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January 25th, 2020 - 11:46 am § in Misc.

M4ALL … Is it a slogan or is it a plan?

Let me start by saying I am a Warren supporter. BUT, I worry about the Medicare for All meme.

Supporters of M4ALL think it is full socialized medicine, covering all costs.  Magic? 
These folks do not account for the complex differences between the provider system in the US. What Sanders supporter, and perhaps my Warren friends, think is that M4A is an American version of the UK NHS model that is very hard to imagine here.
The supporters also think Canada has a full single payer plan.  Our loonie friends have a great universal health care system but their system depends on private insurance for many costs in or out pf a hospital. The same is true in Scandanavia, Germany, France, and even Israel.

My guess is that few Bernie bots would be happy with the free care available in New Brunswick or Vancouver. 

I hope the Warrenites have read her plan and understand why she avoids mimicking  Moses parting the sea!  Her plan describes a univeral coverage effort followed by  implementation of changes that could actually lead to a single-payer system. 

Let me start by discussing how M4All deals with costs.  As a slogan, M4A slogan, falsely gives the idea that the huge cost of our system comes from profits paid to insurance companies. That is simply false, non-profit and profit plans in the US cost more or less the same.
 
What is true in the US that we have a major issue with administrative overhead and with provider prices. Both of these, however, have another problem .. wages and unions.  What M4ALL proposes is that the bargaining power of a single-payer program  would force prices down.  That is only true if you feel our current system just wastes money on frill and that no jobs would have to be cut. 
 
Admin overhead is monstrous even for Medicare. The latter is confusing because overhead charges for Medicare are fixed by law. So other income streams must, BY LAW, subsidize M4A. If we had only one single-payer this might decrease overall costs but not to Medicare levels.
 
Then there is the issue of who gets these admin dollars? Huge parts of the admin labor force would have to be laid off to achieve M4All levels of cost reduction.  Some of that might be salaries for honchos and we can all jeer.  But, most admin costs do not go to the $5,000,000/yr boss.  Most costs go to her staff.  Politics makes cost cuts in admin difficult since lots of medical assistants, nurse managers, social workers, executive assistant and receptionists are unionized.
 
Finally, admin costs do not explain provider costs.  Providers include the folks who sell drugs, braces, heart valves as well as foks wo deliver patient care.
The Pharma part of the argument is relatively easy … cut drug company profits makes sense  but it does raise issues of how drug development is funded.  What effect of drug development would a single-payer have in what drugs are developed? It currently costs about a billion dollars to test a drug that meets FDA standards!  How ill lower profist affect the decision to fund trials? 
 
More difficult is the question of the prices Americans pay for procedures … from x-rays to brain surgery. All of this can cost 2 to three times what the same procedures costs elsewhere. Why? Where does the money go? Is it that our docs get paid more? Is it that our docs have huge med school debt? Is it the staffing … nurses, ward secretary, technicians of all types? How would M4All fix that?
 
Finally, American providers are hugely different. The Mass General is not the same as St. Joseph’s in Spokane! Nor is the Mayo Clinic the same thing as The Bastyr Naturopathic Clinic. Is M4All going to pay the same to every provider?

January 24th, 2020 - 11:02 am § in America, The Ave Scene

Boeing Tries Again

So the Lazy B is ready to roll out its latest.  Like the 737 Max, the 777 xxx has HUGE engines, so hjuge they needed a new kinds wing.,  Hope there are no R$9/hr software codes hiding in the plan![...]


January 24th, 2020 - 9:27 am § in Misc.

BYRAM .. part 2

So, about two days after my confrontation with Byram I received a bill!  I have no idea what it is for.  It is also dated THIS MONTH and I have received no supplies for several months. Then there are the little niceties.  The bill is not itemized. The return envelope is, of course, without postag[...]


January 23rd, 2020 - 1:06 pm § in The Ave Scene

DIABETICS SHOULD AVOID BYRAM!

I may be a bit unusual as a diabetes patient. I am 78 year old, MD PhD and a Professor. I am also a type II diabetic who is grateful for my DEXCOM glucose monitor, But, in my state, Washington, that pretty much means having to buy the DEXCOM G6 from a “medical Device Provider” […][...]


January 22nd, 2020 - 2:18 pm § in Misc.

As President Trump faces his own tribunal. this holy lamb is giving viewers nightmares.

The painting — also known as”The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” — represents Jesus, being sacrificed on an altar. And,as President Trump faces his own tribunal. this holy lamb is giving viewers nightmares. The creature’s remarkably human eyes are just a bit too lifelike[...]


January 22nd, 2020 - 11:23 am § in China

Ai Weiwei Flees Germany

I have been a fan of Ai Weiwei for many years. “Fan” is a funny word to use for someone who follows an artist and Ai Weiwei’s artform may be more about life than about graphic art. Ai’s latest performance seems to be becoming an exile in Britain! Devastated by his time in Ger[...]


January 20th, 2020 - 12:32 am § in Donald Trump, Hypocrisy

TRUMP JEALOUSY OF Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Trump complains that Barack Obama got a Nobel Prize. So why hasn’t the Donald won a Nobel Prize for Peace? The Donald Trump has said several times that he has been nominated, including a false claim that the Prime Minister of Japan nominated Trump  and Kim Jun un for their dialogue and Trump&[...]


January 19th, 2020 - 10:47 am § in America, China

Trump Gave China A Historic Win

Trump’s Now Fired Economist, Gary Cohn, says we lost! Years ago, when Gorbachev was the head of the USSR, I listened to an interview where he explained why the USSR had no choice but to abandon its empire in Eastern Europe. Gorbachev pointed out that the competition launched by his predecessor[...]


