real free market, if a person could purchase Insulin over the counter no Rx required the price would come down.

    As for being so absolutist, OK I’ll own that I see no room for compromise between free markets and socialism, or freedom and slavery, the fact that we have been compromising is why we’re in the mess we’re in, and unless we take hard dramatic action soon, we’ll might as well join the EU

  38. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 10:42 am

    There is compromise on principle, which I agree should never be done.

    Then there is compromise on the methods of getting to freedom, which must be done.

    You’re not advancing free-market principles by decreeing “pay or die.” You’re just alienating people who might or might not share all your principles, but who are otherwise willing to work on creative solutions to problems caused by statism.

  39. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 11:26 am

    WE keep coming back to this point, if a person arrives at a hospital with no means to pay, no willingness to work out a payment plan and no one will provide them with charity, should they be turned away or should the hospital be mandated by law to treat them?

    As many have pointed out it is unlikely that there would be no charity, but in the event that none was available what should happen?

    And once more if a person who lives outside be entitled to a hotel room if the temperature drops below zero, any idea how many dead homeless people are found in cities on cold mornings?

  40. Comrade X
    Comrade X December 4, 2017 11:37 am

    I don’t think there will ever be anything that is truly absolutely a free market in our medical system today (that is just a reality statement on more of our society of what can be done or not, there can be a difference between reality and what one wants methinks) however I strongly support going in the direction of a free market to solve what ails us because the direction away from a free market is a disease with no cure.

    I support a safety net (not a hammock) and IMHO a private safety net is best however a public safety net would be better than no safety net at all as we stride down the path to a free-er market (which we are not doing btw, yet at least).

  41. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 11:53 am

    “WE keep coming back to this point, if a person arrives at a hospital with no means to pay,”

    Actually, only YOU keep coming back to that point. It’s solely a theoretical point because in today’s world such a person can’t be turned away and in Libertopia, the person could be turned away but probably wouldn’t be because so many alternatives would be in place to cover such needs.

    The real question, the one you aren’t addressing, is what’s the best way to get from here to there?

  42. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 12:47 pm

    Repeal the law that requires hospitals to provide free emergency care to people (causing those who can pay to pay more for the services they receive)

    End the AMA monopoly

    Stop requiring a prescription to buy medicine.

    End all government oversight of the medical profession.

    End government funding of medical care,

    End government oversight in the insurance industry

  43. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 1:08 pm

    I agree with all that. Hundred percent — though I think your first point has to come late in the process, not before all the other things you mention. Medical care must be affordable first, and a wide variety of insurance and private charity options available.

    Looks like a long, hard road from where we stand and I think we’re going to need all the allies we can get.

  44. Comrade X
    Comrade X December 4, 2017 1:52 pm

    If only all of the republicrats would start campaigning on “PAY or LET THEM ALL DIE” then all of the democan’s dreams would finally come true!

    I say this because we have a one party system in this country which consists of two arms; one is “so called” conservative the other is “so called” liberal but both are about one thing, bigger government! The only difference is their rhetoric to get us there.

  45. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 3:20 pm

    I disagree about one, and here’s why; first requiring any hospital o provide “emergency care’ is expensive, in fact it was why the Heritage foundation first advanced the idea of a forced mandate.

    A huge reason for the cost turns out to be a handful of people who perpetually make bad choices, frequent drug overdoses, drunken/stoned antics.

    Shouldn’t a hospital be able to assign a very low priority or even refuse such a patient?

  46. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 5:31 pm

    “Shouldn’t a hospital be able to assign a very low priority or even refuse such a patient?”

    Yes — although finding a completely fair and accurate way of identifying “bad choice” problem patients without also penalizing patients with chronic conditions wouldn’t be easy.

    Again I’ll agree that in a truly free society a hospital would be free to reject any patient (unless it had contracts that required otherwise). But as entangled as we are in a government/big pharma/big corp. medical system, it’s hard to make any decision in isolation. And I suspect that while such system-abusers are a nagging problem, they’re also not the real problem; they’re just easy to identify and blame because they’re inherently unsympathetic.

  47. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 5:48 pm

    Yes — although finding a completely fair and accurate way of identifying “bad choice” problem patients without also penalizing patients with chronic conditions wouldn’t be easy.

    Isn’t that true of any charity?

  48. Myself
    Myself December 4, 2017 6:08 pm

    Remove government requirements, and the attached list of required treatments, and likely the Catholic Church will get back into the business of running hospitals, they got out of business in the US after that law was passed in the 70’s

  49. Claire
    Claire December 4, 2017 6:13 pm

    “Isn’t that true of any charity?”

    Certainly, and they usually deal with such issues very poorly. Also, we’re not just talking about charity; we’re talking about life and death. Raises the decision to a whole new level of importance.

    I do agree that if government got out of medicine, churches and charities (and not only the Catholic church) would come back into it.

  50. Pat
    Pat December 5, 2017 4:58 am

    Some apples and oranges here in discussing emergency rooms. You’re thinking about the ideal, but the E.R. “monopoly” exists today, in current use, under a current non-ideal society. It would not function the same way in a non-governmental environment. The ER “monopoly” has probably sprung up from a defensive mode to cover all problems, all needs, and all financial levels. But trying to find the satisfactory “mean” doesn’t work in medicine any more than it does in voting.

    I’d like to see more ERs separate from hospitals; most of them cater to the non-life-threatening patient, anyway.
    Or possibly some specialty ERs (such as orthopedics, or viral/bacterial (might keep infections away from the rest of the community), or asthma/allergy/toxicity, or pediatric, etc.) Not all of these would work, it would depend on the community needs, but they would function as clinics do today but with better staffing and pertinent equipment (X-rays for orthopedics, e.g.) for the specialty involved.

    Staffing in ERs is inconsistent, too (just ask me!). All ER nurses/doctors/PAs are not equally knowledgeable about all illness; and all do not respond to specific situations (such as mental or alcoholic problems) with the same coping ability. Working in a specialty ER would fine-tune the ability, knowledge, and response time of the staff, and get the patient in and out faster, more competently, and at less cost (especially as no regulations need determine what procedures MUST be done.)

    All this is fantasy. Saying what should or might be done does not tell *how* it could be done. And believing it will work does not prove it will work. I’d like to see a pilot program for a specialty ER put in place somewhere – say an orthopedic ER in Aspen, CO – wherein other illness/accidents went to the patient’s regular hospital/doctor/clinic. And compare competence, response-time, price, and length of wait-time with orthopedic accidents sent to hospital ERs in the area.

  51. Pat
    Pat December 5, 2017 8:44 am

    It’s hard to say how that would play out; it depends on what the doctor does with his/her career. The social and medical culture is different these days than in the 50s when the donor graduated. Then, doctors wanted to be GPs; nowadays more doctors want to be specialists. A “needy” doctor may want to stick to generalized, comprehensive medicine to help the poor or average patient, but sometimes they want to get far away from their upbringing and try to improve their career and lifestyle as fast as possible with a specialty.

Leave a Reply