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December 05, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-05

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l - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 5, 1995

420 Maynard Street MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed byj JULIE BECKER
students at the JAMES M. NASH
University of Michigan '--Editorial Page Editors
Unless otlherwvise noted, wuigned editorials reflect the opinion offa majorit vofthe Dail' s editorial hoard. All
other articles, letters, and Canrtoon do not necessari, rcflect /the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Openleent surgery
'U' Medical Center streamlines operations

JENvTwENGcETHE ERASABLE PEN
The HIV/AIDS test: A ne
ofpassage for our gen eratiorn

m aintaining a prestigious multifaceted
MVI health-care facility amid national cuts
in research grants, Medicare and Medicaid is
adaunting task. As a major teaching hospital,
the University of Michigan Medical Center
attracts the most acute and costly clientele.
As a public institution, the University health-
care system receives and must care for most
,Medicare and Medicaid patients. And as a
.result of the disparity between doctors' fees
and capitated HMO insurance reimburse-
ments the hospital has had to swallow the
difference - placing the hospital, like a
choking patient, in need of a financial
-Heimlich maneuver. However, recent at-
'tempts to merge, coupled with expansive
internal reform reflect the University of
Michigan Medical Center's defensive mea-
sures to avoid being suffocated.
Despite the recent failed merger with the
'Mercy Hospital conglomerate, the promise
of stability and a thinned administration now
{fuel the wise, continued search for a partner.
Merging with another hospital would effec-
tively cut administrative costs, enhance pur-
chasing power and expand the hospital's
market base.
Since Executive Director John Forsyth
initiated the Cost Effectiveness Program four
,years ago, the hospital has been able to de-
duct $60 million from its budget, and this
year's goal is to further decrease it by $28

million. Through meticulous self-evaluation,
each department is charged with the formi-
dable task of re-evaluating work styles to
heighten efficiency and sever costs. The nurs-
ing staff, for example, is experimenting with
new protocols for patient care, examining
redundant processes to eliminate waste and
has initiated a hiring freeze - an attempt to
slice staffing costs through attrition.
Looking to the future of health care, the
UMMC is investing in improvements in
women's health, by building the Cancer and
Geriatrics Center and by increasing primary
care services. Nationally, obstetric proce-
dures account for the majority of inpatient
medical treatment - the opening of the
Mother/Baby unit will fortify the University's
share of the market. The graying of America
and the demand for preventative care are also
booming. Capitalizing on these markets is
essential if the UMMC is to survive.
The UMMC is undergoing many changes
to effectively insulate itself against deepen-
ing cuts in reimbursement and a changing
patient population. A fully integrated merger
with another hospital - especially one that
maintains a focus on primary care through-
out the state - is needed. Merging would
serve to completely defend and fulfill the
interests of the UMMC. The market base
must be expanded and the search fora partner
must continue.

F or young people in the 1950s, dating and
early marriage were rites of passage. In
the 1960s college students protested the Viet-
nam War and reaped the benefits of the
sexual revolution. Our generation has an-
other rite of passage: the HIV/AIDS test.
Last week was national AIDS Aware-
ness Week, commemorating the thousands
who have already died and educating people
about how to prevent infection. Recent sta-
tistics show that I of 92 young men is in-
fected with the AIDS virus. Minority women
have almost as high a rate of infection, and
AIDS is now the No. I killer of people ages
25 to 44. "1 don't think most people really
(realize)that infection isa potential forthem,"
said Cornelius Baker of the National Asso-
ciation of People with AIDS. "Right now, if
you get HIV in your 20s, you will die by
around 40 years old."
Literature has equated sex with death for
centuries, but today the equation is real,
almost palpable in the air of college towns
and urban enclaves. "Some of the people I
know outside of risk groups worry about
getting AIDS. An itch, a bump, a boil, a
stubborn cold, a sore ankle, and people
worry," writes 24-year-old Katie Roiphe in
The Morning After. "However tangible or
diffuse, the sense of danger hovers over our
experience, inevitably affecting our bed-
rooms, and our politics, and our mornings
after." HIV is not just a big reason to use
condoms: It is in many ways the defining
fear of our generation.
While in the past a casual sexual encoun-
ter might have been pleasurable and excit-
ing, it is now likely to be accompanied by
feelings ofguilt. regret and incredible worry.
What if the condom breaks? What if you
have oral sex and only later realize that's

