Please drain the swamp!

The great and glorious reality TV-star, serial con-artist, business failure, and bully President Donald J Trump ran a campaign promising a new way of government, bring in the best and brightest, drain the swamp…

Hold on, I know you’ll be shocked, he lied. He’s not draining. He’s not got sufficient insight to know that he’s just changing nasty swamp water for different nasty swamp water. Let’s take a look at the most recent public display of governmental hubris.

Tom Price. This millionaire, doctor-turned-politician, is a poster-child for all of the critters in the swamp that need to be removed. Simultaneously, he’s a poster child for much of what’s wrong with modern medicine (but that a different column). Price began treating the military as his personal charter fleet and also began using private charter aircraft to get himself and his wife around. Fortunately he resigned before he heard POTUS say “you’re fired.” Trump seemed less concerned over the actual abuses (and ongoing swamp-like behavior) than the appearance.

See here, here, here, here, and here.

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Tom Price- frequent flyer

POTUS campaigned with a promise to “drain the swamp.” We all knew it was more hot air from a pathological liar with tiny little fingers and the only drainage would be from his genitals. It appears that POTUS has instead been replacing the swamp water.

Tom Price is above commercial air travel. Price thinks he’s still a doctor and it’s OK to jet around and make unnecessary appearances at worthless meetings. No doubt he’s also making the connections he’ll need when it all melts down and he’s forced to find a “real” job.

Mississippi Sucks

I had to smile at a recent article by  over at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, MS. Jimmie’s headline:

‘Mississippi sucks’ rankings don’t tell the whole story about our state

Is so very true. In addition to the poignant stories Jimmie tells about the kind hearts of the “common folk” of Mississippi. Unfortunately, Jimmie’s Mississippi isn’t the state that really matters. The state is first in everything bad and last (or nearly so) in everything good. The reason is crucial. An the emblem is perhaps no more graphic than Dickie Scruggs. Mississippi is home to some truly wonderful people. It’s also the home of some of the most pervasive, invidious, cronyism, nepotism, and openly self-serving legislators, regulators and general despots on the planet.

Mississippi is a great place to visit, then get the hell out asap.

People will die!

Check out this video:

Hyperbolic but you get the picture.

Reprinted from another blog:

This is a common cry from politicians, the press, and consumers- especially in relation to the Affordable Care Act. The simple fact is that all of the “expected deaths” associated with losing “Obamacare” are going to happen anyway. Sorry but there’s nothing magic about having health insurance that endows an individual with immortality. Each and every one of those patients will die.

The better question, and the on no one wishes to address, is how much will an average person’s life be shortened by the loss of health insurance. It is absolutely true that health insurance is not the same as healthcare. Having an insurance you cannot afford to use is the same as not having insurance. Further, having an insurance that no provider will accept is essentially the same as having no insurance at all. In many ways an insurance policy no one accepts is worse than no insurance at all. If saddled with such a policy an individual has paid premiums but no may be subjected to uncontrolled out of pocket expenses to see a “non-participating” provider.

It’s time to move away from the rhetoric and start addressing the real issues of healthcare not the pseudo-issue of insurance. Insurance is merely doctor-speak for “pay me.”

This is a common cry from politicians, the press, and consumers- especially in relation to the Affordable Care Act. The simple fact is that all of the “expected deaths” associated with losing “Obamacare” are going to happen anyway. Sorry but there’s nothing magic about having health insurance that endows an individual with immortality. Each and every one of those patients will die.

The better question, and the on no one wishes to address, is how much will an average person’s life be shortened by the loss of health insurance. It is absolutely true that health insurance is not the same as healthcare. Having an insurance you cannot afford to use is the same as not having insurance. Further, having an insurance that no provider will accept is essentially the same as having no insurance at all. In many ways an insurance policy no one accepts is worse than no insurance at all. If saddled with such a policy an individual has paid premiums but no may be subjected to uncontrolled out of pocket expenses to see a “non-participating” provider.

It’s time to move away from the rhetoric and start addressing the real issues of healthcare not the pseudo-issue of insurance. Insurance is merely doctor-speak for “pay me.”

In most cases, vast majority of lifetime healthcare spending occurs in the last 6-12 months of life. As near as I can tell everyone has to live through those terrible months. Thus everyone will have large expenditures at some point.  

In many respects MIT economist Jonathan Gruber was exactly correct. Without including the healthy, at substantially inflated premiums, there is no way to keep premiums down for those who are sick. But isn’t that the nature of insurance? Isn’t insurance risk-based premiums? When organizations lobby for limited premium differentials, in spite of clear cut risk differentials, insurance companies oblige and raise all the rates.

Washington needs to wise up and realize legislators are fixing the wrong problem. Insurance isn’t the problem. Access is the problem. Cost is the problem.