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Comment Re:Solution: Make SSNs Public Record (Score 1) 390

Then how do you make Social Security claims (or Medicare/Medicaid)? My health insurance ID number isn't as private as my SSN but its still how I receive health insurance. It seems even if we made SSN#s public, a new equivalent system would need to be built which would have the same problems.

Comment Re:And, who has the Obamacare ID validation contra (Score 1) 390

Everyone uses Experian. You can't get a credit card, student loan, mortgage, lease, rental agreement, rent a car, buy a car, lease a car, or in most situations get a job without Experian and the two other credit agencies being used. This has as much relevance to the ACA as it does a Toyota Corolla or Home Owners Associations.

Comment Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (Score 1) 429

Are you seriously arguing that people are wrong thinking while misusing the term "costs" in capital letters three times?

Consumers don't pay "COSTS". Consumers pay "PRICES." This is a fundamental concept in economics and lacking comprehension of it means no discussion of economics is worthwhile. If consumers didn't pay prices that included profit, then the entire system wouldn't function.

The insurance company negotiates "PRICES" with the hospital/hospital network, set where the hospital can make a profit (even if its non-profit, since they can then use it to expand, increase pay, etc). Or the uninsured individual pays a considerably higher "PRICE" for the same treatment both because of the laws of economy of scale, because hospitals can write off losses at higher rates for non-payers in those cases for tax benefit and because collecting from self-pay accounts requires additional man hours and almost always results with a higher Accounts Receivable average.

Individuals and employers pay insurance PRICES, set by the insurance companies for various plans. Those prices do include profits. They have to pay for advertising, lobbying, claim processing, price negotiation and maintenance of price lists, bill collection from employers/purchasers of insurance, legal fees, executive pay and yes profit for shareholders as well as paying for healthcare itself.

This is why Medicare/Medicaid has much lower costs. First, they set prices, rather than truly negotiating them. A single procedure will cost two different amounts at different hospitals even with the same insurance, but not under government coverage. Second, they don't advertise, they don't negotiate, they don't have shareholders or profit, they don't have bill collection. Medicare overhead is 1-2%. Private insurance varies from 11% to 30% depending on what you include.

Comment Hosted by Ryan Seacrest (Score 2, Funny) 639

PeterAitch writes

"According to Reuters, Potsdam University in Germany is now teaching social skills as part of their IT courses. This is intended to 'ease entry into the world of work'. The 440 students enrolled in the master's degree course will learn how to write flirtatious text messages and emails, impress people at parties and cope with rejection(s)."

The class is taught by a superficial model, who will fall in love with the nerdiest student at the end of the semester after realizing that he is beautiful on the inside.

Each week the nerds will be tested on a combination of technical ability and geek trivia to win immunity to the social challenge. The loser of the challenge will have to leave the show to the bellow of Ogre from "Revenge of the Nerds."

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