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Comment Re:It is bad, wrong way to go about it (Score 1) 2044

In addition, since Texas capped malpractice damages, there has been an explosion in actual complaints of doctors performing inadequately. Tort reform seems to have had the effect of making doctors sloppier, not freeing them from the overhanging axe of malpractice suits.

Comment Re:Well, lets see (Score 1) 2044

Tort reform, to reduce doctor's malpractice insurance and the practice of overdone preventive testing to ward off lawsuits.

Almost every halfway independent study of this suggestion pegs such savings in the low to mid single digits of %.

Promote Health Savings Accounts

Works wonderfully...for those people who actually have enough money to be able to put some of it away in a place that's untouchable for anything but health care. For those people who have to make decisions about fixing their car or taking their medicine, or buying clothes for their family when the season changes or kids grow up, HCA's are of little use, because they do not have the flexibility in their income to be able to (in reality) lose that money to other expenses.

Streamline the regulatory environments so that insurance can be bought across state lines.

This is perhaps the dumbest idea I've heard in the entire debate recently. Please point out to me a single industry or market where regulations were relaxed, markets were opened further to small groups of monopolistic companies, and the result is that the product got better? The HI industry is already ruled by 5-6 companies who oversee something like 90% of the entire insurance spending in this country, all D.B.A. various licensees of the BC/BS name or some such front. Removing interstate restrictions will do two things. First, all those subsidiaries may collapse back on WellPoint/Aetna, HCA, and such, so that we will see that it's just those 5-6 companies. Second, it will set up a race to the bottom, focused on the states with the least protective and cheapest coverage. Prime example? Delaware, with it's structure in place to the benefit of credit card companies. Just about every major credit company now resides in DE, because Delaware has made it nearly impossible for people to declare bankrupcy against companies.

There are already protections for pre-existing conditions

Only when applied to group policy coverage. There are no such provisions if you were to have gone and bought individual insurance coverage on the public market.

Comment Re:It is bad, wrong way to go about it (Score 1) 2044

Yes, the US Government will spend $960,000,000,000 ($960B for the comma-deficient) to manage existing and new health care costs in the U.S.

The other option is that this bill does NOT pass, and we spend 1,090,000,000,000 ($1.09T) to provide exactly the same health care services we have now, to what ends up being a smaller population. (That's the cost you outline, plus the CBO's estimate of $130B savings over 10 years. That does not include the CBO's savings estimate of an additional $1.2T over the second 10).

Yes, they're big numbers. The question isn't if they're big, the question is which is more cost effective. Unless math has changed since I learned it, there is no argument to be presented that shows that providing health insurance for an additional ~32M people at $130B less money than would be spent anyway is not more cost effective than what we're doing now.

Comment Re:Birth Control (Score 1) 477

That would be a valid argument if you were talking about increasing lifespan from, say, 50 to 60. Vaccination affects things like, expanding life span from 3 or 4 into the point where they can become productive workers. When you're killing off a significant portion of your population before they ever reach a productive-to-society age, then they become nothing but resource sinks in resources to care for them and time to administer the care. A society that loses so many of its young will never reach the point where it can address work imbalances and the like, because it's stuck trying to grow up, not out.

Comment 252 Machines? Not really... (Score 1) 271

No, it narrows you down to somewhere within 252ish public IP addresses (even considering IPv6, which contains a standard rest-of-the-address to "encapsulate" IPv4). Very few people (I'll even go so far as to say "the majority of users") on broadband services across most of the world truly appear to the outside world as an actual unique IP address, which is to say you and the guy at the desk/apartment/house/whatever next to you has a discrete and separate network address from you. Your connection is generally going to be NAT translated in some form or another from a private-network-space IP address to a public address. You will appear, to the world, to be generally the same "computer" as several users around you in the network.

Comment It's developed process, the teachers own it. (Score 1) 590

If we want to move to an education system whereby teachers are valued based on their ability to teach, and the performance of their students, then the teachers own their lesson plans. This is assuming, of course, that they developed the plan in the first place. Let's just say that's the case in order to make the discussion clearer.

Teachers, good ones, develop their methods for teaching students. If those methods lead to better student understanding, then let them sell them to other teachers. It's really no different than all of the stupid process patents that we rail over, except they're not actually trying to lock them away, they're trying to share them with their peer group and get themselves some benefit in the process.

I don't see a big deal here. They figured out how to build a better mousetrap, let them market it. Unless a school district contains similar "work product" provisions in their teacher contracts that many tech people have in theirs, the schools have no right to the processes and products developed by the teachers for their use.

Comment Re:Recommend a TiVo alternative? (Score 1) 335

Define "superior conflicts-resolution system". Currently, TiVo's scheduler is smart enough to, through the priority set in your season passes, work around jsut about any conflict. For overlaps, TiVo's now offer you the ability to trim/crop recordings that overlap in one direction or the other (end one early or start one late). What did the Hauppage system do differently that those of us on TiVo don't realize we're missing?
Music

Alpine Legend Revolutionizes Music Game Genre 45

Microsoft has announced the upcoming release of Alpine Legend for the Xbox 360. Building upon the established titles of the music game genre, Alpine Legend takes you to the Swiss mountaintops, where you and your friends play up to three Alpenhorns at a time while a fourth yodels along. When you're done playing, you can disassemble the 8-foot horns for easy storage. "Jam with alpine legends like Franz 'The Manz' Lang and Johann Hornbostel. Shake the mountain tops with 100 classic Alphorn tracks including, 'Whose spit is in my horn?' and 'More goat bell (It needs).'"
The Media

Time Warner/Viacom Rift Healed, Pending Details 75

jwilcox154 writes "Yesterday a dispute over fee hikes had threatened a damaging blackout at a minute past midnight Thursday that would have prevented TWC subscribers from watching their favorite shows such as 'SpongeBob SquarePants' and 'The Colbert Report.' The two sides reached an agreement on Thursday, the first of January 2009. The companies stated the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Details must still be finalized over the next few days."

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