Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Middle of the Week Mélange

Interesting, albeit not entirely surprising, piece of news from the AP regarding NASA today. With the space shuttle program ending in 2010, NASA has announced they will be laying off 8,000 contractors.

NASA has stated they will not be laying off the contractors until the shuttle program ends, but they haven't said how the 8,000 loss will impact the upstart of the Constellation program that won't begin until 2015. It appears the 8,000 are private contractors or so NASA claims.

The battle (not to be confused with the temper tantrum the traditional media calls it) between the Idaho legislature and Governor Butch Otter continues. Now that Governor Otter has reached a "compromise" with the legislature on substance abuse treatment funding, the question remains, why? Neither Nathanial Hoffman at the Boise Weekly or the Mountain Goat Report seem to pinpoint what this business of going in circles is all about. For the $1.8 million that Governor Otter supposedly "saved" the state's taxpayers in drug treatment funding, it will now cost Idaho taxpayers an estimated $17 million in prison costs when the state ultimately locks up these offenders in the future.

Makes tons of sense to start a floor fight about saving the taxpayers money today that will cost them even more money tomorrow.

Adam Graham has posted an idiotic tirade about the irresponsible parents of obese children who have "become chronically ill and put a strain on British taxpayers." Adam goes on to quote former Governor Mike Huckabee's assertion that the number of children diagnosed with insulin-resistant Diabetes (type II mellitus) will face future health setbacks: "A child developing diabetes at that young age is sure to have vision problems in his twenties, a heart attack before he is thirty, renal failure and full kidney dialysis by the time he is forty, and will be dead before he is fifty." Adam turns the essential argument that obesity among teens and pre-teens causes "adult onset Diabetes" (it hasn't been called adult onset in quite sometime) and neglects to recognize that the cases of type II Diabetes being caused by juvenile obesity remain in the minority. There are cases of type II Diabetes in adolescents that are not caused by obesity.

Adam turns his tirade into a lesson in government and responsibility. I'm not going to claim to follow the logic (or lack thereof) because I believe a government's responsibility includes ensuring the lasting health of its citizens. More often than not, cases of Diabetes in teens and pre-teens can be reversed if met immediately by an effective treatment plan. A diet isn't going to solve every single kid's glucose control struggle. Running every day for two years isn't going to get a roller coaster of fasting plasma glucose readings in an acceptable range. In these cases it isn't about irresponsibility, it is about the way a human body can attack itself or it could be about genetics. It wouldn't surprise me if a large number of those adolescents struggling with type II Diabetes weren't at one point what they call pre-Diabetic and they didn't have the right care, maybe not even health insurance, and weren't able to take care of it while there was still a chance of gaining control of it.

Let us not forget that those kids grow up to be taxpaying members of society--often paying double what they do in taxes to combat what has resulted from unchecked type II Diabetes in childhood, Diabetes that had they had adequate healthcare wouldn't be a problem for them today. Calling them a strain on the system and on taxpayers is ludicrous. The same principle applies here as it does in the drug treatment argument. Why not pay a dollar today for the children's health care instead of paying hundreds down the road in emergency room costs for the uninsured?


Adam Graham said...

I don't think the name-calling is called for. Tara, I didn't mean to imply that everyone with Type 2 diabetes was obsese. However, obesity is a huge risk factor. If I lose weight, I have a great chance of being around this world a while longer. If not, I'm going to get Diabetes, and probably sooner rather than later. I will clarify my column.

Secondly, I think that you follow after statism is perhaps our fundamental difference. The state is the biggest killer in the history of mankind. It destroys liberty and enslaves. I'm all for free health care clinics, but let them be done by churches and community groups, not by government. That is our responsibility not the almighty hand of government.

Susan said...

Thought you'd be interested in this short omega-3 video: