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robertogreco : insurance   39

🅃🄸🄼 on Twitter: "1/ I grew up in the service industry. Great products and great service are the same."
1/ I grew up in the service industry. Great products and great service are the same.

2/ Know your audience: there’s a difference between a Michelin Star restaurant and greasy spoon. You would rightfully be annoyed if someone came and folded your napkin between slices of pizza. You build a restaurant for your customers, not for yourself.

3/ You learn how to listen to customers. If you ask “How is everything?” no one ever says things were terrible—and if they do they are probably taking out something else in their lives on you. *How* they said “everything is fine” is what matters.

4/ If a restaurant has perfect food, perfect service, perfect decor—it becomes perfectly forgettable. People expect to pay for an experience not just with their wallets but with their own effort. The lines, the waits make everything worth it. Effortless=forgettable.

5/ Don’t talk shop in front of house. Customers don’t care that a server missed their shift or that the cook is in a bad mood today. Customers literally don’t want to know how the sausage is made—they just want to eat it.

6/ Finally, churn matters. There’s only so many people who will try you once, let alone come back. If no one comes back, you’re done.

[See also: "The Internet Needs More Friction: Tech companies’ obsession with moving data across the internet as fast as possible has made it less safe."
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3k9q33/the-internet-needs-more-friction ]

[See also:
https://twitter.com/hypervisible/status/1073649771905204224

Stifling your cough so "smart" devices don't report that you are sickly and thus unemployable is now part of the nightmarish (near) future. https://cacm.acm.org/news/233329-smarter-voice-assistants-recognize-your-favorite-brandsand-health/fulltext

[image with starred part highlighted: "Yet the new sound detection capabilities also offer the potential for controversy, as the speakers now collect low-level health data. Snoring and yawning a lot, for instance, could be signs of obstructive sleep apnea, so leaked data might impact somebody's health insurance, or even car insurance rates. **A lot of coughing and sneezing might impact employability, too, if somebody seems too sickly too often.**"]

"[Smart speaker] users express few privacy concerns, but their rationalizations indicate an incomplete understanding of privacy risks, a complicated trust relationship with speaker companies, and a reliance on the socio-technical context in which smart speakers reside."

Here's the link to that study on smart speakers if you want it: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3274371

TFW you realize that Black Mirror is actually too optimistic.

[image with starred part highlighted: "Mitchell says **Audio Analytic is pursuing a number of avenues for its technology, such as designing drink cans so that when opened, they make different, distinctive kinds of sounds that precisely identify the drink "and so rive some kind of interaction."** However, the drink does not have to be identified; simply knowing you're drinking from a can could be valuable, says Mitchell, and might spark a verbal request from the smart speaker to recycle the can when you're finished."]

Tech bros' obsession w/ eliminating "friction" is really just trying to eliminate the messiness of dealing with humans w/ the messiness of interacting with machines, which they can better monetize. Opening a can will initiate an interaction? FFS. 🤦🏿‍♂️"]
friction  technology  surveillance  timfrietas  effort  memory  experience  2018  educationmetaphors  education  seamlessness  effortlessness  forgettability  blackmirror  chrisgilliard  insurance  service  restaurants  smartdevices  internetofthings  internetofshit  health  healthinsurance  employment  illness  audioanalytic  privacy 
december 2018 by robertogreco
crap futures — constraint no. 2: legacies of the past
"We are locked into paths determined by decisions or choices made in previous eras, when the world was a much different place. For various reasons these legacies stubbornly persist through time, constraining future possibilities and blinkering us from alternative ways of thinking.

Here, sketched as usual on a napkin over coffee and toast, are some thoughts on legacies of the past that exercise power over our future.

Infrastructure. Take energy, for example. Tesla’s invention of alternating current became the dominant system - rather than Edison’s direct current - essentially because it allowed electricity generated at power stations to be capable of travelling large distances. Tesla’s system has, for the most part, been adopted across the world - an enormous network of stations, cables, pylons, and transformers, with electrical power arriving in our homes through sockets in the wall. This pervasive system dictates or influences almost everything energy related, and in highly complex ways: from the development of new energy generation methods (and figuring out how to feed that energy into the grid) to the design of any electrical product.