risky, too? What if you were too drunk to
remember?
Even if your risk is small, there's still a
chance ofinfection - and that small chance
has such serious consequences that it's im-
possible to ignore them. The imagination
runs wild about a positive test, no matter
how you try to stop yourself. How will you
tell your parents'? What would you do ifyou
only had 10 more years to live? Quit school?
Watch less television? Convince your part-
ner to stay with you even though you can't
have sex?
At one time, the greatest fear of sexually
active women was getting pregnant. Many
other experiences may also be stressful and
anxiety-arousing: waiting to findout agrade,
finding out if you got in to graduate or
professional school, finding out your boy-
friend or girlfriend is going to break up with
you. These are real, even paralyzing, fea's,
and the waiting is agonizing. Yet they do not
compare in the least to the harrowing expe-
rience of waiting for the results of an -IIV
test. Unlike the other situations, an Hl V
test's results will determine not what your
future is going to be like, but whether or not
you will have a future at all.
It goes on: Not only can you die of H]IV,
A IDS yourself. but you can give it to a
person you love. Cheating on your lover,
bad enough as it is, takes on a whole new
dimension in the age of A IDS. When you
think about it, that's probably the worst
thing you could ever do to a loved one.
Walking out, being grumpy in the morning.
getting someone pregnant -- all of them
pale in comparison to the possibility ofgiv-
ing your lover a fatal disease. That's what
this disease can give us: not only death, but
also a heavy dose of guilt.

The latency period is the other inherently
evil characteristic of this virus. There is no
morning-after pill for IHV. Not only that.
but the recommended waiting time before an
antibody test is at least three months -
many people don't show antibodies before
then. So let's say you have unprotected sex,
and realize how stupid you were the next
morning. You must then wait three months
for the antibody test and then two weeks for
the results (and don't forget you can infect
other people during this time). The anxiety
is incredible, no matter how emotionally
stable you are, because if you're not worried
about this, what else is there to worry about'?
For most young people, nothing else even
compares.
In the controversial movie "Kids," a 16-
year-old named Jenny unexpectedly tests
positive for Hl V at a health center. When she
takes a cab several hours later, the driver
asks her why she looks so sad. He names off
all of the reasons he can think of - boy
troubles, fights with parents and so on -
and reassures her that whatever it is, it will
go away and she'll be fine. Jenny sits in the
back of the cab, caught in a web of depres-
sion and silence, unable to tell him that he's
wrong - her problem is not going to go
away.
On a recent trip to Health Services, I
stopped by the AIDS awareness table. I
thought about my own H IV test nine months
ago: although the risk was very small, the
fear and anxiety still lurk in a dark corner of
my mind. I left with a red ribbon pinned to
my coat, a silent reminderofthis evil disease
and the harrowing rite of passage it requires.
-Iean Twenge can he reached over e-
mail at jeani(umich.edu.

1

I

MATT WIMSATT

MOOKIE'S DILEMMAl

'Motor voter' run over

Engler attempts to
onflicts between states and the federal
' government are inherent in a federalist
system. Unfortunately, Gov. John Engler is
using the cry of "states' rights" inappropri-
ately in his attempt to override federal laws.
,The law in question is a voter registration
effort that requires social-service agencies to
'register welfare recipients to vote. In a move
similar to efforts to discredit the "motor
voter" law - decried as an "unfunded man-
date" by some conservative governors -
Engler is exploiting the emotional crusade
for states' rights to suit his personal agenda.
By trying to block the law from being imple-
-mented, Engler is refusing to extend voting
rights to the disenfranchised.
Engler's challenge to the law is irrespon-
sible. Ifthe governor truly opposed it on legal
grounds, he should have done something
before it took effect in January. Although he
claims that the law creates financial burdens,
Engler is defying voting rights.
Each of the five states that has challenged
the law has lost. California, led by Gov. Pete
Wilson, is appealing its case to the Supreme
Court. Without legal precedent. then, Engler's
ban on the voting sign-up law is a shallow
attempt at withholding the opportunity to
Vote for a populace historically underrepre-
sented at the voting booth.
Having the right to vote on paper is not
enough. Even though civil rights laws in the
1960s eliminated the last legal obstacles to
the voting booth, practical obstacles remain.
With voter turnouts continuing to decline at
both the local and national level, efforts to
make it easier to vote should be encouraged.
Although welfare recipients have the legal
right to vote, if they lack the means to get to

strangle a good law
a Department of Motor Vehicles office to
register or do not have a permanent address,
they are left out of the process.
Rather than follow the law, Engler has
chosen to fight the bill on the basis that it
violates states' rights, although he is short on
details on how voting-rights laws compro-
mise states' autonomy. The reasoning be-
hind disobeying the law does not add up.
Supporters of the ban claim that the "motor
voter" laws remedy the situation by allowing
registration with drivers licenses. Unfortu-
nately, this ignores the reality that many
beneficiaries of voter signup law are without
drivers licenses. Furthermore, the notion that
the state cannot afford to register voters is
false: Hunting down welfare recipients via
the mail by sending out registration materials
in envelopes is not a great money saver.
Engler's selective enforcement of federal
law is a reprehensible abuse of power. The
reasons behind the ban are clear: Engler is
trying to shaft voters who are not likely to be
voting in his favor anyway - low-income
voters historically have voted Democratic.
Engler is thus using the right to vote to
solidify his base of support.
The courts must reject Michigan's ban on
the sign-up bill. If the ban is upheld in any
form, Engler will be validated in
singlehandedly violating the rights of the
estimated 150,000 to 250,000 citizens esti-
mated to have been helped under the law.
The state of Michigan, which has been a
leader in voter-registration efforts in the past,
should not slide back into an elitist mentality
that actually makes it more difficult for the
poor to vote. It is the state's duty to provide
its citizens with the opportunity to vote.

