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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 31, 1969)
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
MONDAY, MARCH 31,
Into oblivion . . .
As the revised ASUN constitution sank slowly
Into oblivion Friday, student politicians 'began
the inevitable explanations as to why it failed.
Some blamed student government leaders for
not campaigning on behalf of the document. But
as ASUN President Mike Naeve pointed out, that
Is not their responsibility.
A few others blamed the Dally Nebraskan for
lack of support. This, too, is wrong. It Is neither
the duty nor the right of the Nebraskan to push
a political issue with a front page campaign. The
students were openly and fairly informed of the
Beyond that, despite what Harper Hall Presi
dent Cliff J. Sather says, the Nebraskan's only
obligation is to present (as objectively as possible)
the choices not to be "the overriding influen
ce." The new constitution failed, not because of stu
dent leaders or the newspaper coverage, but
because most students did not feel the issue was
crucial. Either they were satisfied with the present
arrangement, or they do not attach a high priority
on the workings of student government.
For those who feel a revised governmental
framework is the answer, the only thing to do
is start again on changing the existing set-up. It
will accomplish little to seek a handy place for
mm-tfmm mi. i? r-r ? TI 1 JfiOSZL I
Outside agitator ... I"
The high cost of health and doctor-lab fees
by Martin L. Gross
Only the most naive or nostalgic patient now
expects to pay a flat fee for a visit to a doctor.
wnetner u oe me counirv aociom k or tne citv
internist's $20. As the cost of physician's extra
"ancillary" services especially laboratory tests
continue to confound the patient and push the
rising price of medical care further upward, the
exact medical fee is becoming as anachronistic
as the pediatrician's house call.
Doctors are quite human and therefore prone
to exaggerate their nobility. They often more-than-hint
that X-rays and lab tests are profitless conve
niences in wmcn uie pnysician piays uie roie 01
sacrificing altruist merely passing on what is
THE REALITY mars the neo-romantic image:
it too-often includes staggering bills to patients
for lab tests and an economic profiteering by some
doctors that threatens to tarnish the profession's
- golden Caduceus.
; A modern physical examination Increasingly
blood count, blood sugar, urine analysis, sedimen
tation rate, urea-nitrogen, chloresterol, uric acid
and others. The bill for these tests is often more
; shocking to the patient than the biologic results.
'. Increasingly, the $20-$50 charge for this laboratory
tvrkttr Avnnnrlti fha nhtf o no (aA if naif
what is wrong with paying the doctor for
' essential lab tests? Nothing, if the Dhvsician has
not made himself a commercial middle-man,
"marking up" the cost to the patient more ex
travagantly than a fashionable couturier.
ONE MANAGEMENT consultant to doctors
estimates that while some physicians refuse to
make a profit on outside lab tests, physicians
typically pay a wholesale cost of 55 per cent of the
amount billed to the patient, pocketing the rest. Crit
ics interpret this "commission" as unethical and in
defensible fee-spliting while physicians-defenders
claim it is a true fee for "medical interpretation"
of laboratory results.
While this controversy quietly stews, a more in
vidious doctor soandal is incubating involving
physician lab test mark-ups in the magnitude of
1000 to 10,000 percent. An advertisement signed
by Dr. Leo Mayer, M D., recently appeared in 17
New York State newspapers referring to a practice
that he terms "scandalous."
"I ana ashamed," the physician wrote, "that
too many physicians act as commission merchants
manipulating patients for their own profit 'by taking
care' of lab tests they prescribe." Dr. Mayer claims
that these doctors pay a "pittance" to automated
labs "which give them rewarding deals, and the
doctors then collect exorbitant fees from patients
for the pittance cost lab tests."
