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2020-02-16 06:27 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 132 references
[Comments enabled]  

I want Bob Hertz's full bio.

The recent proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders to cancel $81 billion of medical debt is a very good start – but it is only a start.

The RIP Medical Debt group–which buys  old medical debts  ,and then forgives them– is absolutely in the right spirit. Its founders Craig Antico  and Jerry Ashton  deserve great credit for keeping the issue of forgiveness alive.

Unfortunately, over $88 billion in new medical debt is created each year – most of it still held by providers, or sold to collectors, or embedded in credit card balances.

Tragically,  none of this has to happen! In France, a visit to the doctor typically costs the equivalent of $1.12 .  A night in a German hospital costs a patient roughly $11. German co-pays for the year in-total cannot exceed 2% of income, Even in Switzerland, the average deductible is $300.

Note that, if you read the article, the byline is "Bob Hertz, a health care essayist."

What is a Health Care essayist?  How do you make a living writing essays?  More to the point, what's this dude's day job?  A quick Google search doesn't shed usable light on the subject and Yves didn't link to a full bio either.

I do give one piece of credit; as Yves notes, he lays out the different categories of people who get ass-rammed by the medical fraud system in a fairly-comprehensive manner.  But notice what's missing, repeatedly and intentionally through that piece of prose -- Yves didn't, which leads me to wonder why not, given the glaringly obvious points made.

  • Billing someone "by surprise" is felony criminal fraud.  You can't consent because there is no offer, acceptance, consideration and performance.  There is thus no contract.  You cannot have a meeting of the minds -- offer and acceptance -- when you are intentionally deceived.  The hospital in the case of the out-of-network "assistant surgeon" knows the "assistant" is out of network and deliberately does not tell you before putting you under anesthesia.

  • Coerced "assignments" and "consents" are felonies standing alone; they are literally extracted while you are under duress, and in many cases incompetent by means of drugs administered by the entity who asks you to sign!  We put people in prison who "roofie" your drink and then screw you -- with good cause.  The law calls that rape, because it is.  This is no different.

  • Ditto for "responsibility paperwork" often presented to family members. The hospitals who do this are no different than members of the mafia; they imply they'll let your mother, father or sibling die if you don't take financial responsibility for their medical procedures.  That practice should be met with immediate summary execution of said business with RICO prosecutions and revocation of business licenses; any organization engaged in that practice is functionally no different than The Mob and should be treated with equal harshness.

But really, when you get down to it, this man's essay is completely devoid of any policy matters related to cost.

Everyone wants to talk about "insurance", which is also a fraud on its face and a criminal felony.  Insurance is a legally-defined term.  The business of insurance is defined as the practice of pooling large numbers of persons together who each pay a small amount of money into a pool from which unlikely but expensive events are paid out.

You cannot buy fire insurance on your house if it is already on fire.  Nor can you buy flood insurance if your home is already flooded, or likely to imminently be so.  Insurers suspend underwriting during a potential named storm impact, even if the hurricane is not yet fully-formed and it is not yet certain where it's going to hit.  Once the probability rises materially above the baseline that exists at any time underwriting is suspended for the same reason you can't buy fire insurance once your home is on fire.  An event that is no longer possible but now is in the probable or certain category is not insurable.

Since, as the author notes, everyone eventually needs some sort of health care you cannot sell nor buy a thing legally defined as "insurance" against such already-occurred events.  We can call it something else but calling that thing insurance is a criminal felony act of fraud and every executive, employee and medical provider who uses the word "insurance" in relationship to such a product has deliberately deceived you as to what you what was and is being both sold and bought, which is an act of fraud.  Period.

The cost of "insurance", when what you buy is actually insurance, is directly related to the cost of the underlying event.  Nobody works for free.  Ever.  Therefore if something is too expensive layering some indirect means of payment on top of it makes the problem worse rather than better.

Always.

That sort of system is not a "safety net" it is further criminal fraud, this time by the politicians all of whom deserve prison.  Right here and now.

And finally those advocating for expansion of criminal frauds are co-conspirators and, under the principles of law that have existed since before this nation, are liable as accessories before the fact for the frauds of the primary actors.

The only means to address the problem is to go after cost.  We currently are putting nearly 40,000 people a month "to work" in the so-called medical industry and have been for the last decade yet fewer than 1 in 10 of them ever provide a single second of care to a single person.  The rest are "employed" chasing money -- that is, they are employed for the explicit purpose of screwing you.

