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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fixing the Healthcare Crisis(For Thai)


Dink said...

The Onion is so devastatingly, perfectly bitchy sometimes

Debra said...

Two weeks ago I attended a theater performance where the modest proposal was to fight overpopulation by putting third world babies in the chowder, and incinerating little old ladies to make fuel.
And to think of it ! Our local paper didn't even GET THE POINT of it !
They were talking about.. mad scientists...

Debra said...

Off topic...
I just heard that Roman Polanski has lost his court battle. I have said elsewhere that WITH HINDSIGHT (isn't it AMAZING how neatly, how quickly the guiding lines appear with hindsight ? AMAZING...) that Roman screwed up unbelievably by cutting and running in 1978, because NOW the country looks NOTHING LIKE what it did in 1978 (one year before I ran away, in an access of sheer prophetic understanding...).
NOW the country (government) points its big fat finger all over the planet, spewing forth intolerance, repression, cynicism and the carceral solution to every human ill, breeding violence and discontent all over. And while pulling off the incredible feat of being smug and self satisfied about it too.
If Roman should have the ill fortune to be extradited, he will disappear PERMANENTLY into the BLACK HOLE of the American prison machine. (A serious risk, at any rate...)
I wouldn' t wish THAT FATE on my worst enemy, you guys.
When you consider that the, uh... VICTIM, (victim whose Mommy was probably pushing her into Roman's arms, while we're at it...) would like to forget this incident, you are tempted to conclude (like me..) that Roman's last opus, "The Ghost Writer" got some people rather irritated...
Go see the film.

Debra said...

Ho hum. Sarah Palin.
A lot more federating to gripe and laugh about Sarah Palin than to watch the Polanski film...
Mea culpa. I'm pointing my finger.
Sorry. But I'm really tired of the rants about Sarah Palin. They are decoys in my book. They are part of the.. CIRCUS MACHINE we have created to keep us busy ranting all the time. They keep our minds off the real problems. And at Sarah Palin's expense.
Maybe she is a dip shit. I don't know. I wouldn't know.
I don't pay any attention to her.
But I do know she has a retarded child.
So that means that she is... SPECIAL.
She has a SPECIAL BURDEN that YOU AND I DON'T HAVE (I think...)
So maybe we should just SHUT UP about her ?
It would make US look better if WE shut up about her, I think.
A little.. compassion is good for the soul.
I don't care. What SHE does or says is not my problem.
Sorry dink... we're back to not agreeing again...

Dr John said...

I do not get the idea that Dink was doing much but having a laugh from the Onion when it comes to Sarah Palin Debra but I agree with you about it all being part of the Circus Machine in general. I do not really get people's interest in her on either side of the fence but in particular why she is worth the venom so many spew. She mostly just seems boring to me. Who could get so work up over that. You make a very valid point about the need for constant rants on both sides. I think you are spot on.

Thai said...


"Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on physician-assisted vehicular manslaughter without patient consent. Michigan is one of just five states that permit assisted vehicular manslaughter with consent of a family member"

The Onion really is America's Monty Python

... But this one is still my all time favorite

Palin is a microcosm of all America's. Looking at her I do sometimes think we are doomed as a species. Or perhpas I should hedge my prediction and say either we are doomed or the turkeys are doomed

Thai said...

This is why universal health care solves all our problems. ;-)

JP said...


I asked the "how do you think you can short the healthcare bubble" and got two responses over at Bear Chat.

1) Short the Health Care EFT
2) Short large capitalization drug stocks and profitless biotech stocks (anything subsidized will muddle along).

I don't have any good ideas myself here.

You definitely will have to watch where the subsidies flow. It's just as with the housing bubble. You can't simply short the homebuilders, you have to figure out a way to short the right basket of financial instruments.

JP said...


"When you consider that the, uh... VICTIM, (victim whose Mommy was probably pushing her into Roman's arms, while we're at it...) would like to forget this incident, you are tempted to conclude (like me..) that Roman's last opus, "The Ghost Writer" got some people rather irritated..."

I really can't think of a situation in which you mix a middle aged man, a 13 year old girl, champagne, and quaaludes and get a non-negative outcome.

Thai said...


Thai said...

Now that is a rather interesting approach, simply leverage a short of the health care ETF.

Sometimes the simplest solutions...

But I think that before we figure out "what to short", we need to come up with a better model of "when" to short (alas this is the harder part)

What were the ripples that said housing would finally blow which others correctly sensed?

I know the physicists got it wrong trying to sense when Mt. St. Helens would finally blow.
Did the birds get it right?

Is there something akin to "bird sign" for the stock market??????


Thai said...

