Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

Hello everybody!
Today is a day of mourning.
Michael Jackson is dead

On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at a rented home on North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were

Now the newspapers, and especially the News Channels, have new food to acquire customers.

This situation reminds me on François Truffaut's movie "The 400 Blows" (French: "Les Quatre Cents Coups", German: "Sie küssten und sie schlugen ihn").

First Michael Jackson was admired and hailed, then he was persecuted and outlawed, and now he is dead and people are mourning.

This is not the first time that this pattern happens here in this country.

There are a lot of other cases, too.
Only a few recuperate from this kind of celebrity torture.


When will people change?
When will there be an end of crucifying extraordinary people?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Failure of Capitalism

On March 24, 2009, Bernard Bernanke answered at the House Hearing on A.I.G. to a question of Ron Paul of Texas that he doesn’t believe this was a failure of capitalism, but financial systems can be prone to booms and busts and regulators were set up to mitigate those problems. And today, accidentally seeing Bernard Bernanke at CNBC, I heard him saying "this is a Failure of Capitalism", companies come and go, that's the way it is, and immediately pictures came up to me.

I am wondering if I am alone seeing this:
I am pretty sure, that everybody knows that there are ups and downs in each capitalistic system, and within other systems, too. Companies come and go, there are entrepreneurs who succeed and entrepreneurs who fail, everybody knows this.

People express their views and they tell me they like the American Capitalistic System and it is the best of the whole world, and it never should be changed - and I hear people telling me they are afraid of change, afraid the Government does change things, and they are against it.

Let's go back to the picture which came up to me. You know, I am a fan of Mathematics, because Mathematics show how things are related to each other, as I did explain in the case on Health Care.

Here the combination between my picture and mathematical relations: If a company, an entrepreneur fails, why have so many people to suffer with it?

Why are all these innocent, hard working people held hostage by the system and have to burden the results of the collapse, are punished with loosing their income, their health insurance and even their pension they worked for thirty years and more?

As I heard it is generally acknowledged that companies fail - as a result of the decisions of some, but why is it generally accepted that a vast number of people, who gave their best for these companies, but did not participate in these decisions which led to failing, are suffering then?

Why is there no Solidarity between people who do not suffer and people who do suffer?
Am I wrong and everybody is suffering? If this is so, then why? Where are the Christian Values to find which so many people who have been in control did say they have?

Why? Why? Why?

I encourage you to think about the situation we live in.
Of course, if I have a job, I should be happy, and I cannot do anything for somebody who had bad luck working for one of those companies who failed. Can I not? Can I?

Thing is, I can do something.
If I do nothing, may be the company I am working for is the next struggling.
Will there be somebody who helps me then?


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Systemic Health-Care-System-Flaws

It is a good thing that there are hearings about our healthcare system. There are some revelations to get.

Some days ago I wrote about one systemic flaw of the United States Healthcare System, and that is because Insurance Companies have to decide to give their money to their shareholders or to their ill clientele.

I wrote, too, to discover the reason for this by walking in the shoes of Insurance CEOs.

Today a new system flaw was revealed to me on TV:
Health Insurance in this country is not mandatory.

Here what happens because of that:
Health Insurers argue that people do not buy any health insurance until they have a serious condition, and this behavior is very costly to the Insurers. For that reason they sort out everybody who has a serious condition and sell health insurance only to people who are really profound healthy. To further protect against fraudulent getting Health Insurance, in case there is an illness in later years, there will be a research on the patients medical records to find any sign or hint that this condition may have been recognized earlier, but not mentioned by the person who asked for Health Insurance. In case this fraud is recognized, payment will be denied, even if the patient paid his premiums over years. This is a very understandable behavior of the Insurance Company, as everybody will recognize.

What does this say?
The United States Health Insurance System has weak points and systemic flaws:
1. Because Health Insurance is not mandatory, people are denied to get Health Insurance.
2. Because Health Insurance is not mandatory, less people pay in, and premiums are higher.
3. Because Health Insurance is business for profit, denying payments is raising profits.

