WHAT IF – HEALTH CARE WAS LEGISLATED LIKE SPIRITUAL CARE?

  Once upon a time, our leaders decided that religion and religious activities would have a reserved place in America. A place that would be separated from government intervention. These wise leaders decided that there would be no taxes levied, no control over the curriculum, and no interference with the business of religion. Land could be secured, incomes could be made, and the internal operations would be free from outside meddling. The free will of the people would determine the organizations fate. I ask – “Why not the medical industry?”

  Imagine a world where healing the body was awarded the same rights from the powers that be as healing the soul. Could that stance save the medical industry from the crushing weight of the outside interests? Let’s imagine what that may look like.   

   In my new town of Utopia USA, the local government, the developers, the medical professionals, and the insurance industry would all work in harmony to create a medical care panacea. How?

 Government

The government of Utopia would work with health care in the same manner as religion. It would eliminate all taxes and fees on health care providers and the physical infrastructure they use. This action would instantly drop the price point of care. The government would require from the developers that for every X number of families, land and a suitable building would be set aside for a local health clinic. This building would be reserved for purchase by a medical professional and only for the express purpose of opening a medical family practice facility.  Additionally, for every Y number of families, a short term emergency care facility will be created, and for every Z number of families a longer term trauma center must be built.

  With the facilities in place, the next major government interaction would be to exempt (or drastically reduce) lawsuits against these facilities and the practitioners within them. The risk/reward of a procedure would have to be evaluated by the patient instead of using the threat of litigation to control the outcome. Every time I climb on a ladder to cut tree limbs I have to factor in the weather, the solidity of the ground, the height of the limb, etc. If the risk is too high, I hire someone willing to take the risk or the trees do not get cut. If In Utopia USA, I needed a knee operation, I would take the time to research the best doctor and clinic. I would then weigh the possible risks vs. rewards of the procedure and decide if it was worth the risk and cost. If after the proper planning, it goes badly, so be it. Sometimes things happen.

  The last involvement by government is to require the clear labeling of all procedure costs by every doctor and clinic. Fees may be anything the doctor wishes, but like the calorie count on my food at the restaurant, the identification of the fees allow me to intelligently select the ones I want. Free market pressure will then drive prices down.

 Medical Personnel

  Without the oppressive overhead created by the current litany of taxes, fees and malpractice insurance, a practitioners costs could be lowered to realistic levels. Without the endless forms to prepare, fewer non-medical employees would be required at the medical facilities. Employee costs would be drastically reduced. Without the overhead and confusion, patients would be able to draw a direct correlation between the quality of care each doctor could provide for each dollar spent. Poor quality doctors would be moved down the food chain or out of the system altogether. The removal of these low quality doctors would mitigate even more the loss of malpractice liability.

  Doctors could become entrepreneurs again. Free market selection would continue to make the good ones wealthy, but at a cost point attainable by the clients. Without the threat of frivolous lawsuits and government intrusion, doctors could eliminate extraneous test procedures, gain back time that would be otherwise wasted on paperwork, and just maybe use that time to improve their craft.

Insurance

  Ah everybody’s favorite subject, the insurance company. If the above changes worked to reduce cost and simplify choices, the insurance companies should be able to create simplified packages of care based on cost not coverage. Ex. If I wanted to purchase an insurance plan, I could find the doctor I want, review his charges for all his services and determine a dollar amount of coverage I want from the insurance company. Then I could add on a catastrophic coverage package for the unforeseen and I would be set.    

Risk vs. Reward

  Once upon a time the US government made the decision to spare religion from the government’s endless appetite for control and taxation. They made the decision to frontload religious institutions existence by granting them freedom from oversight and put the decision making in their own hands. With that, religious organizations flourished on the free will and generosity of the attendees. Each person could choose the right organization for them, the right spiritual leader, and even the amount of earthly riches they were will to part with to proportionally compensate them for the spiritual healing they received.

  Just as with the choice one has to make with their spiritual salvation, if medical institutions were given similar protections, the free market would likewise balance the needs for our physical salvation. I hear you saying – what about the poor? Won’t they get substandard care? Do you get the same care as your Senator? Do you get the same care as Bill Gates? Will you ever? Clearly the advantages between the halves and have-nots will never change. But if the rules on the facilities are regulated everywhere, doctors and nurses will fill them, just as teachers fill the schools in poor neighborhoods. Will the care be the same in every facility, maybe not? Will it still be better than 90% of the rest of the world, absolutely?

 Next blog – driving down the medicine costs.

