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As I've repeatedly reported, yep...

Oklahoma City has become a medical tourist destination, according to an industry expert, leading the charge for a different method of healthcare delivery, specifically one that embraces the principles and fundamentals of the free market.

Dr. Keith Smith is a local physician who believes in a free market healthcare system. He is a strong advocate for transparent pricing.

“Oklahoma City has become a major medical tourist destination because of entrepreneurial physicians committed to quality and value,” said Dr. Smith. “People have been flying in all over the country and outside to get their care in Oklahoma.”

I've profiled The Surgery Center of Oklahoma several times on this page for it's embrace of the free market and price transparency.

As a consumer I'm allegedly protected by a wide body of law at both state and federal levels that is supposed to prohibit back-room deals to restrain trade and boost prices through obfuscation, lies, and simple refusal to quote a price.  I'm also supposed to be protected by Federal Law against monopolistic practices no matter who is involved in creating and maintaining them.

Both of these bodies of law are filled with strong civil and criminal penalties for violators -- but to my knowledge these laws are simply never investigated, say much less enforced, when it comes to medical providers, pharmaceutical and insurance companies.  Yet if I was to have attempted any of what is done literally daily in this "industry" when I ran my ISP I'd probably still be rotting in a "PMITA" federal prison.

Note the prices posted on the above page.  That's an "all-in" quoted price.  Now try to get one from your local hospital, in writing, on the same terms.

The blanket refusal of most providers to do so should be more than sufficient to trigger investigation and prosecution under the consumer protection laws of the states, say much less federal racketeering and price-fixing statutes, given that prices actually charged and funds collected vary wildly (by as much as 5x or more!) for the exact same procedure performed for the same indications.

But.... it isn't and won't be until we demand that it is, backed up with whatever means of enforcement by we, the people, is necessary.

Until that day comes (and it may never given how willing it appears Americans are to be financially sexed without calling it "rape") this may be the best and most-reasonable option available unless you're willing to get on a plane and go overseas.

PS: If you can get a price you'll note that the prices on that page are within the ability of most people to afford, even if with difficulty.  You'll also note that most hospitals will try to bill you at 3, 5 or even 10x or more those posted prices -- for the exact same procedure.

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If you're outraged and willing to trash, dismember and destroy a man who paid money to go shoot a Lion with a crossbow, then cut it's head off (because that's all he wanted) and ditched the rest.....

But you're not similarly outraged and willing to do whatever it takes to dismember an organization and everyone who supports and funds it that, it appears, was and is selling the heads of unborn children, while also ditching the rest......


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2015-07-29 16:51 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 136 references

Well look what we got here!

A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate has been indicted on murder charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that the officer "purposely killed him" and "should never have been a police officer."


"He fell backward after he shot (DuBose) in the head," Deters said, adding that it was a "chicken crap" traffic stop.

What is this?  

We've got both an admission that the cop lied and basically shot this guy on purpose (rather than in self-defense) and that the original traffic stop was "chicken crap"?

Not from the family of the slain man, but from the prosecutor?

I'll have a drink to you this evening, Mr. Deters, perhaps while listening to this.....

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Investigators are studying an airplane fragment discovered Wednesday on an island in the Indian Ocean, but they say it is too early to tell whether it might hold a clue to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last year.

This is now being reported by the AP as confirmed to be from the same type of aircraft as MH370.  Further, it appears that the piece has been in the water for a long time -- that is, that it washed up here in some fashion rather than crashing down onto land.

This does not mean that it is definitely from the plane, but as far I as know there are no other aircraft of that specific type that are missing without a trace, and from which it reasonably could have come.

This is consistent with the aircraft running out of fuel over the Indian Ocean.

More as is learned...

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"The economy is on firmer footing"

Oh really?  0.5% interest rates indicate the economy is on a firmer footing?

Short-term rates around 5% would indicate that.  We're several quantums away from that.

No, what the first move is about is simply about The Fed trying to claim that "See, we're not stuck at zero!"

Ah, but they are grasshopper, and that's the problem the economy and markets must eventually face.

The reason is the same as it is in Japan; when you do this there is no longer any need to justify borrowing such that it only occurs for productive investment.  Therefore, it goes into all sorts of other things, including paying "social benefits" by governments, buybacks and other financial shenanigans and similar.

This would be all fine and well except that when rates go up since that debt is not paid down rolling it over becomes increasingly uneconomic.

Here's the reason this is dangerous, starting from a "normal" 5% short-term interest rate.

You borrow $1,000,000 @ 5% interest on a one-year bond.  You must pay, at the end of one year, $1,050,000.

But you don't pay it off, you just pay the $50,000 interest.  In the meantime, over the next year, the interest rate goes down to 2.5%.

When you roll over the debt you find that your interest on the new bond is now $25,000.  Or, you can borrow another million and pay the same $50,000!  

Guess what you do?

You borrow another million, of course.

Then another year passes.  The rate is now 1.25%.  You can now borrow $4 million for the same $50,000 in interest and not pay any of it off.  Remember, you started with one million but now, you have $4 million to spend!  Huzzah!

There's a wee problem with this -- zero is a lower boundary, and a hard limit.  Therefore, your continued borrowing of more and more money, which allows you to appear to be doing quite well when in fact you are not, must end.  Even if rates don't go up and simply stay pinned near zero, you can't access any more borrowed money because doing so requires that lower and lower rates come every time you renew the bond, and mathematically that must (and now has) come to a stop.

This is why the so-called "economic prosperity" (which was fake, by the way) over the last 30 years happened.  It is particularly where the so-called "recovery" since 2008 happened, all of which was driven by an explosion of non-economic borrowing made possibly by continual rate reductions.

This has now ended and it's why "growth" has disappeared.

But -- if rates rise to, say, that former 5%, you suddenly don't owe $50,000 in interest any more.

You now owe $200,000 each and every year on a permanent basis, or one fifth of the original million you borrowed!

Worse, there is only one way to make that number smaller: You must pay back some or all of the $4 million you have out -- but you spent it!

This is the trap that The Fed, the Government and corporations now find themselves in -- a trap of their own design.  It is exactly what Japan found itself in 20 years ago -- a trap that Bernanke while at our Fed said "wouldn't happen to us."

That was a lie and he knew immediately what would occur, as evidenced by his testimony before Congress in which he said that low rates were "enabling" Congress to shirk its job in not relying on said ultra-low rates to borrow more and more money to fill in fiscal holes they could otherwise not have managed to dig.

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