The result: with raising premiums less people can afford Health Insurance, so premiums are always on the raise, until the system collapses. That's why I am saying the United States Health Insurance System is shoveling it's own grave.

But now a reform of the United States Health Insurance is in the making. There are a lot of other points to look for, but if Health Insurance is not payable, it does not help anyway.

What is most important to do?
Health Insurance has to be mandatory for everybody, to make premiums affordable.
With mandatory Health Insurance denial of Health Insurance no longer has to be tolerated.
Health Insurances shall have a mix of wealthy and poor people, of healthy and ill people, this mix, based on solidarity, guarantees cost compensation and makes premiums depending on the paying abilities of the insured possible.
There have to be nonprofit Health Insurance Providers, to fully support people in need instead of insurance stakeholders. Preferable shall be nonprofit Health Insurance Providers supervised by a parliament of the insured people.
These points are totally important.

I thought by myself, would be nice if somebody has written a book titled "History of the United States Health-Care System" - nobody has, but some Universities are asking their students to write about it.

Googling for the "History of the United States Health-Care System" is really interesting.
I like to quote some of my results, starting with a remarkable one:

There is great variation between health systems around the world. In the U.S., health care providers, insurers, employers, and the government are all unofficial partners in a complicated and loosely defined health care "system." In contrast to most other nations where the government finances health care for the majority of its residents, most Americans have some form of private health insurance sponsored by employers. A sizable share have government-sponsored insurance, with those over 65 years of age covered by a federal program (Medicare) and some poor children and their families eligible for a state-federal program (Medicaid). This public-private model is unique among nations and affords those who are most affluent and who have insurance with access to among the best quality of care in the world. At the same time, 45 million individuals in the U.S. have no insurance and experience considerable barriers to care and in many instances poorer health outcomes than their insured counterparts.

And here are more excerpts of history you should know:

The history of managed health care
The history of managed health care is fraught with problems and potholes. We should not be proud of health care history in the USA - it is a disgrace. We pay more than any other country in the world and get less than two-thirds of the services received by most of the worlds population. And, the worst part of it seems that everybody says we have the best doctors, hospitals and nurses!

A Brief History of Health Care in America
Managed Care as we know it today has its roots in a number of prepaid healthcare arrangements in the early 20th century. This article gives a short history on the evolution of America's modern-day healthcare system.

Any successful attempt to reform health care in the United States must accommodate two realities:
Reality 1: The current system is increasingly inaccessible to many poor and lower-middle-class people (about 47 million Americans lack health insurance, up from about 40 million in 2000); those lucky enough to have coverage are paying steadily more and/or receiving steadily fewer benefits.
Reality 2: Open discussion of a "single-payer" system in which the government pays for and regulates health care is verboten within the political mainstream because it is presumed that Americans would never accept socialized medicine. Whatever solution arrived at by Congress and the president (in all likelihood, not this president) will have to harness market forces because, it's widely believed, markets will always outperform the dead hand of government.

Read this Website:
Why doesn’t the United States have universal health care as a right of citizenship? The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to health care as a right of citizenship. 28 industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems, while 1 (Germany) has a multipayer universal health care system like President Clinton proposed for the United States.

Did I write, nobody has written a book? But wait, there is one:
Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at the New Republic, has written such a book. Cohn's book is Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis—And the People Who Paid the Price. Each chapter of Cohn's book is devoted to one or two patient narratives that illuminate a particular dysfunction of the present medical system, and the chapters are arranged in such a way that the dysfunctions appear more or less in the order in which they first became significant national problems. The result is an 80-year chronology of repeated market failure, with each successive reform serving at best as temporary respite from the previous problem. Read it and weep. Capitalism can't deliver decent health care.

Do you need Health Care?
Get your Information, find out why and how a real Health Care Reform has to happen now!
Write to your Representatives, ask for the right things to do!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Take Care - Take on Health Care!

Today I was invited to attend a telephone conference with Senator Dodd, about the ongoing process of the Health Care law making. I was struck hearing him say that when former President Bill Clinton offered his Health Care plans, a poll immediately after his speech did show support of 90% of the American People, but then his opponents well-oiled scaring machinery started, and a few days later there was another poll showing only 30% support leftover.

