Health Reform 2.0 Site Launches

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HealthReform20 site picFor some time, we have been working on taking the years of work and effort of understanding the issues that have plagued our healthcare system and why none of the legislation or proposals, so far, have been able to deliver on their promises.  When I was researching my last book, The History and Evolution of Healthcare in America, I came to the conclusion that many of the problems were rooted in most of our past decisions and fixes. What we now think of as a system is mechanically incapable of performing as one. Most of the things we believe about our healthcare system, and to a large part, the practice of medicine lives more in the land of myth and fantasy than reality.

I have written extensively about most of the issues and I have chronicled many of the deficiencies in the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare. In the past few months I have been working with an increasing number of individuals, on both sides of the aisle, to find a more pragmatic — less partisan solution.

As a result of many of these meetings, speeches and various other activities we began to develop a white paper, recently published here. Initially, I thought this effort would produce some higher level recommendations and my role would be very limited. This has not been the case.  The more we have discussed the core principals, the more buy-in we have received on the general concepts.

This broad level interest has resulted in a commitment to provide a more focused location for interaction to see if we can’t cut through some of the rhetoric and get traction on fixing the fundamental issues that have plagued our healthcare market.  I don’t know if we will make any difference whatsoever, or if we can even get enough people to read and comment to make a difference at all.  I do know that we can try.

We have created a location called Health Reform 2.0 linked above to the graphic.  If you want to tell someone about it and what we are trying to do, here is the URL spelled out: http://healthreform2dot0.org. (that’s “two” dot “zero”)

We have pushed all of the earlier material that appeared on this site to this new location and we encourage you not just to visit the site but to also read the materials, and most importantly, lend your voice to the solutions by posting comments.  We will continue to cross post the articles on this site as they get published.

Thank you for your support on Healthcare: Crisis in America and I hope you will subscribe to this new site as well.

 

Sincerely;
Tom Loker
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The ACA Exchange Connundrum

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I have a friend, lets say she is in her 50s, a single mom and has been out of work for quite a while. She created her own business through hard work but has been unable to purchase insurance for a while.  She has one adult child that lives at home with her. I believe that she deserves affordable insurance and that she has a right to coverage regardless of her disease state.  From time to time, she gets frustrated with my positions on ObamaCare thinking that I am advocating for its repeal and that even the changes I speak of will harm her ability to get affordable insurance. This is not the case, but I can understand how she feels and why she feels this way. It is my friend and many others like her that need the very sections of ObamaCare that I think should stay in place and this is why I do not support a blanket repeal.

She is a very good person, intelligent and industrious. She is a strong supporter of ObamaCare. When Covered California, opened yesterday I went to the site to see what the new deal will be for people like my friend. It took two attempts to get into the site, although it was not a long wait, perhaps 20 seconds. My friend will be able to get insurance, as the law promises, and because of her circumstances she will be able to get subsidies as well. In fact according to the site (which provides estimates only) she has options under the Bronze plan that after subsidies she will be paying just $1.00 per month.  Yes, you read that correctly $1.00 per month for the premium. But she will also have a deductible of about $2500. before she gets to coverage. Some items are exempted from the deductible so in some cases she doesn’t have to pay anything.

I have not spoken to her but I would bet that she will think this is a good deal at this point. Depending on how the actual deductible plays out in her circumstances, she may or may not find this is a good deal 6 months from now. While this is a good deal for her, is this a good deal for most? Or the better question is this a good deal for America inclusively?  And, it is here that there is a rub. While the government is simply printing money out of thin air to pay for the bills, this new money still comes out of our pocket by reducing the real value of the dollar. And as we age, we disproportionately cost rise more and more for the care we need. From birth to age 70 we cost about $100,000 for care, and from 70 to 75, we cost about $500,000 for care.  The same curve happens from birth to 50.  So at mid 50s we cost significantly more than someone who is in late 20s early 30s. As a result those later life spiraling costs get disproportionately allocated to the younger insured. And the actuarials are not static numbers. Due to many factors they continue to rise and they will rise exponentially under the current rules. This is not due to greed, corporate profits, or expensive technology, it is due to simple mathematics. As we live longer that curve of costs goes ever higher. And under the current law the costs, are neither constrained nor controllable. They simply get reallocated.