January 19th, 2020 - 1:38 am § in Hypocrisy

SUNDAY REVELATIONS: GOP Jesus

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January 18th, 2020 - 11:40 am § in America, Christianity, Donald Trump, Hypocrisy, Jews

TRUMP’S SHYSTERS

As a very proud Jew, I am upset when “my” people are described in racist terms. One of these terns is”shyster”…  a word for Jewish lawyers. The New York Observer .. once owned by Jared Kushner (a goniff in his own right) …complained about the National Review’s [...]


January 18th, 2020 - 12:21 am § in Politics

That Nunes letter

Last month, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) (photo below) insinuated Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) (photo left) may have conspired with Giuliani associate Lev Parnas to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. In short order, Rep. Lieu received a letter from Nunes’ lawyer threatening him with a defamation lawsui[...]


January 17th, 2020 - 1:28 am § in Misc.

IS FB HAL?

I have had weird things happen on Facebook, so weird that I supect that FB has become a version of HAL … an AI gone awry. This is not idle speculation. Zuckerberg has talked about how their AI reads messages looking for whatever someone thinks violates “community standards.” I also[...]


January 14th, 2020 - 12:32 pm § in Misc.

IRAN’S REVENGE

There is a rumor on a number of web sites that the Iranian government is planning to target the Donald using cyber resources to open up his ohso secret tax records.  According to these sources,  Iran feels that America is ready for a regime change. The idea is to use Iran’s highly sophistica[...]


January 14th, 2020 - 11:19 am § in Misc.

I Endorse Warren

  Teacher lawyer, economist, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren’s story is about American as any can be.   Native and immigrant ancestors. Self made Rise from poverty. Credentials in economics, law and government?   Since the founders. I doubt there is any Presidents in American history wit[...]


January 14th, 2020 - 1:41 am § in Misc.

The Trump Sect of Christianity

What is Trumpist Christianity? Is this a new religion where our President has divine power and can even pardon Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher for his war crimes in the name of Jesus? Trump Prays.  Recently at Mar a Lago, Trump showed his sense of humor about Blacks and Jews.  [...]


January 14th, 2020 - 12:49 am § in Misc.

Happy Birthday President Trump

[...]


January 13th, 2020 - 1:17 am § in America

IS Iran a Democracy? Is the US?

Is the US losing it own claim to be a democracy? Our current ruling party will renominate Donald Trump this year without ever holding a popular election. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khameini, is the head of a council, more or less like the Pope and his cardinals. Why disparage one and not [...]


January 12th, 2020 - 2:29 pm § in Misc.

Iran: Government Takes Responsibility!

In an unprecedented move, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered an investigation into the hitherto untouchable Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, whose base outside Tehran launched the missile that downed flight 752. A senior IRGC commander, Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, confessed publicly t[...]


January 12th, 2020 - 3:39 am § in America, Christianity, Donald Trump, Hypocrisy, Religion

SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Trump’s Halo

Trump’s ego knows no bounds.  He has complained about not getting a Nobel Prize and, now, is angry that his assassination of the Iranian General, Solemeini, is being described as an act of war rather than elimination of a terrorist. Perhaps the worst example was Trump’s self pity after [...]


January 11th, 2020 - 4:28 pm § in Hypocrisy, Jews

Who Controls Hollywood?

Joel Stein, LA Times:  2008 I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these n[...]


January 3rd, 2020 - 9:00 pm § in Misc.

Fraud prevention alert: Dating documents

When dating checks, contracts, and legal documents this year, write the entire year date — e.g., don’t write 1/3/20, write 1/3/2020 — otherwise the year can be changed. For example, a date written as “1/3/20” is easily changed to “1/3/2019” simply by adding two more numbers.[...]


December 3rd, 2019 - 4:38 pm § in Donald Trump, Politics

Book Review: “A Warning” by Anonymous

There is no doubt the anonymous author of this Trump expose is a Republican and ideologically conservative. He (or she) does not want the 2020 election to result in Democratic policies being put in place. Nonetheless, Anonymous concludes that “Donald Trump should be fired” because he lac[...]


May 21st, 2019 - 10:30 am § in Hypocrisy, Schools & Colleges, The Ave Scene, UW

Has the University of Washington Abandoned Tenure?

  Does the UW still have tenure?   When I became tenured, the code and state law described tenure in terms of a life long commitment to a position and a salary.  The commitment was defined in terms of an academic year of 9 or 12 months. For either period, the UW and the state were committed [&h[...]


January 13th, 2019 - 1:40 am § in Donald Trump, Economics, Hypocrisy, The Ave Scene

WHY WE NEED A WEALTH TAX:The Hypocrisy of the Republicans

Roys Says He Should Not Be Taxed on What he Earns as Long as It Makes Him Wealthier “…you think I don’t pay property tax every year??? of course I do. we all do. If you sell your home or investment should you not be able to roll that value gain into the next home […][...]


January 21st, 2020 - 9:05 am § in America, Racism

Maya Angelou Offers Help to Meghan and Harry

An amazing poem. [...]


January 20th, 2020 - 12:06 pm § in Misc.

President Trump’s Christian supporters have rushed rushed to defend him, going so far as to invike Jesus form a podia in the White House.  In the eyes of his flock, the tow headed President wears a halo and the American Eagle is replaced with heir crucified god. The President, now impeached, said[...]


January 20th, 2020 - 9:22 am § in The Ave Scene

Lets BAN Cock Fights in the Democratic Party

STUPID is a six letter word.  Is this sort of behavior white male?  When women or blacks or hispanics enter politics do they/we need to wear jockey shorts .. as in “get a set of balls.” I am perpetually pissed of by the ohso liberal claims of moral superiority in politics. This is espe[...]