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October 16, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, October 16, 2009 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, October16, 2009 - 7A

Down economy
could improve
people's health,
study reports

Baucus: Democrats will
vote for health reform plan

During the Great
Depression, life
0 expectancy jumped
from 57 to 63 years
Daily StaffReporter
A new University study shows
that although the current eco-
nomic downturn may be hurting
your income, it may also be help-
ing your health.
According to a University study
published in the current issue of
the Proceedings of the National
Academy ofScience, life expectan-
cy increased by six or seven years
deaths from disease, accidents and
infant mortality decreased.
Researchers JosTapiaGrana-
dos and Ana Diez Roux from the
University's Institute for Social
Research used historical life
expectancy and mortality data to
analyze the relationship between
economic growth and population
health from 1920 to 1940.
They found that the life expec-
tancy of men and women, both
white and non-white, increased
from 57 to 63 years between 1929
and 1932.
Mortality tended to peak dur-
ing times of strong economic
expansion, but declined dur-
ing times of economic recession
when there were even gains in
life expectancy.
Of course, suicide mortal-
ity, which increased during the
Great Depression, was the only
Tapia Granados said he believes
that general health tends to evolve
more during periods in which the
economy is weakened, while peri-
,ds of economic expansion are not
good for population health.
'I think that the study quite
clearly shows that the ideas that
economic recession are bad for
society in all aspects are quite
wrong," he said. "In this case it is
quite clear that the Great Depres-
From Page lA
Also during the meeting yes-
terday, the regents received an
update on the state of the HINI flu
at the University.
According to a presentation
by Dr. Robert Ernst, the medi-
cal director of University Health
Service clinic operations, told the
regents that the extensive coordi-
nation between University Health
Service, the University's Health
System, the office of the Provost
and the Division ofStudent Affairs
are key to controlling a possible
outbreak on campus.
Ernst said currently the Uni-
versity Hospital sees between five
and 10 patients with HIN1 each
day, down from early September
when as many as 50 cases were
visiting the hospital each day.
Ernst explained that while the
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention have classified most
states as having a widespread out-
break of H1N1, Michigan is one of
only a few states not to have been
classified in that category.

While Ernst explained this,
University President Mary Sue
Coleman - a biochemist who has
served onthe board of the Institute
of Medicine - said, "It's just a mat-
ter of time," referring to the fact
that most believe every state will
be classified as having widespread
cases of HINT in the near future.
On a positive note, Ernst said
the University of Michigan Health
System received its first shipment
of HiN1 vaccinations this week
and that it would begin giving
them to staff next week.
Because ofthe limited availabil-
ity of vaccinations, health workers
and people at high risk will receive
vaccinations first, Ernst said.
In an interview after the meet-
ing, Coleman said she was con-

sion, in the aspect of population
health, was not at all harmful."
During the economic expan-
sion period known as the Roar-
ing Twenties, population health
stagnated and there was no prog-
ress in U.S. health as a whole,
Tapia Granados said. However,
during the economic recession of
the 1930s, the general trend was
an increase in longevity.
Although the study did notana-
lyze potential causes for the pat-
tern, including possible advances
in technology and health care, the
researchers offer some explana-
tions about the trend.
Among other theories, during
recessions, there is less work to
do, more time to sleep and less
money is spent on alcohol and
tobacco because people do not
have the means.
Tapia Granados included that
a wrong interpretation of this
study is thatbeing unemployed is
good for one's health.
"The paper is looking at the
whole population and cannot
differentiate what was happen-
ing to people who had jobs and
those who did not have jobs,"
he explained. "To be jobless, to
be unemployed, is not good for
health. Even though in periods of
recession more people are unem-
ployed, at the population level,
at the general level, the health of
the people tend to improve."
Tapia Granados said the
study's findings may also be
applicable to the current eco-
nomic downturn.
"Is this relevant for present
conditions? Well I think so," he
"Not because you can extrapo-
late what happened 70 years ago
or 80 years ago to the present, but
because there have been other
studies in which effects of reces-
sions and expansions of health
have been looked at," he contin-
ued. "They have been looked at in
quite more recent periods, in the
1980s and 1990s, and the results
of these studies are quite con-
sistent with results for the Great
fident about the plan's ability to
deal with HN at the University.
"I feel really good about our
preparation," Coleman said. "Who
knows, we might get a big wave,
but I think we're prepared for it."
By a unanimous vote, the
University's Board of Regents
approved four honorary degrees
to be awarded at winter com-
mencement during its monthly
meeting yesterday.
Jeff Daniels, a well-known
actor, songwriter and playwright,
will deliver the keynote address
at winter commencement. During
the ceremony, University officials
will honor him with an honorary
Doctor of Fine Arts.
Though not speaking at com-
mencement, long-time White
House Correspondent Helen
Thomas will also attend win-
ter commencement and will be
awarded an honorary Doctor of
Humane Letters.
Grace Lee Boggs, an advocate
for civil rights, labor issues and
justice, will also accept an hon-
orary Doctor of Humane Letters
while in attendance at the winter

