We now know that the vast majority (likely greater than 80%) of individuals who contract COVID-19 have minimal if any symptoms. A small percentage (perhaps 5%) go on to have severe illness and may ultimately require supplemental oxygen and/or hospitalization.

Furthermore, buried in the fine print, I found that in order to be reported as a “death from COVID19”, the patient need not have actually tested positive for the virus; they only needed to have “clinical signs and symptoms consistent with COVID19”.

via COVID-19 Mortality Statistics

COVID-19 Mortality Statistics

Posted in Uncategorized

Social Responsibility is an Individual Matter

I didn’t realize raising a question about voluntary vs mandated shelter-in-place would arouse such an emotional response from readers on social media.

As if favoring voluntary non-coercive guidelines is irresponsible; tantamount to killing neighbors, friends and co-workers.

How, in a short span of 6 – 8 weeks, did we manage to relinquish our inalienable individual sovereignty in our civil society? Instead, allowing the most basic of freedoms – the choices to self-regulate, trade and freely associate – to be taken away in exchange for a strategy of coercive mandates, which risks devastion to our way of life that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.

Be safe.
Be smart.
Be prudent.
Be careful.
Be respectful.
Be generous.

But maybe we can do it with a bit more freedom and self-determination…if only our leaders really believed in such ideals rather than giving them lip-service at election time.

https://fee.org/articles/why-taiwan-hasnt-shut-down-its-economy/
#governance #covid19 #policymaking

Posted in American Exceptionalism, Education, Free Society, Liberty, Philosophy, Uncategorized

Implications of the Metaphysical & Rational Basis of Western Civilization

Welcome to Friday’s Philosophical Foray beyond Healthcare.

Exploring the Metaphysical & cognitive origins of Western thought: A unique viewpoint by Professor Jordan Peterson.

Synopsis:

A Self-evident axiomatic principle of the intrinsic value of the individual >>> A proposition of Natural Rights >>> Emergence of social principles & Law based on individual sovereignty & Natural Rights >>> Moving beyond savage tribalism & divine rights >>> Unity based on collective belief in same axiomatic principles >>> Diverse elements find common ground >>> Societies more stable by way of respect for rights & sovereignty >>> Gives people tools to correct corruption & dysfunction in societal hierarchies to avoid deterioration into chaos.

Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s Not Let the Cure Be Worse Than the Disease

Do all the mandated shut-downs designed to slow the spread of CIVID -19 justify the social and psychological and cultural price we are inflicting on ourselves, and the economic calamity to follow? Unemployment could realistically hit 15 – 20%, a level we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.

Are the draconian policies, nearing that of a police state in some areas, actually decreasing the disease burden in hospitals compared to a more liberal approach with voluntary distancing and common sense?

Comparing the more socially libertarian policies of Sweden’s approach to the pandemic vs the more heavy-handed approach in the U.S., a case can be made that our authoritarian mandates are no more effective at slowing spread of the virus; thus calling into question if the outcome of these tactics will justify the devastation.

The preliminary data from Sweden, which has not ordered closures and is encouraging people to distance voluntarily and use common sense, shows about 554 cases per million people compared to about 750 cases per million people in U.S.

Granted the largest city in Sweden has population has just over a million people, but schools and shops remain open. Commerce has slowed, but people are free to move about while most are practicing physical distancing & taking respiratory precautions.

Posted in Access to healthcare, American Exceptionalism, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Dependency, Direct-Pay Medicine, Direct-Pay Practice Models, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Economic Issues, Free Society, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Independent Physicians, Medical Costs, Medical Practice Models, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Organizational structure, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Patient-centered Care, Policy Issues, primary care, Quality, Technology, Telemedicine Trends, Third-Party Free Practices, Uncategorized

Shelter In-Place Care: Another “Box Checked” for the Value of Direct Primary Care

HEADLINE:

FCC Unveils COVID-19 Telehealth Program, Updates Connected Care Pilot

The Federal Communications Commission is using $200 million in funding from the CARES Act to launch a new program to help providers access the broadband resources they need to support telehealth programs.

