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Politics on Facebook

Shifting Middle East

Team Trump is heading to 'Davos in the Desert'. The administration has apparently gotten over its outrage at the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, so now senior adviser Jared Kushner and Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin are heading to Saudi Arabia for a major business conference.

Trump admin apparently over Khashoggi killing, will attend Saudi’s ‘Davos in the Desert’

By scouring contract solicitations, Justin was able to piece together the fact that high level Trump administration officials are heading to Saudi Arabia to talk business at Davos in the Desert. The only problem with that? It's extremely unseemly. Saudi Arabia brutally killed an American journalist last

By scouring contract solicitations, Justin was able to piece together the fact that high level Trump administration officials are heading to Saudi Arabia to talk business at Davos in the Desert. The only problem with that? It's extremely unseemly. Saudi Arabia brutally killed an American journalist last year, and brushing aside his cruel murder signals US indifference to the crime.

A bit of news buried in a haystack's worth of State Department contract solicitations, confirming the attendance of Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin at Saudi Arabia's version of Davos later this month. Interestingly, the Saudi Arabian government "did not authorize" the US delegation to stay at the Riyadh

A bit of news buried in a haystack's worth of State Department contract solicitations, confirming the attendance of Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin at Saudi Arabia's version of Davos later this month. Interestingly, the Saudi Arabian government "did not authorize" the US delegation to stay at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, where the event is being held. So they booked 45 rooms at the nearby Burj Rafal, instead.

Biases holding us back...

Class bias creeps into the hiring process in just a matter of seconds. A Yale study shows hiring managers' decisions are influenced in ways that perpetuate wealth inequality.

Yale study shows class bias creeps into the hiring process in just a matter of seconds

This is such an interesting study and story. Kind of chilling too, especially for those of us who like to think we're operating in egalitarian settings. Read it and weep, or at least cringe, like I did, when you get to this part about cultural fit. “It’s going to seem like the person just has this vibe

This is such an interesting study and story. Kind of chilling too, especially for those of us who like to think we're operating in egalitarian settings. Read it and weep, or at least cringe, like I did, when you get to this part about cultural fit. “It’s going to seem like the person just has this vibe, right? But it might be class,” Kraus says.

Democracy is hard

Brexit vote blocked. Parliament speaker John Bercow has blocked a new vote on the Brexit deal reached between prime minister Boris Johnson and European leaders, BBC News reports.

MPs' vote on Brexit deal ruled out by Speaker

No rush. Full 10 days to go. In order for the UK to leave the EU with the agreement on future relations:

- UK Gov needs to propose the implementing legislation (on all fields where the EU law will leave a vacuum, I assume) AND timetable for its adoption

- Only then the UK parliament will grant a green

No rush. Full 10 days to go. In order for the UK to leave the EU with the agreement on future relations:

- UK Gov needs to propose the implementing legislation (on all fields where the EU law will leave a vacuum, I assume) AND timetable for its adoption

- Only then the UK parliament will grant a green light to “deal”

- and only then the EP will green-light the withdrawal agreement

- only then the UK leaves with a deal

The EP said it is ready to call extraordinary session even for Oct 31 if necessary. Yes the 700+ MEPs representing of 500 000 000 europeans will do a special physical sitting session for the UK

- there is only one task for the UK politicians, only one, the task that was supposed to be done in last 3 years: get their mess together.

10 days to go. Time! Start!

Opioid settlement delays courtroom justice

India's coal addiction

India is shifting to renewables. More than half the country’s energy comes from burning coal, but that’s slowly changing. Exclusively for Quartz members, our new field guide explores how India might shed its coal habit, and offer valuable insights to countries facing similar disruptive climate, economic, and technological issues. ✦

The world can learn from India trying to deal with its coal addiction

Akshat Rathi's deep dives into energy are some of my favorite stories on qz.com. Check out his State of Play covering India's coal usage, and the unique challenges it faces as it tries to switch to renewables.

