slideshow widget

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Why Is College So Expensive?

A topic I have been having with my patients of late is regarding free college. Most of my patients think it is unfair that they have to pay off someone else's student loans. And I tend to agree that it's a poor idea. What do you think? 

And this does have to do with respiratory therapy because we need a degree to do this. And that is part of the problem. I agree that it is a good idea that we need a degree to do this. This is because there are things we need to learn to do this job. So, some degree is practical. 

But then you have elites that tell us we need more education to do the job we already do just fine. And that is where the cost comes up. So, I have an associate's degree. And I do just fine in my job. My coworkers all have associate's degrees. And they do just fine. There is no reason we need to have more education. And so we have all decided we will not go on to get our Bachelor's degrees in respiratory therapy. 

But the younger generation is being convinced to go on and get a bachelor's degree before they even start as RTs. And I believe eventually a bachelor's will be required. I do because this is exactly what happened with nursing. Now most nurses are required to get bachelor's. 

And this is part of the problem. You add more degrees, and you double the price. And so, rather than getting out of college with a $20,000 loan to pay back you have a $40,000 loan. And I am probably underestimating the cost here too. 

So, elites decide we need more education. When in fact we do not. And all that happens as a result is we end up with these student loans that we can't ever seem to pay back. And that is the premise of Biden deciding to forgive $10,000 worth of student loans.

But it is a bad idea. It is a bad idea because it is too much spending that caused inflation. You give people money and they buy things with that money. And so, you have too much money chasing too few things and the price of those things will go up. This is economics 101. 

So, you have inflation. And you give $10,000 to a person. And that person has $10,000 to put into the economy. And the loan people have that $10,000. And they loan this money out to another person. So, in essence, that $10,000 adds another $20,000 into the economy. And this will no doubt add to the inflationary problem. 

And of course there are other factors that go into this. Nancy Pelosi taught a class once And she received $400,000 to teach that class. She is an elitist, meaning she is a person of power. And, despite being part of the problem, she says we ought to forgive student loans because college is too expensive. Well, if she would be paid a normal wage to teach, college wouldn't cost so much. 

So, in essence, the same people that caused our problem say they have the solution. 

I have a friend who says I'm pig headed because I don't want the government to forgive student loans. He said his son has a $40,000 student loan for attending respiratory therapy school. And he said it "unfair" that he has to pay so much.

And I have empathy for his son. But, why do I have to pay off his student loan? I told him it's unfair I have to pay off his student loan. I told him if he has a problem with college admissions costing too much, solve that problem. Don't punish me. 

Monday, July 25, 2022

What Is Heaven Like?

Some of my greatest moments as an RT are conversations with our patients. And today a conversation I had was about Heaven. So we spent about 15 minutes discussing what we thought Heaven was like. 

My patient said that no one has ever been to Heaven. So the only way to describe it is to compare it to other things we have experienced. 

For example, say someone has never tried squirrel. And you have tried squirrel. So, how do you describe what squirrel tastes like. And you say it tastes good like chicken. 

For example, say someone has never tried Kumquats. And you have tried kumquats. So, how do you describe what kumquats taste like? And you say it tastes like a combination between an orange and a muskmelon. It's sweet and tastes good. 

So, you could say heaven is like all the best foods you have ever tasted. It's like all the happiest places that you have ever visited. It is like all the best things you have ever smelled. It's like the greatest sex you have ever experienced. And it's all of that combined. 

Obviously we weren't very busy. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Why The Supreme Court Got It Right On Abortion

I did take sides on the vaccine mandates.
I am going to tread here carefully. I am not taking sides on the abortion issue. Although, I still would like to explain the ruling. That's my job here, to make the complex sound easy. 

I have had some friends of mine asking me questions about the Supreme Court Decision on Abortion. And the question goes like this: "How can the Supreme Court rule that gun control laws are unconstitutional and cannot be ruled upon by the States. Yet a day later they rule that abortion is unconstitutional and should be ruled upon by the states."  

Well, that is actually a simple one. The second amendment specifically states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

So, gun rights is specifically mentioned in the Constitution. And so no state or federal congress person shall make any law that takes away second amendment rights. It is right there in the Constitution. 

Abortion, on the other hand, is not mentioned in the Constitution. There is no mention of it. In fact, this is so true that the dissent did not even cite the Constitution one time in their greater than 60 page dissension. What they did in fact do was make a great case for any Congress to pass abortion legislature. But, legislating is not the role of the Supreme Court. The role of the Supreme Court is to decide whether or not a law is constitutional. That's it. And that is why Rowe got it wrong back in 1972. And why this current ruling got it right. 

