4A - Wednesday, March 19, 2414
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Wednesday, March19, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
(Re)funding prenatal care
Michigan should fund both roads and infant mortality prevention
astweek,lawmakers approved asupplementalbudgetbillto allocate
$215 million for improving Michigan roads. However, hidden in
this bill is a clause that cuts funding for maternal-fetal medicine
conditions will still be improved but not at the expense of prenatal care.
Moving toward community health
I late January, my grandmother
was hospitalized due to
broken arm. But after the
doctors saw her
wasn't at the
correct level, it
she needed heart a
March, she is DEREK
finally able to WOLFE
go home after
past seven weeks
in the hospital and two rehabilitation
facilities. However, she's leaving
not because she's ready, but rather
because her in-patient coverage has
elapsed and the out-of-pocket cost -
$130 a day - is exorbitant.
But, this is no luxury hotel. She is
cared for by underpaid and under-
enthused nurses. Only half the
facility is occupied and the food is
atrocious. Dry chicken is served
daily. No music is playingand asmile
is hard to find. To put it simply, if I
wasn't allowed to bring my dogs
in to visit her, there'd be a severe
deficiency in positive energy.
There are certainly situations
worse than hers, but health care
doesn't have to be this way. Yes,
being sick is painful, but the
experience shouldn't be. For anyone.
The patient. The nurse. The doctor.
The federal government has a goal
of having 7 million health insurance
signups by March 31 as part of the
Affordable Care Act. As of March 1,
that number stands at 4,242,325. I
would be shocked if nearly 3 million
Americans signed up in 30 days.
Therefore, we have to ask ourselves
why this is the case. Perhaps the
lack of "care" in health care is why
signingup for the ACA has been such
a tough sell, especially for young
Americans. While President Barack
Obama's appearance on "Between
Two Ferns" was hilarious, there is
no escaping its desperate intent to
reach the younger generation.
So my first question is "What is
there to look forward to?" What are
we investing in? Why would anyone
want to think proactively about a
bad situation being made worse by
inefficiencies? Not to mention, in the
case of the most serious situations,
most insurance plans don't even
covereverything. It's expensive with
health insurance or not, so the odds
are worth playing.
This is the case even though the
United States spends more than 17
percent of its GDP on health care
and it's only going up. Compare
this to the approximately 11 percent
that other industrial democracies
spend. The 6-percent difference
amounts to $1 trillion. Yet, I find it
hard to believe the extra spending
is justifiable. In fact, according to
an article in the Huffington Post,
Americans do not live longer than
citizens of other countries whose
healthcare expenditures are far less.
That's cause for concern.
What's also cause for concern
is the ignorance of public figures.
In response to U.S. Sen. Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.) on the March 10
episode of CNN's "Crossfire," former
Republican presidential candidate
Rick Santorum said, "We've had
guaranteed health care in this
country for a long time. Anybody
that shows up, whether you're a
citizen or not, you come to a hospital
and you need care, you get health
care. So don't - don't say that people
don't get health care."
This is nothing to hang your hat
on, Mr. Santorum. There are few
things less efficient than having
people show up at the hospital in
only dire emergencies without
any preventative medicine. Health
care is an everyday process. Not
just during emergencies with
The system is too money-centric.
Maintaining the function of my
body should not be thought of as a
business. We're talking about human
life here, not the board game.
In 2012, my dad had foot surgery.
Afterwards, he requested a list of all
the things they charged for. Turns
out, they charge and keep track
of literally everything, including
6-cent bandages. Sure, using a lot
of bandages add up when doing
thousands of surgeries a year, but
nickel-and-diming patients just
puts a bitter taste in their mouths.
The sight of a $10,000 bill is
overwhelming and no one should
have to fear getting a necessary
surgery because of the cost. That's
What unifies the democracies I
spoke of previously is their universal
healthcare system. It may not be
perfect, but I feel confident in saying
it's better for the country asa whole.
Sure, this might mean longer waits
for specialized care and doctors
would be paid less, but I would bet
that doubling down on preventative
medicine by allowing everyone at
the very least an annual physical
would be highly beneficial.
What it boils down to is that
everyone deserves the health care
that they require and should be able
to receive it from professionals who
are happy doing what they do in a
positive work environment. Any
avenue that would allow this to
happen should be explored because
as it stands, the ACA does not go
Now, of course, the second half
of the equation is not completely
relying on the healthcare system to
fix our problems. We need to invest
in our ownhealth. However, Iwill let
first lady Michelle Obama continue
to share that message.
I think it's for a good reason
that this story and argument have
been written time and time again.
Implementing a more universal
healthcare system is the solution
that makes the most sense, whether
that's in the form of a public option
or total overhaul. We have to think
rationally instead of maintaining a
capitalism-or-bust mentality when
it's simply not working. Because as
I've learned from my grandmother
and dad's situations, the status quo is
insufficient and intimidating.
It's time to move toward
community health. We are the
United States of America, after all.