commencement ceremonies.
Edward Wilson, who spoke at
the opening of the University's
Life Science Institute in 2004,
will return to campus for winter
commencement. While in atten-
dance, Wilson - a widely-known
entomologist - will be awarded
an honorary Doctor of Science
None of the four individuals are
alumni of the University, but Uni-
versity President Mary Sue Cole-
man said they were selected to
receive honorary degrees because
of their ties to Michigan and lead-
ership in their fields.
- Daily News Editor Jillian
Bermar contributed to this report.

Senate Finance chair
said lawmakers have
a moral obligation to
reach an agreement
comes time to vote, every Demo-
crat in the Senate - and perhaps
more than one Republican - will
support legislation overhauling
the nation's health care system, the
chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee predicted Thursday.
That assertion by Sen. Max Bau-
cus,D-Mont.,was anotable show of
confidence coming in the midst of
negotiations with Majority Leader
Harry Reid and White House offi-
cials to finalize legislation that can
satisfy liberal Democrats without
alienating moderates - and get
the 60 votes needed to advance in
the 100-seat Senate.
Baucus told reporters that law-
makers have a moral obligation to

repair the health care system to
rein in costs and extend coverage
to millions of the uninsured.
"And that is why we are goingto
pass health care reform legislation
this year, and it is why every Dem-
ocrat will vote for it, and it is why
there will be at least one Republi-
can and maybe a couple more who
also will vote for it," Baucus said.
"Every Democrat will vote for
national health care reform," Bau-
cus emphasized.
Democrats control 60 Senate
votes, but that includes two inde-
pendents, and leaders have been
uncertain of support from a num-
ber of moderates who've expressed
concerns about the price tag of
health care legislation and the gov-
ernment's role in a remade system.
Baucus' prediction followed
approval by his committee ear-
lier this week of a tO-year, $829
billion bill that makes numerous
changes to the health care system
alongthe lines sought by President
Barack Obama, but taking a more

centrist approach than the other
four health care bills approved by
House and Senate committees.
Baucus and Reid met Thursday
with White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel and other officials
wrestlingto merge the Finance bill
with a more liberal version passed
by the Senate Health, Education,
Labor and Pensions Committee.
Reid later held out hope of get-
ting support from more Repub-
licans than just Sen. Olympia
Snowe, R-Maine, who was the
lone GOP "yes" vote in the Finance
Unanswered is whether Reid
will include provisions in the bill
to allow the government to sell
insurance in competition with
private industry. That so-called
public plan is supported by liber-
als, who spoke up in favor of it at
a closed-door Senate Democratic
caucus meeting Thursday.
But because of opposition from
moderate Senate Democrats, any
public plan Reid does include

likely would be some type of com-
promise, such as leaving the deci-
sion on a public plan to states or
offering public coverage only as a
backstop in areas where one insur-
er has a lock on the market - the
approach favored by Snowe.
Reid said, "We're going to work
very hard ... to see what, if any-
thing, we're going to do" on a gov-
ernment plan.
"I favor a public option. Every-
one knows that," Reid added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
D-Calif., mounted a strong defense
of a public plan at a news confer-
ence, contending that recent
attacks from the health insurance
industry should dispel any doubts
about the need for it.
"Our House bill will have a pub-
lic option," Pelosi declared.
She referred to an industry-
funded study that said insurance
premiums would rise under the
Senate Finance bill, and also ref-
erenced an insurance industry ad
campaign targeted at seniors.

