Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Health-care Trifecta

Health Insurers, Hospitals/Clinics, and Pharmaceuticals form the Health-Care Trifecta - the triple winners in the profit-driven health-care market. I have nothing against winners - I much prefer winners - but not at the expense of Society - then everyone loses.

As i mentioned in an earlier blog entry - unregulated profit incentives have made the Insurers focus their energies on reducing their claims-to-premiums-ratio (aka the medical-loss-ratio) to maximize profits for their share-holders. Outcome: a very negative impact on society - in fact a direct conflict of interest to serving society whose money they are taking. Obama's public-option (much like the Post-Office, Military, Firemen, Police etc.) will place an upper-limit on Administrative costs of competing Insurers and thereby curb conflicting profit incentives - this is a good strategy. A simpler option (I prefer) is just limiting the claims-to-premiums-ratio at 0.95 by law i.e. all Insurers by law would have to pay out 95% of premiums earned for health-care claims. This still gives the Insurers 5% for Administrative costs and Profits which over time would be fine-tuned for greater efficiency towards making more profits.

Unregulated profit incentives have made Hospitals/Clinics prescribe as many procedures and hospital stays as they can squeeze into a patient's life and charge ludicrous prices for sometimes the most trivial of procedures and items. Doctors are also incentivized through clever monetory schemes by the Pharmaceuticals into prescribing their expensive drugs. Outcome: patients are treated with as many short-term expensive procedures as possible with no overall patient wellness in mind. This is the biggest driver of health-care costs. Obama's strategy to identify and pay for patient wellness based on care-results data is the correct strategy to incentivize doctors to provide the right care - it will reduce costs considerably and bring true doctor-patient relationship back into focus.

Profit incentives in this sector have clearly propelled costs of drugs through the stratosphere. Additionally, the Drug companies focus on high-profile drugs with long-term dependencies and have little focus on actual cures. Outcome: Patients generally find themselves prescribed on several drugs for very long periods sometimes their entire life-time. Again, Obama's strategy to identify and pay for patient wellness based on factual statistical results is the correct strategy in reducing these costs and putting patients first.

In the end any system we humans create must serve society or face a backlash eventually. The Heatlh-Care Trifecta is a big cost to our society and must be addressed sooner or later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama's Health-Care Reform

The key has always been about serving society by using the tools of capitalism and free market and not the other way around i.e. serving the ideology of capitalism and the free-market. That is why we have a regulated free market (kinda oxymoronic) - these regulations came about over time as societies faced crisis'es and imbalances caused by the free-market.

The goal of reform should be to provide complete and efficient health-care to most in society and use the free-market as a tool to achieve this. We have had a pure for-profit health insurance system for the last 40 years and we see the results are pure evil i.e. it has negative impacts on society (see my blog entry regarding this topic: Insider's Case for Health Care Reform). The Health Plans merely cherry pick the healthiest and find ways to screw everyone when they get old or sick. Regardless of whether its employer based or not - as long as its pure for-profit with no regulations - they will continue to cherry pick for maximum profits. You will only find this out when you start getting sick - they will gladly take your money now while you are healthy and promise you the world.

Obama is trying to find the right balance of primarily serving society while trying to leverage free-market profit incentives. He is trying to put in the right regulations to serve society (for-profit companies will have no incentives otherwise). Additionally, a Govt. Plan will create an honest upper-limit of profit-making that other private health-plans will not be able to cross - thereby keeping pure for-profit incentives in check within the health-insurance industry (which has been proven for the last 40 years to result in societal evil). As part of this balancing act the Health care delivery systems (i.e. clinics, hospitals, doctors etc.) will continue to operate in the realm of free-market as they always did.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Insider's case for Health Care Reform

Very convincing arguments for Health Care Reform and why unchecked profit making incentives in the Health Insurance industry creates evil (from a Society's perspective) were made by the Insurance Insider Wendell Potter.

Wendell Potter formerly worked at CIGNA leading up their PR web of deceit and was instrumental in defeating the Clinton Health Care Reform of the 90s.

Some key points he had:

Wall Street Investors punish Insurers based on their measure of Medical Loss Ratio - essentially a measure of how many cents to the dollar$ of your premiums go towards paying claims. The lower the value the more profitable the company. In the early 90s it was about 95 cents to the dollar but now it has reached approx 80 cents to the dollar. CEO / Executive pay is directly based on this measure.

They like to scare the public against Govt. based plans saying: You will have a Govt. bureaucrat standing between you and your doctor! - well having Wall-Street and Corporate bureaucrats stand in your way purely for profit with an incentive to kill your claim (not to mention you) is gotta be much worse don't you think?

Finally, Govt run Medicare has higher satifaction ratings than private plans and operate with a 3% administrative overhead while private Insurance plans have a 20% overhead mostly going towards excessive executive salaries, claim denial processes and negative PR strategies - so essentially 20% of your premiums go towards screwing you!

Watch the Bill Moyers Interview..(where i got my info)
Another interview:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Who is taking over whose culture?

This video was put out by a Bible thumper on Youtube and picked by a friend of mine (a catholic I believe).  

There was even more hatred against catholics when they started migrating from deadly poverty in mainland Europe & Ireland.  Even though many still call themselves catholics by descent - most of their culture is "American" and hold no allegiance to Italy/Rome/Pope - this also applies to the majority of the non-catholic foreigners that have also migrated to the U.S.  It may take a generation to adopt but "American" culture will prevail since its not really a unique culture but a free market of ideas under which the best ideas will be adopted by the majority of the people eventually.  As witnessed by the drop in adoption of religious/superstitious ideas in favor of scientific/rational views in Europe and the U.S (the reason why the Pope is desperately recruiting in Africa and other poor nations trying to take hostage poor uneducated minds before they can think for themselves).  I will agree that Islamic ideology is more lethal at present as some resort to violence against anyone trying to leave it or criticize it (as some Christians did in the past) because they have the same fear that their culture is being wiped out by "American" values of free thinking (which of course is really true).

Borders need controlling only in the sense of criminals and terrorists not worker migrations. Mass worker migrations could easily be stopped if laws were enforced on hiring companies who actively recruit such migrant workers - of course there is no political will for this (Democrat or Republican) because this labor force is necessary.  A well regulated worker-permit is the best solution - it will help and treat fairly (and not to mention eliminate the vultures who take advantage of) these desperate people who want nothing more that to take care of their families.

Friday, August 3, 2007


A song inspired by Kanye West's "Jesus Walks".

Too do do do dooo...Damn...God !!!
Tell me - don't u care about Darfur God?
One hundred are raped, tortured and killed every day,
in every possible way !!!
Tell me - How long will u cause suffering and pain?
What is there to gain? How long God?
forever? forever? forever-ever?

Too do do do dooo...Damn...God !!!
Tell me - is all that blood spilled in your name,
quench ur thirst or quench ur fame?
How much more blood will it take?
Tell me - Is all that pain, in your name taken in vain,
more than u can bear? don't u fuckin care?
How much more pain will it take?

Too do do do dooo...Damn...God !!!
Tell me - why Kanye hates whites?
but loves the one who created them !!
and loves the one who destined them !!
and loves the one who would not save !!
the poor fathers and mothers who 
prayed and prayed !!!
to stop the enslave !!!