100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

May 02, 2006 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-05-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Healthy, wealthy and wise
University plan for free co-pays a sensible solution

JEREMY DAVSON
Editor in Chief

IMRAN SaED
Editorial Page Editor

JEFFREY BLOOMER
Managing Editor

Given the exorbitant prices of prescrip-
tion drugs in our country, it's encour-
aging to see institutions like the
University stepping up to make a difference.
Last week, the University announced a
program called MHealthy: Focus on Dia-
betes to provide free co-pays for diabetes
related medication for its employees. The
plan will reduce the co-pays of brand-name
drugs and eliminate them completely for
generic medication for University facul-
ty, staff and dependents who have diabe-
tes. With this innovative program, which
was crafted based on research findings of
University faculty, the University sets a
laudable precedent for healthcare benefit
policies in America, but it must continue
to monitor, and if deemed prudent, expand
the program to cover other illnesses.
MHealthy reflects a positive change in
the University's outlook on prescription
drug coverage, which has evolved signifi-
cantly over the last six years. In Sept. 2000,
the University increased co-pays because
the University Benefits Office estimated
that such action would result in long-term
savings of $1.7 million per year.
However, a year later, University
researchers published a study stating
that increased drug co-pays lead insured
healthcare consumers with chronic condi-
tions to deviate from their medication regi-
ment - putting them at a greater risk of

more serious illnesses and requiring more
expensive treatment later on. Likewise,
researchers suggested "benefit-based co-
pays" --reducing the co-pays for prescrip-
tion drugs consumed by those with chronic
conditions - as an economically efficient
way to reduce long-term healthcare expen-
ditures and a means to encourage Ameri-
cans to maintain their health.
The University's commitment to fol-
low up on the recommendations of these
researchers is a step that keeps the health
interests ofemployeesparamount while still
saving money in the long run. The decision
to use diabetes as a testing ground for this
plan is a sensible one, given that 50 percent
of diabetic patients avoid or delay purchase
of drugs such as insulin, ACE inhibitors,
statins and antidepressants because of cost
restraints - thereby significantly increas-
ing their risk of more serious health issues.
If the results of the pilot program have the
intended economic and social results, the
University must move quickly to expand
the program to include employees with
other chronic diseases, such as asthma and
heart disease.
As commendable and groundbreaking as
this plan is, the University must ensure that
its efforts to monitor the effects of the pro-
gram are kept up to date. If all goes accord-
ing to plan, the term "Michigan Difference"
can take on a whole new meaning.

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other
signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their author.
The thumbs have it
The pope wears Prada - Remember all that talk about Pope
Benedict XVI not having as much substance as his predecessor
John Paul II? Well, at least we know he's got style. The new pon-
tiff - who has previously sported Serengeti sunglasses and even
owns an iPod - was recently spotted in red loafers rumored to
be made by Prada. A pontiff who likes his bling? Come all ye
faithful to "the hip-hop pope." (And how about Prada, which has
now completed the canonical cycle, having earlier landed Satan
himself ("The Devil Wears Prada," in theaters this June)?)
It's just a game - Several teams representing the offices of Re-
publican senators and congressmen recently seceded from the Con-
gressional Softball League. The dissidents started a rival league,
complaining that the new playoff system in the old league - which
matched top teams against each other in early rounds - bordered
on socialism. Remember guys, if we can't even keep our softball
leagues together, the terrorists have won.
The slippery Mr. Copperfield - A gun pointed right at his face in
a mugging attempt in West Palm Beach, Fla., renowned illusionist
David Copperfield tricked the bad guys by calmly turning out empty
pockets - despite the fact that they contained his wallet, passport
and cell phone. Amazing as that is, it's elementary sleight of hand to
the man who once made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Hey DPS,
given the recent string of street crimes in Ann Arbor, how about get-
ting him to teach that snappy trick to students?
Turn back the clock - Former New York Mets first baseman and
11-time Gold Glove winner Keith Hernandez made his name by not
making errors, but he committed a major gaffe while providing color
commentary for a recent Mets game. Upon seeing a female trainer in
the San Diego Padres dugout, Hernandez spat out a chauvinist rant:
"Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What's going on
here? You have got to be kidding me!" Now here's a guy who takes
his endorsement of "Just for Men" hair color a little too seriously.
Wake up, Keith: it's 2006.
Editorial Board Members: Emily Beam, Jared Goldberg, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn,
Rajiv Prabhakar, David Russell, Gavin Stern, Ben Taylor, Christopher Zbrozek.

4

I

4

Slipping on oil
President's proposals fail to address root of problems

4

Since Sept. 11, 2001 there has been
increasing pressure on America to wean
its dependence on oil. President Bush,
speaking last week at a conference of etha-
nol producers, outlined several strategies to
lower skyrocketing prices at the pump. While
acknowledging an addiction to oil is a neces-
sary first step, the president's proposals fail to
take into account the underlying reasons for
the oil crisis, and more must be done to reduce
dependence of oil in the long term.
Bush's proposals to increase oil supply
and lower prices include loosening environ-
mental regulations on oil companies, drill-
ing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
and a crackdown on price gouging at the
pumps. The president went so far as to call
individual state regulations on purity of
oil "boutique," while advocating loosening
them for short-term benefits. Environmental
regulations exist because they are necessary
to curb pollution, not to simply be loosened
when convenient. Lowering standards of
regulation allows oil companies more lib-
erty to pollute without providing any long-
term solution to energy shortfalls. The same
could be said for drilling in the ANWR; it is
a short-term solution that fails to foresee the
full scope of future problems.
An additional flaw in the proposals is that
they target individual pumps and divert atten-
tion away from oil companies - the real
source of increases in the price of oil. Except

in times of immediate crisis, price gouging by
gas stations is virtually non-existent. A few
Republican senators have joined their Dem-
ocratic counterparts in recognizing that the
problem lies with oil companies. As a result of
record profits for big oil, they suggest a crack-
down, some even going so far as to propose
taxes on these ever-increasing earnings.
The best way for our country to rid itself
of its addiction to petroleum does not lie
in stopgap proposals that result in min-
ute increases in the oil supply. Indeed the
administration tried many of these same
policies in response to reduced supply after
Hurricane Katrina, and they proved inef-
fective. Policies should focus on conserva-
tion and pursue renewable fuel sources, not
simply increase supply temporarily.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
suggested that his state pursue alternative
energy sources, such as fuel run on ethanol
produced by corn or sugar. Brazil recently
announced that, by switching to ethanol, it
will be completely energy independent by
2010. While America uses far more oil than
Brazil or California, it can implement simi-
lar policies effectively.
Bush's latest proposals continue the trend
of diverting attention away from where the
problems really lie while putting the envi-
ronment at risk. The president would do well
to remember that, especially for an addict,
more oil is not the solution.

0

LIVE ON YOUR FEET

ION QOUIST

I A PERtaS AND ASIAN 1 LU
TIM TTEATENS TO CREATE
II3ITED STATES. A C MPANMC
MJRICAN T L TH T CO KILL
S St I NTtBE PREPAREDI WE
CORNER_ I T 5 ONE
TITSO TDO-

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan