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Joe Jewett: Why can’t Fleitman actually use some facts?

To the editor:

I know it must make your paper look like it is fair and balanced to include the views of those that are outside of the local political mainstream. Plus I am sure it makes the local conservative minority happy. Couldn’t you find someone who uses more facts in making an argument than Jay Fleitman though? In his latest screed he bemoans making the government-subsidized move to computerized medical records. Sorry, I can’t shed a tear for him there.

Our medical system is broken and anyone with any sense knows it. I know how much his sleep studies cost — more than $1,500 — and that’s even if you have some kind of insurance. But hey, we can’t get in the way of the consumer having choices. What kind of a canard is that? The consumer has three choices in medical care: pay a bunch, pay more or have no care at all. Then Fleitman goes on to drop the bomb of the “fact” that solar panels cost more in energy to produce than they will ever generate. I looked this up. That was true in the early stages of the solar industry, but it is changing. According to a peer-reviewed paper from two Stanford University scientists (available online at pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es3038824), the photovoltaic industry “will ‘pay back’ the electrical energy required for its early growth before 2020.”

Our current popular form of energy that comes from the fracking gas boom is not valued at true environmental cost — one that will have to be tallied up later and paid for by the taxpayer. You’d think that a conservative would be worried about that.

Joe Jewett



Jay Fleitman: A tale of two subsidies, and neither is worth the money

Monday, February 3, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — With chagrin and a sense of guilt, I am publicly admitting that I will be taking a government subsidy. It would be more accurate to say that I am being coerced by the government to take this money, and I am being obliged to expend personal resources and a great deal of time and energy in order to …

Legacy Comments2

Regarding just the medical issue discussed by Dr. Fleitman; I do not think his essay indicated that the medical system is fine and unbroken. I know he thinks that it isn't fine and that it has many problems. The point he was making had to do with the cost of EMR and who is paying for it. In that point he is correct. EMR's are VERY EXPENSIVE, and to date, not particularly good. The field is littered with crappy, unused (because they are crappy) EXPENSIVE EMR systems. It might interest the public to know that one of the major lobbying efforts to 'impose' EMR on the medical field comes from the computer software EMR industry; shocking I know! At this time, EMR's help correct some problems, and create other problems, and convert substantial 'doctor patient' time to doctor computer time. So, if you feel your doctor doesn't spend enough time with you or doesn't listen to you, you're going to love the doctor-computer taking some of that limited time. A solution to that (recently profiled in the New York Times {Medical Scribes}) may help but of course will cost more money; gotta pay those scribes, and they're not cheap. So, to Dr. Fleitmans point there's one thing EMR most assuredly will NOT do and that is save money. They will 1) Cost even more money and 2) Because no one but no one wants to spend more money on health care, they'll transfer money from the health care field to the EMR software field and the Computer field. Therefore, less resources to provide actual care and less doctor time (and also, less Nurse time (they're crushed with computer data entry as anyone who's been to a hospital has appreciated), less physical therapist time, etc. etc. All providers will be crushed by being required to be data entry clerks. And it will all cost alot of money not going to your health care -- That is Dr. Fleitmans point.

'Our medical system is broken and anyone with any sense knows it.' Now there's a fact set for our viewing pleasure.

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