I am truly very happy that my friend is able to get coverage, but I am also very concerned that we are hiding the overall cost and stacking increasingly unsustainable burdens on these future generations. The math is clear, even if we just don’t want to see it.  We not only are placing the rising cost burden on the young whose own costs will get exponentially higher as we continue to extend their lives beyond our own,  but we will also present them with a huge moral burden as well for while this generation will not create the death panels as promulgated buy the extreme edge of the republican party, the will have to made a determination of at what age quality of life care is suspended for elderly under government programs and their parents and grandparents own savings or additional private policies pick up the costs. Otherwise the cost for them in their early lives will be increasingly unpayable and the nations economy will collapse under the cost..

Headlines Scream PC Sales Flop due to MS Windows 8: Really?

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Sometimes I get to thinking that there are a lot of relatively young arrogant tech writers, which spend a lot of time floating agenda based premises in order to try to show some company that they need to get these writers permission before they try to succeed with anything.

But then I am not a conspiracy theorist.  But I can see how people jump to that conclusion.  There are no less than 10 articles today with basically the same headline that Microsoft and Windows 8 is a flop because it did not stop the erosion of PC sales and PC and Laptop sales are slowing as mobile devices Continue reading

A short note on MS Surface Win 8RT: Real Life Test

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A week or so, at the request of some long time friends and readers, I wrote a review of Windows 8.  I wrote the review not only because they had asked my opinion but also because I was disgusted by the lack of real work in using and understanding the system by the many so-called reviewers I had read.

I briefly spoke of the MS Surface RT.  While I have been using the RT since it first came out, having given my Apple iPad to my 14 year old son, and I have not looked back, this week I had to go to Boston for the week for work.  It portended to be a fairly complicated endeavor, one that in the past I would have brought my fairly Continue reading

God’s ambassador of peaceful dignity: Khalil Shaheed (1949-2012)

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Khalil Shaheed (1949-2012)

To say I knew Khalil is a rare privilege! I first met this remarkable man when I served as president of the board of directors for Jerry Brown’s Oakland School for the Arts.  He was a man of peaceful strength and dignity.  Beloved of his students, admired by his musical peers, and respected by his friends, his life was a guidebook for dedication, passion and commitment.

For those of you who do not know him I would encourage you to click the link in his name and find out about the career of this dedicated musician, teacher and humanist.  He has played with the greats, like Jimmy Hendrix, the students and the jammers. And always he elevated each and every one to new levels of expression and humanity.

I would also encourage you to read the article in the San Jose Mercury News if you wish to learn more.

I did not know him as well or for as long as I would have liked, but I knew him well enough to know the world of music, faith and peaceful humanity has lost one of our major guiding lights!

Khalil Shaheed, will remain forever one of God’s ambassadors of peaceful dignity!

Are the poor lazy, or are the lazy poor?

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First correct the semantics then argue the points!

It seems that I am hearing the invective phrase, that so-and-so republican really said in his speech that, “the poor are lazy”. This phrase is often attributed to a democrat or liberal leaning media person or pundit.

Forgetting the political nature of this statement in the first place, and trying not to take a side in the partisan argument, my issue falls in the fact that the statement itself is carefully crafted to be inaccurately damning a class. The reference is that someone, or some group, who doesn’t like or care for the poor really believes that that if you are poor then you must be lazy. But, if you read the original statements, and not the convenient sound bite, what they are saying is, “if you are lazy, then you likely will be poor.” The former statement damns a class, the latter damns a behavior.