- Derek Wolfe can be reached
The legislature was praised by Republican
Gov. Rick Snyder for "working together"
in order to pass this bill. Yet concealed
in the bill's political jargon, questionably
earmarked road improvement funds and
$7.2 million for improvements to National
Guard armories, is an absurd reduction in
funding for the National Institute of Health's
Perinatology Research Branch at Detroit's
Hutzel Hospital. This research branch is
the NIH's only institution for improving the
health of mothers and their babies.
The funding reduction will deplete its
previous subsidy from $7 million to less than
$3.5 million. Since the federal government
contributes two dollars for every one dollar
that Michigan spends, this cut will result in
a total loss of about $10.5 million. The branch
has orchestrated groundbreaking research
to improve the health of unborn infants - in
2010 they discovered a gel that drastically
reduces premature births. Therefore, cutting
the funding for this perinatology research
will undoubtedly endanger the health of
Michigan infants, as well as the robustness
of this irreplaceable research branch. This
year, road conditions appear to have taken
greater precedence than our troubling infant
About seven out of every 1,000 infants born
in Michigan die before their first birthday,
a number higher than the steadily declining
national average of about six. Contrary to
common belief, this isn't an issue particular to
Detroit. Small rural counties also reported rates
higherthanthe state average in 2009-2011. The
lack of awareness and concern demonstrated
by the Michigan legislature is disconcerting.
This is a problem that should and must be at the
forefront of Michigan's political agenda.
Equally disturbing as the grave misallocation
of state funding is the prevalence of secret
agendas in the Michigan legislature. The
legislature, in which Republicans currently
hold a majority, shouldn't have the ability to
surreptitiously push controversial changes
within otherwise bipartisan legislation.
Both parties need to communicate and work
together in order to write proposals that will
help all citizens inthestate - research thataids
the prenatal health of mothers and infants must
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria
Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul
Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
MICAL HOLT AND TAYLOR JONES
Putting the University on trial
The little things in life
Isee myself as a fairly habitual
and organized person. I am
quite fond of to-do lists. I make
times a day,
in my planner, on
post-it notes or
on anotepad. The
something off at
the end of a long
that I put in my
hard work and it
In 1970, the Black Action Movement won
demands to end the racist climate on campus
by taking the necessary actions to increase
Black student enrollment to 10 percent by 1973
and significantly increase Latino@ student
enrollment. For 40 years, our University has
broken this promise. This discovery was the
foundation for our decision to run with the
Defend Affirmative Action Party for Central
Student Government as representatives of the
new student-led civil rights and immigrant
rights movement growing on this campus and
across the nation. We know we are not alone in
our indignation. Many of you truly believe that
as the leaders and best that we claim tobe, it's
our duty to end any form of injustice.
Since last fall, minority students -
spearheaded by Black and Latin@ students
- have been speaking louder and clearer than
ever before about the hostile climate they face
on this campus.
In growing numbers, women students too
are declaring that they are fed up with the extra
burdens they face from sexual harassment and
abuse. Arab and Muslim students are speaking
out loudly and boldly against the racism and
prejudice they face on this campus. We're sick
and tired of being talked to death when we
demand that the administration do something
real to solve problems which have existed and
been talked about for decades.
We're sick and tired of the same methods
the administration has used for more than
40 years to avoid really facing up to these
problems: pious words, endless committees,
token measures falling vastly short of what is
needed, a few crumbs to co-opt a few leaders,
intimidation of students who speak out and, of
course, layers of bureaucracy to perpetuate the
cycle of failure and cover-up.
We're at a crucial time where our decisions
will make history. The movement has spoken:
to win the promise of 1970 we must lead
through actions. In August 1963, in the "I
Have a Dream" speech, Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. declared that there could be no more
"business as usual" in America until real racial
justice was achieved.
Join us this Thursday, March 20 in putting
the University on trial for its broken promises,
and deciding on a plan of action to stop
business as usual on our campus until we win
real justice and make this University what
WE want it to be. At the University Board
of Regents' meeting, we will demand the
University keep its promises to all its students
by doubling minority student enrollment,
creating a UM Dream Scholarship to open
the doors of this University to undocumented
students and ending the policy of cover-up
of rape and sexual assault on this campus.
Then we will be holding a public tribunal and
speak-out on the hostile climate on campus for
minority, immigrant and women students.
The tribunal is the next step in the struggle
to end business as usual and make the promise
of 1970 a reality. All students and organizations
are welcome to come speak the plain truth
about racism, sexism and injustice on this
campus and in American society. No one will
be discouraged from speaking out - everyone's
experience is relevant.
Detroit high school students will be among
the featured speakers, to keep our campus com-
munity anchored in the real world of struggle
around us. The tribunal will be chaired by activ-
ists, including Shanta Driver, BAMN national
chair and attorney, who argued before the U.S.
Supreme Court last Oct. 15 for the overturn of
the Proposition 2 ban on affirmative action and
for the defense of minority political rights.
But we will not limit ourselves to speaking
out. On the basis of the testimony of students,
we will democratically discuss and vote on
the next concrete actions to take in order to
make real the long-broken promises of equal
access, equal conditions, equal opportunity
and equal dignity.
