Analytics And The Problem With Obama And Trump Care

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A few years back I was talking to a Forensic Analytics company Beyondcore about why the Affordable Health Care Act wasn’t affordable.  Forensic Analytics is a very specialized field which looks and the core reasons for why something is.  We tend to spend a lot of time on the what, in this case Obama Care sucks, but not nearly enough of the why which speaks to the difficulty in fixing it.  I mean if you don’t understand why something is broken you’ll likely fail at fixing it which is clearly a big part of the mess in getting the replacement for Obama Care through congress, it actually looks worse and no one really wants worse.

Let’s talk about the core problem with the national healthcare effort then and now and why an information/analytics approach to the problem could come up with a better solution.  However, this also points to the common problem with analytics, often people leave off a critical factor and end up making a bad decision.  Which I think speaks to the train wreck we are now seeing.

Obamacare Mistake

The core problem that Beyondcore was trying to address was the fact that when proposed the Obamacare numbers looked pretty good and the core numbers had been deeply analyzed by a variety of organizations and analysts.  But, once in place, the red ink poured out of the program causing some smart politicians and bureaucrats to ask why.  As it turns out there was a fundamental mistake made in the analysis.  A core belief in the program was that young users, who would be required to buy into the program, would generate enough extra cash to pay for the lower health and higher healthcare usage of older users.  This was based on the accurate belief that young users don’t go to doctors as often, but what was left out of this analysis was psychiatric care which was covered by the program.  Apparently, Millennials need an unusual amount of psychiatric care which wasn’t factored in when the program was created and thus generate little or no extra cash so the medical needs of the older users weren’t in fact covered.  This Obamacare, because psychiatric care was left out of the analysis but covered by the insurance, tanked the financials of the program.

Hidden Tax

Now another problem with this concept was that the program was intended to cover pre-existing medical problems from those that didn’t have insurance.  This isn’t insurance it is basically a gift from the State to those that either chose not to carry insurance or couldn’t afford it.  This cost had to be spread to those that had paid for insurance as an effective tax concealed as an insurance rate increase and/or a reduction in benefits.  Many of us got both, our rates went up along with our co-pays and costs associated with medication and special procedures.

When a tax is hidden like this it doesn’t appear like a tax and people can’t effectively object to it but the dissatisfaction with the program speaks to the fact that just concealing a problem like this doesn’t get rid of it.

Costs

However, the far larger problem is that the United States ranks toward the top in terms of per-capita medical expenses but near the bottom in terms of quality of coverage.  It is very much like we are paying for brand new Rolls Royce quality service but actually getting used Yugo, which isn’t sustainable.  If you have a cost vs. service problem you need to address this first but instead both parties are largely focused with moving these unaffordable costs around to different groups of people who understandably don’t want to pay them.  If either party truly wanted this to work and assure they would be reelected a focus on eliminating these extreme costs would seem to be the more intelligent path but, instead, both groups seem to be focused on sticking these costs to the demographic that typically votes for the rival group.

At the heart of this problem is the seeming belief that Universal Healthcare is a weapon to be used against rival politicians rather than a necessary benefit to assure the health of the nation.

Wrapping Up:

The United States is the world leader in technology and certainly in the lead with regard to analytics and artificial intelligence.  These tools can be incredibly effective at helping critical decision makers make ever more intelligent decisions.  However, they don’t protect against stupid mistakes like intentionally leaving out critical information like psychiatric needs of young people, or avoiding the core problem that needs fixing like the fact healthcare costs in the US are unusually unaffordable.

This is partially why a lot of us are concerned that the coming Artificial Intelligence wave may wipe us out.  Because people are training this first generation of AIs which will be able to think and act far more quickly than and if they are equally flawed that means the mistakes that are coming will come faster in the future.  A lot of us aren’t sure we can survive a massive increase in the number of mistakes coming out of the government.   It’d would be really bad if the Terminator, rather than being a worst-case scenario, turned out to be a better alternative than what we actually end up with.