Therefore, this is where the Supreme Court looked at the 10th amendment, which says that anything not mentioned in the Constitution is left for the people and the states to decide. And this is why the Supreme court ruled how it did. 

This is true whether you support abortion or not. And I'm not taking sides here. I'm just explaining the decision. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Here's how to lower healthcare costs

Is there something wrong with healthcare? I think most of us would say, "Yes!" The problem is that those in power (elitists) believe the solution is more government. And this is the irony of our healthcare problem: the cause of many of our healthcare problems IS the government. And yet the solution they come up with is always MORE government. 

They create a government program. And this usually starts with a bunch of elitists sitting in leather chairs in a cushy office in Washington D.C.  And they note that there is a problem. And then they say things like, "Oh, we need to do something." 

Of course, reasonable people will stop and think. And perhaps will say things like, "Wait! Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something that is unproven. Doing nothing is often better than doing something stupid." 

I understand what is in place is not perfect. But it's in place based on years of practice. What is is there for a reason. The systems in place are there for a reason. So, here you have an elitist who has this bright idea. And he says, "I have an idea. How about we create more regulations. How about we pass a law telling doctors how they ought to do their job. How about we create a law mandating the hospitals get the best cat scan machines. How about we pass a law giving free healthcare to certain people. 

All of these ideas sound great on the surface. But they have all contributed to the problems we are currently facing in healthcare. 

Medicare gives healthcare for free to people. So, what happens when you give away something for free? Well, more people want the product. So, you give healthcare away for free. This means the supply of patients increases. But, the problem is the supply of nurses and doctors stays the same. So, this means that the price will have to go up. It's economics 101 here. If the demand goes up but the supply stays the same then the price goes up. 

So, let's tell hospitals they have to have the best cat scans. A noble idea. Let's look at the concord airplane. It's the fastest airplane in the world. It can take passengers from London to New York in a little over an hour. The problem is that gas to power a trip is $10,000. And so the cost of tickets are very expensive. The price of tickets goes up. And people decide that they would rather fly for 3 hours and pay hundreds of dollars compared to flying in an hour at the cost of thousands of dollars. 

This is capitalism. Because of capitalism, airplane tickets are very affordable. 

So what happens if we resort to socialism. Here is the case with healthcare. The government mandated hospitals get more expensive cat scan machines. The old ones were slow, but they were relatively inexpensive. But now hospitals are forced to fork out millions of dollars to pay for these new machines. So, the cost of goods and services goes up. The price goes up. 

You can see how all this government has resulted in more affordable healthcare for the poor and elderly. But, those who have to pay for healthcare are going to have to pay a ton for their services. This is needed in order to offset the cost of giving healthcare away for free to the poor. And it's necessary to offset the cost of paying for all this new equipment. 

And, of course, regulations cost money too. We in healthcare are forced to go through lots of training every year. And it's stupid training that we don't need. But, because the government mandates it, our workplaces have to spend millions of dollars creating this education. And they have to pay us to do this education. And, of course, this cost is transferred to paying customers. 

So, you have people saying we should get rid of Obamacare. And then you have people saying we should double down on regulations. And we should create universal healthcare. And the government should run hospitals so they are better. But, the problem is that this only creates more problems. And to solve the more problems, they want more government and more. And this just creates an endless cycle. 

So then you have people say, "Let's get rid of things like Obamacare." And the elitists say, "Okay, so what are you going to replace this with? Republicans have no ideas for replacing Obamacare." And I say yes they do. And it's called capitalism. Capitalism is the only system that has yet to be tried with healthcare. 

Look at the airline industry. Prices are low due to capitalism. Planes are old and slow and rusty, but this allows airlines to offer affordable prices. The same ought to be tried with healthcare. Nurses are still going to work their hardest. Doctors are still going to treat patients. But the cost would eventually go way down. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

People Do Die Peacefully In Their Sleep

In healthcare we see people die all the time. It is a part of our job. And usually we see that people struggle at the end. They are short of breath. They are in pain. They struggle until their heart stops. And then they are at peace. 

One day I had a patient who knew he was going to die. His heart was giving out and he decided he didn't want any invasive procedures done. He was happy and at peace with dying. He told me he believed in God and knew was going to a happier place. He said he loved life, but was at peace with death.

And we went on to have a great philosophical discussion. And when we were done talking, he said, "Tonight might be the night I die. The next time I see you may be in Heaven." 

Several hours later the patient's nurse and I reflected on our conversations with this guy. We talked about how nice he was and how accepting of death he was. And we decided that this was how we wanted to go out: with grace and dignity. 