WHEN INTERVIEWED Dr., Mayer explained
the apparently legal but near galactic economics
of this operation. "The doctor signs with a so-called
contract plan' laboratory at a flat fee of $60 to
$80 a month," he says. "For this he receives several
hundred or even an unlimited number of laboratory
tests. The laboratory even sends a car around to
collect the specimens, then phones the results to
"The doctor pays perhaps 10 to 15 cents a test,
then bills the patient anywhere from $3 to $15 for
each test. I understand some doctors make well
over $1000 a month on the system. It is simple
Dr. Mayer's charge had already been substan
tiated to me in at least one case by a suburban
1hy$lcian who has long used a super-inexpensive
aboratory. "I use a contract automated laboratory
for my blood and urine tests and I pay only a
flat fee of $70 a month," he happily revealed.
"For that I get all the usual blood and urine
tests I want. They cost me only a few pennies
each and I bill them out at the going rate."
THE AUTOMATED contract lab is a nationwide
phenomenon and its attractiveness to dollar
stimulated doctors is enhanced by such beguiling
Lorelei slogans as "Our services could help elevate
your income," and "It will pay you to use our
New York State Assemblyman Edward J.
Amann, Jr. and State Senator John Marchi are
among the sponsors of two new pieces of legislation
expected to curtail the nefarious exploitation by
making it illegal for a doctor in that state to
bill a patient for a lab test not analyzed in his
"It is unethical and illegal for a doctor to
split a lab fee," says Assemblyman Amann.
"However, the contract lab system enables the
doctor to circumvent the law because he is not
being charged for a specific test. I saw a flyer
from one contract lab which promised to do all
the doctor's lab work for $50 a month including
furnishing of bottles and picking up of specimens.
The New York bills, which include threat of
license revocation for doctors who continue to make
money on lab work not done by them, have already
passed the State Assembly and are being considered
by the state's Senate.
IF THEY are passed and signed by the
governor, some New York physicians will have
to relinquish a lucrative "medical" system, and
labs will have to bill patients directly. They will
then risk the repressed wrath of patients who tradi
tionally shrink in obsequious acceptance before a
high-billing doctor, but who would gleefully tear
the Bunsen burner out of an over-charging com
For all citizens whose sense of economic pro
priety is outraged at paying a doctor $5 for a
10 cent automated procedure, or who even blanch
at supporting his 45 per cent "vigorish" on regular
clinical laboratory costs, similar legislation in all
50 states may be the first step for us abused
medical consumers to regrain our pride.
(CI lMt. Hwday, Inc.
Look at that gal shake that thing
We can't all be Martin Luther King.
The affectionate glee Julian Bond con
veyed with this couplet has taken on a tragic
meaning in the year since Dr. King's death. Bond'i
lines gently mock Dr. King's moral character;
most men, it is generally assumed, simply cannot
overcome their passions as Dr. King desired.
Jealous critics in the black community scoff
ingly referred to him as "De Lawd." Whites
generally regarded him as a self-righteous trouble
maker, padding his pockets at the expense of "poor,
"WE CAN'T all be Martin Luther King." That
fault, my fellow Americans, lies In ourselves, in
our unwillingness to accept the idea that man can
be so much better than he is, in our pathological
suspicions that any prophet of love and reconcilia
tion must be a kook or a con-man, in our derision
of those who refuse to accept the "fact" that any
evil which is now evermore shall be.
It is a beautiful irony that the first anniversary
of Dr. King's murder falls on Good Friday. Like
Jerusalem, America has killed its prophets and
foresaken" the principles on which it was founded,
choosing instead a soft, comfortable, accomodating
way of life. When we are charitable, we make
headlines - headlines for DOING WHAT WE ARE
SUPPOSED TO DO.
Like Christ and the great Hebrew prophets,
Dr. King asked only that men love one another,
that our demons of fear and hatred, of hunger
and poverty, of greed and betrayal be cast out.
He was resolute yet sensitive, tough, but never
hard. What kind of society allows such a man
to be murdered? What kind of society, if only
subconsciously, longs for his death?
"WE CAN'T all be Martin Luther King." So
let's not even try. The world has survived this
long and our efforts won't make that much dif
ference. As for Martin Luther King, he's all right
now. He's dead, and we have one more Great
American to praise while we install our ABM
system, fight in Viet Nam, and police the corridors
of Lincoln High School.
