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Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 559

by Shakrai (#47568823) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pre-existing condition exclusions are required because of adverse selection. Flood insurance works the same way; you've got no coverage at all until the policy has been in effect for 30 days. If your house washes away on Day 29 you're SOL.

In any case, I didn't share my story to indict the insurance companies. It was more of an indictment of the healthcare system in general. There was one unavoidable expense: the $4,500 immunoglobulin shot. Why then did the total bill come to nearly $7,000? It came to that much because treatment was routed through the most expensive delivery system (the ER) available in our healthcare system. Why is that? The rabies series is not time sensitive, waiting a few days causes no ill effects. The taxpayers ostensibly pay for it anyway so why not just have it at the County Health Department Monday through Friday?

I try to route my healthcare through my PCP, because 1) I like him, 2) It's cheaper (both for me and society) than the alternatives. Of course, we're killing the PCP providers, they're barely paid cost as it is (less than cost for medicare patients) and there's no incentives for med students to pursue primary/family medicine as a specialty. The ACA didn't do anything to address this either, a fat lot of good having insurance for the first time is going to do you when you can't find an MD that's taking new patients.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 559

by Shakrai (#47566549) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

That's a valid point but you kind of missed the bigger picture. With my history and health status they shouldn't be on the hook for more than $300-$500 annually. That's the cost of an annual physical and standard blood/urine lab work. All it took was one incident to largely wipe out their earnings on me and in this case the costs really weren't inflated all that much. Despite what the other poster thinks, the immunoglobulin really is that expensive. It has a very short shelf life, production is a bitch, and there's little economy of scale because it's so rarely needed. Socialized medicine won't fix any of that....

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 5, Insightful) 559

by Shakrai (#47562169) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, since the bills would be covered by insurance.

After the deductibles and co-pays. I have a "platinum" plan through my employer; better insurance than anyone else I know and the co-pays still total up to a considerable amount. No deductibles for in-network on my plan, which makes me extremely fortunate. As a single guy I can afford the co-pays even with my modest salary but I can see how quickly they would bankrupt someone with a family, particularly if said family had one or more members with a chronic illness.

Incidentally, I was just exposed to rabies a few months ago:

Strike One: The only place to get the immunoglobulin is the ER, because it's very expensive (>$4,500) and has a short shelf-life. ER co-pay: $150
Strike Two: There's a set schedule for the vaccine, Days 0, 3, 7, and 14. You can get the vaccine from your primary, in theory, but of course my primary has a months long waiting list because we're driving PCPs out of business. Bottom line, I can't get appointments with them for Days 3 or 7, so that's two more trips to the ER. Additional co-pay total: $300
Strike Three: New York State ostensibly has a fund to pay for out of pocket expenses related to rabies exposures, but they only reimburse for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. Since the ER decided to give me a tetanus shot on Day 0 NYS won't reimburse me, even though my out of pocket would have been $150 with or without this extra shot. Hooray for bureaucracy!

Totaling all this up, that stupid bat that found its way into my apartment has personally cost me $465 ($450 of ER co-pays, $15 of PCP co-pay) while my insurance company is on the hook for close to $7,000. My annual premium is about $6,000. So this one incident wiped out every penny they made on me and then some. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year old marathon runner that ought to be subsidizing those who are less fortunate. Now imagine a family of four that were all exposed to the same scenario I was.....

Comment: overstate things much? (Score 1) 175

by Shakrai (#47516869) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

MUCH more importantly, though, ads are draining your BANDWIDTH. It's important, because it's also a simple demonstrable harm. If you pay $30 per month for your internet bandwidth, and the ads use up half of it (conservative estimate)

In which universe do you live where ads on a webpage total up to half of the bandwidth to deliver said webpage?

Because Google purposely don't allow you to block the ads in android (*)

They don't make it easy but they don't make it all that difficult either. Buy a Nexus, Developer Edition, or one of the multitude of carrier branded phones that are rootable. Install one of the multitude of ad blocking apps that are available, AdFree being my personal favorite. Problem solved.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute... (Score 4, Insightful) 162

by Shakrai (#47430023) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

I don't know about Acetaminophen, but I've heard compelling cases made that if Aspirin were discovered today it would be a prescription drug. Think of the side effects, the modern day "think of the children!" attitude, and pathetic need of the body politic to feel "safe" from any and everything.

Comment: Re:Correction...That you know of... (Score 1) 115

by Shakrai (#47379777) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

The only difference between today and the past is that you can easily see an encrypted file, you can know it's encrypted

Huh? Modern ciphertext is indistinguishable from random noise. Some implementations leave behind clues (i.e., Truecrypt containers are always divisible by 512 bytes), and of course the user can give it away ("KIDDIE PORN COLLECTION.TC" <--- Probably not the best naming scheme) but I'm not aware of any foolproof method to concretely identify an encrypted file as such with modern implementations.

Comment: Re:I smell a rat. (Score 4, Informative) 115

by Shakrai (#47379737) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

There are obviously thousands of people using encryption because they have a legitimate reason to hide something

My hard drives are encrypted simply because my entire life is on them and I'd rather not have everything you need to steal my identity fall into the hands of whomever broke into my house and stole my PC. I take similar precautions with physical documents that could be used to the same end. My SSA card and Passport are kept in the Safe Deposit Box except when needed, other forms of ID are always kept on or near my person, so they're not apt to be stolen in a burglary.

I don't know or care if LUKS and Truecrypt are secure enough to resist access by a well resourced and competent government agency. They provide ample security for the threat vectors that I care about.

Most people under investigation have software planted on computers or hardware keyloggers.

This, along with other side channel attacks (social engineering, or even simply guessing the password, remembering that most people use easily guessable passwords) is the most likely explanation. If the United States Federal Government has ways of breaking modern ciphers they're not going to throw it away to secure mundane criminal convictions.

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