Words matter and when one reads the interpretation of another’s words it is a good idea to actually read the original statement and remember that in politics, each of the replies, regardless of party, has been manipulated, crafted and tested to provide a vilification effect on the opposing interest, regardless of the original intent or context.

Words and their order in a phrase can alter meaning. These slight placement differences are never accidental. We are in an age where most of politics is now based on some form of fraud. And it is we who now suffer its effects.  In the world or profligate soundbites we know longer think–just emote– and the effect on us and our society is building to a catastrophic conclusion.

If we are to combat this soundbite, words as weapons, mentality we must first and always correct the semantic error and then argue the real point. In this case, we need to make sure the point is not the the poor are lazy but that if you are lazy you will likely be poor.  Then, one can argue the real point and not get bound up by false emotional relativism.

Perhaps we should go back to thinking!

The Global Leaders 2nd annual healthcare forum: January 10, 2012

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Tom Loker will be facilitating the discussion at the Health Policy table at The Global Leaders 2nd Annual Healthcare Forum. January 10, 2011 at the historic Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco, California. To get more information about the conference go to http://tinyurl.com/6nppmu5 .  To Register Now go to http://tglhealthcaresymposium.eventbrite.com/.

The Global Leaders is proud to host its 2nd annual healthcare forum on Tuesday, January  10th in San Francisco at the historic Marines’ Memorial Club. The theme for the 2012 event is “Eliminating the Gap Between Innovation & Resources.” The conference will focus
on connecting CEOs and other senior executives with institutional investors and business development executives who can help bring the pieces together in a rapidly changing landscape.

  • Matching innovation with capital
  • How to mitigate risks; both financial and regulatory
  • The future of healthcare in a changing global market

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

• Biotech & Pharma
• Investors
• Business Development
• Research Analysts
• Key Opinion Leaders
• Journalists & Press
• Philanthropists
• Government Leaders

Be sure to check out Tom’s latest book, “Delusional Ravings of a Lunatic Mind.” available at Barnes & Nobel and Amazon.

Of you can find out more about Tom’s upcoming book, “The History and Evolution of Healthcare in America: The untold backstory of where we’ve been, where we are, and why healthcare needs more reform.

The First Oyster: Natures New Treat

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I have often wondered, who ate the first oyster and the circumstances surrounding this amazing feat. Whoever it was either was exceedingly desperate or exceedingly brave! Perhaps, they were both!  I now know who it was!  It was you!

Chesapeake Bay Oysters: Natures Treat

A glint of light  – Sparks

Drawn Interest – Bottom Rocks

Water Races – Swift with this tide

Shimmering light – Bottom dances to syncopated rhythm

More moons than rocks – Some yawn

Rocks don’t yawn!

A smile – hints of motion

More than sun and surf – partners in deception

You bend, you stare.

More than meets the eyes – Natures transformers

Your hand under the surface,

 you touch – a click

Moonscapes craggy surface – oval – edged stone

Above the water – a rock again

Ready to skip across the slew – or fell a bird for supper

No! – More lies within!

A slight line, a fringe

The thin edge weeps

What would a god hide inside such a strong box?

Twisting and puling – no bonds do break

Stone knapps stone – searching for the point within

At last a crack – the gods tears weep out

Your blade finds purchase

Wedge and Pry to find the prize

Such a vault – Gods Food?

Taste it? – Eat it?

There must be a first

Sweet tear drenched morstle

Heavens Elixir – Hungers Reliever

Natures New Treat

As always, your comments are appreciated!

Yosemite: Just your average government project

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20110727-055307.jpg
Just your average government project.

2800 Solar panels
Producing 12% of Yosemite’s electricity
Saving $50,000.00 per year
Cost $5.8 million in stimulus

And you wonder why the federal government is out of money and needs more debt! It will only take 116 years to recover the expense in savings. What is the life of a solar panel?

Could this kind of genius calculation explain the debt crisis?

What is the best, is our government, issue the EPA, are promoting this project on the local news!