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Comment Re:It's not like they've had 5 months to fix it... (Score 1) 89

One small nitpick: it was actually The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), a part of the 2009 stimulus bill, that first mandated digitizing medical records.

Although I believe the ACA actually expanded on HITECH, mandated Meaningful Use requirements, etc. (I was hired at a pediatric clinic in 2008 specifically to help them convert from paper charts to an EHR.)

Comment Re:What about the KEYS? (Score 1) 867

I would definitely be opposed to retrofitting neighborhoods to those cluster type mailboxes. My neighborhood has houses fairly far apart (large yards mostly), and that's not at all uncommon in Oregon. Plus there's a lot of traffic on my street, no sidewalks, and little to no room to walk along the street in many places. Making people walk up and down our street without first putting in sidewalks would be a prescription for injuries. I would think there's a lot of places in the US that are similar. Mostly it's just moving the boxes from the sides of houses to the street I don't see a problem with. But even that might not make sense everywhere.

But like others have said, the real issue here is the mandate that the USPS pre-fund 75 years of health insurance costs, meaning they're putting aside money for benefits for workers that aren't even born yet. Change that to a much more reasonable 10 years or so, and the USPS's money problems would pretty much clear up overnight. Not that a certain amount of consolidation and efficiency wouldn't be valuable, because the internet has reduced the amount of mail delivery needed quite a bit. I don't have a problem with getting rid of Saturday delivery. But making them pre-fund 75 years of benefits is just a sneaky way to get rid of or privatize the USPS, which I think would be a big mistake.

Comment Re:Already happening (Score 1) 867

It's different all over, depending on when your subdivision was built. I also lived in Phoenix (agreed, it is a crappy city, that's why I only lived there 5 years and couldn't wait to move away) - our subdivision was built in 1969, and all the mailboxes were on the sides of our houses, by the front door. Drove my dogs crazy every day by the way. :)

Now that I'm back in Hillsboro, Oregon, our mailboxes are of the "cluster" type - but they're all full sized mailboxes on posts, not those little stacked boxes that have keys. (Our house was built in 1951.) My mailbox is directly at the end of my driveway, but a couple of our neighbors' mailboxes are right next to it, on my property but on an easement. A little ways down our property (we live along the main access road in the neighborhood) is a cluster of full sized mailboxes on posts that serve most of the houses within view of our house, from both sides of the street.

There's plenty of older residents on our street who walk out to get their mail every day, so I don't really think the argument about not making older residents walk to the street instead of picking up mail from the front of their house is that strong of an argument. It's good for older people to get out of the house and have a little activity every day - and when they get to the age where they can't even get to the street, I'm sure they can ask a neighbor, friend, or family member get their mail every couple days.

I don't see any problem with switching from front-of-house to out at the street. The only unanswered question: who's going to pay for putting up mailboxes at the street? It would probably be unfair to ask senior citizens on fixed incomes to pay for having a mailbox put in. Any proposals for changing mail delivery should include the cost of retrofitting mailboxes for people in them. It would still save the post office money in the long run.

Comment Re:Too bad someone didn't figure this all out (Score 1) 146

You're arguing that insurance companies shouldn't be able to have all this patient information. They already have it! Even without any changes to how we do things currently. You generally sign a waver before any doctor treats you, that says that they can share all the info from your visit for purposes of paying the claim and etc.

One of the major provisions of Obamacare/ACA is getting rid of preexisting conditions, so insurance companies can't deny care based on the fact that you've had some disease in the past. So why would you then care if an insurance company has information about you?

Besides, there are strict rules about who can access a patient's private health care information. A company who wished to hire someone would not have access to the patient's past medical history unless they specifically had the applicant sign a waiver stating they could access that. I wouldn't sign such a thing as a condition of employment, I dunno about you. And if the laws currently don't prohibit employers asking for such a waiver, I'd support such a law.

It seems to me that you have this idea that because there will be electronic medical records shared more easily between medical entities, that means that everyone, everywhere will now have access to your private medical records. You apparently have no idea about the HIPAA laws. They are very specific about exactly who can have access to a patient's information, and the main thing that controls where a patients' data can go is the patient themselves. I'm assuming you didn't read the article either - there are several examples in there where they discuss exactly this - private information about mental health, and not even allowing your general practitioner to see that you're taking certain drugs for mental disorders.

