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Friday, September 29, 2017

On deck: the 11th Annual Health 2.0 Conference

BREAKING: HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns. See below.
Touted it before, e.g., here:

Some topics of interest to me:

Last year's KHIT recap. And, my 2015 "on deck" setup post, "Free Beer Tomorrow."

My newest read, just getting underway:

Chapter 1
Welcome to the Most Important Conversation of Our Time

Technology is giving life the potential to flourish like never before—or to self-destruct.
- Future of Life Institute

Thirteen point eight billion years after its birth, our Universe has awoken and become aware of itself. From a small blue planet, tiny conscious parts of our Universe have begun gazing out into the cosmos with telescopes, repeatedly discovering that everything they thought existed is merely a small part of something grander: a solar system, a galaxy and a universe with over a hundred billion other galaxies arranged into an elaborate pattern of groups, clusters and superclusters. Although these self-aware stargazers disagree on many things, they tend to agree that these galaxies are beautiful and awe-inspiring.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not in the laws of physics, so before our Universe awoke, there was no beauty. This makes our cosmic awakening all the more wonderful and worthy of celebrating: it transformed our Universe from a mindless zombie with no self-awareness into a living ecosystem harboring self-reflection, beauty and hope— and the pursuit of goals, meaning and purpose. Had our Universe never awoken, then, as far as I’m concerned, it would have been completely pointless— merely a gigantic waste of space. Should our Universe permanently go back to sleep due to some cosmic calamity or self-inflicted mishap, it will, alas, become meaningless.

On the other hand, things could get even better. We don’t yet know whether we humans are the only stargazers in our cosmos, or even the first, but we’ve already learned enough about our Universe to know that it has the potential to wake up much more fully than it has thus far. Perhaps we’re like that first faint glimmer of self-awareness you experienced when you began emerging from sleep this morning: a premonition of the much greater consciousness that would arrive once you opened your eyes and fully woke up. Perhaps life will spread throughout our cosmos and flourish for billions or trillions of years— and perhaps this will be because of decisions that we make here on our little planet during our lifetime…

Tegmark, Max. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Kindle Locations 436-455). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Two prior reads come readily to mind for contextual triangulation:

Stay tuned. Particularly like that Max Tegmark and Sean Carroll are both physicists. Atomic and sub-atomic physics underpin all of biochem -- inclusive of the "omics."

There will also be tie-ins with all of this AI stuff I've written about repeatedly. UPDATE: apropos of the topic see this article:
Alchemical Intelligence.
Why today’s AI-adherents sound just about as crazy as alchemists, and what it might really take to create intelligence.


Kleptocrat Flyboy Tom Price is out as HHS Secretary.

Good riddance. See my prior post. And its antecedent posts "Rationing by Price" and "The Price is Right (wing, that it)."

The Leading Candidate to Replace Tom Price Seems Way Less Inclined to Sabotage Obamacare

The inglorious resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Friday leaves vacant an extremely powerful position in President Donald Trump’s cabinet. The early frontrunner for the job is Seema Verma, a former healthcare consultant who currently heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Despite this administration’s crusade against Medicaid, Verma actually worked to expand Medicaid in Indiana while she worked as former governor Mike Pence’s protégé in that state. Verma is no friend of the Affordable Care Act, and she has long wished to impose extra burdens on Americans who receive subsidized health care. She is, however, almost certainly the most qualified and least dogmatic official who could possibly lead HHS under the Trump administration. In fact, Verma replacing Price would be a significant improvement.

A key irony of Verma’s career is that, even though she is a conservative Republican, she has spent much of her life helping to implement Obamacare. Verma founded her healthcare consulting firm, SVP Inc., in 2001, and rose to prominence in 2007 through her work with then-Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. A somewhat moderate Republican, Daniels asked Verma to craft a Medicaid expansion for underserved populations in the state, especially childless adults. Verma created the Healthy Indiana Plan, which expanded health coverage in the state by about 40,000 people—no small potatoes…
I guess we'll see. Let us not forget the ~1,000 times the discretion-enabling phrase "Secretary shall" appears in the PPACA. Federal agency administrative implementation regulatory authority is supposed to only reflect the "intent of the Congress" as expressed in a law (a.k.a. the "legislative construction"). Good luck clearly divining that across the breadth of a large statute.

More to come...

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