From Page1A
tion in New York City that limited
the number of pedicabs allowed on
the streets, Schemanski and Lycka
said they were able to purchase two
cabs at a cheap price. Schemanski
said this made the opportunity too
good to pass up.
They started the business last
summer in their hometown of Peto-
skey, Mich., giving tours of the city
during the afternoons and running
as a regular taxi service for the local
bars during the night.
In the fall, Schemanski brought
the business to Ann Arbor, where
the pedicabs were first used during
welcome week.
"At first there were a lot of double
takes," he said. "We started talking
to people about it and alot of people
didn't know what it was. But once
one person rode it, and people saw
it, they joined in too."
For rides under 10 minutes, the
drivers only ask for a tip. But if
the ride is longer than 10 minutes,
they'll give you a quote, typically $3
to $5 per person, per mile.
"Some people questionthe decision
to go by tips," Schemanski said. "But
it has proven itself to work very well.
I would say that I get overpaid much
more frequently than underpaid."
Music School senior Fritz McGirr,
who sometimes drives the pedicabs,
was even tipped with a burrito once
after he transported the co-owner
of Burrito Jointtowork.
"It made my day," he said.
The pedicabs run from 10 p.m. to
3 a.m., Friday through Sunday, and
Schemanski said it is rare for a driver

Calvin Schemanski poses for a photo with the pedicabs he recently purchased to start his transportation business.

to go 10 minutes without giving a ride.
"Most people walk because call-
ing a (regular) taxi for a 10- or
15-minute walk seems silly;" he said:
"But when a guy with a bike andcar-
riage rolls by asking only for a tip to
ride you to your destination, many
people recognize the value and take
advantage of our service."
Engineering freshman Joe Beck,
who is a regular pedicab customer,
said the quality of the service is one
reason he continues to come back.
"Calvin told me he'd take me
down the street for a dollar," Beck
said. "After that, I kept seeing him
and Ikept gettingrides."
Beck is just one of the many regu-
lar customers the new service has
drawn, but once winter comes, they

might have to resort to regular taxis
to transport them around town.
"We pride ourselves on doing our
best to provide an enjoyable ride,"
Schemanski said. "When the tem-
perature is so cold it is hard to offer
that quality experience."
Petoskey Pedicab, LLC will close
for the winter but not permanently.
Depending on the weather, the com-
pany might open occasionally.
Schemanski said the two plan
to return to Petoskey next summer
where they will continue to offer
tours. And, because of their success
in Ann Arbor, they plan to come
back again next fall.
"This was our experimental year.
It didn't costus much.We found alot
of demand for it," Schemanski said.

"We didn't have any problems with
the government or police so we're
buying another pedicab or two and
continuing it next year."
Despite the positive feedback for
the new company;there are some in
Ann Arbor who aren't as excited.
Kevin Tulppo, a dispatcher for
Amazing Blue Taxi, LLC, voiced his
skepticism of the new business.
Tulppo said it was taking away
some of his business, but he didn't
see how the company could last in
the winter months.
"It's a nice novelty, but I don't see
Tulpposaid. "Theonlytime(pedicabs
can) make moneyisthe first couple of
months of autumn and then the few
weeksbefore graduation."

From Page 1A
investment results underscore the
importance of having a spending
rule that smoothes out the impact
of the volatility in financial markets
and provides a steady and grow-
ing level of distributions from the
endowment to support University
The University calculates the
overall value of the endowment
by averaging the quarterly market
value of the endowment over a sev-
en-year timeframe. The seven-year
average is by far one of the most
From Page 1A
ment more relevant to students by
inviting them to take part in the
revision process. Students can apply
to be a part of the convention on
MSA's website starting early next
week. From those applications,
MSA President Abhishek Mahanti,
will select about 40 delegates to
serve at the convention.
MSA representatives will hold
about a quarter of the spots at the
Mahanti said revising the stu-
dent constitution has the potential
to improve the way students inter-
act with each other and with their
student government.
"The all-campus constitution
governs the way that all the student
entities on campus work, whether
it's student government or student
organizations," Mahanti said. "By
re-writing that, we can get student
orgs to work together in a new, pos-
itive way."
Michael Rorro, MSA vice presi-
dent, will chair the constitutional
convention. He said it will re-exam-
ine how MSA serves student groups
on campus.
"The entire structure of how we