Comments From Facebook

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Sedilia Sims: Read the article. It is misleading. No mention of the Trump care plan!😐
Posted ON : 06/23/2017
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Julio Toribio:
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Sally Fogg Jones: A non partisan look.
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Richard Lee: ☆☆☆☆☆
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Michael Barrett: Nothing is Real in Trump's America Unless the Cameras Are Rolling

This, apparently, is the way things are going to go. He's going to lurch from photo op to rally to photo op, proclaim victory over something, celebrate his own greatness, and then move on to whatever the next thing is. It's the George Aiken Victory In Vietnam strategy toward governing the entire country: Declare victory and then get out. Nothing is real, except in the immediate moment, when the cameras are hot and the ovations, rapturous. Actual results are irrelevant.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55850/trump-reality-reagan/?src=social-email
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Beverly Pellegrino: There were no results w obama!!  
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Michael Barrett: Poll: Most Americans Unaware GOP Plans Would Make Deep Funding Cuts to Medicaid | National News | US NewsThree-quarters of Americans say they approve of Medicaid but don’t realize changes are afoot.https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-06-23/poll-most-americans-unaware-gop-plans-would-make-deep-funding-cuts-to-medicaid  
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Diann Zajac: The states were given more in the budget. Also it will force the states to look more closely as to who is on Medicaid. Lets face it we all know people who are on Medicaid and do not need to be.  
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Tom Callarman: The problem is that neither is a health care plan. Both only address health insurance (and there are flaws in both approaches), without really addressing the health care system. High costs are an important part of the system that need to be addressed.
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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John Murphy: I hope more people read your comment and let it sink in. That's what I have been thinking also  
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Roy Baxter: At least we don't have to pass it to read it
Posted ON : 06/24/2017
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Elias Esmair: ١ اِرْحَمْنِي يَا اَللهُ ارْحَمْنِي، لأَنَّهُ بِكَ احْتَمَتْ نَفْسِي، وَبِظِلِّ جَنَاحَيْكَ أَحْتَمِي إِلَى أَنْ تَعْبُرَ الْمَصَائِبُ. 1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
Commentary by Matthew Henry (verse 1-6)

٢ أَصْرُخُ إِلَى اللهِ الْعَلِيِّ، إِلَى اللهِ الْمُحَامِي عَنِّي. 2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

٣ يُرْسِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَيُخَلِّصُنِي. عَيَّرَ الَّذِي يَتَهَمَّمُنِي. سِلاَهْ. يُرْسِلُ اللهُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَحَقَّهُ. 3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

٤ نَفْسِي بَيْنَ الأَشْبَالِ. أَضْطَجعُ بَيْنَ الْمُتَّقِدِينَ بَنِي آدَمَ. أَسْنَانُهُمْ أَسِنَّةٌ وَسِهَامٌ، وَلِسَانُهُمْ سَيْفٌ مَاضٍ. 4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

٥ ارْتَفِعِ اللَّهُمَّ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ. لِيَرْتَفِعْ عَلَى كُلِّ الأَرْضِ مَجْدُكَ. 5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

٦ هَيَّأُوا شَبَكَةً لِخَطَوَاتِي. انْحَنَتْ نَفْسِي. حَفَرُوا قُدَّامِي حُفْرَةً. سَقَطُوا فِي وَسَطِهَا. سِلاَهْ. 6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

٧ ثَابِتٌ قَلْبِي يَا اَللهُ، ثَابِتٌ قَلْبِي. أُغَنِّي وَأُرَنِّمُ. 7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Commentary by Matthew Henry (verse 7-11)

٨ اسْتَيْقِظْ يَا مَجْدِي! اسْتَيْقِظِي يَا رَبَابُ وَيَا عُودُ! أَنَا أَسْتَيْقِظُ سَحَرًا. 8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

٩ أَحْمَدُكَ بَيْنَ الشُّعُوبِ يَا رَبُّ. أُرَنِّمُ لَكَ بَيْنَ الأُمَمِ. 9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

١٠ لأَنَّ رَحْمَتَكَ قَدْ عَظُمَتْ إِلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ، وَإِلَى الْغَمَامِ حَقُّكَ. 10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

١١ ارْتَفِعِ اللَّهُمَّ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ. لِيَرْتَفِعْ عَلَى كُلِّ الأَرْضِ مَجْدُكَ. 11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
Posted ON : 06/25/2017
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Myrna Bonilla: of course it didn't help that insurance CEO & executive have enormous bonuses even when they r not making money as they claim
Posted ON : 06/25/2017
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Karl Sswed: Americans demand Universal healthcare for all period.
Posted ON : 06/26/2017
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Diann Zajac: The only way we will get a good health plan is if we the people force congress and all government employees to be on the same plan.
Posted ON : 06/26/2017
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Karl Sswed: https://www.facebook.com/thejournalistvideo/videos/1682132638466964/
Posted ON : 06/26/2017