India’s biggest motivations to keep burning coal boil down to:

1. Large domestic coal reserves with very little gas or oil

2. Decades of coal hegemony in the national energy mix (by now there’s lots of cash tied up in coal-fired power plants, the train system is mostly dependent on revenue from coal

India’s biggest motivations to keep burning coal boil down to:

1. Large domestic coal reserves with very little gas or oil

2. Decades of coal hegemony in the national energy mix (by now there’s lots of cash tied up in coal-fired power plants, the train system is mostly dependent on revenue from coal transport, etc.)

One crucial statistic is that an average resident here uses up only 1/10th of the electricity consumed by an average American (India has among the lowest per capita emissions). The Indian government justifies coal as a necessity to improve energy access to millions of poor citizens—but they are also the worst-hit due to pollution and land rights disputes that come with coal mining and coal-fired stations.

Gaming in China

✊🇨🇱🇭🇰🇱🇧

Violent clashes in Hong Kong continued… A rally on the 20th weekend of protests turned chaotic, as protesters and police faced off amid tear gas and firebombs. Police sprayed demonstrators with a noxious blue liquid, also hitting a mosque, the Hong Kong Free Press reports.

Video: Hong Kong police accused of targeting mosque with water cannon blue dye as communities conduct clean-up | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

My architect friend, the vice president at AIA Hong Kong, has worked on a redevelopment project, which includes refining the street pavements. The protesters peeled off those bricks to use them as a weapon. His project was destroyed.

The number of tourists dropped by over 40% comparing to the same

My architect friend, the vice president at AIA Hong Kong, has worked on a redevelopment project, which includes refining the street pavements. The protesters peeled off those bricks to use them as a weapon. His project was destroyed.

The number of tourists dropped by over 40% comparing to the same month last year, which consists of 5% of GDP. For China, Hong Kong is not as economically significant as in the past, and maybe hoping Hong Kong to shrink its presence slowly. Unlike Tiananmen, the government cannot act violently because people monitor and share the information well, but people are also monitored well in China that this Chaos won't be spread to the ​mainland anyways.

…and rallies spurred Lebanon to adopt reforms. The prime minister and coalition partners agreed to implement measures to deal with the country’s economic crisis, the Guardian reports, after protests that erupted, in part, over a plan to tax WhatsApp calls.

Lebanon's mass revolt against corruption and poverty continues

This Guardian take on Lebanon protests isn’t the strongest out there, starting with the implication that a WhatsApp tax sent Lebanese on to the streets. It is also baffling that in a country where women are largely fearless, vocal and heard (there is a viral meme of a woman protester kicking an armed

This Guardian take on Lebanon protests isn’t the strongest out there, starting with the implication that a WhatsApp tax sent Lebanese on to the streets. It is also baffling that in a country where women are largely fearless, vocal and heard (there is a viral meme of a woman protester kicking an armed government bodyguard in the groin), this reporter only managed to give voice to one woman, anonymously. Is the Guardian’s photo choice of Lebanese women posing - as if in beauty contest - a fair reflection of what’s happening on the ground? I ask not as a Middle East expert (b/c I’m not), rather, as a journalist who called Beirut home for more than a few years. Quartz - here’s a better option for #LebanonProtests 101: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/18/lebanons-protests-wildfires-tell-same-grim-story/

The hidden worlds around us

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Why Do Employers Provide Health Care in the First Place?

Why Do Employers Provide Health Care in the First Place?

Read more on Harvard Business Review

From Our Members

  • Ten years ago working at a Fortune 10 company, healthcare benefits were actually a benefit. Reasonable co-pay and no premiums. When I left the company last year, I was paying about $10k in premiums for my family and full price for medical care up to an additional $8k. With an income of $80k, I could

    Ten years ago working at a Fortune 10 company, healthcare benefits were actually a benefit. Reasonable co-pay and no premiums. When I left the company last year, I was paying about $10k in premiums for my family and full price for medical care up to an additional $8k. With an income of $80k, I could barely afford to pay for the “benefit” of working for the company and going to the doctor was not an option. Getting stung by a wasp cost me $6k plus $400 (rebate was not available to me) for an EPI pen. This is WITH company provided insurance.