Another example is transportation. As Crap Futures has discovered, it is hard to get around this volcanic and vertiginous island without a car. There are no trains, it is too hilly to ride a bike, buses are slow and infrequent, and meanwhile over the past few decades the regional government - one particular government with a 37-year reign - poured millions into building a complex network of roads and tunnels. People used to get to other parts of the island by boat; now (and for the foreseeable future) it is by private car. This is an example of recent infrastructure that a) perpetuated and was dictated by dominant ideas of how transportation infrastructure should be done, and b) will further constrain possibilities for the island into the future.

Laws and insurance. There is a problematic time-slip between the existence of laws and insurance and the real-life behaviour of humans. Laws and insurance are for the most part reactive: insurance policies, for example, are based on amassed data that informs the broker of risk levels, and this system therefore needs history to work. So when you try to insert a new product or concept - a self-driving car or delivery drone - into everyday life, the insurance system pushes back. Insurance companies don’t want to gamble on an unknown future; they want to look at the future through historical data, which is by nature a conservative lens.

Laws, insurance, and historical infrastructure often work together to curb radical change. This partly explains why many of the now technologically realisable dreams of the past, from jetpacks to flying cars, are unlikely to become an everyday reality in that imagined form - more likely they will adapt and conform to existing systems and rules.
"No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time." — Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)

It is true that laws sometimes outstay their welcome or impede progress. The slow pace at which laws change becomes more and more apparent as the pace of innovation increases. But there are positive as well as negative constraints, and laws often constrain us for good (which of course is their supposed function). At best, they check our impulses, give us a cooling off period, prevent us from tearing everything down at a whim.

So the law can be a force for good. But then of course - good, bad, or ineffectual - there are always those who find ways to circumvent the law. Jonathan Swift wrote: ‘Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.’ With their shock-and-awe tactics, companies like Uber manage to overcome traditional legal barriers by moving faster than local laws or simply being big enough to shrug off serious legal challenges.

Technology is evolutionary. (See Heilbroner’s quote in the future nudge post.) Comparisons between natural and technological evolution have been a regular phenomenon since as far back Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859). Darwin’s revolutionary work inspired philosophers, writers, and anthropologists - Marx and Engels, Samuel Butler, Augustus Pitt-Rivers - to suggest that technological artefacts evolve in a manner similar to natural organisms. This essentially means that technological development is unidirectional, and that radical new possibilities do not happen.

Viewing technology in evolutionary terms would appear to constrain us to only the possibilities that we could reasonably ‘evolve’ into. But this does not have to be the case: natural evolution works by random mutation and natural selection with no ‘plan’ as such, whereas technological innovation and product design are firmly teleologic (literally ‘end-directed’). In other words, the evolutionary model of technological change ignores basic human agency. While natural organisms can’t dip into the historical gene pool to bring back previous mutations, however useful they might be, innovators and designers are not locked into an irreversible evolutionary march and can look backward whenever they choose. So why don’t they? It is a case - circling back to constraint no. 1 - of thinking under the influence of progress dogma."
2015  crapfutures  constraints  darwin  evolution  innovation  future  progress  progressdogma  transportation  infrastructure  law  legal  time  pace  engels  friedrichengels  technology  californianideology  emmagoldman  anarchism  insurance  policy  electricity  nikolatesla  thomasedison  systems  systemsthinking  jonathanswift  samuelbutler  karlmarx  longnow  bighere  augustuspitt-rivers 
january 2016 by robertogreco
"Bonded Life: Technologies of Racial Finance from Slavery to Philanthrocapitalism" | Zenia Kish and Justin Leroy - Academia.edu
"Amid public critiques of Wall Street’s amorality and protests against sharpening inequality since the financial crisis of 2008, the emergent discourse of philanthrocapitalism – philanthropic capitalism – has sought to recuperate amoral centre for finance capitalism. Philanthrocapitalism seeks to marry financecapital with a moral commitment to do good. These strategies require new financial instruments to make poverty reduction and other forms of social welfare profitable business ventures. Social impact bonds (SIBs) – which offer private investors competitive returns on public sector investments – and related instruments have galvanized the financialization of both public services and the life possibilities of poor communities in the USA and the Global South. This article maps new intrusions of credit and debt into previously unmarketable spheres of life, such as prison recidivism outcomes, and argues that contemporary social finance practices such as SIBs are inextricable from histories of race – that financialization has been and continues to be a deeply racialized process. Intervening in debatesabout the social life of financial practices and the coercive creation of new debtor publics, we chart technologies meant to transform subjects considered valueless intoappropriate, even laudable, objects of financial investment. Because their proponents frame SIBs as philanthropic endeavours, the violence required to financialize human life becomes obfuscated. We aim to historicize the violence of financialization by drawing out links between financial capitalism as it developed during the height of the Atlantic slave trade and the more subtle violence of philanthropic financial capitalism. Though the notion that slaves could be a good investment – both in the profitable and moral sense of the word – seems far removed from our contemporary sensibilities, the shadow of slavery haunts SIBs; despite their many differences, both required black bodies to be made available for investment. Both also represent an expansion to the limits of financialization."
charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  slavery  capitalism  philanthrocapitalism  zeniakish  justinleroy  slaveinsurance  insurance  finance  banking  inequality  race  racism  financialization  neoliberalism  via:javierarbona  socialfinance  poverty  socialimpactbonds  investment  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  power  control 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Robert Reich: Why Work Is Turning Into a Nightmare | Alternet
"How would you like to live in an economy where robots do everything that can be predictably programmed in advance, and almost all profits go to the robots' owners?

