Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Substantive Ideas

As mentioned in the last post, The Wyoming Liberty Group is trying to stand up for liberty.

The group has done a phenomenal job in reading legislation and organizing people against the Left's health care power grab, but the group does not have a single substantive idea on the table.

The only idea they are pushing this season is the absurd notion that people should be able to buy insurance across state lines. Regina Meena's justification for this position is that state borders create a fractured pool.

She is actually using the exact same argument that the Left uses to justify single payer. The left claims that existence of private insurance creates a fractured pool and that, to achieve social justice, we must have one and only one pool.

Ms. Meena's argument for buying insurance across state lines is the exact same argument for single payer care. Because conservatives capitulate on the foundations, they capitulate our entire nation to the forces of socialism.

If I accepted Ms Meena's core belief that health care must be funded through insurance, I would actually support Obama and PPACA because PPACA does a better job realizing her arguments than the free market.

The reason Conservatives have no substantive ideas on the table is because Conservatives are unwilling to engage in a substantive debate about health care.

In my opinion, a substantive debate would question the assumption that insurance is the only way to fund health care.

My guess is that the Wyoming Liberty Group gets funding from insurance companies.

So, here I am writing a letter to Ms. Meena stating that I believe the problem in health care is the use of group funding from individual consumption (insurance) and that the solution is to create an alternative to insurance centered on savings accounts.

My position is both against her core beliefs and is likely against the beliefs of the insurance companies that fund the Wyoming Liberty Group Funding.

Why would these people want to listen to a pariah (I am not LDS) who claims that INSURANCE IS THE PROBLEM. The way to defeat ObamaCare is to create an alternative to insurance.

My stomping across Wyoming to challenge the core belief of Conservatism that insurance is some sort of all-knowing-god that showers health care on the people is absurd.

I don't want to be the ugly activist that muscles his way before crowds to condemn them for their beliefs.

As I write my letter challenging the belief that insurance is the only way to fund health care, and it rips at my heart.

Pretty much all Conservative Think tanks take money from insurance. A substantive debate about alternatives to insurance needs to take place in a new group.

A case in point. Twenty nine minutes into the following video by Sven Larson and Amy Edmonds, the Wyoming Liberty Group begins talking about the Wyoming Taxpayer's Association which has a history of supporting higher taxes. Amy Edmonds points out that the Wyoming Taxpayers' Association is funded by an industry group that wants to reduce its share of the tax burden. So the association advocates raising the taxes of others.

The perspective from which this group argues ends up favoring most tax increases.

My game of trying to get groups funded by insurance to engage in a substantive debate on health care is absurd.

The only way a real authentic conservation could take place is if people were willing to form a new group to engage in the debate. This is why I created the Health Care Advocate Association but I can't get anywhere until I find people willing to engage in a substantive exploration of health care.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wyoming Liberty Group

I live in a state that has done nothing to defend free market health care.

I keep looking to other states to if they are doing anything. I was delighted to see the video by the Wyoming Liberty Group that features Regina Meena who has been working for choice in health care.

The really exciting thing about the video is that there are people in a room actually engaged in face to face communication.

If we wish to defeat ObamaCare, we have to have thousands of meetings like this.

Critiques on the Meeting

Ms. Meena has realized that the key to defeating ObamaCare is choice. Unfortunately, she is concentrating on buying insurance across state lines.

She then states the paradoxical view that people should have freedom but that we cannot have fragmented risk pools. But if people have freedom, we will automatically have fragmented risk pools.

To defeat ObamaCare there has to be many meetings that discuss health care at a fundamental level.

I was just doing the arithmetics. Cheyenne is 444 miles from Salt Lake City. A round trip would be about 900 miles. I get over thirty miles a gallon; So, I would need 30 gallons of gas. That would be about $100. Two hotel nights is about $100.

Borrowing money and driving to Cheyenne is do-able.

I will write to this group and see if they are willing to host a meeting on free market health care. If any reader is familiar with Wyoming Liberty Group, could you please contact them and give them a nudge.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Know There is No Hope, But My Heart Keeps Saying There Is

I admit. I am depressed out of my gourd.

