Do You Prefer Cause or Effect?

A Conscious Choice

Recent projects I’ve undertaken have required a great deal of understanding cause and effect, planning, workflow, processes and putting to work LEAN. I searched what it means to be a “detail person.” Continue reading “Do You Prefer Cause or Effect?”

UHC and Obamacare; More of Your Money

My Answer to a customer who asked,

“This caught my eye over the weekend. Does this change our decision matrix at all?”

This customer is in the middle of making decisions today for their employees. I wrote the  email that follows to help them understand what this article is really about. The customer can move ahead as planned but should know more changes are coming for Obamacare. More importantly I explain how this article is an example of how the government and insurers do not care about your health.

If that’s important to you read on.


 

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 9.17.05 AM

The article includes this CEO quote,

“We cannot sustain these losses,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hemsley told analysts on a conference call. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-19/unitedhealth-may-pull-out-of-obamacare-marketplace-stock-slides


 

My email to my business customer asking about how this UHC article may affect their present decisions for their employees.

Short answer to your question about UHC:

No, what they’re deciding makes no difference for your decision today. Your decision today will only be good until they make more changes and they do that everyday. What you decide today could change tomorrow, that’s not a joke, that’s real.

Long answer to your question about UHC:

Still, the answer is no, this won’t affect you in the short term and you can’t plan long term.

I’ve been using the words, “shifting sands” for 5 years now. The Obamacare law is 5 years old, March 23rd, 2010. Shifting sands means continuous course corrections by all system stake holders that affects more than $2-3 Trillion of the American economy. This means, today UHC is saying they’re out. But, what it actually means is they’re lobbying for more money. What we have going on here is “lobbying for position.” In the halls of congress, the industry exerts leverage in order to get more money from the government. Welcome to modern politics.

Our elected officials didn’t read the law; they had no idea what they approved and now it’s obvious. People like me have been calling attention to the cost problem for 5 years or more (my blog: https://www.donwatza.com/category/benstaff-inc/white-paper-research/) but the American public won’t listen to someone like me over articles like this. The evidence and problem is documented in my white paper posts.

Sad, but true, I can confidently say, I’ve never seen a bigger mess. Before Obamacare, Healthcare needed a fix because the insurance industry wouldn’t police itself. But, this isn’t a fix and national healthcare won’t fix it any better either (watch my video on, “US healthcare system in crisis”).

My guess about UHC? UHC and the feds will make up; the feds will give UHC more money (this will drag on over the next few months) and in order to give them money they have to make the fix look like they didn’t. In the end, just more rules, overhead, confusion and frustration; and cost.

Summary: The government is making massive changes everyday while the plane is flying. Thoughtless unread regulations created this mess and their fix is a daily stream of thousands of new patches, regulations, paperwork and confusion. I’ve been living in the trenches for 5 years trying to help employers understand and navigate. The reality and size of this law is starting to impact small employers like you.

 There has been NO improvement in health or cost because your health doesn’t matter to them (any of them). What are we going to get if we keep doing what we’ve been doing? Do you expect a different result?

My frustration is clear, we’re in an awful mess and no one cares. There’s a different voice that’s needed; here’s my hope (https://www.donwatza.com/about-2/owners-health-initiative/).

Peace,

Don

Read Don’s Huffington Post Article for Owners

PS

P.S. I will add below related articles;

“Insurers say Obamacare changes needed soon to protect companies from losses” USA Today, 11-24-2015.

“New research out this week from Commonwealth Fund shows far fewer people think their insurance premiums and deductibles — from employer-provided or exchange plans — are affordable than the government does when it defines affordability. About 40% of 2,700 people surveyed said they delay care and prescription refills when they were sick because of high deductibles, Commonwealth found.”

http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=2778&topicId=100025082&docId=l:2487319212

Happiness and Faith

We All Seek Happiness

Did you know the dispensing of mental health prescriptions are at an all time high in the US? What does this mean, what does it say about the citizens of the US? Medication abuse, drug use and addictions of all kinds are on the rise. If mental health prescriptions are intended to cure the rise of the diagnosis of depression, and if we assume depression is a certain amount of unhappy, then we can say, citizens in the US are increasingly unhappy. I would make the stretch that addictions to alcohol and drugs are frequently explained as an escape from an individuals present circumstance the they must not be happy in their present circumstance. Would you agree with how I’ve connected these dots? I’ve made a generalization of course and haven’t considered physical ailments of the mind and body that would be an exception; for now let’s stick with the generalization.

Did you know the percent of people who volunteer their time to local community organizations has dropped from a high of 60% 40 years ago to an all time low of 25%? What does a decrease in serving others mean? Do you volunteer your time for the good of others? Is this decrease in volunteer time somehow related to an increase in “unhappiness?”

