Sunday, November 15, 2009

Health Care

The government should not run our health care. It should be left to private companies, and sure some sort of coverage by the government, but not completely. Yes, health insurance companies have some serious problems with their plans, but will a government-run health care plan really solve all our problems? The answer, no it won't.

The cost of this health care plan is already looking to be in the trillions. Can we, as Americans, really afford this total? Especially when we are spending large sums of money overseas in the different wars we are in. And our national debt is already, according to zfacts, about 8 trillion dollars. And the cost of this health care plan will be paid for in rises in taxes and cuts to other programs. According to Mike Huckabee, 'Government doesn't have to compete; it doesn't have to be successful; it doesn't have to make a profit or be efficient, and it doesn't even have to work very well. And, if it doesn't work, it won't necessarily change or go out of business -- but you'll still be paying for it.'

Another problem is that more people would go to see a doctor for more things that they would normally not, because it would be free. Doctors would end up spending more time with people that did not have serious needs, then people that actually do have needs that require medical attention. And because more people will go to see doctors then there will be longer waits to actually see the doctor. The waiting lines would increase drastically and the people needing attention would be forced to wait for a long period of time. Click here for more information.

So is government-run health care really the best idea for America right now?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pranking the Police

It seems that pranking the police has become a favorite pastime in America, one that can result in serious trouble. Misusing 911 and playing hoaxes on police is dangerous and should not be done. The results are very costly and wasted time that could be used to help someone that is actually in need.

Recently, the "Balloon Boy" hoax occurred in Denver, Colorado. Supposedly Mr. Heene's six-year-old son was trapped in a spaceship like balloon. Police and rescuers spent over two hours in pursuit of the balloon. And when it finally landed it was learned that the boy was never in the balloon but in the family's garage attic. Still everyone thought this story was truthful until on an interview the little boy said to his dad "You said we did this for a show." And so it was discovered it was all a hoax. And what might the cost be to this publicity stunt? According to examiner the cost includes a black hawk in the air for three hours at the cost of $4,600 an hour and a smaller Kiowa helicopter in the air for one hour costing $700 an hour. So the total just for the helicopters... $14,500. Not to mention the 2 hours of time taken up that police could be helping someone with an actual emergency.

Prank calls to 911 are also on the rise according to rd a Californian study found that as many as 45% of the emgerceny calls placed from cell phones in the state were frivolous or prank. But it's not just prank calls, it is also calls made for minor, stupid even, reasons. For example, in Florida, a man called 911 because Burger King did not have lemonade. A woman in Flordia called 911 three times to complain that McDonalds had ran out of McNuggets. While this may seem like small instances calls like this do happen quite often and can cause a delay of information of an actual emergency.

But compared to meaningless calls, prank calls are much worse and much more serious. Take for example the Bates' story click here for more information. The Bates were in bed at 10 p.m when they were awakened by police sirens. When Mr. Bates went downstairs to lock the doors, he was ordered by a mass of police, assault rifles drawn, out of the house. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bates were cuffed while the police searched the house. But what the police had thought to be a grisly murder scene turned out to be a prank by a teenage boy 1,200 miles away. Swatting calls, called so because usaually SWAT teams respond to them, place an immense strain on responding departments. The Orange County Sheriff's Department deployed about 30 people to the Bateses' home, including a SWAT team, a helicopter and K-9 units. It cost the department $14,700. Another example would be of a teenage hacker in Massachusets who plead guilty to a five-month swatting spree including a bomb threat and report of an armed gunman that caused two schools to be evacuated.

Some people may say that they are harmless pranks, but are they really harmless? While police are responding to a false case, someone else who is in real need could be suffering the consaquences of that little prank. The money used up by the pranksers could have been used towards saving someones life.