I spent four years and all my personal resources trying to find someone who is brave enough to discuss real free market health care reform. (Buying insurance across state lines or adding an HSA to high deductible insurance is not reform).

The opportunity to repeal ObamaCare is gone and lost forever.

But there is a little optimist deep in my heart that keeps urging me onward.

A group willing to discuss free market health care reform could change things.

I guess I need to explain why I still see hope.

As it happens, I was a math major in College. I was deeply interested in the foundations of math and logic and held the dream of becoming a high school math teacher. My long term goal was to write a high school level calculus book.

At the time, the Education Department at the University of Utah was using school choice as a litmus test for qualification for teaching in the state. I was pro-school choice and was filtered out. The story is funny. I was required to write an essay against school choice. My essay wasn't just for choice, I advocated that teachers owned the school and ended my essay with the words "Workers of the world untie!"

The professor was livid. She circled the word "untie," and wrote "UNITE." She showed the essay to other members of the department and I received Fs in three classes that quarter for one play on words.

So, I ended up doing what math majors do. I started working in insurance. Specifically, I worked for a state run insurance company.

I saw that insurance was doing to health care what progressives had done to education. My job was to write computer programs for analyzing claims. My programs needed to let actuaries and auditors drill down to the details of each policyholders claims history. So, I spent a lot of time with auditors and discovered that there were numerous cases in which people died because their insurance company let them down.

I also discovered the hidden secret of state run health care.

The secret is that the politically powerful always get better care than the disenfranchised.

Progressives wax philosophic about equality, but the politically powerful will always get more than the disenfranchised.

Having spent my academic career studying the foundations of math and logic, it was abundantly clear to me that the insurance paradigm was structurally flawed.

The fact that anyone is willing to work in that horrific industry boggles my mind. Where's the decency?

The fact that anyone in good conscious could work in insurance makes me weep for my species.

As I studied the data, I could see thousands of people trapped in insurance policies that were systematically undermining both their health and their community.

I could not in good conscious accept checks from an insurance company; so I left and set myself to the task of reverse-engineering and insurance pool along free market principles.

The question in the forefront of my mind has been: How do you break an insurance pool into individual accounts.

I collected my thoughts and gave the process the working name: "The Medical Savings and Loan." 

Having created the Medical Savings and Loan, I approached health care and asked how would a data driven health system evolve in a free market.

My program could either be built from scratch or it could be created by re-engineering an insurance pool.

In a third experiment I asked: What would I do if I were made the Health Care Czar?

I can talk for hours about the effects the creation of the Medical Savings and Loan would have on social policy.

For example, we, as a society, want to care for the poor. What happens if a person who has no insurance has a medical emergency or needs primary care?

Right now the person shows up at the emergency room. The hospital pays the bill and charges the expenses to others.

From a social policy, the Medical Savings and Loan works as follows: We would give anyone needing care a loan. The second that you accept the loan, you are thrown into a structured savings system and given career guidance to minimize the burden you place on society.

There is money for people who need care. They would decide if they want to take out a big loan for the emergency room, or take out a smaller loan and visit a clinic.

As you see, health care is a multidimensional topic. A robust health care solution must make sense from multiple perspectives.

I built my program from an individual perspective of care, but it also looks beautiful from a social perspectives.

In my presentation I actually look at health care from multiple perspectives. I look at care from the individual perspective, from the doctor's perspective and a social service perspective.

I spend a great deal of time discussing funding care from an economic stand point.

For example, insurance creates an artificial concentration of wealth. When we put our health care resources into a common pool, the people who control the pool become wealthy and the policyholders diminish. Creating an alternative to insurance would actually do more to bridge the gap between rich and poor than Obama's hefty tax plan.

Insurance plays a role in our nation's debt crisis. Traditionally people saved for their health care. Insurance replaces savings with a pay-as-you-go scheme. Restoring the concept of self-funded care would do more to alleviate our nation's debt crisis than the current wrangling over the debt ceiling.

My goal has been to create a mathematical model for self-funded care that could be implemented as a business plan.

I love to talk about how the Medical Savings and Loan could be implemented as a network of businesses.

But I can also present the ideas as a collection of principles.