How Much Do You Pay For This In Your Healthcare Premium?

Is there a connection between our state of unhappiness and serving others? Is the attitude of one who serves others opposite the attitude of someone with an addiction or on depressive drugs? Are these two attitudes on the opposite ends of the happiness continuum? Only as an economic indicator, as something we can measure, can we say those serving others (not preoccupied with themselves) is opposite addiction and depression? What’s the cost to families, communities and companies in healthcare premium for our unhappiness, addictions prescription solutions? $210 billion per year is one answer; “Growing Economic Burden…” I’ve not vetted this report or double checked against other sources; this number seems to me to be quite low. Is there an alternative to our current method of treatment?

Where do we look for happiness? Is happiness found in things of “this world” like entertainment, wealth and work, honor, power, personal physical pleasure; food, sex, alcohol, drugs gambling excess in all kinds of other things? Do you seek your “fifteen minutes of fame” selfies, indulging in idol chatter?

What makes you happy and at peace? If you were depressed or if your loved one were depressed how would you solve that problem? Is depression on the rise because hoping in the empty promise of seeking happiness in the things we see advertised, things our friends have, or momentary physical pleasures or other worldly things? What’s your “addiction” what’s your worldly addiction that when you get it, it makes you happy? For how long does it make you happy?

VeggieTales Madame Blueberry Trailer

A great line from Veggie Tales, “Madame Blueberry” who is the purveyor of “Stuff” as she buys more and more to satisfy her need for “Stuff”. She is seeking happy at the Stuff Mart Store; she sees a boy with nothing who is happy with what he has. Madam Blueberry asks the Stuff Mart store manager, “I want what that boy has, I want to be happy, where do I buy that?”

As Madam Blue-berry finds out, happiness can’t be bought. We all know people, if not ourselves, who have everything and are still depressed, sad, or just not happy. That’s because things of this world feed the flesh and mind but do nothing for our soul. Our soul doesn’t need stuff it needs God.

Fr. Robert Barron, now Bishop says, “the great task of the church is to teach teh human race how to find themselves precisely in relation to God.” Word on Fire Video on YouTube called, “Atheism and Assisted Suicide”

Consider faith as the answer to pills, pleasure, wealth, honor and power because faith is heaven sent and is a free gift from God; he alone feeds our soul. Give him your heart, mind and soul first. Then, find happiness in everything he’s already given you.

Psalm 23:1-6

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;  for you are with me;  your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;  you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;  and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Just a thought.

It’s morbid to compare: GM 124; Hospitals 400,000

Outraged over auto deaths?

Mary Barra in front of congress.
Mary Barra in front of congress.

All human life matters and to my way of thinking it’s good the autos and government have a way to track responsibility. I live in Detroit so that makes me a car guy. I feel attached to the auto industry. It’s good the cars we drive are safe.

Outrage over car deaths, of course, makes sense. And, the autos have taken responsibility because the government has a good method to enforce the autos to be accountable to the public.

General Motors will pay $900 million to settle criminal charges related to its flawed ignition switch that has been tied to at least 124 deaths.

CNNMoney (New York) September 17, 2015: 2:46 PM ET;  “GM CEO: ‘People died in our cars’ ” Poppy Harlow

http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/17/news/companies/gm-recall-ignition-switch/

Let’s compare; outrage over 124 auto related deaths compared to more than 400,000 preventable deaths at hospitals? Where’s the outrage? Where’s accountability?

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Healthcare IT news aritcle,

 

In this article, congress talks about possible solutions but isn’t demanding accountability from our medical system.

“The tragedy that we’re talking about here (is) deaths taking place that should not be taking place,” said subcommittee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening remarks.

Healthcare IT News, Erin McCann “Deaths by medical mistakes hit records, the way IT is designed remains part of the problem.” WASHINGTON | July 18, 2014

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deaths-by-medical-mistakes-hit-records

When I talk about our medical system is broken, it’s clear that if the auto tracking method were applied to hospitals we’d have accountability.

Here’s a quote from the same article;

In the hearing’s closing questions, when Sanders inquired as to why this crisis was not constantly splashed across front page news, he was met with this: “When people go to the hospital, they are sick. It is very easy to confuse the fact that somebody might have died because of a fatal consequence of their disease, versus they died from a complication from a medical error,” Jha said. “It has taken a lot to prove to all of us that many of these deaths are not a natural consequence of the underlying disease. They are purely failures of the system.”

In our premiums and in our government run healthcare we pay for these services.

But, our system requires more fixes than just this. The white paper is breaking apart many pieces of the medical system apparatus in order to demonstrate the areas where the system is broken. Follow the white paper for what’s wrong, then we’ll be publishing the fixes in 1qtr 2016.