Meanwhile, human beings do the work that's unpredictable - odd jobs, on-call projects, fetching and fixing, driving and delivering, tiny tasks needed at any and all hours - and patch together barely enough to live on.

Brace yourself. This is the economy we're now barreling toward.

They're Uber drivers, Instacart shoppers, and Airbnb hosts. They include Taskrabbit jobbers, Upcounsel's on-demand attorneys, and Healthtap's on-line doctors.

They're Mechanical Turks.

The euphemism is the "share" economy. A more accurate term would be the "share-the-scraps" economy.

New software technologies are allowing almost any job to be divided up into discrete tasks that can be parceled out to workers when they're needed, with pay determined by demand for that particular job at that particular moment.

Customers and workers are matched online. Workers are rated on quality and reliability.

The big money goes to the corporations that own the software. The scraps go to the on-demand workers.

Consider Amazon's "Mechanical Turk." Amazon calls it "a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence."

In reality, it's an Internet job board offering minimal pay for mindlessly-boring bite-sized chores. Computers can't do them because they require some minimal judgment, so human beings do them for peanuts -- say, writing a product description, for $3; or choosing the best of several photographs, for 30 cents; or deciphering handwriting, for 50 cents.

Amazon takes a healthy cut of every transaction.

This is the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.

It was a way to shift risks and uncertainties onto the workers - work that might entail more hours than planned for, or was more stressful than expected.

And a way to circumvent labor laws that set minimal standards for wages, hours, and working conditions. And that enabled employees to join together to bargain for better pay and benefits.

The new on-demand work shifts risks entirely onto workers, and eliminates minimal standards completely.

In effect, on-demand work is a reversion to the piece work of the nineteenth century - when workers had no power and no legal rights, took all the risks, and worked all hours for almost nothing.

Uber drivers use their own cars, take out their own insurance, work as many hours as they want or can - and pay Uber a fat percent. Worker safety? Social Security? Uber says it's not the employer so it's not responsible.

Amazon's Mechanical Turks work for pennies, literally. Minimum wage? Time-and-a half for overtime? Amazon says it just connects buyers and sellers so it's not responsible.

Defenders of on-demand work emphasize its flexibility. Workers can put in whatever time they want, work around their schedules, fill in the downtime in their calendars.

"People are monetizing their own downtime," says Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University's business school.

But this argument confuses "downtime" with the time people normally reserve for the rest of their lives.

There are still only twenty-four hours in a day. When "downtime" is turned into work time, and that work time is unpredictable and low-paid, what happens to personal relationships? Family? One's own health?

Other proponents of on-demand work point to studies, such as one recently commissioned by Uber, showing Uber's on-demand workers to be "happy."

But how many of them would be happier with a good-paying job offering regular hours?

An opportunity to make some extra bucks can seem mighty attractive in an economy whose median wage has been stagnant for thirty years and almost all of whose economic gains have been going to the top.

That doesn't make the opportunity a great deal. It only shows how bad a deal most working people have otherwise been getting.