    I am glad our seniors have the care they need, but please be aware that the people working today to cover their healthcare cost are going into poverty to do it.

  • Incredibly well researched summary of how the healthcare insurance industry works in the US (or doesn’t work, for that matter) & how we got there - 3rd of a 5-part series by HBR on Transforming Healthcare.

  • At Clover, I stumbled once across an interesting truth in our data: that people who called us, even if they said we were unable to help them, still liked us better than people who never called us. Because the people who never called assumed we were like every other insurance company and people hate insurance

    At Clover, I stumbled once across an interesting truth in our data: that people who called us, even if they said we were unable to help them, still liked us better than people who never called us. Because the people who never called assumed we were like every other insurance company and people hate insurance companies.

    It isn’t as simple as greed or some key broken cog in the machine or any of the glib commentary of the pundits. Medicine as a system, saves lives every day and insurance pays for it. That changed is needed is certain but it doesn’t start with heckling from the sidelines, it starts with getting in the game.

  • Ever look at the teeth of British citizens. A lot of them are terrible, not taken care of well with National Healthcare, and there was that child, the healthcare system would not let go, so the parents could try with a US Hospital. Even though it would be paid by the parents. Our system is broken. States

    Ever look at the teeth of British citizens. A lot of them are terrible, not taken care of well with National Healthcare, and there was that child, the healthcare system would not let go, so the parents could try with a US Hospital. Even though it would be paid by the parents. Our system is broken. States ran health insurance for years, mostly following New York’s rules. It was a complicated mess with a lot of differences in different states. Rules did not allow, groups to be fraternal as well as employer groups. So you either got health insurance at work, or had to purchase individual plans. I know from experience, health insurance has not been this profit center, most think it is. The margins are slim and it did affect coverage. Costs for healthcare, are too many hospitals competing with each other, physician groups, and Drug companies. Even our structure setting prices for Medicare is a.complicated mess, that is actually adding to the costs. Drug pricing is a draconian system making some a lot of money as middlemen. Why? A lot of doctors are setting up Concierge Practices. Stepping outside of the system, setting a model for healthcare for the rich, not the rest of us. We will need to restructure the system of healthcare delivery to really attack the cost. Set up a single payer and they never will address the cause, of the high cost, just print more money...

  • Very enlightening to know that insurance companies did not invent the "employer paid healthcare" benefit. I am very optimistic about new models that new healthcare benefits startups are coming up with. There's a couple of areas in which I would love to see innovation or improvisation:

    1. Explaining

    Very enlightening to know that insurance companies did not invent the "employer paid healthcare" benefit. I am very optimistic about new models that new healthcare benefits startups are coming up with. There's a couple of areas in which I would love to see innovation or improvisation:

    1. Explaining benefits better so people know what they are truly eligible for and different life stages

    2. Giving more flexibility to people on how they want to spend they money allocated/set aside for their healthcare benefits

    3. Innovative services that allow people who are self-employed to access healthcare the same way as full-time employees without having to set aside a pile of money for emergencies

  • Insurance is a tax on those who do not have the money to protect themselves from unfavorable events... And the consolidation of insurance carriers in major areas is something to be looked into, as well as the alignment of incentives of insurance executive pay to outcomes for the insured (think AIG bailout)

    Insurance is a tax on those who do not have the money to protect themselves from unfavorable events... And the consolidation of insurance carriers in major areas is something to be looked into, as well as the alignment of incentives of insurance executive pay to outcomes for the insured (think AIG bailout).

    Ultimately, I question whether health insurance companies and health care provider organizations should be publicly traded - the pressure for ever increasing returns can damage the focus on quality and cost to the consumer.

  • Whatever we do in the US, we should address costs before we socialize medicine.

    Same thing with education.