For example, one of my foundational principles is: "Those who can self fund their care should."

Isn't that a beautiful and concise principle?

The natural corollary of the first principle is that people who cannot self-fund their care need assistance.


Are people so dense that they cannot fathom that a principle has a corollary?

We can express the idea clearly in Set Theory.

The set of people who can self-fund care is distinct from those who cannot.

The group of people who can self-fund care is different from the group of people who cannot.

Our social policy is founded on the absurd notion that these two distinct groups of people must be shoved into the same program.

 If we started with the principle that those who can self fund their care should and recorded all health expenses, then we will discover those who cannot.

It's that simple.

Insurance, in contrast, is a complex and ugly bastard. We put all of our health resources in a common pool and reduce everyone in our society to dependency then have shrill political battles as the wolves in the halls of power tear about the common pool.

There are other principles. For example, I believe strongly that people own their own body. Since people own their body's they should own the resources needed to care for their body.

Please ask yourself this question. What is the name given to people who don't own their body? If someone else owns your body, then you are a _ _ _ _ _?!

Another foundational principle is that since people own their bodies, they (not the insurance company) should own the data related to the care of the body.

I can express the Medical Savings and Loan as a mathematical model or as a collection of principles.

In my opinion this is good system design.

We can build the model from the principles or abstract out the principles from the model.

Since health care is a data intensive program, I personally believe the best path to free market health care reform is to start with an existing insurance pool and reverse engineering it along free market principles.

Let's say we had good data from an insurance pool. The first thing we would do is figure out how many people in the pool could self fund their care and how much money was needed by the people who could not self fund their care.
We would then set aside more than enough money to care for the people in need in a grant program.

Now let's look at the people who care self fund their care. It turns out that health expenses are unpredictable. People's health savings will not match up perfectly with their health needs.

So, my program would look at the data to see how often and when people who can self fund their care need additional assistance.

The data driven program would create a loan reserve to cover the expenses.

I want to have a huge loan reserve that is multiple times the expected amount of the loans. So, in my program the medical savings accounts own the loan reserves.

So, while the principles are easy to discuss, the implementation of the program would involved continuous detailed analysis of health care data.

For that matter. One of the founding principles of the Medical Savings and Loan is: "We live in the information age. In the information age, our health care should be information driven."

The program has a mathematical model. It has a business model. It has well defined principles and is data driven.

To make this model work, there would need to be a group of dedicated professionals who will spend their careers recording and analyzing health care data. I called this core group of people "Health Care Advocates."

These people already exist in the insurance paradigm. The insurance industry is filled with people who collect and analyze data. The difference between insurance agents and healthcare advocates is that the insurance agent works for the insurance company while the advocate works directly with people.

This is simply a slight change of focus.

The reason I still have hope is my belief that if a group of people physically met in a room to talk about free market health care reform, we could create figure out how to apply the ideas from the Medical Savings and Loan and figure out how to apply them to the Health Exchanges.

As I mention at the beginning of this post. PPACA is a cynical piece of legislation. The idea is to wrap the insurance industry in a bureaucratic nightmare called a Health Exchange.

Progressives believe that the Health Exchanges would cause a systemic collapses of the insurance industry and it would then form into a shell for socialized medicine.

Insurance is mathematically unstable. The exchanges will collapse. However, if patriots were together to talk about free market health care. There is an outside chance that a group could create a structure so that the Health Exchanges collapsed into a free market structure.

My brain tells me that I should give up hope. But my heart keeps screaming that if a group of people were brave enough to discuss free market health care, that group could make a difference.

The future of America looks dark. It looks like our experiment in free society as come to an end and the the forces of socialism are so strong that there is no longer any hope of retaining freedom.

But the freedom movement has yet to try the radical approach of actually looking at health care data and discussing free market health care reform.

There is a possibility that if the defenders of freedom stopped talking about who is the most "severely conservative" and spoke about the issue of health care, that we could find a path out of this dispairing system of increased statism and diminished freedom.

I am stuck in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Utah. If only I could find a group of people willing to invest the time and resources to stand up for liberty, my heart tells me that group could make a difference.