Defenders also point out that as on-demand work continues to grow, on-demand workers are joining together in guild-like groups to buy insurance and other benefits.

But, notably, they aren't using their bargaining power to get a larger share of the income they pull in, or steadier hours. That would be a union - something that Uber, Amazon, and other on-demand companies don't want.

Some economists laud on-demand work as a means of utilizing people moreefficiently.

But the biggest economic challenge we face isn't using people more efficiently. It's allocating work and the gains from work more decently.

On this measure, the share-the-scraps economy is hurtling us backwards."
robertreich  2015  economics  sharingeconomy  society  work  labor  ondemand  uber  efficiency  unions  insurance  benefits  downtime  responsibility  wages  employment  freelance  regulation 
february 2015 by robertogreco
This One Chart Shows Everything That’s Wrong With Liberal Politics | Notes on a Theory...
"Let’s leave aside the fact that federal dollars do materialize out of thin air. Transferring money from the rich to the poor is precisely what conservatives don’t want to do. Normally this complaint is about “redistribution” but the reality is that conservatives (especially elite conservatives) are opposed to any distributions that don’t transfer money upward. They support policies that make the poor more insecure, more miserable, and they oppose those that prevent the rich from having more wealth and power. They will pay the costs when it comes to these goals. As I’ve said before, ‘big government’ is any action that enforces the law against the rich or provides protections to the poor while ‘small government’ is any and all protections and benefits for the rich or punishments for the poor. This is the conservative project, not spending less federal dollars as a matter of principle.

Every once and a while there’s a renewed effort among liberals to insist that the GOP is the party of death because they oppose universal health care (or more to the point, somewhat more universal). People die without health care, people don’t get health care without health insurance, so those who oppose expansion of health insurance are ensuring people die. But if we admit that people die without health care than what do we say about not fighting to change that? The Democratic Party has still not engaged in a serious effort to fight for Medicaid expansion. The original bill was designed to coerce states into accepting it, and when the Supreme Court took that mechanism away, Democrats mostly threw up their hands. (I mean officials and candidates. Even then there are exceptions. There are people out there fighting for this, and they are to be commended and supported). The party put most of its resources and attention on the Senate, never really made a case for why people should vote for them, never tried to move passive supporters of Medicare expansion or various other policies into active supporters, and the GOP ended up racking up large victories in state houses around the country in addition to taking the Senate.

The thing is that Medicaid expansion is popular. It’s popular in red states. It gives Democrats a wedge to use in less hospitable places.  But to translate that position into political support takes work. And charts won’t do that. Facts won’t do that. ‘Cost’ arguments won’t do it. Only contestation will."
obamacare  democrats  republicans  politics  policy  healthcare  insurance  2014  inequality  poverty  medicaide  affordablecareact  georgia  redistribution  biggovernment  government  elections 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Design for the New Normal (Revisited) | superflux
"I was invited to talk at the NEXT Conference in Berlin by Peter Bihr, as he felt that a talk I gave last year would fit well with the conference's theme Here Be Dragons: "We fret about data, who is collecting it and why. We fret about privacy and security. We worry and fear disruption, which changes business models and renders old business to ashes. Some would have us walk away, steer clear of these risks. They’re dangerous, we don’t know what the consequences will be. Maintain the status quo, don’t change too much.Here and now is safe. Over there, in the future? Well, there be dragons."

This sounded like a good platform to expand upon the 'Design for the New Normal' presentation I gave earlier, especially as its an area Jon and I are thinking about in the context of various ongoing projects. So here it is, once again an accelerated slideshow (70 slides!) where I followed up on some of the stories to see what happened to them in the last six months, and developed some of the ideas further. This continues to be a work-in-progress that Superflux is developing as part of our current projects. "