Wow, the government has discovered remote digital technology medical care!  Although, maybe a little late. What would we do without those innovative minds in D.C. ?!?

But there’s a better solution that’s been up and running for more than a decade; private citizens being free to act and chose what services they value.  It is a solution which occurred organically when an innovative supply side acted to solve other people’s problems within a cooperative marketplace driven by mutual benefit.  It is called Direct Primary Care (DPC). And it is only possible because we still have some semblance of healthcare freedom within our society.  No thanks to Washington, D.C.

But step aside, the FCC with money to burn is coming to the rescue after COVID is already in full crisis mode.

The DPC Consumer Guide -- Now Available for office/clinic use and and an educational/marketing resource for your patients.Never mind that Direct Primary Care physicians have routinely integrated remote care technology platforms into their practices for a more than a decade.  And set aside the fact that revenue in a DPC business model doesn’t rely on office visits (the opposite of social distancing) to trigger a billable encounter, the claim against which is paid out of a grossly over-priced pre-paid 3rd party fund that we call health insurance.  Instead, the Direct Primary Care physician is paid to be available to solve problems, answer questions, triage illness/injury, provide treatment and advice via the most appropriate venue for each patient.

And last, no disrespect meant to the media outlet below for featuring this story.  They are just reporting the healthcare news, as is their mission.

logos

https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/fcc-unveils-covid-19-telehealth-program-updates-connected-care-pilot

Posted in Access to healthcare, big government, Economic Issues, Government Spending, Government Stimulus, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Medical Costs, Medicare, Organizational structure, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

5 Charts That Explain the Student Debt Crisis – Foundation for Economic Education

The commonality between the insatiable rise in both healthcare costs and college tuition, post 1965, should be obvious:  Massive amounts of other people’s money in the form of government programs, payments, subsidies and loan guarantees; which economists call the 3rd-party payer effect.

As exposited in the FEE article below, the U.S. Higher Education Act introduced “incentives” into the market for higher education, encouraging both the supply side and the demand side to make decisions that they would not be as likely to make under “non-stimulated” market situations.

Similarly, the passage of Medicare in 1965 sent huge surge of money into the healthcare system. The predictable consequence of this massive revenue stream was an incentive for healthcare providers to enter the market and expand services at an unprecedented magnitude and rate.  Essentially, demand was spurred by new source of financing.  Amy Finkelstein, et.al have done excellent work in this area.  Her work indicates that Medicare funding may have allowed hospital to spend 6-fold more than what individual levels of insurance would have predicted.  And that the spread of 3rd party insurance from 1950 – 1990 may explain about 50% of the increase in real per capita spending over that time period. https://economics.mit.edu/files/788

 

 

“As Bernie Sanders tweeted last year, the cost of education, in nominal dollars, has increased by roughly 3,800 percent since the mid 1960s.

What Sanders didn’t mention was that this was when the US Higher Education Act was passed (1965), which directed taxpayer dollars to low-interest loans for students pursuing college. This increased accessibility to higher education, but the flood of federal money also caused a surge in demand and costs.

The problem isn’t unsolvable, but it will require significant changes to universities and the federal loan program. “Free” tuition and student debt forgiveness will only make the problem worse.

Instead, as University of Maryland economist Peter Morici recently argued, market discipline must be brought back to our institutions of higher learning as part of any debt forgiveness.

While policy wonks offer no shortage of proposals for tweaking the federal loan program to improve it, perhaps the best solution would be to get the federal government out of the loan business all together.”

https://fee.org/articles/5-charts-that-explain-the-student-debt-crisis/

Posted in Education, emotional intelligence, Philosophy, Uncategorized

Saturday’s Sage

Data is repeatedly manipulated to show associations that don’t exist. Statistics are misused to promote an agenda. Figures & facts are conflated to support false narratives.

Science is about discovery by way of logical reasoning; not about turning censored data into dogma!

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