911 – Rerun

What If News Commentary

An old axiom in football is that if a play works once, use it again. Well, terrorist groups have continued to repeat their methods of attacks over and over for the same reasons as the wise NFL offensive coordinator recalls the same play. The terror methods these groups have employed are relatively simple to plan, easy to replicate, hard to defend, and in an eccentric way, provide a group signature they are proud of. Individual splinter groups now get direct instructions from the internet on how to carry out local attacks based on the “playbook” from the home team. We have seen the same patterns now for twelve years, so we should not be surprised to learn that dry runs preparing to use airlines as weapons have begun again. See (http://rt.com/usa/dry-run-terrorism-planes-memo-090/). Knowing how terror plans repeat themselves, and seeing the sudden renewed interest with airline dry runs begs the question – What are we prepared to do about it?

A few months ago my farther-in-law boarded a plane from Seattle to Phoenix. He is a war veteran, in his mid-80′s, and wheelchair bound. After being checked in and saying goodbye to my wife, he was being wheeled through security screening by an airline representative when a zealous TSA agent asked him to stand for a pat down. Apparently he was viewed as a threat to the other able bodied passengers walking through security without a second look. Being afflicted with dementia and barely strong enough to stand, he had difficulty understanding and fulfilling the agent’s arbitrary and capricious orders which were being barked out at him in ever increasing tones. It was very fortunate I was not a witness to this personal affront.

The point of this particular event, and the myriad other forms of lamentable “security” now thrust on the public, should bring to our minds a far more serious question. Have we once again become enamored by the minutia in our security in the quest for peace of mind? Has the impression that we now have the upper hand over our adversaries been so imprinted on us by the media that we have forgotten to view the bigger picture?

For the most part we have their playbook, we know many of the teams advanced players, and we full well understand that 911 round two is on the drawing board. There is little doubt that the plan is is being coached up in the pregame warm-ups and the plan is now being rehearsed in an airline near you. All the while the local news continues to reassure us by showing the quick capture of low level sacrificial lambs and with well-worn videos of training camps where men jump across monkey bars and fire the ubiquitous AK 47s into the air.

Are we being duped again, or will we actually be ready when a new variation of an old successful play gets called?

 

 

What if Somali Pirates were no Longer Tollerated

Somali Pirates ‘Soundly’ Defeated
Beersheba, Israel

When several Israeli citizens were killed when their ship was attacked by Somali pirates last month, many believed it was just a matter of time before the Israelis delivered some form of retribution. It appears that the first response by the Israelis has now been carried out. According to a French navel spokesman, two suspected Somali pirate vessels have been found floating adrift at sea days after an apparent attempt by them to take over an Israeli ship delivering electronic goods to South Africa. Both pirate vessels were discovered disabled and the crews on-board both vessels were found dead from starvation and exposure.

Despite not directly taking responsibility for this high seas drama, an Israeli spokesman for the Knesset commented today, “It is always the desire of the Israeli people to protect themselves from any individuals, and from any corner of the earth that means us harm. That resolve includes attacks at sea”.

WhatIFNews has discovered that an Israeli electronics company from Beersheba, which has been widely rumored to have had close ties to the Israeli Navy, is now marketing a ship defense system that may be responsible for the two wayward pirate ships. Under tremendous security, WhatIFNews was given a demonstration of this system on condition we guaranteed the anonymity of the company and all individuals involved.

Representatives from the Israeli company took our reporter to an underground testing facility to give us a demonstration. The underground room was dominated by a large scale water tank complete with a simulated shoreline and an assortment of remote control model boats. The models ranged from oil tankers all the way down to outboard skiffs. We were assured that all of the models were created to scale. On the larger boats, a series of what looked like small speaker boxes were attached along the railings on the side and rear of each boat.

We watched the demonstrations from a sealed room on the second floor that overlooked the water tank. In each demonstration, one of the larger boats with the speakers would be sent up the center of the water and one of the smaller boats would approach it. Every time the smaller vessel had approached to approximately one meter away from one of the larger boats, the engine on the smaller boats would begin to sputter and eventually would stop running.

After the demonstrations were complete, the General Manager granted our reporter time for a few questions.

WhatIFNews – “Thank you sir for the demonstration of your product. You said earlier that you hoped all ships sailing in these troubled waters would have one of your acoustic systems on-board soon for their protection, yet you are not allowing us to name your product or company name. How are the shippers going to find out about you without advertising or allowing the news media to let the world know you have such a product available?”

GM – “I can assure you that everyone that needs to know about us already does.”

WhatIFNews – “I see. Its not to hard to surmise that your system sends some type of electromagnetic wave outward from the origination ship that disables the electronics in the pursuing boats. Does this wave also incapacitate or harm the people on the pursuing boats?”

