God girl grill gridiron

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Give the people what they want, Grotus' Acorn

sounds fair

Seeing as I gave McCain's plan a shakedown, it's only fair - as was pointed out here at the Acorn - to similarly examine Obama's. So I'll do that on Friday. It's a bit more complicated, though, and there's a lot more material to sift through. Unlike McCain, Obama's plan is available in the easily-digestible soundbite form, and as a much-more detailed .pdf. And I feel compelled to read and digest the latter if I am to adequately comment on it.

At a first glance, Obama's plan does represent a step towards nationalized healthcare. But more on that later.

Also, I should be fair to McCain's plan and clarify: earlier I said that he would recoup the costs of his healthcare plan by making employer-sponsored healthcare benefits taxable. On initial glance, it looks terrible, as employer-sponsored healthcare will evaporate if everything goes off according to McCain's plan. In actuality, he would offset the costs of a $5,000 tax credit by reforming Medicare and encouraging preventative care.

This is one area where the two candidates are in agreement. No matter who is elected, the next President will push for doctors to be paid for diagnosis, preventative care, and care coordination. It amounts to an investment: medical care will be more costly on the whole for a number of years, but will be less expensive in the long run. Moreover, both candidates want doctors not to be paid for gross medical errors. In my opinion, these reforms would redistribute responsibility (risk and pay) over an entire medical team. It's a sound strategy that reflects the current trend in medicine towards team-based coordinated care and greater emphasis on the ounce of prevention.

Auburn Tigers, I haven't forgotten you

I'm just bracing myself for the mountain brawl that comes tomorrow night. When this game was originally announced, I was excited - a chance to whip White and Co. and vault into national title consideration. And now... I'd be happy to escape Morgantown with our team completely free of mountain moonshine whupass.

I'm not convinced that our team is good enough in any aspect to pull this one out. In our four most recent games, the defense has given up an average of 19 points via 303 total yards (153 through the air and 150 on the ground.) If we were to take our team over those four games and give it independent rankings, it would be #35 in points per game, #21 in total yards, and #41 in rushing defense*.

Granted, there are a number of potential reasons why. The injuries and the three-and-outs don't help anything. But the latter isn't going away - especially in Morgantown at night - unless we have some sort of Ensmingerian renaissance. I don't really see that happening. So the defense has to run the marathon again. If we couldn't do it against Arkansas, can we hope to do it against West Virginia?

*...and also #6 in passing defense. While our young secondary has performed admirably well, I think this number reflects the ability of teams to run on our defense.

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