[Video: http://nextberlin.eu/2013/07/design-for-the-new-normal-3/ ]
anabjain  2013  drones  weapons  manufacturing  3dprinting  bioengineering  droneproject  biotechnology  biotech  biobricks  songhojun  ossi  zemaraielali  empowerment  technology  technologicalempowerment  raspberrypi  hackerspaces  makerspaces  diy  biology  diybio  shapeways  replicators  tobiasrevell  globalvillageconstructionset  marcinjakubowski  crowdsourcing  cryptocurrencies  openideo  ideo  wickedproblems  darpa  innovation  india  afghanistan  jugaad  jugaadwarfare  warfare  war  syria  bitcoins  blackmarket  freicoin  litecoin  dna  dnadreams  bregtjevanderhaak  bgi  genomics  23andme  annewojcicki  genetics  scottsmith  superdensity  googleglass  chaos  complexity  uncertainty  thenewnormal  superflux  opensource  patents  subversion  design  jonardern  ux  marketing  venkateshrao  normalityfield  strangenow  syntheticbiology  healthcare  healthinsurance  insurance  law  economics  ip  arnoldmann  dynamicgenetics  insects  liamyoung  eleanorsaitta  shingtatchung  algorithms  superstition  bahavior  numerology  dunne&raby  augerloizeau  bionicrequiem  ericschmidt  privacy  adamharvey  makeu 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Coding Horror: Buying Happiness
"Despite popular assertions to the contrary, science tells us that money can buy happiness. To a point…

Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000…

But even if you're fortunate enough to have a good income, how you spend your money has a strong influence on how happy – or unhappy – it will make you. And, again, there's science behind this…

What is, then, the science of happiness? I'll summarize the basic eight points as best I can, but read the actual paper (pdf) to obtain the citations and details on the underlying studies underpinning each of these principles.

