On the health reform

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite

Pardon my French. It doesn’t work. Take it from someone like me who lived for 40 years in a Communist Country that heavily promoted this slogan of the French Revolution, meaning “Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood”.

Capitalism is unfair, ferocious, brutal, grim, cruel but it seems that it is the only thing we have that works somehow.

Why not turn to the basic principles of capitalism when talking healthcare reform.

1. Demand and supply.

More supply cheaper product. It’s that simple. I am yet to hear a proposal to increase the number of doctors and nurses from all those debates over the healthcare reform . Invest in education, provide scholarships and grants, make it more affordable, reduce the dreaded 12 years of schooling and produce more doctors and nurses. Do what Google, Cisco and Microsoft did in technology – import talent. Break the establishment, that has no interest of more doctors. Get more doctors and nurses in this country and see the cost of the healthcare go down. As far as quality goes a doctor doesn’t need to be a fat corrupt cat to be a good doctor. Read “The Citadel” by Archibald Cronin for more on the subject.

2. Market economy

see  above

3. Promote competition

see above

4. Moderate regulations

No doubt regulation is needed. However keep in mind that simple things work, complex don’t. Come up with 10 pages of regulations not 2,000. You can’t cover every possible aspect of it with 2,000 or 20,000 pages. Set up the frame and let the state and local authorities and the courts finish up the picture.

Imagine that Mr. Obama needs to sell the health reform to investors to raise money. No way with 2,000 pages reform plan Mr. President. Ask the venture capitalists  and they will tell you to come back with 10 pages business plan.

5. Law enforcement

Just heard on TV that IRS is offering up to $10M rewards for information on tax cheats. How many nurses and administrators will report health system abuse if offered a reward? Many, many I think. Put some doctors in jail and keep the rest honest.

6. Reduce legal expense in the system

see my Blog posting “Cherche la attorney” below

Disclaimer. I am computer engineer, entrepreneur, CEO and investor so I might be the last person who needs to voice opinion about the health reform. However the health care like the computer is made for the people. I will gladly hear doctor’s opinion about computers so that we built better ones.

Cherche la attorney

“Cherche la femme” goes the famous French saying, which translates literally “find the woman” but it actually refers to the assumption that for every problem, there is a woman who caused it (sexist but this is the way they have it).
Can I paraphrase this into ” Cherche la attorney” when it comes to the health care debate going on in the Congress and nationwide media nowadays.
For starters an overnight stay at Ritz Carlton will cost you $500 on average for a double room. An overnight stay in a top European hospital will cost you $1,000. An overnight stay in an average U.S.Hospital will cost $10,000. No way the doctors take it. No way the ordinary (not doctors) hospital staff is 2000% more expensive than the hotel staff nor they make 10 times more than their European colleagues.
Look for bankers and attorneys when large amounts of money disappear and you will find it. The insurance companies emerge on first sight as the sinkhole where the money go. No doubt they are part of the scheme, however some huge premiums go to cover for huge (often frivolous) lawsuits and related expenses. At the end the money trickle into the attorneys pockets.

That’s why I say to Obama “Cherche la attorney”.

I for example paid over $60K in attorney’s fees to defend a frivolous lawsuit, which settled for $7,500 and the only reason I settled it was because it would cost me another $30K to prove innocent. No justice, just attorney fees.

Wouldn’t an overhaul of the legal system put many things in place in this country. Please comment here.

Stories that repeat – part 7

locomotiveThe story:

About a century ago, there was a very large country in dire economic state and torn by an unpopular war. The government was weak and had no respect by its own citizens. A charismatic leader emerged, who was cherished by the masses, arrived on a train and participated in labor activities (carrying heavy logs ) along with ordinary people. He became the head of the state. The year was 1917, the country was Russia and the leader was Lenin.

The repetition:

Now in the beginning of 2009 a very large country  is in dire economic state and in unpopular war. The government (President Bush and Congress) has the lowest approval rates in recent history. Barak Obama a charismatic leader and president-elect arrived on a train, was cherished by the masses and participated in labor activities (painting a wall) along with ordinary people.