EppsNet Archive: Healthcare

Alfie Evans, 2016-2018

Thank god this could never happen here in the US . . . at least until Bernie Sanders is inaugurated. RIP Alfie Evans We're heartbroken, say the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, as they announce that the toddler died overnight https://t.co/HuaJV9UFIE — BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 28, 2018 Read more →

Two Reasons For the Low Number of Women in Computer Jobs

I saw this chart on LinkedIn with the heading “Chart: Women in tech continue to face uphill battle” and the hashtag #STEMSexism. The first reason for the low number of women in computer jobs is that we rarely hear about women in computing except in the context of pay gaps, harassment, discrimination, “uphill battles” and #STEMSexism. It’s self-perpetuating. “Computing is a terrible profession for women in so many ways.” Followed by “Why aren’t there more women in computing?” You’ve answered your own question. If you think computing is a hostile profession (I do not, btw), why do you want more women to go into it?   The second reason for the low number of women in computer jobs — sometimes the simplest explanations are the best — is that women prefer to do other things. Men and women are different and make different choices about their lives, as a result… Read more →

Is Healthcare a Right or an Entitlement?

That’s the title of a lengthy article on LinkedIn in which the author makes the following argument: I had to spend more than $30,000 on cancer treatment. Therefore, healthcare is a right, not an entitlement. Because having a “right” to something implies that you have the right to force another person to work and pay for that thing. You can add a level of abstraction, i.e., “the government should pay for my healthcare” sounds more appealing than “another person should pay for my healthcare” but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things? The article also offers this: Prisoners get free healthcare and shouldn’t we get the same rights as prisoners? Of course, prisoners give up a lot of rights in exchange for free healthcare but if you think it’s a good tradeoff, commit a crime and go to prison. If we, as a country, did… Read more →

Where Are the Additional Women in Technology Supposed to Come From?

The jobs report for May contained discouraging news: continuing low labor-force participation, now below 63 percent overall. About 20 million men between the prime working ages of 20 and 65 had no paid work in 2015, and seven million men have stopped looking altogether. In the meantime, the jobs most in demand — like nursing and nurse assistants, home health care aides, occupational therapists or physical therapists — sit open. The health care sector had the largest gap between vacancies and hires of any sector in April, for example. — The New York Times We hear a lot about a shortage of women in technology jobs but we don’t hear about a shortage of men in traditionally female jobs. It’s really two sides of the same problem. Unless a lot of women suddenly appear out of nowhere, the only way to get more women into professions where they’re currently under-represented… Read more →

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine: Charlie Gard

If I’m understanding this correctly, socialized medicine really does mean that the government decides if you will live or die, and if your children will be allowed to live or die. I’m glad to see that the current president of the United States is not on board with the idea of a government being able to decide on the life or death of a baby, and to deny the parents of the baby the ability to counter that decree. If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017 This is a good reminder — since there are people who think that “single payer,” i.e., socialized medicine, i.e., the government runs the healthcare system, would be a good thing to have in the United States — that the government,… Read more →

Why Should Men (or Women) Have to Pay for Prenatal Coverage?

Illinois rep asks why men should have to pay for prenatal coverage — LA Times Evidently the LAT thinks this a hopelessly stupid question, but why? ObamaCare requires that all health plans cover pregnancy and childbirth, even though pregnancy and childbirth insurance is expensive and many people (including women) don’t need or want it. Why is a man or woman not afforded the option to buy a less expensive health plan without pregnancy and childbirth coverage? Why is that not an option? Even though the LAT frames the issue as a stupid question asked by a stupid white male, why should women in their 50s or 60s or 70s be paying for pregnancy and childbirth insurance? Or women of any age if they don’t want it? Why is this law restricting our options and forcing people to pay for expensive things that they don’t need or want? Read more →

HIS and HER

I work at an educational non-profit. Whenever I type the abbreviation HSI (High School Intervention), Microsoft Word automatically “corrects” it to HIS. When I worked at a healthcare organization and typed EHR (Electronic Healthcare Record), Word helpfully “corrected” it to HER. There’s a nice symmetry to that: HIS and HER. Read more →

The Single Greatest Source of Economic Error

But the underlying fallacy — the failure to notice that things must add up — is, in my experience, the single greatest source of economic error. Politicians routinely promise to make medical care or housing or college educations more widely available by controlling their prices; economists routinely scratch their heads and ask where the extra doctors or houses or classrooms are going to come from. You can no more speed up the line for medical care by lowering prices than you can speed up the deli line by handing out tickets. — Steve Landsburg, The Big Questions Read more →

British Healthcare Fact of the Day

In Britain, even though they’re already paying for the National Health Service, six million Brits — two-thirds of citizens earning more than $78,700 — now buy private health insurance. Meanwhile, more than 50,000 travel out of the U.K. annually, spending more than $250 million, to receive treatment more readily than they can at home. — WSJ.com Read more →

Another Smoking Gun on “Keep Your Coverage”

The conversation below took place more than four years ago — June 23, 2009 — at a congressional hearing on Obamacare. The topic was the keep-your-coverage promise, and the participants were Christina Romer, then chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Rep. Tom Price, who is also a doctor. The conversation plays out like one of those word puzzles where you start out with one word and change one letter at a time to get a completely different word. Watch Romer’s responses on keeping your coverage go from “Absolutely” to a stammering “I’d have to look at the specifics.” It’s also yet another reminder of what a pig in a poke Obamacare was. Even the people advocating for it had no idea what was in it. REP. PRICE: You also mentioned, as other folks have, that the president’s goal — and it’s reiterated over and over and over —… Read more →