  • Because the system sucks and is driven by insurance companies... Because individuals can't reduce the cost of insurance, done so in the scale of a group purchase of it... Because a business is a group... Because providing it at a lower cost is an employee benefit.

    It's rather straightforward. And if

    Because the system sucks and is driven by insurance companies... Because individuals can't reduce the cost of insurance, done so in the scale of a group purchase of it... Because a business is a group... Because providing it at a lower cost is an employee benefit.

    It's rather straightforward. And if we ever want to capably "care" for everyone, we have to stop confusing it for what it is, and break it... The system now is an insurance scheme, break the insurance middleman and constraints and we can start addressing how to provide the affordable and quality care we all want.

  • Understand the history, and make an informed choice, not a political one.

  • If you were interested in this article, now read this one by Elijah Wolfson: https://qz.com/work/1481224/the-most-screwed-up-employee-perk-in-america-and-the-man-who-just-might-fix-it/

  • Healthcare in the US is good but the costs are locking large numbers of the population out of care as even employer provided plans shift more cost to employees and no group, insurers or employers a big enough to contain the inflation in healthcare costs. I know some will disparage national systems and

    Healthcare in the US is good but the costs are locking large numbers of the population out of care as even employer provided plans shift more cost to employees and no group, insurers or employers a big enough to contain the inflation in healthcare costs. I know some will disparage national systems and comment on dental care in some countries but most US healthcare packages do not cover dental care. The US wastes over $1 trillion a year under our present system. It is money that could be better spent and why should Americans pay so much more than citizens of other countries for pharmaceuticals.

  • It’s called Corporate greed by Pharmaceutical companies and the Medical profession. That’s why American Healthcare is SO expensive!!! ☹️

  • Why can you buy a phone that has more computing power than the most powerful computers of a few decades ago for a couple of hundred bucks? The answer is competition, technology and free markets.

    It's why the Oklahoma Surgery Center is able to perform operations for 1/5 of the cost of usual and yet

    Why can you buy a phone that has more computing power than the most powerful computers of a few decades ago for a couple of hundred bucks? The answer is competition, technology and free markets.

    It's why the Oklahoma Surgery Center is able to perform operations for 1/5 of the cost of usual and yet it remains a for profit center. As is true with all free market systems the prices are transparent. With private insurance or government insurance, patients have no incentive to search out the best prices. Can you imagine if back in 1990 the government decided everyone would get the same mobile phone and they would control the cost of that phone? We would be walking around with big phones that were only phones.

    Greed has nothing to do with it. Competition takes care of greed. Consumer driven, free-market (with publically posted pricing) healthcare will revolutionize health care costs.

  • If we really want to address healthcare costs, several unpalatable steps must be considered.

    1. Discourage unhealthy dietary choices though point of manufacturing taxes with the revenue designated to subsidize care delivery.

    2. Increase the supply of Doctors by paying for schooling. In return, the resulting

    If we really want to address healthcare costs, several unpalatable steps must be considered.

    1. Discourage unhealthy dietary choices though point of manufacturing taxes with the revenue designated to subsidize care delivery.

    2. Increase the supply of Doctors by paying for schooling. In return, the resulting Doctors would have to agree to practice in an underserved area for 10 years.

    3. Allow Medicare/Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.

    4. Promote efficacy testing of new treatment approaches/drugs/equipment to determine if any rise in cost delivers a commensurate improvement in outcomes.

    5. For expensive treatment modalities, encourage and support "treatment travel" to encourage patient's to travel to lower cost markets for treatment.

  • Greed. More greed. You can not have a free market with health insurance that effectively covers everyone.

  • While this article is a useful overview and summarization of HC in America, it seems slanted/biased in a number of key areas. It would be a worthwhile endeavor to gather a group of health care policy advocates to review and input while corroborating with other sources and develop a master source file

    While this article is a useful overview and summarization of HC in America, it seems slanted/biased in a number of key areas. It would be a worthwhile endeavor to gather a group of health care policy advocates to review and input while corroborating with other sources and develop a master source file that would address these aforesaid biases and omissions and “areas” requiring refinement. There are also other areas of concern not even addressed here in this article which greatly changes the thinking dynamic. Overall though this is a masterful assessment of what’s on the mind of everyone fighting for solutions to the debates we hear from our various communications channels and both individuals and communities. Thank you!

