Tag: Eric Novack

POLICY: Freedom of Choice, Good for Education – Good for Healthcare By Eric Novack

of Sheila Kuehl’s ‘Single Payer’ health plan for California like to
lead with the argument that ‘Everybody in, nobody out’ is a good thing.
Of course, many of the same interest groups (ie. powerful lobbying
organizations in California) are vehemently opposed to school choice,
while demanding greater and greater regulations for what it means to be
a ‘qualified’ teacher.

Fascinating, then, the new study from USC’s Rossier School of Education.

The charter schools (read that to mean, more choices for students and
parents) do more with less funds, generally have fewer layers of
administration, and have fewer ‘licensed teachers’.

But it is all about outcomes these days—for both education and health care.
So how do charter schools stack up? From page 6 of the study:
California charter schools typically have smaller per-student
allocations than non-charter schools in their districts, yet charter schools have roughly equivalent levels of productivity: They get “more bang for their buck.”

Choice and freedom, and relieving the burden of excessive regulation and union
and other lobbyist control are good for education. The taxpayer
benefits. The student benefits. Society benefits.

why would the nurses union, whose members are on the ‘front lines’ of
healthcare, want to strip all choice and freedom out of healthcare?

H/T to the WSJ editorial page

POLICY: Is Healthcare a right? By Eric Novack

Food for thought for
the weekend… and beyond. Should the immoral in the rest of the business
world be trumped by the needs of some people?

Would it be ethical for an employer to require overtime and not pay
employees for the work? What if it is just really a busy time and the
public needed access to the store? What would happen if the employer
instituted this policy? Would it be easier or harder for the employer
to find people willing to work there?
The answer, of course, is that employers cannot force employees to
work without pay. And employees would look for other places to find
work and make a living – quickly!
Yet, when we talk about health care, what we know to be morally
repugnant – forcing people to work without pay for fear of sanction –
does not seem to apply.
Some in government – elected officials and bureaucrats – and some
activists believe that health care is a “right.” They see a need for
specialty coverage in emergency rooms that are currently lacking. They
believe that physicians have a moral obligation to be available to
provide care that is needed. 
Continue ..

POLICY: Massachusetts Update By Eric Novack

I must admit when I am wrong. My repeated claims that the Massachusetts Health Plan would
be on life support—with a likely ‘pulling of the plug’—by early 2008 have been
proven wrong.It has happened already.


HOSPITALS: VA perfection revisited By Eric Novack

THCB contributor Dr. Eric Novack has been following the unfolding scandal at Walter Reed Medical Center very closely. Eric feels the problems discovered by the Washington Post are indicative of deeper institutional problems at the VA. And deeper problems with government run healthcare systems in general. And as usual, he’s got something provocative to say about it.

When the topic of quality health care has come up at THCB, the 2006 study from Harvard touting the VA as providing the ‘best quality’ care in America gets regularly mentioned.

Reality, however, has finally reached the MSM and the public. This is not a Republican problem.  This is not a Democrat problem.  It is a non-partisan problem.  It is a bipartisan problem.  The problems have existed through Republican and Democratic Congresses and Administrations. And legislators and bureaucrats have been made aware of some of these problems for years and years. 

And yet, nothing significant has changed. The missing interpretation: the absolute fundamental inability for government-run organizations to escape convoluted, bureaucratic, non-meritorious based hierarchies. Anyone still for VA care for all of the USA now?

CODA: From Matthew Holt While I believe that the VA still has its issues, apparently those in the private sector appeared to be convinced by the turnaround in its clincal quality indicators. Or at least Managed Care Magazine has been fooled into thinking that, if of course things are as bad as the WaPo’s collection of anecdotes tells us.

POLICY: Underfunded? By Eric Novack

Governors from around the country are in Washington D.C.this week for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association. One of
the main bones of contention at this years’ meetings has been the expansion of
federal funding for state SCHIP programs. The governors want more, and lots of it. THCB’s own Eric Novack has been following this story like a hawk. And, as usual, he’s got a question.

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program was designed
by Congress to help states have money to provide Medicaid services to, well,
kids. The intent of Congress was clear,
given the “C” in the program’s name. Now
governors are screaming that SCHIP funding proposals by the federal government
are woefully inadequate.

Except for one thing—many states use SCHIP dollars to pay
for Medicaid for adults! Using 2005 data: In Minnesota, 87% of total SCHIP
enrollees in 2005 were adults, and 66% in Wisconsin. In Arizona, 56% of those enrolled
in SCHIP were adults.

Perhaps the states ought to use the funds for what they were
intended before complaining that they are being underfunded. If a child spent his ‘snack bar’ allowance on going to the movies, and then complained he was short, we would be likely to
require guarantees that the money would be spent properly in the future before
handing over the cash.