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Monday, July 15, 2019

Biden Cancer Initiative goes dark

In on my iPhone a bit ago,

Well, that didn't last long.

Cheryl and I went to one of their conferences in Concord, California last year. Given our painful personal cancer connection, I quickly put 'em in a links columns hard link here on the blog, wrote 'em up, and reached out to them multiple times asking how we might help.

Not one peep in reply.

Last year they had gross revenue of just under $4 million. No outrageous payroll. Paid their President Greg Simon about $225k. The Bidens took nothing. Nothing untoward that I can see lurking in their IRS 990. (pdf)

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, though, BCI came to seem to me a bit of a well-meaning hobnob-with-VIPs "vanity project." Endless talk-talk-talk "summits" empaneled by clinicians, policy people, celebs, and patients. We already have plenty of those.

I guess it's problematic now, with Joe running for President.

Biden proposes massive new Obamacare subsidies, public option in health care plan
Joe Biden is proposing massive new subsidies to make health coverage through Obamacare's exchanges cheaper -- as well as a new "public option" that would allow people to buy into a program his campaign says would be similar to Medicare.

The former vice president unveiled his health care plan Monday morning amid an escalating fight with his 2020 Democratic presidential foes as some more liberal candidates advocate enrolling all Americans in a national health plan, all but eliminating private health insurance.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to deliver a speech making his case for "Medicare for All" on Wednesday, according to his campaign. And California Sen. Kamala Harris, who has similarly backed a single-payer, government-run health program, teased the upcoming rollout of her plan in front of a crowd in New Hampshire on Sunday, too.

Biden, meanwhile, is pushing for a more moderate approach, built on former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"We should not be starting from scratch. We should be building from what we have. There's no time to wait," Biden told an audience in Dover, New Hampshire, on Friday.

He said that under his plan, if "you like your employer-based insurance, you get to keep it." Under other leading Democrats' plans, he said, "you lose it, period.”…
Oh, boy... I wrote a post in 2009 titled "Public Optional."

I am reminded of a passage from a David Graeber book:

wherein he asks,
Does this mean that members of the political class might actually collude in the maintenance of useless employment? If that seems a daring claim, even conspiracy talk, consider the following quote, from an interview with then US president Barack Obama about some of the reasons why he bucked the preferences of the electorate and insisted on maintaining a private, for-profit health insurance system in America:
“I don’t think in ideological terms. I never have,” Obama said, continuing on the health care theme. “Everybody who supports single-payer health care says, ‘Look at all this money we would be saving from insurance and paperwork.’ That represents one million, two million, three million jobs [filled by] people who are working at Blue Cross Blue Shield or Kaiser or other places. What are we doing with them? Where are we employing them?”
I would encourage the reader to reflect on this passage because it might be considered a smoking gun. What is the president saying here? He acknowledges that millions of jobs in medical insurance companies like Kaiser or Blue Cross are unnecessary. He even acknowledges that a socialized health system would be more efficient than the current market-based system, since it would reduce unnecessary paperwork and reduplication of effort by dozens of competing private firms. But he’s also saying it would be undesirable for that very reason. One motive, he insists, for maintaining the existing market-based system is precisely its inefficiency, since it is better to maintain those millions of basically useless office jobs than to cast about trying to find something else for the paper pushers to do.

So here is the most powerful man in the world at the time publicly reflecting on his signature legislative achievement—and he is insisting that a major factor in the form that legislature took is the preservation of bullshit jobs…

Graeber, David. Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (p. 157). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.


BTW, we've now lived in Baltimore for 3 months, rolled in overland from California on Monday April 15th.

Likin' it. Interesting city. Lots of problems. Hot as Hades this week.

I subscribe to the Baltimore Sun "eNewspaper." It's a daily digital version of the print paper. It's very cool. Love it on my 27" iMac.

More to come...

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