Now different opinions are more in the open, and the holy cow is the income of the Health Insurance Companies based on payments of the American People who need Health Insurance and on the denial to give Health Insurance to people who have been ill and to deny payments for medical treatment as much as possible. Not all Health Insurance Companies are that way, but I am sure these with this attitude are the ones who do not like any public or self-organized mutual insurance.

But what has to be done, really? There are some points, which are mandatory to make Health Insurance affordable for everybody:

First of all, everyone has to have healthcare insurance. If everyone has healthcare insurance, individual premiums can be lower. This is pure Mathematics, which cannot be denied!

Second: It is a shame that companies earn a fortune by squeezing ill people or people with so called preconditions out of health insurance. It is a shame and it should be forbidden that companies are living on the expenses of people who need health insurance. As long as this is the case, it is only natural, that payments will be denied and that people with preconditions have to pay a fortune or do not get any health insurance at all. This is a system immanent flaw! Please recognize that!

Health insurance should only be allowed to be offered by nonprofit companies, only nonprofit companies will not have to choose between profit and payment for medical causes. There are countries with mutual health insurance companies, and these companies are supervised by representatives of the insured people (not by politicians, but by with secret ballot elected people).

Our Forefathers only could survive with solidarity, the times we now have are asking for solidarity again! Do not leave anyone behind.

Are you happy knowing that there are people being sick and living in tents or cardboard boxes like they do in India, but here in the United States?

How far have we come?


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trillion Dollar Business

Yes, you are right:
The Trillion Dollar Business is about the United States public debt.

Just two days ago I read a headline with the following text:
"Debt will bring Obama down
Manu Raju Manu Raju – Tue Jun 9, 7:25 pm ET
Republicans on Capitol Hill think they’ve finally found Barack Obama’s Achilles’ heel: rising public concern about government spending and the federal deficit...
When President George W. Bush left office, he left behind a $10.6 trillion national debt, which refers to the cumulative amount of money the government owes. That number now stands at $11.4 Trillion, according to the Treasury Department."

Isn't that strange that there are people in this country who instead of supporting try to jeopardize and sabotage our highly acclaimed new President who is working hard to lead this country from the verge of dispair into a bright future of a new Millenium?

And isn't it strange that these people are trying to achieve their mischievous goal just because our National Debt is rising less than 8%? Are they thinking people in this country are stupid and not able to do simple math? May be they rely on the public education as it is now and do not like the Presidents intentions to get the public education into better shape.

And isn't this attempt ridiculous, when you remember the former Presidents words, spoken on February 27, 2001, 2:10 P.M. EST at the Oval Office: "It does not make sense to pay down debt prematurely and, therefore, have to pay a premium on the debt that you pre-pay. And so we've calculated the amount of debt that our nation can pay off over the next 10 years, and that's $2 trillion, leaving about $800 billion unpaid." And there was even more like this!

What is all the fuss about? Steps are done by our Government to get our economy up and running again and debts will be paid off. This great Nation has the ability to do this and we have the right person on top.

But wait, there is more!

There is another Trillion Dollar Business!

Did you know that each single day, every day, about 2 Trillion Dollars are changing hands (or accounts) without moving a single part of merchandise? It is called foreign exchange market , short, Forex. Trading in New York accounted for 16.6% or 0.3 Trillion Dollars , that is more than $100 Trillion/year. Tax-free!

The International Trade Volume, connected to goods, is only 0.8% of this value!
The Forex is such a big business, only moving money, that Forex Automated Robots are used to do this electronically.

And there is the hatch:
For Managed Forex Accounts a Monthly Performance Fee is to be payed.
There is a fee to be paid, but no Tax. Working people who produce goods or do services for their living, have to pay taxes, even for tips!

And here is how to Pay Off Our Nation's Debt:
Look at those numbers. Our National Debt is $11.4 trillion now.
With a temporary 10% tax on United States Forex trading there will be a revenue of nearly $1 Trillion per month, the federal debt will be paid off within a little more than a year!

