Healthcare Reform

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Lost in the debate of  “death panels” and “socialized medicine” is the fact that medical care is not a capitalistic system.  There is no demand curve.  The Demand-line for health care in a Supply and Demand graph would be straight up.  Why?  Because, what would you pay to save your life?  When would it be too much?  (Sorry, Doc, I’m not going to pay a cent over $9,400.)  Not only that, but the system isn’t set up for you to even know the prices.  How much is it to set a broken bone?  Treat a heart attack?  Would you take price into consideration even if you knew?

When suppliers can charge whatever they want, then the system isn’t going to work.

Before we begin though there must be some ground rules.  No sound bites.  No writing off ideas just because there is talk of “death panels” or “socialized medicine”.  Sound bites are for the stupid and are not welcome in a serious discussion.

But the first step most people have to do is realize there is a problem.  People don’t see the rising costs, but it is breaking us.  Local governments are in bankruptcy.  Small business can barely hang on now…but what happens when insurance rates go up another 50%?  They will.  Even the Federal gov’t can’t sustain itself and they are the biggest wallet in the history of man.  People also need to realize that they are now paying for those that can’t pay.  $95 for an aspirin in the hospital?  You are paying for the waiter who doesn’t have health insurance.

The second step is to identify what kind of solution you want.  If you want a solution.  We can end up with something in the middle but by way of example, here are two extremes:

1.  PAY AS YOU GO – You know the prices of everything but you have to pay out of your own pocket.  You get to decide if the pain is worth a $5000 trip to the doctor.  It would be the ultimate capitalist system.  Prices would come down.  Innovation would go up.  People wouldn’t waste time in ER’s for runny noses.  Some would die because they waited too long, but that would have been their choice.  Some would die because they can’t afford treatment, but that would be the cost of this solution.  The rich would be treated like royalty.  Ritz Hospitals would pop up.  Individual wealth overall would increase because people aren’t paying insurance.  If you are middle class or below, once you have a serious medical issue, you and your family WILL be impoverished.  But yeah capitalism!  We would instantly eliminate cost overruns because it would only cost what he have.

2. GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE – Everyone pays in taxes.   People don’t die just because they are poor.  Innovation is stifled.  Quality is less overall but available to everyone.  Cost overruns are more likely because bureaucrats are making decisions about spending.   No one is bankrupted because of a medical condition.

You have to ask yourself.  What do you want to do for those that can’t pay for themselves?  Are you willing to let them die?  Its fine if you do…just admit it to yourself before we get too far into the discussion.  I don’t have a problem with death per se.  It’s natural.  Your solution is choice #1.  Problem solved.  For everyone else it might be helpful to figure out where you want to go before we can figure out how to get there.

Talking Heads

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

In a complex economy, which enables everything from medical advances  to beenie babies…I find it incredible that we’ve figured out a way to monetize crazy.  Even Facebook is having a hard time figuring out how to make Google-type money, and by all accounts they deserve it base on web hits alone…but the limbaughs and coulters have figured out how to get rich being stupid.   Don’t even get me started on the witch who ran for Senate.

(I have to say, just so as not to be labled and discarded:  I’m not extremely liberal.  But I don’t believe liberal is a bad word.  Mostly I just hate hypocrites and stupidity.  And I really hate the celebration of both.  I’m not going to place myself on some line that defines no one.  On some things I’m conservative.  Government assistance/unemployment should only be temporary…say 6 months.  I would love to help honest people but any longer and it just doesn’t work.  But I also don’t think the free market is the savior to all things.  If a business can find a way to cheat the system, they will.)

Lying

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Some thing is wrong with us as a people.

I don’t think people understand the destruction inherent in a lie.  Even a simple lie can have profound consequences.  Take, for example, when a president lies about going to the doctor for a routine physical when it is something more serious.  Presidents and their staffs have been lying about small things like that for decades in the name of national security.  But now, even the simplest statement is questioned and ridiculed because no one believes the government.  A small “white lie” has undermined faith in our leaders.   And they wonder why there are those who don’t believe them when they something completely obvious about…say…not hiding aliens.  People don’t trust them.  So they can’t even deny the existence of aliens without eye-rolling.  You’ve really lost people when they don’t believe you when you say we are not hiding an alien spaceship.  Even strangers will believe me when I say I’m not hiding an alien space ship.

It evens bleeds onto others.  When Nick Saban said he was not interested in the Alabama job…he got very angry when they laughed at him.  Reporters kept asking the question over and over.  But he was a known liar and in our hearts we knew this.  And our lack of faith in his word was confirmed.  Now after he and the Bobby Petrino fiasco…coaches everywhere are held suspect.  The distrust consumes others.

Now, I’m not saying I’m against all lies.  Some are necessary.  There are some white lies that are understood.  But we must understand the damage that comes with that power.

A man that can be trusted is powerful thing.  He is both a leader and a friend…a brother.  Someone we wish we were.  He will be followed into the flames of hell and back again.  But that trust can be destroyed very easily and will never be fully earned back.

Those that lie hurt everyone.  I’ve moved around a lot.  My father was in the military.  In some places, you were considered a chump if you trusted someone.  You were an idiot if you gave someone money, or gave someone a ride.  God forbid if you let a stranger into your house for dinner or gave him/her a place to sleep.  It, probably, is not smart in todays age.  You will get robbed or worse.  But is that really the world we want?  Its an honor to help out someone.  It not only lifts up the needy; it lifts up the helper.  I wish I could do it more.  But I can’t.  Because there are greedy bastards out there. Because there are those who think they are being smarter because they take advantage of a hand of friendship.  They hurt us all.  It is in those hands of generosity that bring us together as a people, as a community and as a nation.

You are so smart.  You took my change based on lies and pulled one over on me.  You are so smart.  But I would have given you the shirt off my back with a little honesty.  You are so smart.

The NY Times reports that in 2002, $23 million in cash was turned into the Tokyo lost and found.  Why am I raising my kids here again?

Loyalty

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Someone recently complained that he wanted to be loyal but that it cost him too much personally so he couldn’t do it. That’s the thing about loyalty. It includes sacrifice. It has to hurt. If it doesn’t…your not being loyal. You are just doing what’s easy. There’s bravery in loyalty. There’s honor.

Hello world!

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

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