The Green New Deal

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I had Kaiser last year on Obamacare. The premiums went up 25% or so for this year so I switched to another group. Non-profit or for-profit, it makes no difference in the sickcare business. The CEO of Kaiser makes over $10 million per year. This should be a volunteer position. In fact, I’m volunteering myself for the position.

See this site for more: http://www.kaiserthrive.org/2007/08/17/non-profit-in-name-only/

  • Thu, Mar 07, 2019 - 10:46am

    #42

    Matt Holbert

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 135

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    The best article that I've seen on the GND

is over at The Automatic Earth. Dr.D nails it: https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2019/03/the-real-new-deal/

Selected excerpts:

And our system parameters, of our western system do NOT permit ANY contraction of growth or progress. At this point, the entire economic and financial system would collapse, and as we no longer have any religion, community, or moral framework, or possibly even reason, our whole society would collapse with it.

Although we generally overlook it, the Economic and Financial Systems are an expression of our personal beliefs and values, and those of our nation and national culture or personality. So in the U.S., we have chosen to measure our national prosperity using headline metrics such as the S&P and the GDP. These change character from time to time, as we used to measure the GNP, and now follow the NASDAQ. And the way we characterize them is also relevant: in the U.S., for instance, we measure all government spending in GDP as if it were private spending; that is, as if it were a profit, not an expense.

Nor is this a thing the people prefer. Commuting is one of the least-liked aspects of modern life as well as the most energy-intensive one. So instead of following massive hundred-trillion debt expenditures that show no promise of returning value, shouldn’t we grasp the low hanging fruit of efficiency? In fact, thermodynamically, efficiency is the only game in town, a 100 or 1,000:1 EROEI instead of 1.2:1. We have even done this from time to time during wars when massive campaigns led to massive efficiency, massive production, massive savings, ration books, and near-total recycling.

But nobody wants that. And that’s why the Green New Deal is structured exclusively as a SPENDING program, and not a SAVING one, because we don’t want to save, we want to SPEND. Part of this of course is that it’s more fun to spend than to save, but more importantly, it’s what we do, it’s what we measure. If you were to have a Green New Deal that is easy to implement and proven to work like the WWII model, GDP and profits would fall sharply. Although much, perhaps most, energy is wasted on unimportant things, the higher efficiencies would mean lower sales, lower production, and lower throughput EVEN IF IT MEANT A HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE. This is easily seen in the U.S. vs Japan or Europe comparisons…

I’m sure that this program will make it all better:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-07/obama-wants-train-million-baracks-and-michelles-create-progressive-utopia

Yes I jest.

I don’t understand why you call that fearmongering.  His words alone, I believe, are, have now been shown to be true.

  • Thu, Mar 07, 2019 - 07:16pm

    #44

    lambertad

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2013

    Posts: 246

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    Wal-mart 70:30

I despise Wal-mart for a multiplicity of reasons, but, they sell CHEAP insulin. 

NPH, 70:30, regular insulin, it’s all cheap at Wal-mart.

Look it up. It’s cheap. I don’t use insulin, nor would if I were diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. I’d just stop carbs and go full on Keto. Keto + intermittent fasting to be exact. 

http://www.diabetesed.net/page/_files/Diabetes-Meds-on-a-Budget.pdf

I would love to hear from folks who use insulin about whether they knew about Wal-mart’s cheap prices on Insulin. 

  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 10:06am

    #45

    kelvinator

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    My Wife Works for Kaiser, Says Dave May Be Right

My wife has worked as a psychotherapist for Kaiser for almost 25 years.  She’s a great therapist, the most senior by far in her location now, and has cared a lot about how Kaiser – which, as someone has pointed out, has been rolling in ramping multi-millions in profits for years – has been degrading service to improve their bottom line.  Years back, they started overloading therapist hours (not hiring enough therapists as they expanded their patient base) and strictly limiting their therapists’ ability to see any patient more than a handful of times – all to improve a profit margin that was already great.  Kaiser fills her schedule with incoming patients, so when she wants to see a very distressed patient again soon, often her schedule shows no time available for many weeks.  Many times, she’s come home and told me how upsetting it is for her to have to do that.