This is intentional and undertaken for the explicit purpose of driving up price.

I remind you that all insurance is a regulated business with a regulated profit margin.  The only way for such a business to "grow" is for the events "insured against" to become either more-frequent, more-expensive or both.  Would you rather make 10% of 1 million or 10% of 100 million dollars?

That's what I thought and yet there is exactly zero mention of this -- a further scam -- in the media.

Buying up practices and consolidating them in a given area is likely criminally illegal under 100+ year old felony anti-trust law (15 USC Chapter 1.)  One of the primary tests, indeed, the test of such actions is whether they are intended to or do reduce competition.  Study after study has shown that is in fact what happens and is the intent of said persons; prices inevitably rise after such acts, often by outrageous and unconscionable (e.g. doubling or more) amounts.  Yet not one felony indictment has been issued that I can find in the records despite literal thousands of such "consolidation" actions over the last decade and more.

Medicare prohibits self-dealing (e.g. a doctor owning a lab to which he refers work.)  Congress only prohibited this for Medicare and Medicaid.  Why did we need a new law on this at all?  Such self-dealing when the customer is not given any opportunity to shop said services is an outrageously deceptive practice without any new laws and as such is prohibited by consumer protection law in all 50 states.

I cannot find one prosecution for this anywhere in the country.

Why not?

There are relatively simple answers to the problem of cost but all such answers flow through The Rule of Law.  My proposal would immediately resolve essentially all of these issues.  But -- it gets no hearing, and the reason is simple: There are millions of people who make a lot of money screwing you in the ass, and stopping the screwing, no matter by what means, will put those people out of work.  In addition insurers, doctors and hospitals will all see their extraction end and they, along with the pharmaceutical company, bribe Congress by the billions.

What's worse, however, than the current******job is what people like this jackwad propose.  Providing official government support to the existing racketeering games in the health care system is nothing more than institutionalizing them into the Federal Government!

All government at some level is coercive.  We accept this because the common good demands it but logic demands that we only accept it when it is employed to stop existing force or frauds being leveled against the public.  When someone robs a bank the act of apprehending them, along with their subsequent trial and incarceration, is coercive.  But said person(s) earned that coercion by first sticking a gun in a bank teller's face.

I have been on this crusade for more than 20 years.  It began when I started running MCSNet, bought group health care for my employees, and rapidly became very educated on exactly how it is priced (it's individually-rated, if you didn't know that) and the screwing this results in for people both seeking and those currently holding jobs.  Yes, that screwing is illegal, but it happens every single day and there's nothing you can do about it because while asking someone if they're likely to have a child (for example) is illegal what can't possibly be made illegal nor punishable is simple observation of the blatantly-obvious and visible characteristics of someone who comes in for an interview.  You can pass all the laws you want to try to "stop" that but there's no possible way to enforce them.  Nor is any such law just as any such law is demanding that said person's fellow employees, who are clearly not so-compromised, pay the cost in the form of reduced salary so said person can have a job.  Using the government as a means to shove a gun up someone's nose because they're not sick and force them to pay for someone else is the very definition of Communism: From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.

The flaw in all such arguments is that you cannot compel those with "ability" to employ said ability to the limit of their capacity.  In fact you cannot compel them to employ their ability at all.  There is a point beyond which all persons will choose to throw up their hands and cease making an effort to produce.  That point is different for every person but it exists in all cases.  If you tax income over $500,000 at 100% then everyone who currently makes more than that will either find a way to shelter that income legally or, if they cannot, when they reach $499,999 in earnings they will stop working and instead choose to sit on a beach and suck down drinks, producing nothing more.

There is only one answer to the problem when it comes to medical care: You must attack cost.

If you do then the price of medical care falls like a stone and nobody needs insurance at all except for catastrophes.  Said insurance will be inexpensive since catastrophes are both reasonably rare and, while expensive, are not ruinously so as they are today.  You can buy hazard insurance on a reasonable home for about $100 a month.  There is no reason actual medical insurance should cost more than this.  But your hazard insurance doesn't cover new carpeting, a pest control contract, a replacement for your refrigerator or a new roof -- those things are routine and expected expenses.  Home Depot runs sales on refrigerators and carpeting all the time; competition keeps everyone honest.  While Frigidaire makes a profit what they can't do is charge you $10,000 for a $1,000 refrigerator because if they try that GE will undercut their price and Frigidaire will go out of business.

