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New York Film Review: Alex Gibney’s ‘No Stone Unturned’

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 20:52
For a dozen years, Alex Gibney has been one of our most important and exciting documentary filmmakers: a solo industry of explosive non-fiction. Gibney works with a devoted team, but the director is a multi-tasking engine; he never stops. The range of subjects he tackles is extraordinary — from Enron to WikiLeaks to Al Qaeda, […]

Jennifer Hudson Has Shoe Thrown at Her on Stage, Takes It as a Compliment

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 20:20
Jennifer Hudson is not the first celebrity to have a show thrown at her, but she is probably one of the first to take it as a compliment. The singer posted a video to Instagram showing her having a shoe thrown at her while singing her “Dreamgirls” hit “And I Am Telling You I’m Not […]

James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Wins San Sebastian

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 20:14
SAN SEBASTIAN — Marking a big win for the Oscar-nominated actor as a director, James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” won the 65th San Sebastián Festival’s Golden Shell, the top plaudit at the highest-profile film event in the Spanish-speaking world. Described by Variety as “the comedy sensation of SXSW,” James Franco’s uproarious “making-of” satire of Tommy […]

Kristin Davis: ‘It Is Deeply Frustrating’ That ‘Sex and the City 3’ Won’t Be Made

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 18:55
After Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed on Thursday that any hopes fans had for a third “Sex and the City” film are dashed, her co-star Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte Goldenblatt, took to Instagram to express her disappointment with the news. “I love to look back at the pics from our LONG history of Sex and […]

TV Ratings: ‘Marvel’s Inhumans’ Opens OK for ABC, L3 Ratings Plump Monday Premieres

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 16:47
“Marvel’s Inhumans” got off to a credible start in its two-hour debut by the low standards of Friday night. But ABC had better news as L3 ratings for Monday showed new drama “The Good Doctor” adding 5 million viewers and more than a rating point in adults 18-49 after three days of delayed viewing. “Inhumans” […]

Celebrities Call Out Trump for Tweets Criticizing Puerto Rico Mayor

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 16:43
President Donald Trump ignited controversy early Saturday morning with a series of tweets criticizing San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for her leadership in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastating effect on Puerto Rico. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico,” Trump wrote. “They want everything to […]

Bill Maher Takes a Knee to Support NFL Athletes, Blasts Trump

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 16:08
Bill Maher kicked off his “Real Time” monologue Friday night by taking a knee in solidarity with the NFL athletes who have recently been the subject of ire from President Donald Trump. “Before we start the show, let’s all take a knee, ladies and gentlemen,” he announced. Maher went on to lambast Trump, calling him […]

The Eagles, Garth Brooks, Train, More on Deck for Dan Fogelberg Tribute Album

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 15:00
The Eagles, Garth Brooks, Train, Jimmy Buffett, and Zac Brown are among the artists who will pay tribute to Dan Fogelberg, with an album slated to be released through BMG on Nov. 17 . The compilation was produced by Dan’s wife, Jean Fogelberg; longtime friend Norbert Putnam; and manager Irving Azoff; along with Chuck Morris. Fogelberg, […]

Box Office: Tom Cruise, ‘Kingsman’ Sequel, ‘It’ Battle for Top Spot, ‘Flatliners’ Flatlines

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 14:57
Universal’s Tom Cruise actioner “American Made,” Fox’s “Kingsman: the Golden Circle” and New Line’s “It” are all battling for the top spot at this weekend’s North American box office. Estimates showed Saturday that all three movies were heading for around $16.5 million for the Friday-Sunday period amid moderate overall business. Sony’s reboot of “Flatliners” showed […]

Trump Attacks San Juan Mayor, ‘Others in Puerto Rico’ for Hurricane Response

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 14:53
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump lashed out at the mayor of San Juan and “others in Puerto Rico” for their response to Hurricane Maria, saying that “they want everything done for them when it should be a community effort.” Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, which is the island’s largest city, has pleaded […]

Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please

Blog Maverick - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 22:29

I’m not a healthcare policy expert. Not by a long shot.  The challenges facing healthcare in this country are enormous. While I may not have answers, there is no downside to generating discussion on alternatives.  Feel free to comment on anything you feel is wrong with my suggestion.