Minority students should no longer have to
accept the degradation of unequal treatment
and racist slurs as a condition of being present
on this campus. Women students should not
have to live in constant fear and accept sexist
abuse as a condition of getting an education
and participation in ordinary campus life. The
Regents' meeting will be Thursday at 3 p.m.
in the Anderson room of the Michigan Union,
followed by the Public Tribunal on Campus
Climate at 7pm in Angell Hall Auditorium C.
Mical Holt is an LSA sophomore and
DAAP presidential candidate for CSG.
Taylor Jones is an LSA freshman and DAAP
vice presidential candidate for CSG.
paid off. But a couple of weeks ago,
I had an encounter that made me
question mytask-oriented nature.
Toward the beginning of Spring
Break, a professor introduced me
to a new initiative launched by
LSA and its associate dean, Philip
J. Deloria. The Power of 5, she told
me, is a project launched to break
students out of the competitive
environment that we tend to have
at the University. By passing out $5
bills in multiple large lecture halls
and to faculty, LSA hoped to inspire
a wave of giving across the college,
and a whole new giving culture,
too. As she handed me $5, she told
me to treat myself and then give to
someone else in a similar manner.
To be honest, I was pretty
taken aback. Multiple questions
immediately began running
through my head. Wouldn't it be
awkward to just give someone $5?
Who should I give it to? Should
I explain why I'm giving it to
them? Then, my realization of
these questions launched a whole
different series of questions. Why
is it so hard for me to give back
to someone? Is this really that far
outside of my comfort zone? What
kind of a person does that make me?
The day-to-day rigor and non-
stop schedule of an undergrad can
be taxing. It causes time to both
slow down so that a one-hour
lecture can seem dreadfully long,
but also make a semester or year
seem like it went by in the blink of
an eye. Something that I allowed to
slip through the cracks during all of
this is how I interact with others.
Between running from class to
class and hiding out in Hatcher for
hours on end, I stopped looking out
for my fellow Wolverines. Student
orgs became tiring and classes were
a chore. Even my wonderful job as
an RA had turned into checking
off interactions with my residents,
even though they were always
more than willing to engage in
conversation and hang out.
I didn't give away my $5 until
this past Monday. As I sat in my
room, chatting with a good friend,
I saw the envelope sitting on my
desk. I picked it up, flipped open
the envelope to peek at the bill one
more time - as if to make sure that
it didn't magically give itself away
- and then launched into a long
explanation about what I was doing.
As I saw the grin spread across her
face, I realized that it was quite
simple. By taking a few minutes to
spread this message of giving, I had
possibly brightened up her day.
Not even 10 minutes later, I saw
her passing on $5 to another friend
of ours. Already, the message was
spreading. It was contagious.
The Power of 5 was a good
wakeup call for me. I realized that
not everything I do should be on
my to-do list or scheduled into my
Google calendar weeks in advance.
Oftentimes, it's the unplanned
moments - coffee with a friend,
running into an old professor on
the Diag or going to see a movie on
a Tuesday night - that make your
undergrad experience. I'm sure years
downthe road I won'tbereminiscing
about howI finished a 10-page paper
a few days early or how great it felt
to power through a difficult reading.
Rather, I'll remember these special
moments that I share in passing. One
of my favorite childhood characters,
Winnie the Pooh, said, "Sometimes,
the smallest things take up the most
room in your heart." Cheesy or not,
these past few weeks I remembered
to appreciate the smaller things,
because they often slip by before you
can enjoy them.
So, I challenge you, next time
you're walking through the Diag
to class, or sitting down next to
someone new in lecture, say hello,
smile, introduce yourself. You never
know the change you might start.
- Harleen Kaur can be reached
TO THE DAILY:
As a recent LSA graduate, I
understand very well the anxieties
and hopes of students looking for
plans after graduation. I know how
overwhelming it is to think about
the options, lookingfor applications
of academia and the skills picked
up along the way in exchange for
a salary, or other indications of
success. The jobs and projects are
the details, but I hope the bigger
picture is not overlooked. The
broader populations and larger
societal influence are the recipients
and benefactors. I hope that while
soon-to-be graduates look ahead to
their careers, they take into account
their desires of impact and how
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
their professions may contribute
positively to the greater good.
I urge students and future pro-
fessionals to consider selection of
careers and endeavors on the basis
of whom they serve. When contem-
plating "whom do we want our life's
work to impact?" we think greater
about the context of professions and
the communities that are influenced
and apply our skills to the better-
ment of society. By doing this, we
become aware of the effect of our
individual contributions and can be
of service to our communities. I am
not suggesting that our work must
be our life, but merely that work and
society are not isolated.
I amwriting to encourage students
tolookmore closely atopportunities
with AmeriCorps post-graduation.
As the 20th anniversary of
AmeriCorps approaches, there is no
better time to dedicate ourselves to
our communities and a mission of
culturally sensitive service.
Opportunities with AmeriCorps
provide great exposure to a com-
munity's true needs and spirit
while serving them effectively,
where members gain professional
experience that compliments their
outstanding University of Michi-
gan education. While serving with
AmeriCorps, members are served
with an invaluable and incompa-
rable foundation for any career.
Mariah Van Ermen
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