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Comment Re:hmm (Score 4, Insightful) 419

Can we worry about replacing coal first? Well-run nuclear is arguably better than coal.

Fixed that for you. The problem with nuclear is that it's expensive to run safely (in this case, 'run safely' being defined as 'using newer, safer technology' or 'not cutting corners in the name of profits'). And in the USA nothing happens if someone can't make a buck.

Comment Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (Score 1) 457

Your numbers make me laugh and then cry. Blue Cross/Blue Shield (the private insurer that my employer has a contract with) gets $1,200/month for my family (three of us, soon to be four). Doesn't include dental, that's Delta, and they cover a whopping $1,000 a year for dental work. I have three crowns that need to be done, and each one is about $1,500 by the time you're done with it. Oh, and vision is yet ANOTHER plan, and I just paid $500 for glasses.. and that was AFTER the discount.

If you are destitute or below the poverty line for the size of a family you have, you can get Medicaid, but good luck finding a good doctor that will accept it. Also, if you have an elder parent that is going to require extended nursing home care, you better shield your assets, because they'll take EVERYTHING if you're not careful. The house, your savings, their savings, everything. THEN they'll start to pay for Shitty Nursing Home Inc. to take care of them. And forget about pensions, those don't exist for the vast majority of US workers, unless you're one of the small minority that has union protection, and even THEN they're shitty.

Assuming Canada from the $ units. How hard is it to get a work card up there if you're a US citizen with a fairly in-demand skill set?

Comment Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (Score 1) 457

It's also a little easier to work as a contractor in countries where your health care coverage isn't tied to employment. If you're not worried about whether you'll be able to afford to go to the doctor, should you not have private health insurance, then it's easier to be more flexible. Here, people get 'stuck' in jobs that they hate or are hazardous to their mental or physical health, simply because they need health coverage for a sick relative. Working as a contractor over here is great; you get higher pay, more flexibility, a chance to gain new skills, etc... so long as you don't get cancer. Then, you're well and truly fucked. Medical bankruptcy is not something that exists outside our borders, as far as I know.

Comment Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (Score 1) 457

I can't ditch them whenever I want like a contractor.. at least not in my jurisdiction

Guessing from that and from your use of 'labour' (and the fact that where you are, employees are apparently treated like human beings) that you're not in the USA. Nearly all (if not all) states in the USA are 'at-will' employment states. Contractor, full-timer, whatever, you can be fired at any time for no reason whatsoever with no notice, no severance, no nothing. The only thing they're obligated to give you is pay to-date, and compensation for any earned time off (and you sometimes have to fight for that.) One minute you're working at your desk, the next you're being escorted to the door with a pamphlet in your hand telling you how to file for unemployment assistance, and your belongings being shipped to your house in a box.

People try to say 'well, you can quit anytime you want, so it's only fair'. Well, to those people, I say "bullshit, you need the company more than the company needs you, and they go to great lengths to remind you of that."

Comment Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (Score 5, Insightful) 457

The major issue is a dishonest employee. While he may be crafty, he still took credit for others work and tried to cheat the system.

That's the American Dream, 2013 style. Hard work only gets you more hard work, but exploiting the hard work of others makes you rich. As others have pointed out, employers do this all the time, and not only is it accepted, it's expected. But when a peon.. whoops, excuse me, the proper term is "an employee", turns the tables on them, well, we can't have that, can we. Companies don't like it when you don't eat the shit you're given.

To me, yes, what this guy did was wrong and dishonest. But, to a lot of people, the only thing this guy did wrong was get caught. Companies that work the system (legally or not) are praised as 'innovative' and 'efficient', and the execs get huge bonuses while the people who do actual work struggle to make ends meet with their salaries that don't keep pace with inflation. And, should the companies get caught doing something that's actually illegal instead of just morally reprehensible, they pay a fine (which is generally less than the amount of savings/extra profit they realized through the illegal activity) and get a stern talking to. But, when this guy does the same thing, he loses his job, gets his reputation ruined, and may very well go to jail. God Bless America.

Comment Re:Quality of Care (Score 1) 228

Potential customers? What are you talking about? I'm not trying to sell you something here. I'm pointing out that doctors by and large have enormously unquestionable opinions of themselves, that they think they can do no wrong and if there's a problem, then the rest of the world needs to fix it, because heaven knows there's no reason for THEM to change. THEY'RE perfect, it's the plebes that are getting it wrong.

Well, since nobody in IT at any place that you work will tell you this to your face, lest your ego get bruised and you have them summarily fired, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. The very idea that you MIGHT have to change how you behave because of a change in your working environment is completely alien to you. Things in other industries change all the time; the people that work in those industries adapt. Why are you so fucking special?

And for a doctor to tell ME that I think the world revolves around me is really rich. I KNOW that it doesn't revolve around you, and don't mind telling you that. I know that this must be pretty alien to you, but you'll live.

Comment Re:Quality of Care (Score 1) 228

Well, I guess you're just going to have to adapt. This isn't going to go away. IT slows you down because you refuse to meet it halfway; if it doesn't work exactly like you expect, it's "slowing you down" and "bad for the patient", when it's really just your own laziness and inflexibility. I don't give a shit if you've been practicing for 100 years, this is something you're going to have to get used to.

