Specialized Care

John McCaslin
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Posted: Jun 06, 2008 10:34 AM
Specialized Care

The average American adult, most doctors agree, should get an annual medical checkup. Indeed, many insurance companies won't reimburse cardholders unless they wait 12 months between exams.

That said, the Government Accountability Office is critical this week of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for "not administering a mandatory 14-day physical exam to approximately 260 detainees" and "not administering medical screenings immediately upon admission" to federal detention centers.

"One facility had sick-call request forms that were available only in English, whereas the population was largely Spanish-speaking," the GAO notes. "Another did not maintain alien medical records on site. One facility's staff failed to obtain informed consent from the detainee when prescribing psychiatric medication. Finally, another facility did not have medical staff on site to screen detainees arriving after 5 p.m."

The GAO said it observed instances of noncompliance with ICE medical care standards at three of the 23 detention facilities visited. On the other hand, GAO says, it "observed instances where detainees were receiving specialized care at the facilities visited."

Warner or Webb

Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel is putting his money on former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to become presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's vice-presidential pick.

"I think it's going to be Warner in Virginia," the talk-show host predicted during Wednesday night's broadcast of "The O'Reilly Factor," even though Mr. Warner, a resident of Old Town Alexandria, is his party's U.S. Senate candidate to fill the seat of retiring Republican Sen. John Warner.

Popular on both sides of the aisle while governor, the fiscally minded Mr. Warner briefly considered running for president in 2008, then abruptly bowed out, citing family reasons.

If Mr. Obama does not select Mr. Warner, then Mr. O'Reilly guesses he will tap another Virginia Democrat, Sen. Jim Webb, who was Navy secretary under President Reagan and, we might recall, led the fight in 1982 for including a black soldier in the statue of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"I'm going to go with a Virginia guy -- either Warner or Webb," said Mr. O'Reilly.

Fear Felix

We had to laugh at Rep. Ted Poe of Texas when trying to make sense of what energy can be produced from the Texas landscape.

The Republican congressman recalled that the dusty plains of western Texas were once home to thousands of oil derricks until such time environmentalists replaced them with clean-turning windmills.

"Texas is the wind energy capital of North America, supplying power to over 1 million homes," an impressed Mr. Poe pointed out. "But now the environmental-fear lobby wants to stop these turbines because they may pose a threat to bats and birds."

Seriously?

He explains that the lobby is worried that "bats and the birds that fly at night may be running into the windmills," although he remembers in third grade learning that bats "have a radarlike ability to navigate at night in caves and open terrain."

He quoted one National Academy of Sciences report as stating: "Birds have more to fear from high buildings, power lines and cats than they do from the blades of windmills."

Below minimum wage

A trucker from Houston told Rep. John Carter of Texas that he just hauled a load from Houston to San Diego, got paid $1,800 for the trip, but his fuel costs were $1,700.

Citizen and slave

Congress this week moved to designate a suburban Maryland federal building that houses the U.S. Census Bureau as the "Thomas Jefferson Census Bureau Headquarters Building," given Jefferson, as secretary of state, proposed and supervised the first modern census in world history in 1790.

The 1790 Census, our review shows, counted 3.9 million Americans, the majority (747,550) living in Virginia. The next highest populations were in Pennsylvania (433,611), North Carolina (395,005), Massachusetts (378,556), and New York (340,241). The least populated state was Delaware (59,096).

Interestingly enough, the 1790 Census also listed the number of slaves held in America (694,207). Most slaves (292,627) were kept in Virginia, followed by South Carolina (107,094), Maryland (103,036), North Carolina (100,783), Georgia (29,264), and New York (21,193).

No slaves were counted in Massachusetts, Maine or Vermont, although New Hampshire had 157 that year.