Because Conservatives are useless sticks in the mud, we lost the opportunity to repeal ObamaCare.

However, if a small number of free thinking people in the freedom movement got together they could form a structure that would be in place to take over health care when the Health Exchanges fail.

I began by pointing out that the health exchanges in ObamaCare were designed to fail. Progessives see the exchanges as a step in the progression to socialism.

However, it is possible for a group of patriots to engineer a design such that the exchanges fail into a free market structure.

All that it takes is a group of people who are willing to sit down and do the hard work of analyzing health care data.

I am not doing this for the money. I do this because I love the American experiment in self rule.

The people who are brave enough to work on developing an alternative to insurance might make money.

The best path to restoring America is not a book, it is not a political candidate, it is not a shrill talk radio show. The path to restoring America is to create an organization dedicate 100% to exploring self-funded alternatives to insurance.

If that group existed, then when opportunities arose, it could make a difference.

The only way to start a real group is for a small number of people to physically meet in a room and talk.

There is Still Hope

The hope for repealing ObamaCare ended the moment that Republicans nominated Mitt Romney as their candidate.

Come on people. RomneyCare was the template for ObamaCare. Republicans are clearly as much a part of the problem as Democrats.

In hindsight, the Tea Party was nothing but a cynical ploy by the Republicans to get their grubby fingers in the pie of socialized health care.

In four years, I've been unable to find a single Conservative who is even willing to discuss free market health care reform. The Republican leadership simply sees the people who support them as useful idiots who they can use then discard.

The weak part of ObamaCare is the insurance mandates. Republicans could have soundly defeated ObamaCare if they simply discussed alternatives to insurance.

If there was a well defined and politically acceptable alternative to ObamaCare, the whole house of cards would have tumbled. Creating a well defined and peer-reviewed alternative to insurance is the simple matter of a half dozen people meeting in a room for a weekend to talk about free market health care.

I could not find a single person within 500 miles of Salt Lake willing to stand up for health freedom.

I am so upset at the duplicity of the Republican Party that it makes me want to scream.

Despite the fact the war was lost. I kept holding out hope that a group within 500 miles of Salt Lake would contact me and say: Yes, I want to stand up for freedom. I would travel further, but I would need some financial assistance to do so.

The opportunity to repeal ObamaCare vanished the moment Republicans nominated Romney. But all hope is not lost.

ObamaCare itself is a cynical plan. The Left wants socialized health care. The Left sees the Health Exchanges as a step in the progression to socialism.

The progression is as follows. In the first step, you convince people they need insurance (which is an inefficient way to fund care). You then create a government bureaucracy that promises to eliminate the inefficiencies (The Health Exchanges). The government bureaucracy piles on regulations that magnify the instability.

The Health Exchanges were designed to create a systemic flaw in insurance. When the house of cards crumbles we will be left with full blown socialized health care.

In people in the freedom movement thought ahead, it would be possible to structure things so that a free market structure could rise after the health exchanges failed.

Doing this would entail people meeting to discuss free market health care reform.

But people were unwilling to defend their freedom when winning the battle was simple. The idea that anyone would stand up for freedom now seems hopeless.

I really just want to give up, but if a small group of people (maybe half of half a dozen) met for three hours to talk about free market health care, they could still make a difference.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Utah Among First States To Fully Implement ObamaCare

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah's Health Exchange got the nod from HHS and that the arch-Conservative state of Utah is among the first to implement PPACA (ObamaCare).

The article fails to mention that the Conservative Republicans that run the state have actively suppressed all debate about alternatives to ObamaCare.

The article fails to mention the fact that Utah Conservatives did not stand up for religious freedom when it was reported that provisions forced religious groups to buy abortives that they found morally objectionable.

The article fails to mention that the Conservative Establishment in this state not only failed to support freedom, the "Conservative Republicans" actively worked to undermine the cause of freedom throughout the United States.

I only hope that history correctly records that the American Experiment in Self Rule came to its inglorious end not simply because the forces of progressivism were skilled in taking freedom, but because conservative leaders gleefully handed the liberties of the the people to Obama on a silver platter because they wanted a piece of the government pie.