Category Archives: Healthcare

DUI

Over the next couple of days, I’m going to post some of the articles that I have written for the Urban News over the past several months. Let me know what you think. –

dui

It is time for us to get serious about drinking under the influence. We continue to treat this problem as if it were a college prank. It ain’t. We are talking about life and death. It is a privilege to drive a car, not a right. I believe that cars are a necessary part of being an American. There are only a few places in this country in which you can get around without a car. Everywhere else, you need a car; therefore, you need to adhere to the rules that each state has which govern who can drive a car.

A 20-something with 2 small children in his pickup truck is driving too fast on his way to Wal-Mart. His reflexes are impaired from his daily usage of methamphetamines. He doesn’t see the red light, or he believes that he can just run it. Halfway through the intersection, he slams into the driver’s side door of a Mini-Cooper. The 53-year-old mother of two is sitting in the front passenger’s seat, She is wearing a seat belt, but is killed instantly. What makes matters worse is that this killer was arrested 18 months earlier for driving under the influence when he hit several park cars. No one was injured in that crash. How many times does he have to kill or injure someone before we understand that cars can be used as deadly weapons when the wrong person is behind the wheel?

In 2013, over 32,000 people died on American roads. 32,000 is a lot of people. The good news is that we drive safer cars and more and more of us are surviving crashes. Alcohol is estimated to be involved in somewhere between 50 and 90% of motor vehicle crashes. This doesn’t include other mind-altering substances like methamphetamines, oxycodone, Valium, anti-depressants or any of a number of other drugs that dull the senses and slow the reflexes.

Trauma Surgeons, like me, have been trying to get the American public NOT to say “motor vehicle accident.” An accident is something that really can’t be prevented. A toddler running with a drink in his/her hand will spill it. That really isn’t preventable. As long as toddlers have drinks in their hands, they will spill. On the other hand, driving a car is different. There should be some thought going into the basic operation of a motor vehicle. Sometimes, we are driving too fast for the conditions. Sometimes we aren’t paying attention. Before you back up, you check your mirrors and look behind you before you backup. Right? I think that automated cars will be great help. They will be doing all of the basic “thinking” for us. Many of the crashes that we see today will be eliminated. Unfortunately, none of us can go and buy a Google car tomorrow. (I think that the Google Car will be great for some of us who have some issues will reflexes and eyesight.)

Ethan Couch is the boy who has been labeled by the media as suffering from Affluenza (being given too much by his parents). Couch was 16 years old when he was involved in a motor vehicle crash. He killed 4 people and injured 2 others. His alcohol level was a sobering 0.24, 3 times the legal limit. The judge thought that this was some type of minor offense. Ethan got no jail time. He got 10 years’ probation. What is that? If I drove my car across the judge’s lawn, I promise you he would give me more than just probation. Now, Ethan is back in the news because he is running from the law after having been caught on video drinking at a party. Can someone do the right thing and throw this guy in jail?

Look, there are tons of injustices in our society. There are some things that we really can’t figure out. This isn’t one of those situations. If you believe in justice, then folks who take mind-altering substances and then drive a car deserve to be thrown in jail for a good, long time. If we lean toward “being nice” and allow these folks to go scott-free, then aren’t we saying that the lives that were stolen had no value? To me, life is a gift and should be valued.

News Roundup – Confederate Flag, ObamaCare, Gov. Bobby

Over the last week or so there has been a ton of conversation about the South, Dylann Roof and the Confederate Flag. Just for one second, let’s take a deep breath. What was the Civil War about? Someone will usually say that the Civil War was about States Rights. Okay. That’s a half answer. The Civil War wasn’t about states’ rights to have their own Navy or trade exclusively with Africa or England. The Civil War was about a state’s right to continue slavery as they saw fit. The Confederate Flag is clearly associated with slavery. Then, after the war, the Confederate Flag was most associated with the KKK, a terrorist organization. So for me, as a Black man who grew up in the South, the Confederate Flag is associated with nothing positive. It is associated with terror and racism. Now, I fully understand that there are those Americans who see nothing but positive when they look at the Confederate Flag. They see bravery, honor and dedication to duty. We need to understand that the Confederate Flag symbolizes both. It is like that Batman character – Two Face. You can’t have one without the other. I think that removing the Confederate flag from the state capital in South Carolina is a step in the right direction. Oh, and I should add that Dylann Roof understood the meaning of the Confederate Flag. He clearly understood its link with racism. (Now, before some folks begin to seize, I don’t believe that every Southerner is a racist. On the other hand, I don’t believe that every Northerner is a saint. Look, America is a complex country. Good and evil can be found everywhere. )

ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act) has been upheld by the Supreme Court. I’m a little surprised.  The following is from ScotusBlog:

That, the Court concluded by a six-to-three vote, was what Congress intended when it passed the sweeping overhaul of the health insurance market five years ago.   If the subsidies are not available across the nation, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote for the majority, that would bring about “the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

Had the ruling in King v. Burwell gone the other way, to eliminate subsidies in thirty-four states, at least 6.4 million Americans likely would have almost immediately lost the insurance coverage that many of them have for the first time.  And, given the way Congress wrote an interlocking law, the cascading effect of the loss of subsidies for so many probably would have collapsed the whole arrangement — a point that Roberts embraced in foreseeing the potential for a “death spiral” for the ACA.

 

Bobby Jindel. The GOP needs more candidates. It is like that old disco song – “More, more, more.”

Here are 10 “great” moments from Donald Trump’s announcement speech.