You're welcome. My time at NASA was like living a dream.
What did you used to do for NASA?
However, I don't think you realize how closely the military and NASA work together. Most of the work done at NASA and for the military is done by contractors (Boeing, LockheedMartin, Ford Aerospace, Booz-Allen, etc.). They found out a long time ago that it's a whole lot more efficient to have contractors bid on the work and if they don't perform, they get new contractors. The military is relatively efficient at meeting its needs. The politicians, with their need to keep military production going in their home towns are who muck things up. Just look at the stink over the F22 program.
Yea, I know there's some overlap with the military... but NASA doesn't get nearly as much funding as it should.
The feds should have absolutely no, and I repeat, no hand the education system whatsoever. I am on the board of a local private school that provides education for kids that don't fit neatly into the "system". Most public school funding comes from taxing property owners, so the decision making should be at the local level. If I'm being taxed by my local school board, then I should have a say in how the schools are run. And I do.
Well, I wasn't really referring solely to the American government(s), I think some basic/broad standards should be in place as well as a system to collect funds at a fairly high level... Exactly what level "runs" the system isn't that important as long as everyone has access it it. I think tax dollars should be attached to the students, and parents should be allowed to bring/send their children to any school they want. Make schools compete for students (by having excellent academic achievements, arts/music programs, athletics programs... etc) let parents decide what's best.
Well, this thread was supposed to be about Government's did for you.. seems to have been side tracked into a health care debate. Everyone knows I can't stay away from those... :D
And you had me thinking you were a libertarian. Are you aware that many of the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are non-profits? And for those that are "for profit", their returns are on the low side for average "for profit" firms? I would propose to you that a for profit firm will tend to improve over time whereas a government run entity has no such impetus for improvement.
Naw, I definitely wouldn't really consider myself a libertarian... But I do agree with most of Dr. Paul's opinions... and I think he would have made an excellent president. But truthfully, some of his views are a touch too conservative for me. I'm somewhere between a true conservative and a liberal depending on the issues. By American standards that makes me a borderline communist...
I did not know that Blue Cross Blue Shields, were non-profit... but regardless of profit motive there's lots of duplication of efforts and waste when having to deal with dozens of different companies each with their own hospitals, doctors, rules etc. If you compare the overhead between government run single payer systems (such as medicare, Canadian Medicare, most European nations, etc) the overhead is significantly lower in single payer systems.
That's not to say that privatization can't be done, there are quite a few examples of private insurance such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, France... they seem to be doing pretty good.
A relatively simple way to reduce costs would be use the "level playing field" approach. First, set up an independent national oversight board to review malpractice cases and pull a doctor's license if warranted. Couple this with Tort reform to eliminate malpractice awards and you would cut 20-30% of medical costs immediately. Again, if you don't want to be subject to this, you could contract with a doctor personally and take your chances. I have a binding arbitration clause in all the contracts I make with customers. It keeps both of us "honest".
Second, make it illegal for States to prevent people from buying health insurance from anywhere they please. I am a huge supporter of States' rights, but the founding fathers intended that people should be able to freely trade across State borders without hinderance. This would promote the necessary competition.
Third, remove the preferential tax treatment of employer provided healthcare. Why should a union member with a cadillac health plan or a salaried worker get preferential treatment over a person who has to buy health coverage on their own? End the tax break and allow people to buy their own health coverage like they buy car insurance. I don't think there should be a home mortgage deduction either, but that's another subject. Once people start shopping, you'll see more innovative and cheaper plans.
I agree that tort reform is a HUGE problem... I personally think the loser pays system that we have in Canada is much more effective... specially at deterring frivolous lawsuits.
Yea, I'm all for a free markets... I don't really believe in giving preferential treatment/subsidies certain people... specially if they can otherwise afford it.
Fourth, and I honestly don't have a good answer for this one. How do we deal with pre-existing conditions? It would be easy to say that a person should not be refused for pre-exisiting conditions. But, as has been shown in Massachusetts, people game the system. Many younger people don't pay into the system (even preferring to pay the cheaper fine), then when they have a problem, they sign up for insurance.
I've had multiple businesses and I've personally paid as much as $35,000 per month to cover employees. So I've put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I hate the annual, "aren't you lucky your increase is only 15%" discussion.
That's one of the reason why I think a government run/mandated program tend to work out better. Everyone is covered, everyone pays... young people don't get to game the system. You pay into the system until your day comes... if your day never comes, count your blessings. If the government does it's job correctly and the projections work out you regardless of pre-existing conditions get medical care. Sure some people cost more to the system than others, but it's a numbers game... more people paying into the system the more the risk is spread out.
I just get the feeling that Obama is disingenuous when I ignores tort reform and pushed a government run health program. I know privately run, many of them non-profit, organizations can do it cheaper, if given the chance.
I agree with you on the Obama plan... thus far it has been fairly pathetic attempt at "reform". There have been very few legitimate steps taken at controlling the costs, which is the main problem. He's already in bed with big pharma cutting backdoor prescription drug deals... But the reality is, getting something, anything in place now is going to make the process of enhancing it/reforming in the future much easier/less painful.