If you have a problem with multiple different systems at multiple hospitals, push for a national standard. Learn how to type, and that particular slowdown goes away. Updating patient records is part of your job and the fact that it annoys you doesn't change that. How much administrative overhead do you have in your practice simply to do things that you're perfectly capable of learning how to do yourself?

It speeds up patient encounters if you bother to learn how to use it properly. The inflexibility, arrogance, and stubbornness of most doctors to adapt to the times is a big part of the problem here. Get over yourselves; despite what you may think, the world does not, in fact, revolve around you.

Comment Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 1) 228

Oh yeah, I'm not saying Medicare doesn't have it's problems. My point is that there's an issue of interoperability here that needs solving, and a central organization would be able to establish a standard that nobody had a vested interest in. Getting the hospitals, HMOs and other entities to agree on ANYTHING is damn near impossible, so a third party needs to establish and enforce a standard. In theory, the parties involved would understand that this represents value to them, and a consensus could be reached. In practice, again, no private company does anything it doesn't absolutely have to, so unfortunately the standard would need to be enforced by a neutral organization. If you can describe a private organization that could do that here, I'm all ears.

Comment Health care IT is part of the problem (Score 1) 228

I strongly suspect (having worked in IT but not in a health care setting) that part of the problem with getting EMR systems implemented is that most doctor's offices/hospitals would sooner rip their own arms off than adequately fund IT for their organization. If these IT departments were 1) staffed sufficiently to sanely handle the workload (they never are) and 2) trusted to know what they're doing, things would improve. Doctors and nurses push back a lot on new systems, and I think part of the problem there is that IT has to do what they say, no matter how stupid/inefficient/illegal it might be. If the medical staff were told that they could either follow the decisions that are made within IT (since presumably they know what they're talking about, otherwise they need to be fired and replaced) or they can find new places to work, I bet you'd find adoption much easier. Give IT some teeth and I think you'll find that acceptance of a new system goes a lot more smoothly. If an IT staffer can be fired because some bigshot MD won't follow IT policies, then what's the point? The answer to that situation should be "Doctor, you will change your password every 90 days (or pick another IT policy) or you will find yourself without privileges here.", not "Fix it so I don't have to change my password or I'll have you fired."

That doesn't fix the problem of most EMR software being complete and utter shit, but in theory more people being forced to use a new system provides for more feedback about where the system can get improved.

Also, part of the problem is that medical offices or other health care providers already have to spend a freaking fortune on administrative staff for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we have private insurers in this country, who will take each and every opportunity to deny claims (legally or not, they don't care). If you're not 100% on top of that, and make an unholy stink whenever Blue Cross decides it's not making enough money off of your patients, you will find yourself out of business quickly.

Comment Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 1) 228

So who sets the interoperability standard for EMR? Who enforces basic privacy rules (not HIPAA, simpler than that)? Who keeps providers and HMOs from increasing prices just because they can with a captive audience?

Health care is the last industry that we want deregulated. Consumers already get treated like total shit because you have to get your health insurance through your employer (or pay ridiculous premiums yourself). That 'red tape' exists because insurance companies and care providers will get completely out of hand if left to their own devices. The way to get rid of 'red tape' is to have a single, well understood system that does not have a profit motive. (psst, we call it Medicare.)

Free market thinkers make an assumption that companies will respond to market pressures and improve quality and drive costs down. It's hopelessly naive to think that private companies will do anything that they don't absolutely have to. So long as all the big HMOs treat their customers like total dogshit and charge out the ass, there's no incentive to improve, because if you get sick of Big HMO 1 and want to go to the competition, you'll find that Big HMO 2 treats you just as badly or worse.

Comment Re:Quality of Care (Score 1) 228

If you have ever supported doctors as end users, you would know that anything that deviates even slightly from their expectation of how it SHOULD work (whether they're right or not, they're right, they're doctors) is too complicated and a lousy system, and they'll refuse to use it.

Doctors and lawyers are two populations of users I really don't want to work with.

Comment Better be careful, they'll get you (Score 1) 101

The reason that HP is so pissed about this is that GM has broken one of the cardinal unwritten rules of Big Business: Never treat your employees like they are anything other than cogs in the machine. Noisy, expensive, whiny cogs. Cogs that arrogantly ask for reasonable wages and raises, and health insurance, and 401ks. Don't they know that those things eat into the profits? They should treat their employees like liabilities to be minimized. If GM or another big company starts treating their employees like human beings, pretty soon those employees are going to feel like they have a right to be treated that way, and stop asking 'how high' when some overpaid suit tells them to jump. Arrogant selfish bastards, all of them.

Comment Re:The more..... (Score 1) 384

Do you think the accounting troll cares about that? If said troll finds out that you are in fact done writing the code and are refactoring and adding test cases, you can forget about getting any more time on that, and your time estimates will be cut by a proportional amount each time. And you'll get a reputation for padding your time estimates, since it doesn't really take you that long to write the code. Besides, we'll just release patches if we find problems.

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