Archive for July, 2009

Health Care: Remind me again why we’re rushing

July 21, 2009
Cam card from my first series, February 1990 *see below for cam card explainer

Cam card from my first series, February 1990 *see below for cam card explainer

My very first series in television was a five part piece I did at KQTV  in February of 1990 that was called “Health Care At What Price?”   I bring it up not out of nostalgia but out of curiosity.  The issues raised in those five stories are the very same issues that we face today.

In the series we looked at rising premiums vs. reduced benefits, we looked at what we were spending on health care as a growing percentage of our GDP, we looked at how Chrysler was now paying more health care for their employees than they were steel for their cars (how did that work out?) 

Bottomline we looked at all the issues then that are being looked at now, so remind me again why this all of sudden needs to be fixed before the end of  the year (pushed back from the end of August) when little has happened in the last 20-years?

Jerry Brown & John Kosich arguing over Canadian style health care plan.  December 5, 1991

Jerry Brown & John Kosich arguing over Canadian style health care plan. December 5, 1991

When Jerry Brown was running for President in 1992 he wanted the U.S. to adopt a Canadian style health care system.  Health care became a huge deal in the 1992 race for the White House after Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania used it to defeat Dick Thornburgh in a closely watched special election for the U.S. Senate. 

It  lead to an ill fated attempt to overhaul the system in the beginning of Bill Clinton’s first term.   It was such a failure that it became a third rail of sorts in Washington and politicians stayed away from any attempts at an overhaul.  But the issues then are the issues now.

Republicans and Democrats along with health care providers and insurers are in agreement something needs to be done but this is too big a problem to be addressed without everyone knowing exactly what’s in it and how it will play out.

Northeast Ohio has too much invested in the health care industry, it is our largest employer in the Cleveland Clinic and it is our hope for the future with the Medical Mart.  Let’s make sure we know how all that would be impacted before we rush into anything.

The economy was in grave danger of total collapse last fall when emergency efforts were taken to prop it up.  It is the same urgency that is being given to health care right now but again this didn’t pop up overnight it doesn’t need to be fixed overnight.  It needs to be fixed right.

{Editor’s Note:  For those of you who don’t know what a cam card is, before there were computer graphics the station artist would make a graphic like the one above on paper or cardboard then take a picture of it.  That picture would then be made into a slide and used as an over the shoulder graphic.}


Gambling in Ohio; What the state needs to know.

July 10, 2009

     The decision to allow the Ohio Lottery to operate slots at Ohio’s seven horse tracks is the largest leap the state has ever taken when it comes to something resembling casino gambling.

     For four years I covered the casino industry in Atlantic City and in 2001 I worked in Buffalo when New York State entered into a compact with the Seneca Nation of Indians to bring casinos to Western New York.

     At the time I wanted them to learn from Atlantic City’s mistakes so I returned to America’s Favorite Playground to talk with the people I knew about what Western New York needed to know as they moved forward.

     The following is the the three part series I put together then.  The lessons learned are as valid today as they were then and warrent a closer look.

PART ONE:  This sets the scene for how New Jersey came to approve casinos for Atlantic City.  Long story short?  As this piece shows they really didn’t have many other options for the dying resort.

PART TWO:  Okay you have casinos, was it what you thought it would be? For Atlantic City’s restaurants and businesses the answer was no.

PART THREE:  With 20/20 hindsight what advice do Atlantic City’s business, political and social leaders have for Western New York and in turn Ohio as they prepare to enter the gambling waters.