conservative approaches among
universities, since most schools use
three- or five-year averaging sys-
In an interview after the meet-
ing, University President Mary Sue
Coleman said she's proud of the
University's long-term investment
"They arelong-term thinkers and
that has served us extraordinarily
well," Coleman said of Lundberg
and the Investment Office. "None
of us know what the markets are
going to do, but I have great faith in
(Lundberg's) team."
Despite her confidence, Coleman
said additional cuts to University
function is really coming into light
and coming into question," Rorro
After the convention comes up
with a revised document, they will
vote to put the document on the bal-
lot and then the student body will
vote on it during the March MSA
elections, Mahanti said.
Three fifths of the voting student
body needs to approve the docu-
ment for it to be enacted.
Rorro said he hopes the con-
vention will be able to approve the
document by the end of January to
allow for two months of promotion
on campus before the vote.
In the process of rallying appli-
cants, the leaders of this convention
have the added burden of proving
the relevance of the constitution to
the studentbody.
Rorro said the topics that are
most important to students are
funding for student groups, the
Central Student Judiciary and the
power that MSA has to amend the
Statement of Student Rights and
"Every single funding source
from student fees for student orgs is
governed by this document," Rorro
The students on the convention
will have the power to change how

spending would be needed to offset
expected cuts in state funding.
"We'll be tightening our belts,"
she said. "We've already said we've
got to cut this year, but our goal is
to protect the experience students
have and always make that better."
Regent Denise Ilitch (D-Bing-
ham Farms) said in an interview
after the meeting that she recog-
nizes the University will likely face
hardships in the coming years.
"I think it's too early to tell but
I am concerned that we're going to
have a difficult year next year over-
all," Ilitch said. "I think we will
be impacted - to what degree, it's
hard to say."
money is distributed and even what
percentage of the MSA's income will
be given to student groups.
In addition to amending the
funding structure, delegates to
the convention can also amend the
organization of the student judicial
court. CSJ has the power to solve
disputes between student organi-
zations, within student organiza-
tions and students can file a CSJ
suit against MSA.
In the current constitution, there
are no specifics as to who can serve
as a justice on CSJ, which allows for
the possibility of corruption. While
this hasn't come up yet, the current
constitution, for example, does not
prevent the MSA president from sit-
ting as a justice.
"I mean there's not that many
cases through CSJ, but if we clean
up the process and let people know
about it, there might be a couple
hundred CSJ cases a year," Rorro
said. "Which means that MSA is
putting people on this body and
that's actually a really important
The constitution also gives MSA
the power to amend the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities,
which students agree to when they
apply to the University, Rorro said.
MSA - along with executive offi-

However, Ilitch said she is proud
that the University has been able
to outperform many other institu-
"I'm pleased with the perfor-
mance," Ilitch said. "I think we've
done much better than some of our
Despite the hit to the Universi-
ty's financial backbone, University
officials expect the overall invest-
ment payout to increase in the com-
ing year, because of the University's
seven-year rolling average method
of calculation.
- Managing News Editor Jacob
Smilovitz contributed to this report.
cers of the University, and Senate
Advisory Committee on University
Affairs, the leading faculty govern-
ing body - has the power to amend
the statement.
This year, MSA will consider pro-
posing seven amendments to the
Statement. There have been no pro-
posals from University executives
or SACUA, Rorro said.
By taking the power out of the
hands of the assembly, Rorro hopes
that the politics involved in MSA
that have made large-scale change
difficult in the past will not get in
the way at the convention.
Rorro cited last year's effort to get
rid of political parties, which failed
because MSA representatives were
each sponsored by a party.
Along with the major changes
that this convention could make
to the constitution, Rorro said that
this process has the potential to
unite student organizations.
"This could, as aside effect, could
really bring campus together,"
Rorro said.
He added that the creation of the
convention shows MSA's commit-
ment to change.
"We languished control of our
organization," Rorro said. "This
assembly had ahuge amount of faith
with the student body."

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