The problem legislators are facing in their attempts to “Repeal and Replace” or even modify Obamacare in a manner that will make their constituents happy is that they can’t answer one very important question-

“Who takes less ?”

The stakeholders in Obamacare are the Insurance Companies, Health Care Providers and Consumers.

Will Insurance Companies be willing to take lower profits ?

Will Health Care Providers be willing to charge less for the services they are providing or take less reimbursement ?

Will Consumers have to accept fewer services and lesser quality of care ?

No stakeholder is willing to take less. Which is why it will be near impossible to “fix Obamacare” in a way that makes consumers, also known as voters, insurers and healthcare providers happy.

Politicians can deflect and promote the benefits of a free market, but the free market shows itself every day in the profits of insurers and healthcare providers. I have yet to see a single public company in these spaces make an announcement that they are willing to or expect to take less because of changes to Obamacare. Have you ?

So what should happen ?

There are 2 risks that every single citizen of the United States shares:

1. We all can lose the genetic lottery and find ourselves getting seriously ill or worse. 

2. We all can lose the “wrong place, wrong time” lottery and find ourselves facing a significant or life threatening injury.

We all can take steps to reduce those risks, but it is literally impossible to eliminate them. On any given morning, every single person can wake up, feel a little off and soon come to find they are sick. 

At any given moment we can be in the wrong place and something catastrophic happens. A car. A bus. A baseball bat. A knife. A bullet.  etc.  All of the sudden our loved ones are praying for us.

Today, we deal with those fears by doing our own versions of risk management.  Most of us try to get a job that offers health insurance. Even if its a job we don’t like, we realize that if we lose in either of these lotteries we won’t be able to afford the health care we need.

Some of us do our best to afford the least expensive health care insurance with high deductibles and lie to ourselves that we will be able to save enough to cover the deductible or we can keep enough open on our credit cards to survive a disaster. Unfortunately,when disaster hits, we rarely have enough.

Some of us, like I did in my 20s feel invincible and think it won’t happen to us. Until it does.

Which leads to my suggestion.

Not one single person in this country is immune to losing the Genetic or Randomness of Life Lottery. Not one. Doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, white, black or whatever religion you are, if any. We all have close to the same odds of getting ill or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s time we recognize these facts and deal with them accordingly.

Whether its Medicaid or a new program, every single person in this country should be covered 100pct for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life threatening injury.  

The premiums that we are paying to insurance companies as individuals or as company coverage for these significant risks would go from the insurance companies to the IRS. Only the cost of covering the what’s left would continue being paid to the insurance companies.

It would not be hard to do the math. Every insurance company does this analysis already. The government does this analysis already. We all would end up paying  more in taxes, but less in insurance and healthcare costs over time.

There would be no mandates. There would be no individual penalties.  No Tax Credits. No subsidies. No Offsets or deductions for buying higher end insurance. This will be single payer (yes i know its a dirty phrase in this country) for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life threatening injury.

Everything not covered by the above can be covered by insurance sold on the Free Market, managed by the states, sold across state lines, without government interference.

There will be unique opportunities for insurance companies to innovate knowing they wont have to face the most expensive healthcare problems and they can have the cushion of knowing that illnesses and injuries that they covered that transition to those covered by Single Payer Advanced will be reimbursed.

We all share the same risks, we all can share the costs of our greatest risks.

The  peace of mind this would bring to every family would make our country stronger. I know with certainty it won’t reduce innovation in healthcare. Technology is going to continue to boom and change our future.

There is something for everyone to hate in this. It doesn’t cover as wide a range of healthcare options as Obamacare, but it covers everyone. Immediately. No paperwork required. It is more humane, cost effective and fair than what the Republicans have proposed so far.

Which means everyone can rip it to pieces. Which is exactly what I want everyone to try to do in the comments so we can see how to make the concept better

PS – On the issue of drug prices, I would include an MFN for pricing for this government pricing.  Whatever the best price is you give to anyone, you have to give to this program.







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