Socrates was taken aback when the Oracle of Delphi said there was none wiser than he. Not believing the Oracle, Socrates went on an exhaustive hunt for a person wiser than himself, but came up empty. Why? Because everyone he met thought that, because he knew his own craft really well, he knew everything really well.
“It’s said that we’re made in the image of God, us human beings. It’s hard to say what that means. But in means, in part, to participate in the process of bringing good into being… And that’s reason for hope.
There’s something to be said to know that you’re the sort of creature that can look mortality and catastrophe and malevolence straight in the eye, so to speak, and nonetheless do what’s right. And all there is in that is good!”
– Jordan Peterson
Data analyzed from the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom Index makes a solid case for the benefits of more individual economic freedom and less central planning.
Across time and comparing all levels of society, be it communities, States or between countries, those with more economic freedom as measured by the Economic Freedom Index enjoy…
- Less unemployment
- Higher incomes
- Less poverty
- Less income inequality
- Less gender inequality
- Less child labor abuses
Professor Otteson discusses the fatal flaws of redistributive planned economies, not the least of which is a decline in cooperative innovation.
As we continue to examine the outcomes of socioeconomic initiatives throughout our history, it becomes apparent that society’s benefits are not necessarily derived from good policies as much as from the absence of bad ones.
– Robert Nelson
BS, what Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt once calleda “lack of connection to a concern with truth — this indifference to how things really are,” has probably been around since the beginning of language.
Health care has an acute BS problem, in part because BS can sometimes fill the bill.
“Suppose you are asked to address an ageless problem in health care: reduce costs while simultaneously raising quality. If you were knowledgeable to begin with or did some research, you would know there is no easy solution. You could respond with a message of failure or a discussion of inevitable trade-offs.
But you could also pick an idea with some internal plausibility and political appeal, surround it with careful but conditional language, and launch a program. It will, you note, take several years before it is successful, but you and your colleagues will argue for the idea in concept, with the details to be worked out later.
At a minimum, unqualified acceptance of such ideas, even (and especially) by apparently qualified people, will waste resources that could have been used to make the best of what we currently have, and will lead to enormous frustration for the audience of politicians and outraged critics of the current system who want answers and want them now.
The incentives to generate BS are not likely to diminish — if anything, rising spending and stagnant health outcomes strengthen them…
…educator, media theorist, and cultural critic Neil Postman said that “helping kids to activate their crap-detectors should take precedence over any other legitimate educational aim …
We have carried Postman’s banner into academia with two reports, one in 2018and another this year, that identify 21 different forms of BS in health care. Here are our top 10:”
For anyone still laboring under the myth that insurance carriers are motivated to hold down costs in healthcare OR that health insurance is expensive BECAUSE health-care is expensive OR that insurance helps PROTECT us from high billed charges, consider the following facts and figures presented in this common Gynecologic surgery example.
Let’s compare a not-for-profit hospital-owned facility that has in-network insurance agreements with that of a physician-owned private facility that does NOT have any insurance contracts for payment such as Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
A broker consulted me on cost-containment strategies on behalf of a client/patient who needed a hysterectomy (CPT codes provided). She has a high deductible indemnity plan and a faith-based health share plan. The surgeon’s (Gyn physician) fee was $7,000. The hospital facility charge for O/R suite was estimated at $30,000 and they required $15,000 payment upfront.
Based on analysis of claims payment, it would be reasonable to assume the reimbursement would be around 60% of billed charges (+/- 10%). So the final payout could easily be between $18K – 26K. That total does NOT include anesthesia and may not include surgeon’s fee. What a fantastic discount! In some markets, we see hysterectomy reimbursement as high as $54K.
The all-inclusive fee at SCO is $8,000 and includes an over-night stay if needed. That price includes everything needed to perform the surgery, including professional fees.
All of the effort, time and resources at SCO go to medical care; not buying practices or employing physicians or 7 figure CEO salaries! And no fake discounts designed to foster dependence on the same products that keeps prices higher than they need to be.
That is how you reduce the cost of healthcare!
Welcome to another edition of Friday’s Philosophical Foray beyond Healthcare! In this Friday’s installment, we ponder Blaise Pascal’s explorations regarding the trappings of Time.
…Pascal says that man has an intimation of perfect happiness deep in his soul but is unable to attain it. Put another way, man longs for eternity but is stuck in time. According to Christianity, this time-conditioned earthly existence is only a halfway house on our way to eternal life, when time will dissolve. We are not naturally at home here on earth, and that is why the present “hurts.”
Although Pascal doesn’t spell out a solution to the dilemma, we can easily draw one. Our happiness depends on maximizing those experiences which help us escape the “treadmill” of life and find a foretaste of the eternal Now. These include aesthetic experiences, being with family or friends, and the act of simply looking at and contemplating the world in all its richness.
Yet at the same time, the mundane practical aspects of life don’t shrink into nothing—far from it.
They become the arena of service and ethics, part of the drama of life where what we do matters for eternity. Western civilization was built and sustained in part on these words of Jesus of Nazareth: “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself…Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
Pascal, as serious a Christian as they come, would no doubt have agreed that focusing our thoughts away from the self will allow us to banish anxiety and dwell securely in the present.