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Comment Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 181

It probably depends on the hospital/clinic. Where I was, they asked for payment when I left. They didn't ask for evidence of my ability to pay when I arrived, about to collapse and puking on their floor. They treated me first (for a full day), then asked for payment. Contrast that with a trip to the ER I had in the US, where I had just been stabilized after anaphylaxis from an allergic reaction. While I was still being wheeled back, they were asking how I was going to be paying for that, if I had insurance, etc., trying to determine my ability to pay (presumably so they could determine what level of care to give me).

I would probably put both "individual pay" and "fully socialized" above our current system, or maybe a mixture, but one where there's true competition instead of the mess we have now.

Comment Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 181

I believe you're confused about how insurance companies affect health costs, there. When you look at a health bill, it does appear that the insurance company is keeping rates low by refusing to pay part of the billed amount, but what allowed those billed amounts to skyrocket in the first place? At one point, most people in this country could afford a doctor (who would make a house call) when they needed it. Then insurance plans came around and became widespread, and because some company was obligated to pay for the health care instead of the patient, prices shot upwards. Also, people began seeing the doctor for more trivial issues, because they "didn't have to pay for it," it was all "covered by insurance." This has, over time, lead us to the present time, where we have some of the most expensive health care in the world. An overnight hospital stay for dehydration in Mexico cost me $274, complete with IV fluids, anti-nausea/anti-vomiting drugs, my own private room with air conditioning, TV, and attached bathroom/shower, and breakfast. In the US, you could probably expect to add a couple 0's to that number, and I almost certainly would've been in a shared room, without the ability to control the temperature to my liking, with a bathroom further down the hall than I could walk on my own. In Mexico, I had to pay cash when I left. Here in the US, I would have paid more in deductible.

Comment Re:Why not start now..and take if further? (Score 1) 373

HUGE profit cushions? What airlines are you looking at? Airlines have historically struggled with being profitable at all. They typically operate on razor-thin margins, and some of the more creative have just in the last few years become profitable on an ongoing basis. There's a lot of money moving around in the airline industry, but a surprisingly small amount of it is profit.

Comment Re:Why not start now..and take if further? (Score 1) 373

I believe the airlines should charge not based on the weight of the passenger, but based on the weight of the passenger and all luggage/carry-on. So, tickets would be priced as "$xx.xx + $y.yy * [unit of weight]." A person might weigh 80 lbs but carry 100 lbs of luggage/carry-on, so they would be charged the base rate for a seat plus 180 * price/lb.

This is no different (and no more discriminatory) than driving; cars, like airplanes, use more fuel when they're weighed down more heavily. The fuel station isn't discriminating when they dispense more fuel to fill the tank of the car carrying a lardo, and the car isn't discriminating when it burns more fuel, it's simply obeying the laws of physics. Same with FedEx or UPS when they charge more for a 100-lb package than for a 5-lb package.

So, stop the ridiculous checked-bag fees, let people check whatever they want to free up the overhead storage for actual carry-on luggage, and charge for everything (passenger+bags) at a flat per-pound (or per-kilo) rate. Simple, effective, and non-discriminatory.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 904

And my Civic coupe (gas) was $13k after all taxes and licensing were paid, and for my style of driving (>90% highway, most trips 40+ miles) I get nearly equivalent fuel mileage (35-42mpg). On top of that, it's WAY more fun than driving a Prius, I can work on it myself, and it'll probably go at least 400k miles before I decide to replace it, and though I may have to replace the battery a couple times, I'll never have to replace the entire battery pack.

So yeah, EVs cost significantly more than gas cars.

Comment Tech Skills aren't important for them. (Score 1) 302

Teach them that for many people, tech skills are pointless. They don't need "tech skills" to be successful in life, they need people skills, writing skills, basic math skills, troubleshooting skills, thinking skills. If these kids aren't excited about tech, team them things that DO excite them, like welding, or cooking, or auto repair, or carpentry, or plumbing, or any of a host of other things useful in real life. Not everyone needs "tech skills" to be successful.

Comment Re:Funny Thing... (Score 1) 445

I agree, it is kind of sad. Most of the carriers have never really given it a chance or put it in a place in their stores where potential customers could look at and play with it. I'm in Western Washington, so I'm pretty certain it has a higher market penetration here. In my office (and no, I don't work at Microsoft), it seems like we have a fairly even mix between iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android devices (to be fair, many people in the office came from Microsoft and had their WP devices subsidized while there).

Outside of work, I have several friends who also use WP - a couple in the insurance industry, a couple students, etc. All of them seem pretty happy with them.

Each of the 3 OSs has some benefits over the others, but when compared side by side I wouldn't say any is at a clear disadvantage. WP probably has the best hardware quality available with the iPhone 6 a close second, Android is easily the most customizable, and iOS may win in the "mostly just works for everything you really want to do" department (has all the apps and the simplicity/consistency of UI).

So, to each their own, but counting out WP just because "it's Microsoft" or "because WP7 sucked" is shortsighted at best.

Comment Funny Thing... (Score 1) 445

Among the people who use it, Windows Phone is already hugely popular. Every time I'm around people with iPhones or Android phones, I hear complaint after complaint about things that don't work right, underwhelming features, etc.

Everyone I know with a Windows phone loves it. Note that this was NOT true of WP7, but the latest WP8.1 phones are great! I've had a Lumia 521, Lumia 925, and now Lumia 830, and all have been excellent phones. The 521 is still my backup/travel phone.

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