Of course, we have to be on our guard for
crack-pots with wild, phony rantings about "non
violent action" characters like Caesar Chavez,
Jesse Jackson, Charles Evers, Saul Alinsky, and
Coretta Scott King.
As you pause this week to honor Martin Luther
King, don't weep for him. Look around long enough
to notice that The Fire This Time is here to stay
and then weep for yourselves.
Beseech the hills to fall and curse your own
fertility. Envy the barren and the dead. For il
these things are done in a green tree, what shall
be done in a dry?
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Editor: Ed IcmxwI.i Manaalna Cd'tot Una Oottieh.Iki Hm Edtt
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The Daily Nebraskan is solely a stu-
dent-operated newspaper independent
I of editorial control by student govern-
ment, administration and faculty. The
1 opinion expressed on this page is that
of the Nebraskan's editorial page staff.
.Random restroom rating results released.
Under the category of things to do and places
to see: bathrooms. One's half-remembered Scout
training condemns unpreparedness. In the belief
that every University student should Be Prepared,
we here propose a sort of sketchy guide to some
of Lincoln's more frequented plumbing.
- The true-hearted bathroom enthusiast (no
generic term for such tourists has yet been coined:
gourmet doesn't seem quite appropriate) must be
well-equipped. The tools of his avocation might
Include camera, Lvsol and the D.I.'s Guide to Four
Letter Words and Appropriate Synonyms.
The restroom rating system includes five
categories of quality, marked with diminishing
numbers of stars. Much like the Junior Scholastic
movie reviews, only the special "bell-ringer" award
Eas been omitted. Unfortunately, the review will
be limited to male accomodations in view of certain
barriers of taste and legality which this writer
does not choose to challenge. W will Instead give
an automatic top rating to the tedies' facilities,
with the parenthetical hope that men will someday
become emancipated enough to put couches in their
- AH, YES, THE RATING SCALE. Five stars
Jftean the accomodations are interesting enough
to attract your philosophy professor par ex
cellence for Nebraska culture. Four stars brands
a facility good enough to entertain your bachelor
Uncle who is trying to bridge the generation gap.
Three stars are bathroom? clean and bright
enough to steer your mother to when she romes
down for the honors convocation. Two stars are
Johns In the right place at the right time. A one-star
restroom is Just right for an ASUN senator, but
hardly anyone else.
Cleanliness, intelligence of graffiti, availability
and design are all factors to be considered in
Our tour begins In the vital center of the
University the Union. The quality of Union Johns
varies, but if one catches them in the off-season
(between wall scrubbings). they are second only
to ihe directories m the telephone booths as to
The North Restroom I) Lacking in
artistic expression, possessing a color scheme
seldom matched by pre-schcol coloring books, this
neatly subdivided Union facility seems to cry for
a shower to make it the complete locker room.
It has one redeeming feature: a huge fountain-like
apparatus that could use the addition of a pseudo
classical sculpture at its top. Maybe some kind
of Greek or Roman jock.
THE SOUTHEAST RESTROOM (). A
historical remnant of the past, the drab grays
and browns of this facility make it a well
coordinated annex to the sinister "brown room"
of the Crib. Its graffiti is flourished in magic
marker, but the chief artist seems to have some
kind of homosexual hangup, all contributing to the
Early Institution motif.
The Basemen Can ( ). Mostly utilitarian, this
John is the domain of special-interest groups: pool
sharks, bowlers, and unfortunates who drop by
to shed a tear as they look at themselves in the
mirror after another last-minute visit to the Union
Next, the tour Investigates the periphery of
the campus, the classroom buildings. The faults
of classroom restrooms are legendary There are
few spaces to set down notebooks. The mirrors
are either too small or too few. And have you
noticed that whenever you finally find an unoc
cupied stall and close the door the lock doesn't
work? Sometimes they are not well-marked as to
gender, with experience proving a harsh teacher.
General rating for classroom facilities: ().
