6/13/2004

6-13-04 - 1

6-13-04

Of *course* interrogations should be taped. If you're legally interrogating a suspect, the tape would provide the evidence that the questioning was not coercive, and it would keep an incontrovertible record of what's said. The only reason you would not want it taped would be if you were doing illegal things in the questions (torture). Of course the US Military doesn't tape an interrogations, and much of law enforcement opposes it.


Our medical system is inherently corrupt. What we have are private contractors (doctors) who get to choose their own jobs, and they get paid more the more complicated & expensive their work is. They are inherently motivated to do more surgeries, prescribe more drugs, etc. They have no motivation for preventive care, because they're hardly paid for that. Also, there's a complete disconnect between what the patient gets and what they pay. Patients have no motivation to choose cheaper care, though by choosing the expensive care it comes back to bite us all in the long run. Patients may choose a $10,000 epidural shot rather than the $4 bottle of aspirin, even though all studies show they are equally effective. In fact, with insurance it's sometimes cheaper for patients to choose the $100 bottle of Clarinex (covered by insurance) rather than the $10 bottle of Claritin (not covered).

Medical insurance is fucked up, but all insurance is fucked up these days. Insurance is supposed to take a premium and hold it (invest it) and pay it out for people who need it for unexpected problems. It's a sort of hedge, it takes out the spikes in random events and puts everyone more at an EV (expected value). The problem is that insurance companies are for-profit companies, and you don't have much choice, and you must have insurance, legally and just because the consequences are too great if you don't. The first problem is that when people make insurance claims, they're way higher than they need to be. When mechanics are working on an insurance claim, they way over-charge, same with doctors, etc. there's lots of collusion and kickbacks between the insurance companies and the people who do the work. The second problem is that your monthly payments have to cover punative damages. Your car insurance and medical insurance are partly going to the big jury awards for accidents and malpractice. The third problem is that the insurance company makes their money right back when something goes wrong; this is legally limitted for medical insurance, but for car insurance, if you have an accident, they immediately raise your rates and make back the value from you quickly. You say, wait a minute, what were all those monthly premiums for?! The final problem is that whenever something really bad happens, they get bailed out by the government. They take your insurance premiums, they pay them out to themselves as salaries and profits, they use them to grow their business, advertise, etc. Then when a big flood hits, or whatever, hey, they don't have the money to cover it, they need the government to step in and pay the people. Well what the fuck did you do with all those insurance payments!? You're supposed to be a hedge that can handle those occasional spikes and make it up over time.

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old rants