Resolving this problem would be difficult were cost not ridiculously inflated by schemes that were defined as felony crimes 100+ years ago.  But the medical system in this nation is full of such schemes -- in fact, they are responsible for the bulk of the cost of medical care -- 80% or more -- in the United States.

There is only one way to address this problem -- which, I remind you, is bankrupting the American government and within just a few more years will lead to a fiscal crisis and likely collapse.

That is to adopt a solution substantially similar to what I have proposed.

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2020-02-03 09:20 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 147 references
[Comments enabled]  

This crap is outrageous.

I also argue it's illegal.  Felony-level illegal.

Jamie Weisman, a dermatologist in the Atlanta area, learned this week of Practice Fusion’s partnership with the opioid maker. She has used its platform for five years, but doesn’t recall seeing that kind of pain alert.

“It’s evil. There’s really no other word for it,” she said. But, “if you want to model electronic health records as a for-profit system and not regulate them as such and force doctors to be on them, it’s almost inevitable that they’re going to be manipulated.”

So why "felony level illegal"?

Because it's collusive and, according to 100+ year old law (15 USC Chapter 1) all such attempts to monopolize or restrain trade are declared federal felonies carrying 10 year prison terms for each count.

Then there's this complaint out of (big shock -- NOT!) Florida:

The complaint alleges that a large physician group broke the law (specifically known as "Stark Law") that prohibits referrals to physician-owned "specialties" and other outside clinics (e.g. MRIs, etc.)  Why?  Because Congress found that such relationships screwed both Medicare and Medicaid.

Violations not only come with a potential $15,000 civil penalty and the risk of exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid but also a triple damage provision on the amount so-billed.

Note very carefully -- the Stark Law is specific to Medicare and Medicaid!

In other words while Congress found that these relationships are explicitly and perniciously abusive it did exactly nothing to stop them in the private sector and worse, despite the fact that such "relationships" likely violate 15 USC Chapter 1 as well there have been exactly zero prosecutions under same that I can find in the literature.

Guess who takes it up the chute on that?

You do.

Each and every day.

These are just two small examples of outrageous conduct that, it facially appears, violate the law when it comes to such matters.  Yet nobody cares.  Literally nobody.

We have zero Democrat contenders for the Presidency who have promised to put a boot on the neck of these people and throw them in prison nor has Donald Trump.

Remember, Trump said during the campaign he would put a stop to all of these abuses.  Literally minutes after his victory was announced in 2016 all such mention disappeared from his campaign website, never to return.  Our President is an evil ********** who likes seeing you get screwed just as was Obama before him -- and both Bushes and Clinton.

Folks, this, above all else, is why you're getting ****ed financially.  It is also why the government is running a trillion dollar deficit.  But for these scams and schemes the Federal Government would not run a deficit at all, since putting a stop to it would cut Medicare and Medicaid spending by somewhere around 80%, and last year that spending was over $1.5 trillion.  Since the deficit is over $1 trillion this would almost entirely erase it all on its own.

It is that deficit spending that directly ****s you.  Then you get screwed again by the medical monster.  Unless you're in the top 1% of Americans you have no prayer in Hell of outrunning this, whether in the stock market or otherwise.

Finally, if this is not stopped in its entirely right here and now by 2024 it will consume the Federal Government's ability to fund itself and we risk a fiscal collapse.

Wake the **** up America.

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2020-01-25 08:49 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 129 references
[Comments enabled]  

As the debate "rages on" note what the ****-faces in this article buried way down in the text.

In 2015, an analysis by the Ann Arbor-based Center for Health and Research Transformation, a nonprofit health care research organization, concluded that Michigan had lower per capita costs than Wisconsin and Indiana, both of which did not regulate hospital services. Michigan’s per capita hospital cost was $2,624, compared to $2,975 in Indiana and $3,107 in Wisconsin.

What?

How often in your life have you needed a hospital?

Needed.

Once?  Twice?  If more than that you're either ridiculously unlucky or you have something really, really serious going on and it's your issue, whether you like it or not.

Do you understand that figure?  Somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 per year is being spent per person -- man, woman, child and infant -- for hospitals.  

I broke my leg when I was a kid by falling down the stairs (really.)  I also had a (worthless) attempt to correct an eye muscle condition made.  Since that time I've never been in a hospital in my 56 years as a patient.  As a visitor to others, a few times -- but I avoid those damn places like they are distributors of the plague, because to a large degree they basically are.