GM – “The design of our system is roughly designed as you surmise. It creates pulses of energy similar to a concentrated sound wave. This wave has the effect of destroying all electric and electronic devices within close proximity. We did not create our system with the intent of creating injury to humans. Of course we haven’t had any volunteers to see what the effects may be, and we have no intention of spending anytime with that study even if we did.”

WhatIFNews – “So your device is designed to be used for defensive purposes only.”

GM – “That is its only intended function.”

WhatIFNews – “Has this device been tested to ensure it will bring no harm to marine animals?”

GM – “We designed the system so that the high intensity pulses would ride on top of other benign frequencies that are at sea level. This way no abnormal energy is ever delivered into the sea itself. The range of the pulse is also kept to a minimum. Therefore no sea creatures are at risk.”

WhatIFNews – “It’s easy to see how the pursuing vessel and its inhabitants are neutralized from the attack, but how will its use deter other pirates from just taking the place of the ones lost?”

GM – “Until now there has been very little for the pirates to worry about when attempting to take over a ship. Maybe one out of 100 ships have any armed resistance, and the number of Navy vessels available to interdict them are no more than a drop in a very big bucket. However, our system can be installed surprisingly inexpensively. It will soon be proven to have a 100% success rate for ship to ship deterrence. I don’t think it will take too long for word to get around the African coast, once it becomes widely adopted, that attacking ships will mean sure death.”

WhatIFNews – “You said the device is not designed to be offensive, so won’t the pirates just go home and try again, hoping the next ship that comes by sails without it?”

GM – “Let’s put it this way. If your pirate vessel is disabled and is floating 500 kilometers offshore, your buddies won’t likely be heading out to get you. Our country, and other countries we have talked to, will not be risking their resources on these disabled pirate vessels. Despite that, a few of the disabled vessels will find a way home by getting a lucky break. The surviving few will prove to be a witness to the others on shore that the risks are no longer worth the rewards. With a near zero rate of success against ships that have the system, and facing a high possibility of slowly starving at sea, we expect the rate of these pirate events to diminish rapidly in the days ahead.”

What If We Fought Wars – To Win?

When I was a young boy, I learned that today’s enemy was often tomorrow’s friend. The change of allegiances between boys on the schoolyard often came about for simple reasons. A new mutual friend, a teacher intervention, or even by discovering that they shared the same affinity for a sports team.

As I became more aware about the bigger world, the one that extended beyond the school yard, I discovered the same change in allegiances had often occurred after wars between countries were fought. In WWII our bitter enemies, Germany and Japan, later became two of our staunchest allies. This seemed puzzling. After seeing films about the blitz, the air war over London, and of course what we unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I wondered how these countries could so quickly become allies.

Over the years we have fought intense wars against England, France, Spain, and even Mexico. Conversely, we have fought on the same side as Russia, in an effort to defeat the Germans. Then, even before that conflict was decided, we secretly started to plot against them and they against us. The race between the US and Russia for German intelligence at the end of WWII was an all-out brawl that quickly led us into the cold war.

What about the flip side of that situation. Many of our current allies plot against us every day. Sometimes so overtly it’s scary. A classic example is Pakistan. They claim to honor our relationship and have no problem accepting billions our aid money, but then they were caught red-handed hiding the most wanted terrorist on earth in their bosom. Saudi Arabia makes great noises claiming to be America’s greatest partner in the Middle East, yet they continuously provide money and arms to many terrorist groups that oppose us.

So if our friends often end up as enemies, and our enemies often wind up being friends, what if anything can we deduce from this? Should the very possibility that our current enemies may someday become our ally be considered into the equation when deciding to go to war? If we do decide to stretch our Military might against another country, when should that fight be considered over?

Back in the schoolyard, fights were usually halted when one of the two combatants was too sore, or scared to continue. Often, that happened before the first punch was thrown. What was typically behind this change in heart by the young combatant to continue to fight? Often it was because the boy was convinced that the other boy was not going to stop swinging until the fight was well and truly won, and not after only the first bruise appeared. But that willingness to quit the fight by the first boy only comes about when the other boy has a history of not stopping every time the loser called UNCLE. The fight often never starts when one of the boys is known by all to fight to win.

So on the world stage, what would happen if the boy with the biggest punch(US) had a history of not stopping throwing punches until the antagonist was well and truly defeated, and the regime that took up the fight in the first place was annihilated (literally or figuratively) every time? Would our politicians be slower to start the fight if the fight was not minimalized? Would our enemies back down sooner and would future wars be prevented if the US was known to Fight Wars to Win?

What do you think?