Comment Re:Too bad someone didn't figure this all out (Score 1) 146

DMV worker: "I see as of 2009 your record says you have epilepsy. I can't give you a driver's license."
Anonymous Coward: "See that notation from my doctor in 2010? Where it says that was a misdiagnosis and I never had epilepsy?"
DMV worker: "Oh yes, you're right. Here's your license Mr Coward."

That was hard.

Comment Re:Learning from what other countries have done? (Score 3, Insightful) 146

Nope, I'm just opposed to health insurance (in its current form.) Auto/fire/theft insurance is one of those "just in case" things. If you are careful, you may never need to use that insurance, and therefore your insurance costs will be lower, and that's a great thing.

Health insurance is a different thing altogether, because everyone is going to need to get health care throughout their life. Even if you're careful, exercise all the time, eat well, you could still have a incredibly costly genetic disease that will bankrupt you even with good insurance. If you avoid getting health care throughout your life, you're going to tend to be less healthy...and then eventually you'll need costly care, and in the end you haven't saved any money at all.

I agree we should extend the benefits of Medicare. In fact, let's extend it to cover everyone in the US, i.e. Medicare Part E (for everyone.) Great idea, I'm glad you recommended it. You do realize Medicare is a single payer system right?

Cato Institute? Puh-lease. Why don't you just link directly to or It would be just as fair and balanced as anything from the Cato Institute, a well-known libertarian think tank that is opposed to the government being in charge of anything.

The free market has had plenty of time to demonstrate to us exactly how they handle healthcare insurance. If the free market worked, healthcare in the US wouldn't be in the state it is today. Instead what we get with free market healthcare is preexisting conditions, yearly and lifetime benefit limits, insurance companies that spend all their time figuring out how to not pay claims, insurance companies that will cancel your coverage if you have an expensive claim and forgot to mention on your insurance application that you had acne treatment when you were 17, etc.

I've worked in the healthcare industry for over 10 years, and I've been on both ends: I worked for an insurance company, and I work now for a healthcare clinic. Please don't try to tell me that insurance companies' hands are tied by the government, and that's why costs are high and coverage is bad. Insurance companies are in the business to make as much money as they can, and they do that by paying as little as they can, and charging as much money as they can get away with. Any savings they pass on to shareholders, they don't cut costs to their customers. They also raise costs to providers by each one having their own highly specific rules about how claims must be submitted and formatted, what information needs to be sent with each claim, etc. If the insurance companies would get together and decide on a set of common rules, we could reduce complexity and cost for providers and patients. But instead we have a Business Office with around 20 employees, processing claims for 30 physicians. It's sure great for providing a lot of jobs, but increases the prices for everyone.

Not sure where you got the part about "everyone who disagrees with you is an inhuman monster who just wants poor people to suffer and die". Was that directed at me, or just at some caricature Democrat/liberal/socialist that you are assuming I am?

Comment Re:Too bad someone didn't figure this all out (Score 2) 146

So what you're saying is, if you have epilepsy, you want the ability to hide that from the DMV, so that you can still drive your car while having a potentially very dangerous condition to have while driving? You want the "freedom" to continue to endanger the lives of others so that you're not inconvenienced by having to take public transportation. Gee, thanks for your concern for your fellow man.

Not really that convincing an argument for keeping your medical diagnoses secret.

Comment Re:No! (Score 1) 303

Don't know what to tell you about the Gmail app - I don't have a Priority Inbox anywhere in mine. I have the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 version of the app if that makes any difference.

On the web page, go into your Settings, Labels, and tell it to Hide any labels you don't want to see, like the Important label.

Comment Re:No! (Score 5, Informative) 303

You're actually wrong on both counts:

To get rid of the "Important" mailbox in the web interface: Go to your Gmail settings, Inbox tab, and set your Inbox to "Classic".

In the Android Gmail app, go into the settings for your Gmail account, and uncheck "Priority Inbox".

Comment Re:Android 4.2 broke Wiimote Controller (Score 1) 618

Interesting. Good thing then, that last I looked 4.2 wasn't available for my Transformer then (the original TF101.) Mines still on a Cyanogen version of 4.1.2. I'll definitely wait to upgrade to 4.2 until the Wiimote Controller dev figures out how to work around the issue and updates it for 4.2. Thanks for the info!

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