f~tv / - r+ 1 t/
lo/
l 1 t' I

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'The company's
in complete
control. We have
to accept defeat.'
-- Caterpillar striker
Jin Schmidt, fallowing
the UA W's decision to
end its strike against the
manufacturer

I

PRESS CLIPPINGS
College athletes deserve compensation

By Boyce Watkins
(U-WIRE) In 1994, CBS
wanted the eight-year rights to
the NCAA Tournament.
They wanted them bad.
How bad'?
Bad enough to pay
$1.725,000,000.
Dividing the money between
the 64 programs that compete in
the tournament, that's about
$224,609.38 per player, per year.
A player who competes in the
NCAA Tournament for four years
has earned nearly I million CBS
dollars for the NCAA. And that
doesn't even include the regular
season!
What's really pathetic is that
our minds are so warped that we
believe it is immoral to pay the
players for their work!
I say it's immoral not to pay
them!
There's something sickening
about 18-to-23-year-olds diving
for loose balls, taking steroids
and risking debilitating injuries,
BoYce Watkins is a
mathematics graduate
student.at the University of
Kentucky. This article
originallv appeared in The
Kentuck' Kernel on Dec. 4.

all to fill the coffers of a bunch of
50-year-old men.
What's more insulting to our
intelligence is that some like to
argue that players receive an edu-
cation in return for their services.
Understand that a college educa-
tion in exchange for millions of'
dollars in revenue is not a 'air
trade. Ifthe trade is fair, then why
not give the players their money
and let them pay their own tu-
iti on'?
Let's get this straight. Col-
lege athletics, particularly rev-
enue-generating sports, are ev-
erything but amateur. The use of
slave labor is the only thing that
makes this situation unique.
While athletes toil their way
through four years of abuse, the
children of athletic directors at-
tend top universities, keep full
pockets and drive nice automo-
biles, every bitofthis financed by
the sweat and blood of poverty-
ridden athletes.
In addition, college sports are
nottreatedasextracurricular. The
only thing extracurricular is aca-
demies.
The 20-hour rule has more
holes than a fishnet stocking, so
most athletes end up spending
30-60 hours per week in sports-
related activities. Ask any brave

basketball playerwhat would hap-
pen if he told Coach Rick Pitino
hecan'tmakethe"optional"prac-
tice sessions because he wants to
secure his 3.8 grade-point aver-
age.
In spite of exceptionally high
graduation rates, University of
Kentucky football coach Bill
Curry is the target of heavy criti-
cism, and he fears for his job. At
the same time, many coaches
around the nation are allowed to
push aside high graduation rates
in exchange for high winning
percentages.
Let's not forget that coaches
do throw in little perks to keep the
athletes pacified. Like jockeys,
coaches are obligated to give their
horses the finest hay.
It's after the lights go out and
eligibility is over that Little
Johnny Halfback findsout he still
can't read. I wonder when the day
will come when athletes remind
their slave-masters that hay is for
horses. and hard-working em-
ployees deserve money.
Organization is the key to fun-
damental change. Through coor-
dinated, selfless behavior, ath-
letes might be surprised at what
they can do. I wonder what would
happen if no one showed up to
play in the Final Four this year?

Since athletes don't receive any
of the money, that must mean that
the games can be played without
them.
How about a trust fund for
athletes who aren't able to play
professional sports ?
Many graduate students re-
ceixe stipends exceeding $12,000
each year. As a graduate student,
I must confess that I'm not worth
nearly as much money as Moe
Williams. If it's good enough for
me, then wvhy not for him'?
As a first step toward their
own salvation, athletes should at
least ensure that universities
aren't allowed to welch on their
end of the lopsided deal that is
already in place.
Why not slap heavy penalties
on programs with low graduation
rates? Iffootballcoachescan force
more than 80 men to get up at 6
a.m., they can force them to get
their college degrees.
A very rude wake-up call
might be in order before slave-
masters realize who the vital com-
ponent in this revenue-generat-
ing process really is.
I'll give you a hint.
When the players don't show
up. CBS takes back its 2 billion,
and people turn their televisions
off. Everything else is irrelevant.

HOW TO CONTACT THEM
State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith
(D-Washtenaw County)
410 Farnum Building
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-2406

LETTER
Basketball seating dims spirit

State Rep. Liz Brater
(D-53rd district, Central Campus)
412 Roosevelt Building

State Rep. Mary Schroer
(D-52nd district, North Campus)
99 Olds Plaza Building
LEA A 1 A nnn

To the Daily:
I am writing to express my
disgust with the new University
basketball ticket policy. Since the

and graduate students, not-tradi-
tionally known for their enthusi-
asm. Younger students who com-
monly exhibit more spirit and
vi gor thani older fa~ns arenow ban-

WIINIFDI
Columnists for the

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