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Left Government vs. Right Government November 9, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous.
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>Left and right view of the US


Where Do You Fall

How you feel about the recent US House health care bill (HR 3962) might depend on where you see yourself on this chart?

It appears in a book being released today (Nov. 10th, 2009) in the US. For information on the book click here.

Consider the following beliefs about society from the chart:

Left:  One for all and all for one

Right:  Survival of the fittest

These contrasting beliefs make it impossible to argue with some R’s or   Libertarians (we have several in the family) about health care reform or almost any government role save defense. I remembered this when I read a review of two biographies of the famous “radical individualist”, Ayn Rand, this past weekend. Some of her books were in my childhood home and I did read The Virtue of Selfishness, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as an impressionable “tween”.  But I grew up. Now I am a passionate, citizen activist, progressive, government-loving liberal so I guess I wasn’t too tainted. The “radical individualists” in my family live and breathe their ideology.

I’m not saying that it is bad to be an ideologue, but it is a lonely place. For my relatives, it has just gotten lonelier, as most of the family email list has gotten fed up. The errant relatives have told us we can’t see the truth and “we ignore it at our peril”. But this quote from Ms. Rand tells me that this is all part of the plan:

The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.” source (more…)


Incentives for Health Reform November 3, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous.
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Just caught a TV program where Bill Gates, Jr. was answering questions from students. Being Bill, he was asked many questions, one of which was on health care. He spoke to the question of what behavior the system currently promotes. The example he used was the difference between preventing an asthma attack vs. having an expensive episode treated in the hospital. The latter is rewarded with money, i.e. the procedures are “covered” by insurance. The former is not always “incentivized”.

Another example was the original inclusion of discussing on a voluntary basis end-of-life care with your physician earlier this summer in one of the bills proposed by Congress. This conversation would have received insurance coverage, but due to misrepresentation and outright lies, the provision was dropped by Congress. Some types of conversations with one’s physician simply have no incentives in the current health care and insurance systems, so they don’t occur.

When you or I see a health care provider, there is usually coverage for an office visit, but tests and procedures are rewarded too.

What incentives should be built into our system? (more…)

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