Personally I’m a little skeptical about a Healthcare X Prize that is sponsored by Wellpoint, (does it not follow that a giant for-profit healthcare provider would primarily be motivated to discover ways to become more profitable?) but after watching the Peter Diamandis “Why design a Healthcare X PRIZE?” video I’m at least convinced that the experiment could provide some very valuable information.
The idea is to pick five teams that will compete in providing healthcare to test groups of 10,000 people each over a period of three years. The ‘winner’ will have garnered the best quality-of-life score from their group. Let’s hope at least that there will be a Single-Payer team in the competition. Certainly the Healthcare X Prize provides an arena in which advocates of Single-Payer can show their stuff.
I’ve been through the death of two close relatives through the Canadian medical system. In both cases the illnesses were complicated. In both cases my relatives were treated expertly, without concern for expense–or profit– but with dignity and the loving care that befits all of us. All this talk currently about reforming the U.S. Health Care system, without Single-Payer Health Insurance even on the table?!! Could it be the 4 health care company lobbyists for each Congressperson in Washington? We need to get organized around this. A good place to start is Physicians For A National Health Plan.
I recommend listening to Ian Masters interview with PHNP’s Dr. David Himmelstein–on President Obama’s failure to include the proven success of the single-payer health care model among the possible solutions being considered for national heathcare reform. Dr. Himmelstein is co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a universal, single-payer national health program, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The author of numerous studies and books, he is recognized as a national leader in the movement for universal health care. Dr. Himmelstein’s interview is second of three interviews on this episode of Background Briefing.
…The documents show, for instance, that one Blue Cross employee earned a perfect score of “5” for “exceptional performance” on an evaluation that noted the employee’s role in dropping thousands of policyholders and avoiding nearly $10 million worth of medical care.
WellPoint’s Blue Cross of California subsidiary and two other insurers saved more than $300 million in medical claims by canceling more than 20,000 sick policyholders over a five-year period, the House committee said.
From EconTalk.org (Includes full transcript).
Direct link to mp3 interview
Nassim Taleb talks about the financial crisis, how we misunderstand rare events, the fragility of the banking system, the moral hazard of government bailouts, the unprecedented nature of really, really bad events, the contribution of human psychology to misinterpreting probability and the dangers of hubris. The conversation closes with a discussion of religion and probability.