John, I'm not sure why... except maybe the macabre aspect of the humor... this post kind of reminds me of a patient I committed involuntarily to the psych unit a few months ago.

He presented with a complain of suicidal ideation. When I asked him "why?", he said "because I'm so nervous I'm might die one day." He was dead serious.

... You simply can't make some of the stuff we see up.

Thai said...

John, I just realized you may not actually know my views on health care.

While I think we spend way too much on health care (I wrote this post for Edwardo about a year and a half ago)

I do not think a central system will ever solve our problems as America is simply way too diverse as a nation and people and politicians tend to (sadly) think linearly. :-(

I do see the fundamental need to ration no matter what kind of system we have as realize we all ration on a personal and global level everyday no matter what system we choose... Rationing is clearly a fractal issue (like free will) with multiple levels.

Still I do not think a large % of social rationing should be done through a single collective entity such as the UK instituted with its National Institutes for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

FWIW, I do like the approach NICE takes, and in my ideal world, I would be choosing my own insurance plan using data from a number of NICE like organizations that I trusted to assess a package of benefits and compare them to my own individual circumstance, etc...

And so I do think a myriad of organizations like NICE are a great idea for America- we already have them to some degree anyway as I'm sure your aware- and these can develop lists of coverage/benefits options which insurance companies can collate and price into different policies for individual people to chose as best meets their expected future... But all of us would still be required to suffer the consequences of our choice if we did not chose a policy at all.

And individual high risk behavior would need to be screened for an priced into the cost of the policy.

And for the very poor who we obviously must help, we would have a basic no frills coverage which again can be tailored to an individual's best circumstances. Again, with the caveat of high risk behavior being priced in.

We would give this to people who chose to opt out as well.

But people must accept the consequences for certain decisions they make.

It is not reasonable to think we should even have to talk about letting grandma die a little earlier because someone refuses to wear a rope when they go rock climbing, etc...

... Of course I'm not wed to this idea and I'm sure I could be talked into a myriad of other solutions if you have others you like better.

FWIW- I have never seen a solution that does not inherently have the problem of "there is no free lunch"

Be well

Dink said...

"Sorry dink... we're back to not agreeing again..."

I could spew a lot of hate right now, but instead I just removed as an author. You may go to and create your own blog. Please do not add any more comments here; I promise not to go to your blog and comment there.

Debra said...

Geez, dink, I didn't realize that you actually hated me.
I don't hate you.
I am not provoking you here.
I really liked the Onion post, too, while we're at it.
What do I have to do to not get you riled ?
Not mention you ?
Not talk to you ?
Please tell me ?
I'm honestly interested, and I don't understand.
The comment about Sarah Palin was intended for Edwardo, not for you.
Please put me up as an author again.
I COULD create my own blog.
And I will if you won't let me play any more.
But this blog WAS IN PART INTENDED for ME to play too.
Fair enough ? no ?
I promise to never speak to you again here if this is what you want.
Just say so.
OK ?

Dink said...

"I promise to never speak to you again here if this is what you want.Just say so.OK ?"

Yes, this would be for the best.

And its not just the comments from this post. Its a combination of the whole "bring back the aristocracy, poor little Adolf, mad scientists, that poor child rapist might have to face the mean old US prison system" vibe.

Per your own statements, you don't believe in evil (subtext= therefore we don't have to risk fighting it). I do believe in evil and will not abide.

On a parting note, have a lovely summer vacation.

Dr John said...

Thai, I agree with much of what you have posted on heath care. Regardless of whatever system is picked it MUST come with a level of greater buy in by the consumer. The first therapy supervisor I ever had in training gave me the best advice on heath care I ever received still to this day. He said "no matter what amount, your patient should always pay for there therapy(medical care). If they don't it means nothing to them."

This is the problem with our system of care. People will think nothing of spending 1k on a flat screen but they bitch like crazy about a $20 co-pay. I am against anything that limits choice or involves govt. but I would actually support a single payer system that required fairly large "spend downs". This would mean before ANYTHING is covered the pt has to spend the first $2-5k on their care in a year.

This by itself would ration care. There is very little evidence that all the bogus preventative care approaches do much so I do not at all buy into the idea that such demands would discourage people from needed "screening". Screen in healthcare is disease mongering. What it would discourage is useless 2k scopes done on 40y/o healthy men.

Unless people are forced to take greater out of pocket responsibility at the time care is delivered the system will fail IMHO.

By the way. Last week I saw a pt committed for "cannabis abuse". I wept as a libertarian but laughed out loud as a cynic.

Dr John said...

Thai, you seen this one?

Dr John said...

Sorry this.

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