Great Moments in Presidential Prevarication

“I am not a crook.” — Richard Nixon   “Read my lips: no new taxes.” — George H.W. Bush   “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” — Bill Clinton   “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” — Barack Obama Read more →

Obama Did Not Lie

When President Obama said that he could provide health care to millions without taking any health care away from people who have already got it, he had no chance of being believed. The statement was absurd on its face. This is a law of arithmetic: If you invite a bunch of friends to share your lunch, there’s going to be less lunch for you. Everybody understands that. . . . So when the President said he could expand the availability of medical care while allowing everyone else to keep the care they’ve got, it was like saying he’d take us for a tour of England in his rocket ship. It had absolutely no chance of being believed, and therefore, it seems to me, does not count as a lie. It counts instead as an expression of contempt for the many entirely reasonable people who tried to point out that it… Read more →

ObamaCare Winners and Losers

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four. . . . Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare. . . . “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t… Read more →

Do You Have a ‘Right’ to Health Care?

The general point is that a positive right to health care – no matter how splendid you hold that right to be and no matter how lovely is the provision of that right – requires that its recipients receive at others’ expense the services to which these recipients have a ‘right.’ Someone (or a multitude of someones) must supply those services whose recipients self-righteously insist be supplied as a matter of ‘right.’ This fact is undeniable and inescapable. Note that – although undeniable and inescapable – this fact does not by itself establish a case against treating health care as a right. But recognizing this reality does reveal certain potentially ugly aspects of all this ‘rights’ talk about health care – namely, to exercise your ‘right’ to health care requires that someone else be forced to serve you. Someone else must not merely refrain from interfering in your life and… Read more →

Drive Me to the Junkyard in my Cadillac

Well buddy when I die throw my body in the back And drive me to the junkyard in my Cadillac — Bruce Springsteen, “Cadillac Ranch” Say goodbye to that $500 deductible insurance plan and the $20 co-payment for a doctor’s office visit. They are likely to become luxuries of the past. . . . Then blame — or credit — the so-called Cadillac tax, which penalizes companies that offer high-end health care plans to their employees. — High-End Health Plans Scale Back to Avoid ‘Cadillac Tax’ – NYTimes.com You’re probably thinking: “So what? I don’t have a high-end health care plan. I’m a working stiff. Let the Wall Street fat cats pay their Cadillac tax.” Actually, because the plan cost that triggers the Cadillac tax is not indexed for inflation, Bradley Herring, a health economist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, estimates that as many as 75 percent… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Why Your Health Insurance Premium is Going Up

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. — Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – NYTimes.com That headline should not read “DESPITE new health law,” it should read “BECAUSE OF new health law.” But we were going to get things for free! We were promised better things at a lower cost! In my day, most of the citizens were farmers or merchants or tradesmen. They lived by their hands and their wits. They had horse sense and they knew when they were being sold a bill of goods. Of course, that was before television. Americans today are unfortunately rather stupid. Most of them don’t know anything about economics, science, history, government… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson Solves the Country’s Obesity Problem

A slight minority of Democrats (48%) say the government should be extremely or very involved compared to 13 percent of Republicans. Non-whites (47%) are more likely than whites (25%) to say the government should be very or extremely involved in finding solutions to the country’s obesity problem. — Obesity in the United States: Public Perceptions My fellow Americans — The country doesn’t have an obesity problem. If you’re obese, that’s your problem, not the country’s problem, and you bear the costs of it, financial and otherwise. Some people might argue that obesity causes an increase in public health costs. That is untrue. Think about it. If you die in your 40s because you’re too fat, you have saved us all a lot of money, to the extent that your healthcare costs are borne by the public.  If you’d maintained a normal weight and lived to be 80, you’d still have end-of-life… Read more →

If Everything Goes as Intended . . .

If [Affordable Care Act] implementation goes as intended and widespread utilization and automation are achieved, providers could save about $11 billion per year. — Reducing Administrative Costs and Improving the Health Care System — New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) You really can’t dispute something as vague as that but it does raise a number of questions: What does it mean for thousands of pages of legislation affecting the entire healthcare industry as well as every man, woman and child in America to go “as intended”? It’s a circular argument. If it goes as intended, we save $11 billion. If we don’t save $11 billion, it didn’t go as intended. Is “widespread utilization and automation” part of going “as intended” or is that a separate thing? Assuming that implementation does go as intended and widespread utilization and automation are achieved, the best we can say is that providers “could” save… Read more →

The Lives of Julia and Paul

David Henderson says — accurately, I think — that Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks can be paraphrased as “People who are dependent on government will vote for the candidate who credibly (to them, at least) promises to keep the programs that have created that dependence.” Do you think President Obama disagrees with that? He doesn’t. If you think he does, please see The Life of Julia on the president’s web site. It lays out a “typical” woman’s cradle-to-grave dependence on government assistance and describes how Obama will keep those programs going while Mitt Romney won’t. The most insulting thing about it is that as you read about Obama funding this and Obama funding that, it sounds like he’s doing it all out of his own goddamn pocket. What a prince! There’s no acknowledgement that Obama is taking from some and giving to others, and that all of Julia’s “free” stuff… Read more →

Euphemisms from the DNC

Progressive = Liberal Investing = Spending Choice = Abortion Bodies = Abortion Healthcare = Abortion Who they love = Gay marriage Read more →

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