And then we watched the heart monitor and observed how his heart had started to go into various arrhythmias. And we both got up to look at the patient. He was sleeping on his back with what appeared to be a smile on his face. And we went back to the monitor and saw that his heart went into flatline. And we decided he was smiling because he was meeting Jesus.

And we both decided this was good therapy for us. So many people say that their loved ones died in their sleep. Yet we only saw people die by other means that were not so peaceful. And yet, here we were watching this man die with a smile on his face. It was good therapy for us. And we realized that, yes indeed, people do die peacefully in their sleep. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Effect Of Faith On The Dying

I don't know if you have Faith or not. I don't know if you believe in God or not. But, I have observed that those who do have Faith in God are more likely to die with grace and dignity. They are the ones who are more likely to be at peace with death. 

Many years ago I walked into a patient's room who was told she had 2 days to live. It was because her heart was pooping out. And she didn't want to have any invasive treatments done. So she was well aware that she was going to die. And yet, as I entered the room, I observed that she was reading a novel. 

And I remember thinking,"Why would someone be reading a novel when they know they are going to die soon?" I figured if it were me I'd be thinking about death and dying. I figured I'd be depressed, if anything. 

And I noted this in my report. And my the person I gave report to said, "Was there a Bible on the patient's bedside table?" 

And my answer was, "Yes!"

And she said, "I am convinced that people who believe in God are quicker to get to the acceptance stage, and they are more likely to be at peace with dying." 

I have many discussions on this topic over the years. And it seems that most of my healthcare colleagues have made similar observations. Many of us have come to many similar conclusions. 

I talked to one man who was told he had hours to live. I entered his room and he was happy and not depressed. He wanted to know about my kids and how I was doing. He wanted to talk politics. And, somewhere along the way, he said, "I am at peace with dying. I accept my fate. I know I am going to a happier place." 

And that is why I think Faithful people die with grace and dignity. They go out with a smile on their face, as they know that they are going to a happier place. 

Another patient said, "I do not want to die. I love this life. And Christianity is the one Faith where whether or not you get to Heaven depends on how well you live in this life. 

And I went to a funeral once. Where the daughter of the deceased man said, "Dad always said that God needs certain people in Heaven. And Dad was a carpenter. So, while we wish he were still here, we understand that God had other plans. God wanted his carpentry skills in Heaven." 

And, those who do not have faith are more likely to be the depressed ones. They will be the ones who refuse to eat because they are sad and depressed. They are more likely to be grumpy and mean as they approach the end. 

I believe this is true of other Faiths too. And from these experiences I have changed my view of death. I am now accepting that I will someday die. And when it is my time I will be at peace with it. Perhaps this is something we learn with aging. Perhaps it is something we learn as we experience life. Although, now I believe it is a because of my Faith. I do not want to die. I love life. But, if God wants me, I accept that. 

This is an observation that we have made here in the RT Cave. What do you think? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

We Don't Want Elitists To Fix Healthcare

Elites are fine. Elites are people with a lot of money and who attend the best colleges and universities. They end up with lots of knowledge and a lot of money. They are generally the people who end up with important jobs, such as lawyers and politicians. 

So, I don't have a problem with Elites. What I have a problem with is elitists. These are Elites who think they they know what's best for you, and they ought to have the power to control your life. In other words, they are smarter than you and their ideas should replace whatever systems are in place. And this is exactly what some of them intend to do for healthcare. 

And it's by this means that things like Obamacare got passed. Obamacare has some great ideas in it. But many of the things in it had never been tried before. So, they were untested. The only way they made the bill was because elitists decided they knew better than the systems already in place. And that's how we got this system where hospitals do not get reimbursed for COPD patients who are readmitted within 30 days, a system that has caused many smaller hospitals to merge with larger ones. 

So, let's discuss systems already in place. What are they? Why are they in place? Well, most of the systems we use were developed over thousands of years. They evolved over time and have been tested over and over. That doesn't mean they are the best systems. But they are the best systems that mankind has ever thought of. They are there for a reason. 

Then we have chimeras. These are ideas that elitists get into their head. And they think their ideas are better than the systems already in place for thousands of years. And their ideas have never been tried or tested. And that, despite this, they will be better than the systems already in place. They need to come up with evidence proving their ideas are better. But this rarely happens. And it didn't happen when Obamacare passed. And this is why you heard people like Nance Pelosi saying things like, "We need to pass it before we know what's in it." 

Elitists are the ones who tried to remake our healthcare system. They got this bright idea and now we have to live with it.