Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Funny or Die Video

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

This is a call from celebrities to protect insurance company profits.

That's how I roll.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Isn't Voting Against the Public Option Just as Bad as Being on a Death Panel?

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

If Congress shoots down the public option for health care, how are they any better than a "Death Panel"?

I mean, I'm ok with facing a death panel as long as I know I'm gonna live- so I'm cool with whoever votes for the public option. But aren't all the votes against health care the ones who are going to kill grandma, and not the other way around?

Psychologist BF Skinner's Operant Conditioning essentially tells us that there are 3 ways to modify someone's behavior. Punishment, Positive Reinforcement and Negative Reinforcement.
Let's say I want to modify your behavior so that you will do 5 jumping jacks. I ask you politely and you decline. Now I have to get creative. According to Operant Conditioning I could employ:

Punishment- I will kick your shins if you do not do 5 jumping jacks.
Positive Reinforcement- Do 5 jumping jacks and I'll give you $50.

but Negative Reinforcement is often misunderstood. Colloquially people confuse it with punishment- when you yell at your dog you'll hear someone say, "yeah, give him a little negative reinforcement, they'll get the hint." When in fact, what you're doing is punishing your dog. Negative reinforcement could maybe more accurately be called, "Inverse Reinforcement"- it is the removal of something unpleasant. So if I wanted you to do 5 jumping jacks using negative reinforcement I'd place you in a room full of screaming people and tell you that after you do 5 jumping jacks, I will send all the screaming people out of the room.

As you know from personal history all three can be effective. Those 3 methods would probably each elicit 5 jumping jacks out of me, anyway. You also know that Positive Reinforcement and Punishment, while working toward the same end, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Although sometimes punishment is much easier or more practical to use than a reinforcement model, a lot of times either method is equally plausible. Essentially, one is nice way to get what you want, and the other is a mean way to get what you want.

What does this have to do with health care? You may have to follow me on this one for a second...

Some people like myself are asking our politicians to vote for a public/single payer option. Their approving it would essentially be akin to negative reinforcement- That is to say, they will promise to take away something negative- maybe the fear of losing medical benefits if I am laid off, or not being able to afford health insurance, or being denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition. Maybe that would modify my future behavior to vote for that politician in the next election or something.

We also know that Negative Reinforcement and Positive Reinforcement are pretty similar- one presents something favorable, the other removes something unfavorable. Those are both pretty good things.

But if a politician votes against the public/single payer option, they would thereby be preventing Negative Reinforcement from occurring, essentially saying, "Ya know what? We could treat your un-wealthy, dying grandmother's cancer, but we're not gonna." They have the power to remove an unfavorable situation- but opt not to. So that would be opposite of negative reinforcement, right? Didn't we agree that that's akin to punishment? Like maybe that politician punishing us for putting them in office, for instance? Or maybe it modifies our behavior enough to not want to vote for them, or anyone they endorse in the future.

If a Congressman, or member of the Big Six or the Senate Finance Committee, votes against the public/single payer option, they're voting against offering health care to every single sick, or even dying person who lacks it. So if you vote against treating a disease, aren't you necessarily voting for the disease?

That's why I said that those voting against health care really are the death panel. It isn't that they are in favor of killing grandma, it's just that they won't step and help her when she needs help to stay alive.

While I'm on the topic of analogies- isn't that a bit like the Bystander Law? Like if you see a victim of a hit and run lying on the ground fighting to stay alive and you simply do nothing, you get arrested for that.

If an old lady got hit by a car and I said, "Help, help, Max Baucus, there's been a terrible accident and this old lady could die if she doesn't get help!", and Max looked at her, said, "I'm not gonna waste my cell phone minutes calling 911, plus, I just dont care if that old bag of wind dies" and then he pulls out his iPhone and starts filming her, he'd get arrested. But if I said, "Help, help, Max Baucus please, PLEASE vote for the single payer option! There's been a horrible thing that happened to my great-aunt and she has cancer. No provider will offer her care now that the cancer is so fully developed. She will surely die from it if she doesn't get help!" he can reply the same way he did with the automobile accident scenario, and what will his punishment be? A huge check from a big insurance company, followed probably by a week in December at the CEO's lodge in Vail.

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.