Friday, July 31, 2009

of Gods and Goddesses and single p[r]ayer health care


Anthony Weiner is God. And so is Henry Waxman. And so is Nancy Pelosi.

Seeking to dampen liberal anger about deals cut with centrists, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said House leaders have agreed to allow a floor vote on a government-run, single-payer system.

"A lot of members on our committee want a vote on that," said Waxman said in an interview. "I believe their wishes will be accommodated."

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) offered a single-payer amendment in the Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, but withdrew it after Waxman said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised a floor vote.

So, on Medicare's 44th birthday, not even the Republicans could bring themselves to vote to do away with that evul guvmint-run health care. And, they're actually going to vote on single payer.

If you haven't been following the Weiner amendment saga, you can play catch up here.
funny pictures of dogs with captions

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

[for scarecrow]

the database gods still won't me comment here, so i'll try it here...

medicare admin -- depends how you want to calculate it.

from the latest medicare trustees report [these are somewhat interim numbers, i'm informed, but they're not usually too far off from what cms calculates later in the year], pg 11: in 2008 medicare took in $480.8 billion, paid $461.6 billion in benefits [doctors, hospitals, drugs, etc], and paid $6.5 billion in admin costs. that's 96% going to care, 1.4% going to admin costs, and 2.6% staying in the trust fund[s].

distortions: how much is crap like this costing us, all told? you could get a phd studying just that one question. and the 'practicing medicine without a license' aspect of it... grrrrrr. i worked for a few years as a middle-person: buying and selling, negotiating contracts between me and vendors, me and subcontractors, me and customers/clients [from sole proprietors on up to multinationals], in wide-open, not-very-regulated fields -- if it's an atmosphere you've never worked in, it's almost impossible to imagine all the permutations. i could go on at length, but will refrain from inflicting that on you. :)

fee-for-service: canada, japan, france, all have lots of ffs in their systems, and lots of solo docs or small group practices, probably more than we do. the difference is that they charge so much less for each service that you can have lots and lots of services for an overall reasonable cost. i don't know as much about other countries [i think germany has more managed care / large group practices like the us does, but don't know for sure].

more on payment methods from steffie woolhandler and david himmelstein.

i get what you're saying about the provider side, but if insurance companies are either jacking around the providers, or colluding with them, on prices and payments, then you no way can you estimate the impact of trying to take a chunk out of the providers' hides to pay for reforms. put a choke collar and short leash on the insurers first [and none of the proposed bills do this, so far, in this regard], and then maybe you can talk about 'incentivizing' physicians to do 'better' [although the vast majority of doctors go into medicine because they want to help people, so they're not really the ones who need 'incentives'].

some stuff about france's system [i would dearly love to have their system, but i'll happily settle for canada's].

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Walter Cronkite,

and now Gidget.

funny dog pictures with captions

15 years is a pretty good run for a chihuahua.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't laugh...

To report a  missed delivery, press 4 now.

Back when I worked 2 or 3 crappy jobs to try to piece together the income of one mediocre job, one of those jobs was delivering newspapers. And I had the route from hell, too. The three golden retrievers who roamed the neighborhood early, early in the morning, grabbing up other people's papers to take home with them, were the least of it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

[for reference]

Senate HELP bill -- the Affordable Health Choices Act, which is not in the least about either affordability or health or choices.

funny pictures of cats with captions


You can watch it online here.

Sicko is not a movie about the 50 million Americans walking around without health insurance. Sicko is a movie about the other 250 million of us who have insurance, but are just as well and truly screwed. It’s also about freedom, real freedom, not the empty kind that gets thrown around as a buzzword; the freedom to live your life with the certainty that forces beyond your control won’t take away everything you have and everything you are. We don’t have that kind of freedom here in America, and Moore’s film makes that point by simply talking to real people. They’re your neighbors, your friends, your parents, some of them are even 9/11 heroes. Moore uses his camera to let them tell their stories of insurance company mistreatment and in the process paints a complete picture of a corrupt and fatally flawed system which isn’t just killing people but taking away their dignity and their liberty.
Step 1: Put cat in bath