Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Infectious Diseases

  • Have we become complacent as a result of relatively few massive US epidemics?
  • How should the risk of epidemic be managed?  Global (WHO), national (CDC), local?
  • Are we doing what we need to do to manage the risks?
    • Annual flu vaccines?
    • Stockpiling other vaccines and treatments for the epidemic risks?
  • Do we need to do more to curtail the risk, or is the current system sufficient?
  • Who should pay for enhanced “epidemic prevention/management?

Heath Education in the U.S.

It seems that one of the major drivers of increasing US healthcare costs is the American lifestyle, which (arguably) is skewed toward poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.  So improved health education may be one of the keys to managing costs and improving heathcare “outcomes” metrics (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.).

  • What sort of heath education will improve results?
  • Where (in school, in home, via media, via heath professionals (doctors/nurses)?
  • Who should pay for it?  How (taxes, health insurance, other?)

Affirmative Action: A concept whose time has come and gone?

This topic was discussed on November 18, 2013.

  • Are affirmative action programs inherently discriminatory?
  • Have they successfully served their original purpose?
    • If not, what criteria should be applied in determining when to end these programs?
  • How should the Supreme Court have ruled in the University of Texas case (if not sent back on narrow procedural grounds)?  Why?
  • On what basis (if any) should affirmative action be applied?
    • Race?
    • Gender?
    • Economic status?
  • What does this imply about the notion of “disparate impact” (in which no intent to discriminate is proven, only an adverse statistical relationship) in applying civil rights law?

Here is a recent NYT article on at least one aspect of the issue:

20131113 Texas University’s Race Admissions Policy is Debated Before A Federal Court (NYT)

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