A New Can Of Worms
06 March 2004
I Was Just Telling Someone About This

In a discussion about the irrational things people will do for money. Now this from the Sun-Times:

"Some Crestwood motorists literally made money out of 'thin air' Friday.
Well, make that 'intense blustery' air.

Thanks to Mother Nature, $1,000 in cash blew out of a faulty ATM drawer and into the hands of motorists who jumped out of their cars once they saw the floating bills at 135th Street and Cicero."

We were talking how people will won't drink the water in a third world country, but if they got a deal on prescription drugs (you know, injesting chemicals into the body) then they would be willing to risk it because, hell, they were getting a deal. It's same mentality of those who would rush into an intersection for money falling off an armored car.

05 March 2004
"Unbiased" Reporting at the Sun-Times

In an article on Obama pals blocking bill helpful to rival Hynes in today's Sun-Times we are treated to this little gem by Dave McKinney:

"In a plum to big business, Bush orchestrated changes in federal overtime laws to provide the pay bonus to more low-income workers but deny it to hundreds of thousands of middle-income workers."

I'm not one who constantly harps on liberal bias in the media, but this is pretty over the top.

Overtime rules were written 60 years ago. Since then the economy has changed substantially. For example, Television didn't exist. Imagine that! The US economy was still manufacturing based and union dominated. That just isn't the world we live in anymore. DOL has embarked on an effort to simply and clarify work place rules for overtime. It turns out that many of the industries that exist today didn't exist in the 1930's. Go figure? Because of the confusion employers have been vulnerable to lawsuits. Why is fixing those rules a plum to business?

Apparently, that's lost on Mckinney.

04 March 2004
Good For Illinois

Hey, those are precious manufacturing jobs...We have to do everything we can to save them (tongue planted firmly in cheek.)
02 March 2004
Health Care Mandates

Health Care Mandates are one cause of rising health care costs. Estimates from the states suggests mandates hike health care costs between 5% to 22% depending on mandates. Now, not even religous charities can duck them on such things as birthcontrol:

"In what may be a precedent-setting decision, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday that a Roman Catholic charity must offer birth-control coverage to its employees even though the church considers contraception a sin.

The 6-1 decision marked the first such ruling by a state's highest court. Experts said the ruling could affect thousands of workers at Catholic hospitals and other church-backed institutions in California.

California is one of 20 states to require that all company-provided health plans must include contraception coverage if the plans have prescription drug benefits.

The high court said that Catholic Charities is no different from other businesses in California, where 'religious employers' such as churches are exempt from the requirement. Catholic Charities argued that it, too, should be exempt."

I imagine, if a federal issue can be found, this will be appealed. I wouldn't be surprised if federal legislation were introduced.

One cool thing Catholic Charities could do is switch to health savings accounts. They could provide matchig funds for people to pay for their savings and part of their premiums. Since they are turning over cash -- they could get around the law.

And on the Prescription Drug Front

The Chicago Tribune reports:

"Two revolutionary new drugs are in hospital pharmacies this week, a tangible sign that years of research into targeted approaches to fighting cancer are finally paying off, at least in a limited way.

The new drugs are a far cry from the breakthrough that was predicted in 1998, when Nobel laureate James Watson was quoted as saying cancer would be cured 'in two years' as a result of laboratory evidence that tumors would vanish if their blood supply was choked off."

This is good. These are the kinds of drugs that save health care dollars. According to recent reports I've seen in the Wall Street Journal and other places a new round of breakthrough drugs are on there way. It will be interesting to see whether or not this has an impact on the reimportation fight currently going occurring in the states.

No incentives, no new drugs is an easier argument to make when new drugs are being produced.

Stay In Guantanamo Bay or Face Trial in Russia

Somehow I believe that these guys would rather stay in a wire cage in Cuba:

"The United States has turned over seven Russian citizens who were being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, officials said Monday.

Deputy chief prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky said Russian authorities have charged the men with illegally crossing borders, mercenary activity and participating in a criminal group, according to the Interfax new agency. They were captured in Afghanistan and accused of fighting alongside the Taliban."

Ugh... Russian prison...talk about violating human rights....
01 March 2004
Well, They Won't Be Talking About 'the Ex' As Much

Now the hypocracy flag will be raised on Blair Hull:

"Though he attacks the pharmaceutical lobby for driving up consumer drug prices, U.S. Senate candidate Blair Hull has invested at least hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock funds, bonds and securities tied to the very drug companies he accuses of price gouging, federal financial disclosure reports show.

The revelation of Hull's large financial stake in the pharmaceutical industry raises further questions about the former securities trader, who spent the weekend trying to quell a firestorm around his Senate candidacy. Hull on Friday unsealed divorce files showing that an ex-wife had accused him of violent behavior as their second volatile marriage to each other collapsed in 1998."

Now, if he were viewed as the only guy who could capture the Senate seat by Democrats, this wouldn't be a problem. Nor would a bevy other crimes, I imagine either....
Much Ado About Nothing

One of the biggest non-issues out there is doing business with offshore firms. But, the Governor decided he would make it an issue and now he's being burned by it.

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