1. Buy experiences instead of things…

2. Help others instead of yourself…

3. Buy many small pleasures instead of few big ones…

4. Buy less insurance…

5. Pay now & consume later…

6. Think about what you're not thinking about…

7. Beware of comparison shopping…

8. Follow the herd instead of your head…"

[Interesting references in some comments]
impulsepurchases  impulse-control  impulsivity  dangilbert  poverty  mazlow'shierarchyofneeds  income  helping  comparisons  comparisonshopping  shopping  delayedgratification  consumerism  cv  consumption  2012  money  wealth  research  science  via:aaronbell  experiences  well-being  jeffatwood  codinghorror  insurance  psychology  stumblingonhappiness  happiness 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Future Perfect » The Consequences of Guilty
"In countries where car insurance is the norm someone calls the police and the drivers wait for the authorities to turn up and ink an accident report. But on the jammed streets of Afghanistan the solution is surprisingly elegant: the person who is most obviously to blame accepts guilt and agrees to fix the car – as long as both drivers go directly to his friend’s workshop who’ll carry out the repairs."
guilt  traffic  janchipchase  afghanistan  us  insurance  cars 
september 2010 by robertogreco
The Ruleless Road « Snarkmarket
"In the long list of books I’ll never write, there’s one that’s about a the­ory of risk. The the­ory is that there’s a thresh­old of risk aver­sion beyond which our attempts to extin­guish risk actu­ally exac­er­bate it. It would be filled with the case stud­ies you might expect — things like the overuse of antibi­otics and how a finan­cial insur­ance prod­uct short-circuited the econ­omy. But the open­ing anec­dote would be about roads. And I’d basi­cally copy and paste it from from this Decem­ber ’04 Wired story: …"
comments  mattthompson  snarkmarket  risk  behavior  roads  driving  antibiotics  insurance  finance  riskaversion  helicopterparents  handmoderman  complexity  simplicity  helicopterparenting 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - California Death Spiral - NYTimes.com
"So California’s woes show that conservative prescriptions for health reform just won’t work.
politics  economics  paulkrugman  california  healthcare  insurance  consumers  health  reform  costs 
february 2010 by robertogreco
NGM Blog Central - The Cost of Care - National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com
"The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn’t reliably improve a patient’s health. Says Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies health insurance worldwide, “More care does not necessarily mean better care.”"
politics  visualization  health  infographics  healthcare  insurance  graphic  infographic  us  cost  costs  reform  spending  via:kottke 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Economic Scene - If Health Reform Fails, America’s Innovation Gap Will Grow - NYTimes.com [via: http://covblogs.com/eatingbark/archives/2009/12/more_health_care_links.html]
"Greg Woock is the chief executive of Pinger, a fast-growing Silicon Valley company that makes iPhone applications. So Mr. Woock spends a fair amount of time interviewing job applicants. In almost every interview, he told me recently, the applicant asks about Pinger’s health insurance plan. Now think about that for a minute. In the cradle of American innovation, workers are making career choices based on co-payments, pre-existing conditions and other minutiae of health insurance. They are not necessarily making decisions based on what would be best for their careers and, in turn, for the American economy -- that is, "where their skills match and where they can grow the most," as another Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Cyriac Roeding, says. Health insurance, Mr. Roeding adds, "is distorting the decision-making.""
healthcare  insurance  economics  us  policy  politics  competitiveness  2009  reform  entrepreneurship  cv 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Accidents Of History Created U.S. Health System : NPR
"If you want to understand how to fix today's health insurance system, you'd be smart to look first at how it was born. How did Americans end up with a system in which employers pay for our health insurance? After all, they don't pay for our groceries or our gas.
economics  history  health  medicine  healthcare  us  healthinsurance  insurance  ww2  greatdepression 
october 2009 by robertogreco
A Free-Market Case for the Public Option - The Atlantic Business Channel [via: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/3696]
"Something like televisions exist in a free market because consumers, if they don't like any of the new TVs on the market, can simply keep their old one. If they really don't like the market, they can even forgo owning one altogether; it will make you unpopular on game day, but it won't risk your life. Insurance is different. Anyone with a sense of basic self-preservation has no choice but to buy health insurance every single month. You cannot opt out, there are few options to choose from, and it's difficult to know how to price your future risk of injury. So health insurance companies have distorted incentives to innovate or provide a more cost-effective product."
healthcare  insurance  conservatism  freemarket  capitalism  markets  policy  2009  medicine 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Revealed: millions spent by lobbyists fighting Obama health reforms | World news | guardian.co.uk
"Six lobbyists for every member of Congress as healthcare industry heaps cash on politicians to water down legislation"
health  politics  policy  us  healthcare  medicine  insurance  influence  2009  barackobama  congress  lobbying 
october 2009 by robertogreco
A Shot in the Arm: ow today’s health care reform can create tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. - Jonathan Gruber
"Job lock refers to the fact that workers are often unwilling to leave a current job that provides health insurance for another position that might not, even if they would be more productive in that other position...individuals feel "locked" into less productive jobs...serious problem for our society, because one of the bedrocks of our long-term economic success is our fluid labor markets compared to other nations, like France & Germany, that make it expensive & administratively burdensome to hire new employees or to fire unproductive ones. Job lock diminishes our international advantage in this area, since other nations with universal health coverage do not have this problem. In addition, individuals will be less happy & less productive in positions that they would prefer to leave but for the loss of insurance. Employers will lose, because the workers they retain through job lock are those who value insurance the most, not necessarily those who are best long-term fit for the company."
