Monday, March 15, 2010

What A Pain This Is

Very few of us have gone through life without a toothache, or a wrenched shoulder, or even a broken bone. So naturally we would want to make sure that in the future, there will be plenty of dentists, doctors and nurses to take care of us. To ease our pain, the Democrats are including in their health care bonanza plenty of funding for dental, nursing, and medical students and schools. Now even if you buy that concept, you're only seeing the tip of the toothache.

There are plenty of fiscal and conceptual problems in the Democrats' cradle-to-grave health care bill(s). But whether we're talking about grants, loans, incentives, stimuli, or contracts, the left will always manage to slip in one of their favorite social agendas, however expensive and of whatever constitutional dubiousness. It takes a trained eye and infinite patience to wade through the 2,000 + pages of the proposals. Fortunately, some respectable people have done so, and come up with this politically-correct and insidious provision.

Aside from the fact that the provision in question is outrageously expensive, and that pie-in-the-sky estimates of actual costs of socialized medicine are invariably grossly underestimated (see: Medicare), open-ended entitlements have a track record of becoming bigger, never smaller. So what's the entitlement for medical, nursing and dental schools? Well--billions, if you're asking about dollars. But it's more refined than that. These specific entitlement/earmarks contained in the House version are for special funds for racial and ethnic quotas in the medical and dental schools. Those affirmative action provisions have been plaguing us for years. But the progressives have gotten even cleverer than in the past.

Beside hiding the affirmative action language deep inside the bill, they have also added the word "underrepresented" and "disadvantaged" to "minorities." It would have been far too honest of the Democrats to include all minorities, or even most minorities. They should simply have said "these earmarks and their attendant quotas are based entirely on the classifications "black," and "Hispanic." Jews and Asians are numerical and statistical minorities, but in the liberal lexicon, they are neither underrepesented nor disadvantaged.

Those problems which would result in blacks and Hispanics being underrepresented or disadvantaged in graduate professional schools need to be addressed and solved at much earlier ages than that of the population preparing to enter the professional schools (or even the undergraduate colleges and universities). The huge underlying and systemic problems within the two favored groups cannot be solved by setting aside places for them in professional schools. The results of favoring certain groups over others has been that those blacks and Hispanics who would have been qualified on their own merits are routinely treated as "affirmative action kids," even though they are not. As for those who did actually receive the special treatment, the graduation and success rates are abysmal.

Likewise, having specially-favored blacks and Hispanics, the next logical leap (which has proven out in fact) is that the minority communities which these programs are most intended to help end up with doctors, nurses and dentists who barely scraped by and are now the major presence in those very beleaguered minority geographics. There are no genetic reasons why black and Hispanic students have so much trouble in grad school. It's certainly not a general lack of intelligence.

For now, at least, blacks tend to choose majors outside the hard sciences, so at least part of the "underrepresentation" is the result of perfectly free choice. For Hispanics, the choice is similar, but aggravated by the fact that second and third generation Hispanics are not "underrepresented" at all. Remove the heavy percentage of recent non-English speaking Hispanic immigrants and take away the huge number of illegals, and you are left with an artificially-created underrepresented minority (which is in reality close to a majority in many urban centers in the Southwest). The rest of the Hispanics are represented almost exactly in proportion to their actual numbers.

In the liberal scenario, Asians and Jews get tossed to the winds, and whites are left to their own devices. When the day comes (if it comes) that whites in America become a genuine minority, they will be joining the Jews and the Asians in the liberal non-special privilege minority category. What the race-baiters intend to do when the ever-increasing number of intermarriages become the norm is anybody's guess. I guess they'll just have to bio-engineer a whole new race of underrepresented minority special-pleaders.

My summation of this insidious revivification of affirmative action is "too little, too late, too expensive, too counterproductive."


Writer X said...

LawHawk, if affirmative action provisions already exist in today's colleges, how do the Democrats explain this need for yet another layer? If another layer is needed, I think it proves that the first artificial layer never worked. I also don't think the Democrats can write a bill without the words entitlement, quota, underrepresented.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, I saw this. This is just another example of the left not caring about what they claim to be focusing on so much as caring about cramming goodies into everything they do for their supporters. Sickening.

BevfromNYC said...

Things like this make me crazy. Medical schools are desparate for qualified applicants. But the key word in that sentence is "qualified".

If you are not qualified, you don't get to go to medical school. It doesn't matter what race, gender, or social class you are in. And just because you are qualified to get in, does not mean you'll finish.

BTW you can take women off the list of underrepresented minorities just like Jews and Asians. Women now outnumber men in institutions of higher learning.

CrisD said...

Yes, they are destroying the medical profession. It will become a low-paying social work position in which the "professional" simply follows the instruction book. It was already downgraded this way by the lower HMOs.
I imagine there will be pockets of special doctors for the rich and famous (and of course the central government)

Anonymous said...

writerX: You just explained the entire liberal philosophy. When one of their schemes doesn't work, do it again, do it again, harder, harder.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: I figured you had probably already seen this as part of your very deep analysis of the Obamapelosicare scam. For some reason, this one just really irritated me because it's not only racist, it singles out its favorites and screws the rest.

Anonymous said...

Bev: I'm with you. As it is, I check out my doctors very carefully. This would just make the task more difficult, and the newer they are, the harder it is to know if they have a real education or a "special" education.

Anonymous said...

CrisD: After almost being killed by a doctor at a county hospital by being treated for a staph infection with the wrong antibiotics, I was already suspicious of doctors who work for "public hospitals." Since most of the doctors who would benefit from these programs will end up working for the government hospitals (which they'll all be if Obama has his way), our lives will all be in danger.

StanH said...

Wow! These people are dangerous, literally. There’s a time and place for social engineering, medical school aint one off them.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I remember this same debate going on about affirmative action in the fire departments. One comedian put it very well: "When I need to be rescued from from my burning building, I want to see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lungren coming to my rescue, not Don Knotts and Rosie O'Donnell." I feel the same way about those doctors, nurses and dentists. When I'm lying on that operating table, I want to know I have Doctor Kildare, not Doctor Seuss. And frankly, I couldn't care less what race, creed, color, sex or religion the doctor is. I just don't want to have to worry that the person who has my life in his hands got there because of "special treatment."

Anonymous said...

StanH: They've already dumbed-down the law schools and bar exams, I guess it was time for the medical schools. Shall we do the old joke? Doctor to Patient: "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I removed the wrong kidney. The good news is there's nothing wrong with the other kidney after all."

Anonymous said...

HamiltonsGhost: I remember that incident. I also remember the big trouble the L.A. firefighters got into by producing an unofficial videotape called "The Fireman Follies" which showed some of the eighty-five pound recruits trying (and failing) to wrestle the heavy gear and hoses that every firefighter is supposed to be able to handle with a certain ease.

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