She’s been bucking the rules, sometimes seeing clients for months or longer over time, or squeezing them in instead of attending staff meetings if they needed more in depth help and support.  Because she’s one of their best that they send their tough patients to, (along with irritable patients that otherwise might sue Kaiser if they don’t get good service ;-)), local management has turned a blind eye and let her selectively break their rules strictly limiting service. 

A few years ago, her group voted in a union that not only has been fighting to keep their salaries in line with inflation and not lose their very basic pension benefits, (esp for young people being hired in), but fighting to assure that Kaiser actually provides good therapeutic service to its patients.  When initially Kaiser refused to improve patient service in response, the union then filed complaints directly with the State of California that documented Kaiser’s poor psychotherapeutic service and the blanket, ‘secret’ internal rules strictly limiting patient visits.  California intervened, investigated, levied major fines on Kaiser and put its service license ‘on probation’, forcing it to change its policies to provide adequate care.  They have to provide care appropriate to each individual case, refer to outpatient therapy when needed, and can’t set a blanket, arbitrary, very low limit on service.  She tells me that, nonetheless, in spite of some improvement, relentless management pressure and case overload continues.

Now, her union looks about to go out on an open-ended strike with the very same goals, since apparently Kaiser management has nothing better to do than always squeeze employees and service so it can show eternally mounting profits to its owners.   She is someone who favors ‘medicare for all’, but when I told her about Dave Fairtex’s argument that, given corruption in Washington by the sickcare cartel, the best approach might be to expand the VA model and have the government directly provide healthcare to avoid the private institutions tendency to degrade service in favor of extracting more dollars, she agreed that may ultimately be the best solution.

Kelvinator-

Its awesome that the people actually responsible for caring for patients care so much that they are willing to cause major problems in order to provide better care.  It lines up with my experience of the type of people actually providing the care.  They are in it to help people, not to make money.

From observation – in a country with government (VA-style) healthcare – places like Kaiser will only be able to survive if they provide BETTER service than the government.  Why else would you pay them money if you weren’t taken care of more rapidly, and without having to be rationed?

Again, at a for-profit hospital that was forced to compete against rationed, wait-restricted government healthcare, I walked in, was seen by a doctor in 10 minutes, got an X-ray another 10 minutes later, the doc reviewed my X-ray 10 minutes after that, and told me to go home, all would be well, and I paid cash.  All prices were posted.  And it wasn’t particularly expensive.

That’s ONLY because they had to compete with government healthcare at the lower end.

I once tried a “high end hospital” just for fun.  I walked in (appointments are for the underclass), was attended to by a flock of nurses that were just waiting for patients like me to appear.  I asked to see a doctor.  One of the under-employed nurses came to me, and told me (with great regret) that I’d have to wait.  How long?  5 minutes.  Would that be ok?  Yes, that was ok.  I saw the doc in 5 minutes, she told me what treatement I needed.  I said, ok – when?  “How about now?”  Off to the treatment room, minor surgery for 10 minutes, then off to the pharmacy for my drug, then the cashier.  In and out in 30 minutes.

With Kaiser – well, there’s the “urgent care appointment” and the “advice nurse” and there’s the 1 hour wait (assuming you can get a same-day urgent care appointment), and the copay…it all acts to deter service.  Which is the point, of course.

Under the system I’m proposing (which incidentally looks a whole lot like the service Kaiser actually provides), Kaiser will be forced to up its game.  Otherwise – patients will just go to the government hospital where the price is free, and the experience will be pretty much what Kaiser provides today.

If you don’t mind traveling – try healthcare outside the US.  Its an eye-opener.

 

  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 08:42am

    #47
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    When Working for Kaiser Harms You

Fascinating front-line tales there Kelvinator.  I have deep respect for all the people working within a broken system, carrying on, doing the best they can.  May your wife and co-workers prevail!

Working for such an amoral, if not immoral, organization is much more harmful to the practitioner than is usually recognized, especially in the press.

This video describes it beautifully as “moral injury.”

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