Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

Okay, I haven't posted in at least three weeks. Bad dog! I have no excuse, except for the fact that I just didn't feel like posting, and so I didn't. But now I repent, and to atone, I have three great videos. They might not all be new to all of you, but I just saw them for the first time. Not only do I love 'em, I didn't have to do a thing to make them! Kudos to those who did!

Now, I'm not a huge Dr. Horrible fan in the same the way that my daughter is, but when I saw "Dr. Horrible Takes Over the Emmys," I knew I had to post it here:

Dr. Horrible isn't the only mad scientist around. Pay attention to these researchers from CERN, giving us the Large Hadron Rap! You'll not only get your limbs going, you'll learn something...

And finally, just for a little political controversy, here's Will Ferrell, et al., for Moveon.org, explaining just why the proposed U.S. health care reform is a really bad idea!

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At 11:03 PM, Blogger substandardTim said...

Okay so here is the question about competition, because Obama and his goons have made that the new buzzword to try and sell his healthcare plan....

If it's really about choice and competition, then why continue with federal regulations that inhibit competition? Why do Californians only get to choose from 6 out of the more than 1300 health insurers in this country? So what will the government option add, 1 more? That's not much competition. In fact it sets up a situation that could kill competition.

When private insurance companies have to play by the rules and only do business in certain states, and the government plan is available in all states, it invariably will end up with the most subscribers.

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

Ah, you're not going to get me into a debate about the health care thing, because...well, because I don't know enough about it. I know that the current system is caving in under the weight of costs and discriminatory behavior by insurance companies, and my own doctor told me (because I asked) that he sees the system as broken and he really hopes they pass something that's not hopelessly watered down. But I admit that on this one, I haven't studied the details as much as I probably should have, but I actually *trust* the Obama administration to try to move us in the right direction, even while people are fighting over the details. I also see the primary opposition as coming from a) the insurance lobby, and b) disgruntled conservatives who will lie through their teeth about what the plan means to the average citizen, simply in order to poison the process. Death panels! What a load of carp.

That said, however, I honestly don't know the answer to your questions, Tim. I don't know why insurers only insure in some states, though I'd guess that it has more to do with state regulators and marketing choices than federal policy. But you might be onto something I'm not informed about.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger substandardTim said...

The current system definitely does have it's flaws, I experience those flaws pretty often with the crappy health insurance my employer offers.

One thing I found funny about that video is that it was a bunch of a hollywood millionaires putting down corporate millionaires.

Corporations DO need to make a profit in order to grow and innovate, even in the healthcare industry. Whether or not the executives of healthcare companies should be profiting so much, well probably not.

I know I'm kind of hijacking space on your blog here but I think it all could be fixed with three things: 1. Open up real competition 2. Standardize billing/claims processes across the whole industry to reduce useless beaurocracies 3. make it all electronic so that any doctor can accept any insurance easily, as a result of the standardization.

Bingo...reduced costs, choice, competition, and no trillion dollar tax burden.

Done hijacking now.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...


I actually think those ideas are a good starting point, but I also think the problems are way more complicated than that.

Still--not a bad place to start.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might've paid more attention in school if they had video's like that Large Hadron Rap back then! And science classes were already ones that I liked more than most others.

As far as the health insurance thing I think the place we should start is with a blank sheet of paper and then write on that piece of paper, "No one should die because they can't afford health coverage and no one should go broke because they get sick" and use that as your starting point. How we make it work, I also don't have enough detailed knowledge on the subject to give a compelling argument but I do know there are at least a few dozen countries in the world that seem to have it figured out, why not see what some of them are doing and do the same thing? One thing i'd suggest is maybe health care should be run as a non-profit model? After all i'm not sure the most important thing should be how many piles of cash are left laying around at the end of the day to be divided up among the board of directors and shareholders when it comes to taking care of peoples health.


At 4:17 PM, Blogger Charlza said...

A local play group is doing a production of Dr. Horrible this weekend and we're planning to go...can't wait to see it!

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I'm coming in late on this subject, but I can't resist putting in my two cents on health care. Jeffrey, you're clearly an intelligent and humane guy, but I think you're just wrong on the death panel issue. I'm no conservative (except for my support of nuclear power and space exploration) and I support single payer ("Medicare for all") health care, which the administration does not. But the "death panel" notion, although admittedly that particular term reeks of hyperbole, has a real basis. The proposal is called "IMAC" for Independent Medicare Adisory Commission and would be authorized to apply cost-benefit analysis to Medicare treatment policies. Their recommendations could be voted up or down by Congres but not modified.

Now one can nit-pick about whether IMAC is a "death panel". Some might say that the strict definition of a death panel would have to involve a committee empowered to pass on treatment options for particular individuals. Well, if reimbursement for treatments is limited at the Federal level in the name of cost-cutting, then the "death panel" function will occur de-facto in the decision processes of doctors and hospital administrators complying with resource allocation policies mandated at the Federal level.

I would like to see universal affordable quality health care as much as anybody, and I think the Federal government is an appropriate venue for this. Unfortunately, I do not have your degree of trust in this administration. I say if you can't do it right, don't do it. This "reform" would be a windfall for big insurance and make health care less available to many people.

Best wishes,


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