healthcare  health  politics  economics  insurance  us  entrepreneurship  business  capitalism 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Why the health care debate is so important regardless of one's view of the "public option" - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
"attempt to attract GOP support was pretext...used to compromise continuously & water down bill...desire for GOP support wasn't really reason...Given White House's central role in negotiating secret deal w/ pharmaceutical industry, betrayal of Obama's clear promise to conduct negotiations out in open, Rahm's protection of Blue Dogs & accompanying attacks on progressives & complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists "centrists," it seems rather clear that bill has been watered down & "public option" jettisoned, because that was the plan all along...giving insurance & pharmaceutical industries most everything they want ensures that the GOP doesn't become the repository for the largesse of those industries...This is how things always work...industry interests which own & control our government always get their way...If progressives adhere to pledge...thwart industry demands & dictate of Beltway leaders...empower new faction in DC beholden to ordinary citizens"
politics  glenngreenwald  policy  health  healthinsurance  healthcare  democrats  insurance  gop  power  congress  2009  progressives  change 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The SHOCKING TRUTH about health care reform!!! | DeathPanels.org
"Why the US health care system is among the worst in the developed world. What Congress is trying to do about health care. Top ten myths about our health care." ... "In no other industrialized nation do citizens have to navigate this morass. That the richest nation on earth subjects its citizens to this rigmarole for something as basic and universal as health care astonishes me. This site is my tiny attempt to make these astonishing facts clearer and easier for anyone to obtain."
health  healthcare  death  insurance  medicine  reform  politics  policy  us 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Healthcare Blue Book
"The Healthcare Blue Book is a free consumer guide to help you determine fair prices in your area for healthcare services. If you pay for your own healthcare, have a high deductible or need a service your insurance does not fully cover, we can help. The Blue Book will help you find fair prices for surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, medical tests and much more."
healthcare  medicine  shopping  consumer  comparison  money  health  budget  insurance  costs  pricing  medical  dental 
august 2009 by robertogreco
The Trouble With Healthcare Reform, In Numbers - Rick Newman (usnews.com)
This stood out: "Industries with the lowest [health] coverage rates: retail, service, **health care**"
healthcare  reform  insurance  us  policy  economics 
july 2009 by robertogreco
How Safeway Is Cutting Health-Care Costs - WSJ.com
"Safeway's plan capitalizes on 2 key insights gained in 2005. The 1st is that 70% of all health-care costs are the direct result of behavior. The 2nd, which is well understood by providers of health care, is that 74% of all costs are confined to 4 chronic conditions (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity). Furthermore, 80% of cardiovascular disease & diabetes is preventable, 60% of cancers are preventable & more than 90% of obesity is preventable...As with most employers, Safeway's employees pay a portion of their own health care through premiums, co-pays & deductibles. The big difference between Safeway & most employers is that we have pronounced differences in premiums that reflect each covered member's behaviors. Our plan utilizes a provision in the 1996 Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act that permits employers to differentiate premiums based on behaviors. Currently we are focused on tobacco usage, healthy weight, blood pressure & cholesterol levels."
via:kottke  healthcare  insurance  costs  us  policy  incentives  obesity  politics  economics  health  money  safeway 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Healthcare CEOs Shoot Themselves in the Foot | Mother Jones
"Yesterday the House Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations decided to investigate the practice of recission...when you pay your premiums for years to a healthcare insurer, then get sick, and then have your insurance cancelled... "...Late in the hearing, [Bart] Stupak, the committee chairman, put the executives on the spot...asked each of them whether he would at least commit his company to immediately stop rescissions except where they could show "intentional fraud." The answer from all three executives: "No." Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) said that a public insurance plan should be a part of any overhaul because it would force private companies to treat consumers fairly or risk losing them. "This is precisely why we need a public option," Dingell said. Even the Republicans on the committee couldn't defend the insurance company position. A few more hearings like this and getting a public option into healthcare reform is suddenly going to look like a real possibility."
health  industry  healthcare  insurance  politics  reform  policy  medicine  change 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Annals of Medicine: The Cost Conundrum: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
"Somewhere in the United States at this moment, a patient with chest pain, or a tumor, or a cough is seeing a doctor. And the damning question we have to ask is whether the doctor is set up to meet the needs of the patient, first and foremost, or to maximize revenue.
us  economics  health  healthcare  healthinsurance  insurance  incentives  medicine  business  policy  reform  government  finance  accountability  costs  politics  society  atulgawande 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Idle Words - Andrew Ross Sorkin Explains
"When a small company does what AIG did, it is called 'fraud' and people are sent to jail. However, since AIG had signed contracts with most of the biggest financial institutions in the world, it instead received a very large sum of money ($170 billion so far). This also makes sense. When a teenage kid breaks your storefront window, you chase him down and give him a pounding. But when the local mafia breaks your window, you sweep up the glass and make sure to increase the heft of your next monthly envelope."
