Friday, January 10, 2014

On Starting From a Blank Slate

Yes, there are trillions of dollars invested in the current health care establishment. That aside, I believe that there is merit to engaging in conversations in which one discusses the funding of health care as if it were a blank slate.

While a blanket replacing of the health care apparatus is foolhardy, the discussion can provide insight into health care that can be used to modify the system.

 The actual way I approached health care reform is quite interesting.

I was a mathematician who studied the foundations of mathematics and logic. I worked as a programmer for a state owned insurance company. I wrote programs to track claims and perform the actuarial analysis used to calculate premiums. I worked closely with auditors and professional certified actuaries.

I was paid $5.00/hour. The actuaries were charging in excess of $180 per hour. The company was eager to have me do as much of the leg work as possible and gave me unprecedented access to the data, the beautiful data.

I became deeply disturbed by the underlying structure of health insurance. As I analyzed the data I realized that the group funding of individual consumption was creating inequities and systemic risk in health care.

I can easily demonstrate these inequities and system risk if ever anyone came to the presentation that I've been advertising for the last six years!

I was working for a state agency. I saw that the inequities created by insurance (the group funding of individual consumption) existed in both state run insurance pools and private insurance pools.

The problem is not with the entity that runs the pool but with the mathematical model at the foundation of group funding of individual consumption.

Give me a whiteboard and an hour and I can demonstrate this.

Discovering problems is easy. Solving the problem is difficult.

In my quest for a solution, I engaged in two thought experiments. The first thought experiment I asked myself the question: "How would I use object technology to re-engineer an insurance company to the inequities that I found in health care?"

Yes, that is the type of question that curses around inside this muddled brain of mine. Come on, I am a mathematician who read every single computer book that I could lay my greasy little fingers on.

I did a great deal of computer modeling. I made use case studies of all of the positions in health care. I read all the literature I could find on computer models in health care.

After this first thought experiment, I engaged in a second thought experiment. In this second thought experiment I asked the simple question: What if I had a blank slate. How would I go about funding health care if I came across a culture that did not have health insurance that was desirous of finding ways to fund advanced health care?

I created a second absolutely pure free market model for funding health care that starts with people getting in a room and discussing the challenge of funding health care from scratch.

I merged the two ideas together. I gave the project the campy name "The Medical Savings and Loan."

There is one more very interesting thing that happened to me. I attended a lecture by a Marxian professor. This Marxian professor explained how the left could use the insurance industry to transform a free nation into a socialized nation.

Having worked in insurance and having witnessed the inequities caused by insurance, I believe that my Marxian professor was right. The left can use insurance to transform a free people into a socialized people.

Being the impertinent little snit that I am. I took the ideas of my Marxian professor and asked the question: How could one go about using the funding of health care to transform a socialized nation into a free nation?

By free, I mean the classical liberal ideals of freedom. I define "classical liberal" as "the application of classical logic to the question of liberty."

The US Founders had a classical liberal arts education. The foundation of this education was the Trivium. The three legs of the Trivium are Grammar, Classical Logic and Rhetoric. I consider the US Founders, Adam Smith and numerous other thinkers to be Classical Liberal.

I should mention, Hayek, Von Mises and several other authors of the Libertarian bent considered themselves classical liberal.

I suspect that people who consider themselves Libertarian, Classical Liberal or simply Anti-Statist would love my presentation on health care.

It turns out that I just happen to live in the most conservative area on this planet West of Iran. I live in Utah. (Here are some pretty pictures of Utah).

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, I tried to generate some interest in free market health care reform. I was active against Hillary Clinton's attempt to socialize health care in the 1990s, but I was completely dismayed to discover that "Conservatives" had no interest in advancing free market health care. Conservatives love employer based health care because insurance concentrates wealth in the pockets of their friends and helps keep workers in check.

For the last six years, I made a completely futile effort to find Conservative interested in overturning PPACA (aka ObamaCare). To my dismay, I could not find a single group within 700 miles of Salt Lake City willing to spend an afternoon discussing health care.

Anyway, I created a presentation. The presentation starts with the idea of building a health care system from a blank slate. I end up building a model for health care that I had actually created by an effort to re-engineer an insurance company along free market principles.

I believe that this multifaceted approach to funding health care makes for a much more interesting discussion of health care.

Of course, I don't know that for sure. Every time I've brought my presentation to a "conservative" group, I was shown the door the moment the people in the group realized that I am directly challenging the big money in health insurance.

After six years of having every door slammed in my face, I believe it a proven fact that Conservatives are disingenuous in their claims of being defers of freedom.

So, as it stands, I am simply left here staring at the scenery. Speaking of scenery, if you aren't interested in the pretty pictures of Utah, I have a pile of pretty pictures from Arizona. Quite frankly, I am content just to be. and I enjoy staring at scenery.

No comments:

Post a Comment