But many people do not.  Further, while the debate here is whether CON laws make health care more or less expensive nobody talks about why there's over $2,500 on a per-capita basis stolen from the American consumer per year.

Folks, we will get nowhere until that number has three digits in it, not four.  It both can and must, or the federal budget will collapse within the next four to five years.  People bitch about drug prices and that is a problem but the 900lb Gorilla in the room is found right here; consider that for a person who either has a minimum wage job this is more than 10% of their gross.

Remember that the CPI supposedly claims that health care is ~6% of the economy.  Hospitals alone are more than that on a per-capita basis; in fact they're about 10%!  This is just one of many pieces of proof, which is irrefutable, that you're being screwed, blued, tattooed and lied to when it comes to these matters.

One piece of many.

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2020-01-22 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 171 references
[Comments enabled]  

I warned you about this years ago folks.

In fact I've been raising Hell about this for more than two decades now.

Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft are among the big tech companies to make deals with hospitals and health systems to analyze patients' medical records in order to develop new solutions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft signed an agreement with Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, which records around 20 million patient visits annually. The medical records being shared with Microsoft have not been stripped of personally identifiable information. While Providence St. Joseph Health originally said that information shared with Microsoft would be deidentified, health system CIO said that was not possible. Microsoft is using the patient data and physician notes to develop cancer algorithms.

This is not illegal under current law -- including HIPAA.

Health providers can "share" data with "partners" without your explicit authorization and in fact there is no mechanism under the law for you to prohibit that.

Except not to let anyone have any health data, ever.

Which means never going to a doctor or hospital, save once -- when you're about to die.

You, America, asked for this.

You in fact begged for it.

You cheered on Black {Fake} Jesus, better known as Black Devil-Faced Bastard, Barack Obama, along with Nancy Pelosi and the entire rest of Congress, including but not limited to the Republicans and now our current President Trump, exactly none of whom have done a ******ned thing to put a stop to this crap.

This is allegedly for "cancer algorithms."  Uh huh.  Sure it is -- it's just about cancer, see.

Uh, no it isn't and it's not limited to Microsoft either.

Every single health record is going to wind up in these systems.  All of them.  And they will be used against you.  There is nothing in the law to prevent that.

Got an elevated A1c?  Is your blood pressure out of range?  What's your height and weight?  Have blood work done as part of a physical?  Indeed, anything else at all you might have or do?  Call the doc and ask him or her a question?

Do you have an existing chronic condition?

All of this is no longer your data, it's theirs and yes, this will extend to your dental office (if it hasn't already) as well.

There is exactly no way to reverse this at this point via peaceful means.  None.  The only way to solve it is to force, literally by force, the disconnection of all electronic records and the destruction of all existing repositories which will never happen except by physical destruction -- and that means very-unlawful violence.  Even that might not be successful since it's trivial for an information company to copy the data out of the United States where you can't destroy it even if you physically sack the facility.

You sat on your ass and now you're ****ed exactly as the Jews were after the let themselves be loaded into the boxcars.

smiley

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2019-07-01 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 298 references
[Comments enabled]  

Watch this one folks.

$400 vials of insulin.

$25 for the very same vial in Canada.

CNN points out that the manufacturers, of which there are three, intentionally do not enter competing lines of business and thus there is no competition between providers.

On purpose.

Intentionally divvying up markets like this is a felony.  It has been a felony since the late 1800s -- more than 100 years.  The Sherman and Clayton acts, known as 15 USC Chapter 1, declare such practices or any attempt to engage in them federal criminal offenses carrying 10 years in prison for each person so-involved.

The number of criminal prosecutions in the medical and drug sector over these obvious, blatant criminal acts number zero.

The media calls this "greedy" as do "activists."

They do not call it what it is under more than 100 year old law: Felonious.

They do not ask: Where are the ******ned handcuffs and why aren't the executives in prison?

They do not call for prison terms -- right now.

They ignore, as do the activists, the clear statement of law found in 15 USC Chapter 1.

There is no "hard" problem here to solve.

You need only jail a few executives and all of this bullcrap will stop across the medical industry instantly.

Well?

If the government will not do its job then why do you sit back and whine and run "human interest" stories instead of storming the Halls of Congress and State AG offices, along with demanding that both the FBI and State Cops raid these firms and arrest all of the executives inside, shuttering the buildings and chaining the doors closed until this blatant and obvious lawless behavior stops?

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