politics  economics  aig  bailout  credit  insurance  money  us  2009  law  compensation  maciejceglowski  maciejcegłowski 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Seed: 2009 Will Be a Year of Panic: From the fevered mind of Bruce Sterling and his alter-ego, Bruno Argento, a consideration of things ahead.
"So 2009 will be a squalid year, a planetary hostage situation surpassing any mere financial crisis, where the invisible hand of the market, a good servant turned a homicidal master, periodically wanders through a miserable set of hand-tied, blindfolded, feebly struggling institutions, corporations, bureaucracies, professions, and academies, and briskly blows one's brains out for no sane reason."
brucesterling  brunoargento  future  2009  currency  disaster  predictions  business  environment  world  seed  panic  climate  copyright  futurism  economics  politics  money  collapse  crisis  insurance  science  intellectualproperty  culture 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Trapped in the New 'You're on Your Own' World - The New York Review of Books
"The transfer of risk from social and private institutions to individuals transfers a burden, mainly from the strong to the weak. That is primarily an issue of equity. It will surely become more urgent in current circumstances, perhaps urgent enough to be seen as a central political issue. Suppose that the best way to relieve that burden is by sharing the risk through universal social insurance. The premium then has to be a tax, a tax on work or enterprise, or some productive activity, and such a tax is a distortion, a source of inefficiency, a true cost to society. What then? I know what Gosselin would say: a society that won't pay a small cost to preserve equitable and fair treatment of, among others, the sick, the old, the unemployed, and the victims of natural disaster is not much of a society. Is that a minority view?"
insurance  economics  politics  society  efficiency  equity  moralhazard  us  socialsecurity  unemployment  income 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Travel Insurance - Magical Thinking - Appeasing the Gods, With Insurance - John Tierney - New York Times
"superstitious behavior...explained with theory of “anticipated regret”: Even though people realized odds were no different for any ticket, they anticipated feeling especially stupid if they traded away a winner, so they held on to ticket just to avoi
superstition  insurance  psychology  economics  money 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Not-So-Free Ride: The trouble with negative externalities - Freakonomics - New York Times
"pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) insurance. It seemed like an obvious solution. Since no one expects to pay the same price for 60-minute massage as for a 15-minute massage, why should people pay same for insurance no matter how many miles they drove?"
cars  environment  economics  insurance  behavior  negativeexternalities 
april 2008 by robertogreco
MyDD :: Elizabeth Edwards Smacks McCain Down On Healthcare Reform
see also the comments - apparently she's not too keen on Barack Obama or his healthcare reform plan either
elections  government  politics  johnmccain  elizabethedwards  hillaryclinton  barackobama  health  insurance  2008 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Finding Health Insurance if You Are Self-Employed - New York Times
"Some who are in good health bet on remaining that way and forgo health insurance or get policies with low premiums and high deductibles, choosing to insure themselves for mostly catastrophic illness. Some are lucky enough to have a well-insured partner."
health  insurance  freelancing  business  entrepreneurship  money  finance  healthinsurance  us  freedom 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Freelancers Union :: Platform for an Independent Workforce
"we’re helping freelancers to come together in a nationwide online community to find work and share their knowledge. We offer life, disability, and dental insurance throughout the U.S., and health insurance in 31 states."
artists  benefits  business  union  healthinsurance  health  glvo  work  insurance  freelance  nonprofit  networking  journalism  freelancing  collaboration  writing  jobs  employment  coworking  community  money  taxes  nonprofits 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Mythbusting Canadian Healthcare, Part II: Debunking the Free Marketeers | OurFuture.org
"I'd like to address a few of the larger assumptions that Americans make about health care that are contradicted by the Canadian example; and in the process offer some more general thinking (and perhaps talking) points that may be useful in the debates ah
canada  economics  health  healthcare  insurance  medicine  politics  government  us 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Mythbusting Canadian Health Care -- Part I | OurFuture.org
"first of a 2-part series aimed at busting the common myths Americans routinely tell each other about Canadian health care. When the right-wing hysterics drag out these hoary old bogeymen, this time, we need to be armed and ready to blast them into straw.
canada  economics  health  healthcare  insurance  medicine  politics  government  us 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Reflective Moments, Carbon Footprints
"In what contexts is there a business case for travel agents to encouraging you not to fly? How about in a corporation trying to cut the frequency of employee travel. Or a health insurer who can offer discounts based on the correlation between sick days a
travel  future  flights  dopplr  carbon  sustainability  gamechanging  environment  work  green  consumption  economics  finance  insurance  markets  janchipchase 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Bringing back the housecall (kottke.org)
"Dr. Jay Parkinson M.D. emailed in to tell me about his new medical practice in Williamsburg. He's got no office (housecalls only), takes appointment requests via SMS, email, or IM, handles some follow-ups over video chat, and specializes in the 18-40 age"
future  health  insurance  medical  medicine  nyc  people  alternative  business  technology  web  healthcare  jayparkinson 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Health Blog : IM UR NYC MD 24/7 4 HELP
"The good doctor and scarily accomplished photographer (see his work as a shutterbug here and here) has an offer to take care of you for $500 a year. And most of the time, you’ll be meeting online. Parkinson, 31 and freshly licensed, has got no office…"
future  health  insurance  medical  medicine  nyc  people  alternative  business  technology  web  healthcare  jayparkinson 
september 2007 by robertogreco

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