1. In California, where the SEIU is attempting to forcefully merge with the United Healthcare Workers, I can’t seem to find the focus on, you know, health care. “What it does is allows them to have the strongest voice possible in Sacramento,” said Mary Kay Henry, SEIU executive vice president.
2. Should the new administration be looking at Massachusetts as model to follow for health reform, or as a model of what must, at all costs (and they are extremely high), be avoided?3. How can we reconcile the fact that on Thursday the President-elect spoke about the importance of spending more on healthcare while on Sunday explaining that he intends to recommend spending less?4. In 2005, the association health plan bill (aka small business health plan) was killed, in large part, because advocates for specific disease conditions believed that state mandates and state lobbying efforts would be hampered if more people were covered under ERISA (i.e. national mandates—which are much harder to pass)— how will the administration propose to address this issue of state mandates in sweeping health care reform? 5. If health and health care are ultimately the most personal part of our lives, is it possible that more nationalization of health care will result in a greater role of lobbying bureaucrats and elected officials to seek and obtain care?6. How much would Medicare taxes be, and Part B and D premiums be, if the system actually needed to be self supporting, and the government had to keep adequate financial reserves like private insurers?
This is a modified post from one I wrote in Nov of 2007. I report this as a part owner of a small business whose costs are increasing every year while revenues are decreasing.
Therefore, I present to you all the new, improved EHR: Effective Hourly Rate.
With the absurdity of bailouts and the apparent transition from a constitutional republic to an elected monarchy, let’s see if the powers that be require us to ‘move from a 20th century economy to a 21st century economy’— by making the change from the worthless concept of ‘wages and tips’ on the W-2 to the concept of ‘total compensation’.
Should I suspect that both parties will be unable, and unwilling, to make such a tiny change in reporting that would benefit the people of the United States with real, you know, information.
The EHR should be given to all employees of all companies. What it will consist of is simple: all of the total compensation divided into what that rate would be on an hourly basis.
Let’s give an example:
Just today, our next President spoke out against the largest investment swindle in US history. The alleged behavior of Bernard Madoff may have cost investors up to $50 billion.
“In the last few days, the alleged scandal at Madoff Investment Securities has reminded us yet again of how badly reform is needed when it comes to the rules and regulations that govern our markets. … And if the financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that this failure of oversight and accountability doesn’t just harm the individuals involved, it has the potential to devastate our entire economy. That’s a failure we cannot afford.” — Barack Obama Dec. 18, 2008
What did Madoff do? He lured investors with big returns, and used the “profits” as a means to encourage additional investment by investors, while luring new ones.
Perhaps this should be applied to groceries, utility bills, clothing, and, of course, housing…
Oh, wait, that is what the mortgage lending industry was doing for several years.
From today’s Wall Street Journal: "Nonprofit Hospitals, Once For the Poor, Strike it Rich."
It has long, and often, been argued here on THCB and so many other places, that if we simply ‘take the profit motive out’ of health care, the system will get better, people will be healthier, costs will go down, and cats and dogs will no longer fight.
Others have called for a “Hill-Burton Act” for health care technology, in reference to the federal law which gave favorable treatment to hospitals.
Here is my favorite quote, from the end of the article:
"Nonprofit is a misnomer — it’s nontaxable," says Sacred Heart Hospital’s Mr. Novak. (No relation to me, BTW) "When you’re making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, how can you call yourself a not-for-profit?"
Cancer patients covered only by Medicare face problems getting chemotherapy …
Massachusetts Health Plan underfunded
Given Matthew’s quite visceral response to some complaints that broad-based, government-encouraged (mandated, I suspect), electronic medical records I am interested in both his and THCB readers’ thoughts on the Bangor Daily News editorial staff’s approach to health care reform.
They suggest that transparency is the key – "lawmakers should require health providers and insurance companies to report all of their costs to the public."
“Liberty – hostage to medicare”
“The Ontario Superior Court on Thursday rejected a Sikh man’s claim to a
religious-freedom exemption from the province’s law on mandatory
motorcycle helmets. Supporters of safety as the holiest of political
principles upheld the ruling as a triumph of reason; Sikh organizations
denounced it as an act of naked discrimination against their faith. Few
stepped forward to defend the idea that an adult in a free society
should be able to wear what he wants and take the risks he wants where
only his own body is concerned…”
Read the whole thing… and comment here…
As we consider health care reform—shouldn’t we protect freedom first?
Or: do we prefer this? Or, this?
Perhaps we’ll just end up with this.
A quick question: With calls for a substantial increase in government involvement in health care by so many—and, among the major justifications is the claim of high administrative overhead in the private sector relative to government—what do the proposals plan to do with the hard working people currently working in the health insurance industry?The insurance workforce is estimated at close to 2.5 million. It would be not unreasonable to say that 25% of that is health care related. And that does not even include the people working on health insurance related issues on the provider/ hospital end—a number that absolutely exceeds 600,000.So, put another way: what do the reformers plan to do (a) for, (b) with, the potential displacement of over 1 million workers?Just asking, but could it be that the claimed efficiencies will not materialize and they will stay employed? Could it be that the costs of ‘retraining’ and financial support for these families will exceed the ‘savings’ claimed? Which group really will be displaced—will the size of the in-office, and in-hospital administrative workforce even be counted when looking at ‘streamlined’ administrative costs? Will many of the displaced workers simply end up working as government employees in a similar capacity?I would hope that supporters of the Obama plan, the Clinton plan, and the single-payer plan would weigh in here with real specifics—and not ad hominem attacks…Eric Novack
From USA Today:
Three legislators want to make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers in Mississippi.
House Bill No. 282, which was introduced this month, says:
Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.
The proposal would allow health inspectors to yank the permit from any restaurant that "repeatedly" feeds extremely overweight customers.
While it has little support today…
And note that it has both Republican and Democrats as sponsors…