And finally, let's put it this way:
A temporary 10% tax is a generous gift of forgiveness for the damage Wall Street & Company generated !


Thursday, June 4, 2009

4th of June

Today is celebration day. The 4th of June Celebration.

You may wonder if I am right, you may be thinking of another 4th of Ju... ?!
There is another country with a 4th-of-Celebration. It is Poland. Poland is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first free elections in the former Warsaw Pact, which signaled the end of Communist rule in Poland.

Quoting Ian Kelly, Spokesman of the United States Warsaw Diplomatic Mission: "The past twenty years have seen Poland emerge as a regional leader, a member and significant contributor to NATO for ten years and to the EU for five years. The United States and Poland celebrate 90 years of diplomatic relations this year, and one of the greatest events of that period is the one we commemorate today. Poles have every right to be proud of what they accomplished on this day in 1989."

How come?
There have been people at the shipyards of Gdansk (former Danzig), who asked for improvements of their lives, and came together under the name "Solidarność", which means Solidarity. There have been requests for some improvements, mostly history now, but there was one highly actual request: improvements in the national health service - every person that is employed or works in Poland has to be insured, here in our country of the American Dream this is still a dream.

And just today, 4th of June, the day of Poland's celebration, I read disturbing news:
Medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies !
Quote: "Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy" - read this article!

And this:

1. Killing patients with fine print.
2. No definition of "medical necessity" and "experimental treatment."
3. Delays of medical care.
4. Junk insurance.
5. Manipulating "risk."
6. Dumping the sick.
7. No accountability.
8. Refusing access to expensive doctor recommended medications and devices.
9. Balance billing and Network Restrictions.
10. Staggering rate increases.

These are the Headlines posted today, June 04, 2009 !

Most of these points I know from my own experience and observations. The Company I worked for dumped me after my Cancer treatment (by Law Layoff os not allowed during treatment), and now I am happy having an affordable health insurance after finding a loophole to get in, but I know many have not.

Reading these ten points you may ask "How come?"
Imaging that:
You are CEO of an Health Insurance Company.
Your primary goal for your company is to increase the wealth of its shareholders (owners) by paying dividends, to deliver a maximum shareholder value - what is the easiest way to achieve this? Of course you have to have customers, people who need health insurance, they pay your income. You need Advertisement to get customers, that's a lot of money you have to spent for.
These are vital expenses for your company. Advertisers will not lower their fees because it is for your health insurance company. So you have to save money elsewhere. You need helping ideas?
There are ten points which may help you. Look at the ten points above!

I often heard the saying one should "Walk in Another Person's Shoes" - we just did that.
I am pretty sure you are not a CEO. But you may have been ill and you experienced your side of view. May be you are thinking what I did before I met my wife and she walked with me to a specialist who discovered that I had cancer. Before this I thought "I cannot afford to be ill without any income. I better die".

This is the situation we have. How can we get a situation which helps us, the people, who need to have affordable health insurance which will cover the costs we cannot afford ourselves in case we are ill?
The Shareholder Value looks like a sheer obstacle. But what if all the insured people are the shareholders themselves? In this case it would be much harder to use the ten points list to save money, because everybody will be interested in having a good treatment by his insurance company. To get such an insurance owned by the insured people themselves it needs solidarity.

Is it a coincidence that today, 4th of June, Solidarity is celebrated and the despairing news ask for solidarity? Everything happens for a reason, they say.

There are countries where people have solidarity kind of insurance.
Even People get paychecks when they have to stay at home or at the hospital.

Look at the benefits:
The more people are insured by one company, the more the financial burden can be shared. This is pure Mathematics.
The broader the mix of insured people - poor and rich, healthy, less healthy, and even ill - of a company, the better the financial burden can be shared. This is pure Mathematics.
It is called Solidarity.

Will a health service for every citizen remain an American Dream, or will this Dream come true?

Solidarity has brought freedom to the People of Poland, and today they are celebrating the 2oth anniversary of their choice.
With solidarity a health service for every American Citizen will become possible.