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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good News: Madison Arts Surge, Stricherz Supports Troops, SF Rations Flu Meds

Who says I never look at the bright side?

Arts Center to Open in Madison: The Madison Area Arts Council announces that it will open a Community Arts Center on November 1. They'll be at 106 Southeast 2nd Street, south of the Leader building. First they'll seet up an office for the organization and some public meeting space, then by spring get going with some classes and exhibits. Remake the city branding line: "Discover the Arts," indeed!

Stricherz Working Hard with Operation Homefront: Can't keep a good woman down—former legislative candidate Patricia Stricherz from the southern Moody County metroplex is busy running a new chapter of Operation Homefront, a national organization that provides support for families of deployed and wounded soldiers. They do things like help with auto repairs and utility payments, provide backpacks for school for soldiers' kids, and provide holiday meals and gifts. Stricherz says the South Dakota branch is finally moving out of her living room and into real office space—if you have any office equipment or furniture you could donate to help Operation Homefront set up shop, or if you'd like to help out in other ways, give Stricherz a call: 888-293-3775.

Of course, one could argue that the best help we could give Operation Homefront would be to eliminate the need for their services by bringing the troops home....

Free Market Shows Rationale for Rationing Medicine: In a demonstration of why free market principles don't work in health care, Sioux Falls docs say they aren't testing for swine flu. They aren't even handing out Tamiflu to everyone who wants it—also known as rationing. What? Did we turn into Canada?

No: the doctors are just practicing good, efficient medicine, with a dose of socialism:

"We're seeing huge numbers of patients presenting all across the region and it just doesn't make sense to try to test because we know it's there, it's widespread," Sanford Infectious Disease Dr. Wendell Hoffman said.

He says that means if you feel like you have the flu, it's a safe bet it's H1N1, which many can recover from without seeing their physician.

"Unless they're part of those designated groups that are at high risk for the complications of influenza, they also don't need to be treated," Hoffman said.

...Hoffman says there's one more thing the public should know. TamiFlu isn't widely available. And because health officials aren't really sure where this virus is headed and because we're early on in the flu season, giving the medication to only those who need it is crucial [Kelli Grant, "Why... Doctors Aren't Testing for H1N1," KELOLand.com, 2009.10.20].

The free market would lead to overutilization: underinformed citizens flooding clinics and inflating demand for goods and services they don't need. That demand would prevent some people who most need care from getting it, and that would mean more dead people. The free market also apparently can't produce enough of the irrationally desired product, Tamiflu (Gilead Sciences holds an exclusive patent on the drug until 2016). Thus, doctors have to step in and ensure that the drug is distributed on the basis of need rather than ability to pay... a nice little affirmation of socialist principle over free-market fundamentalism.

Update 09:40 CDT: And some bad news/good news: The bad news is, no South Dakota Online broadcast today. The good news: the delay is because Ben Hanten got new gear! They're putting together new equipment and a new set and are aiming to broadcast tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:30 p.m. (New set? Rumor has it Ben's pals raided KELO's secret warehouse south of Rowena and liberated KELO's 1968 newscast set, complete with Terrace Park signs and the original 50 pieces of Dave Dedrick's ugly necktie collection.)


  1. Steve Sibson10/21/2009 4:41 PM


    So you are saying Sanford Health is a socialist organization?

  2. No, I'm said that free market principles don't work as well as socialist principles in health care. What is the point you were hoping to make?

  3. I heard that the problem with not enough actual H1N1 vaccine (not tamiflu)available is in the distribution, which was taken over this year from the private sector by your good ole Uncle Sammy. So do we want to trust Uncle Sammy for all our health care when they can't even distribute flu vaccine?

  4. I will trust Uncle Sam with my health insurance, just I trust Uncle Sam with health insurance for my elders and my veterans.

  5. And Linda, back up: what you heard is not what the news said. The report said very directly "Tamiflu isn't widely available." That is the problem the doctor was talking about. My point stands.

  6. Steve Sibson10/21/2009 8:15 PM


    The point is that you have things backwards. Sanford Health, of the free market, is delivering the product in a responsible way. The government and the state-run media is creating the fear that is fueling the panic.

    So the headline tomorrow will read: "Heidelberger thinks Sanford Health is owned by the government?".

  7. But they are doing it right by (a) rationing health care, which you cite as a reason to reject the health reforms I support, and (b) acting according to socialist principles to correct the errors of the free market system.

  8. Actually free market means that a good doctor who understands the needs of his patients will end up with more patients and influence over the practice of medicine instead of a doctor that is payed by a bureaucracy that doesn't understand that sometimes a lot of tests are needed to diagnose a disease, and penalizes the doctor for needless testing

  9. "they are doing it right by (a) rationing health care"...which is also exactly what the free market would do. It isn't that anybody thinks there is only rationing if there is socialized medicine, its that we want rationing done through the free will of the people rather than somebody anointed with power on high deciding how my doctor, hospital, insurance company, or employer gets to decide. In your socialist scenario there would be rationing imposed on Sanford Health that would override whatever they might want to do and these doctors would have been prevented from doing what you praise them for.


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