There are a few standouts. Homo Harry has
evidently moved his graffiti efforts to one of the
lounges in Burnett, raising it to an occasional
( ). One John in Avery () maintains the
tradition of scrawling obscenities concerning just
about every Chem teacher ever encountered.
Oldfather deserves a () for the originality of
designing its high rise classroom and office
bathrooms to look like high rise dormitory
bathrooms. Bathtubs are expected soon.
THE NEXT OUTWARD CIRCLE of University
faculties are to be found in its living accomodations.
A word of explanation is due tor the lack of ratings
of Greek houses. Like most independents, the author
has never seen the secret recesses of these houses.
We have come to assume that there aren't my.
Facilities, that is. It is a common belief that this
is just one more manifestation of pledge hazing.
() rating to the Greek houses, anyway, for
As for the dorms. Selleck gets ( ) further
extensions of the lock;r room principle. The ii?h
rises get an average () for perfecting m
personality and allowing daily maids to clean off
the graffiti. ADD () to the newer dorms for putting
A special () rating to Cather, however.
It was designed to be a girls' dorm, Including
the plumbing. Moreover, the government and staff
periodically tape mimeographed announcements
and quotations from James Joyce to the inside
of the John doors. They applaud the rate of
residents' recall of the information, having creating
a "captive audience" of sorts.
All the University facilities should be subtracted
() for tfte "save from waste" bathroom tissue.
AH need softer, "whisper" toilet paper.
THE NEXT CIRCLE of service facilities are
outside the realm of the University's control, but
they all have points pertinent to a complete tour.
Runlng over these briefly, the gas stations get
to () tor locking their restrooms to keep them
clean and then hiding the key somewhere in the
garage while the attendant is waiting on cars
utsuie. () additionally for stations with desert
heat hand burners and empty soap dispensers, and
subtract all points (or Johns with bubble gum In
'5 . - ,f-v "r
Emli'v "-'' "V
the sink or signs that command to "wipe, dont
Valentino's () gets a high rating because
tts music is piped into the restrooms, causing
remarkable peace of mind and unbelievable traffic
Downtown department stores ( ) that Is, if
you can find them or are gutsy enough to ask,
facing the whithering stare of a clerk who makes
you feel like you are one of the few in the world
who even need one. At last resort, look for signs
that say "Employees Only" ( ). leading to hid
den alcoves noted for bare light biJbs or single half
used bars of hand soap.
Restaurants (), usually only for sanitary
needs during the daytime and bodily needs at night.
Nobody even wants to stay in one long enough
to enjoy it. what with the rest of the group impa
tiently waiting to order. Notice the lack of paper
towels-aiways just out. Blase.
THE FINAL POINT of the bathroom tour
centers arond the tavern latrines. Some of the
best ratings are to be found here, usually because
of the nature of the graffiti and the lifelong
friendships one makes while relaxing la the facili
ties. Myron's () or maybe even () un
fortunately has painted its john walls black to
discourage further artwork. Pen knives do nicely,
but are also frowned upon. Moreover, the door
on the women's side sticks open, establishing an
udience. The management has Installed pinball
machines outside to occupy those In line.
DB and G ( ) in addition to the twists and
turns one has to undergo in an unbelievably small
space, has instituted a new concept in architecture
whereby the entrances to the Johns are remarkably
similar to the next-door kitchen.
Der Loaf deserves a special rating for the
times when it allows minors in to listen to the
combo, not allowing them beyond a certain point
In order to keep them away from the bar. The
restrooms. naturally, are also beyond this point.
A ( p'.os ') to the Loaf.
IT MIGHT BE WELL to end today's bathroom
tour before Casey's, even though that bar has some
of the best graffiti. (Gentle Ben Is Drugged. Put
the X Back in Kmas, etc.) The last tour conducted
by 'his guide visited so many tavern facilities
that the culi-nnation found one eager, Inebriated
tourist trying o tencil five stars on the barmaid's
The t :our will attempt to Incorporate a
cor -.Han lu J ..e homes of Southeast Lincoln
in r ie; i 'in arrangements of bath towels
and the uutrivtut of portable scaics.
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