What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Races

Why I love PBS, and especially the Newshour (you know, besides that Jim Lehrer is a Marine veteran):

A conversation with Ursula K. Le Guin. It includes some of her thoughts on the Google settlement, e-books, universal libraries, and reading in general. Damn. Smart. Woman. (Okay, slightly disappointed about not even knowing someone with an e-reader, but I think she just hasn't seen them use them).

They also had a report on the increase in Anthem heathcare insurance premiums (full disclosure, I hold 56 shares of Wellpoint) in California (mid year increase). Unfortunately they don't have a link to it yet (here's an LA Times article "WellPoint says the increases of as much as 39% reflect rising medical costs and that its profit margin in California is 'in line with and below that' of competitors."). Notice the insurance spokesman is lying with statistics. Health costs are rising, but not in the way he insinuates. The insurance industry hasn't renegotiated the rates they pay for over a decade in most circumstances (as your doctor if you don't believe me). However, more people are using the system, and more tests are being ordered. So the gross number is going up, the prorata isn't so much. And the number of the insured is going down. Also, if you believe his figures on profit (again, profit can be defined in different ways, gross, net, actualized, etc), ask your insurance company for the "experience" numbers on your policy. "Experience" is the difference between cash in and cash out for the year (or term of insurance - note, "cash out" includes administrative costs and executive compensation).

edit And gee, you can buy Anthem BC/BS in California? Why, you can buy that here in Ohio, too. And I'm guessing in most of the states my readers live in. And here I thought from the rhetoric that none of the insurance companies could compete or sell across state lines creating in-state monopolies. Oh wait, yeah, that wasn't what they were really arguing about, was it?

In other news:

Jay Lake's handy guide to genre distinctions. he he he.

Today was filled with driving. Made two appointments (one in morning, one in afternoon). Seriously (mumble, mumble). This is not a way to be efficient and cost effective. And this is why freelancers charge travel time. Economic incentive to use technology. Also, beginning to see positions re-posted on the job search sites. Really? I can f^(&ing do those jobs. I sent you my resume, and you don't even call me for an interview, or a pre-interview? So not right.


Rick said...

I'm telling you, Steve- Democrats and Republicans should just go Canadian healthcare. They're just both too chicken to make the changes. I'm so disappointed in both of them.

Steve Buchheit said...

Rick, I agree with you. Of course, there's the rhetoric that makes it sound like half the traffic over the Ambassador Bridge is Canadians fleeing to the US to get healthcare. So I doubt we're going to see that happen. However, what's in the Senate Bill is good enough to demonstrate the worth of change. We should get that through and then fix it down the road with smaller bills.

Rick said...

I'm with you, Steve. Excellent post, by the way.