  • Just as in the military side where we spend as much as the next 20 countries combined the US essentially subsidizes healthcare for the rest of the world. We pay more for drugs and health infrastructure so healthcare companies can exist even with the low margins available in other countries.

  • Interesting history of how the US healthcare system became so expensive to operate.

    “Warren Buffett has even gone so far as to argue that health care costs hamper economic competitiveness more than taxes do.”

  • I sell health insurance you are 100% correct.

  • This is a great article. I do disagree with the premise that high deductible plans are just to shift the cost to the consumer. The intent is to also shift the responsibility of your health to the consumer while trying to reduce the over use of free healthcare as discussed in the article.

    High deductible

    This is a great article. I do disagree with the premise that high deductible plans are just to shift the cost to the consumer. The intent is to also shift the responsibility of your health to the consumer while trying to reduce the over use of free healthcare as discussed in the article.

    High deductible plans still provide free preventive care and they are there if you have a critical illness like cancer that would bankrupt most individuals. Mean while the consumer takes on the in between cost of many minor illnesses much like you do for car repair or home repairs. It creates a balance in owning your own health costs but ultimately provides protection (insurance) against major expenses.

  • We are the only nation that talks health insurance instead of health care. It is impossible for health insurance to maintain a purpose, when the only purpose they serve is to take 9 trillion dollars out of health care while providing no service or product ever..... Fair warning to all that have made

    We are the only nation that talks health insurance instead of health care. It is impossible for health insurance to maintain a purpose, when the only purpose they serve is to take 9 trillion dollars out of health care while providing no service or product ever..... Fair warning to all that have made a living raping and pillaging America. It is over.. Cat is out of the bag... We all have family that died because you rejected their claim.. Now the nation knows your only purpose is selfish profits for your selves... How long do you think the industry will last if we closed this public tit you suck on. A year may be

  • It seems to me that the real issue is that the health system in the USA is that it’s a for profit setup. Most democratic governments consider health care to be a human right, not a privilege. Greed seems to be a big issue! Americans might want to take a realistic look at the Canadian system without regard for politics.

  • An interesting fact of HC insurance history in the US and EU.

    “For insurance to be effective and affordable, both healthy people and people more likely to become ill must take part.” - Only universal hc coverage like the ones administered in Japan and some other nations can make it come true.

  • I think you should be able to get health care at anytime not just in november

  • Interesting and informative

  • Ok guys get ready.

    Corporate America sucks. Corporate America governs our country.

    The article is a great overview on how we got to where we are right now but unfortunately, like always, the important part is in the fine print, those “little” details that unfortunately were not part of the article

    Ok guys get ready.

    Corporate America sucks. Corporate America governs our country.

    The article is a great overview on how we got to where we are right now but unfortunately, like always, the important part is in the fine print, those “little” details that unfortunately were not part of the article.

    Our government has allowed this to happen because it is in its best interest to let it “be”.

    Regulatory requirements are focusing on the wrong actor, the physician. Although I acknowledge that doctors were one of the primordial factors on how we got to this point, I believe that at this point, unfortunately they are just one of the victims.

    Again, going back to Corporate America. Going back to lawyers. Our country is run by big corporations, lobbyists and we all know that! But what a lot of us don’t know is that the way medicine is practiced is also governed by those corporations and indirectly by our government.

    Let’s say, you go to see your doctor because of a simple headache or chest pain or even abdominal pain. In the past, your doctor would just use his best clinical judgement and give you the treatment he thought would most benefit you and end of the story. But now, because of regulations from government agencies, lawyers, etc, your doctor makes decisions on how to best treat you, not on what he thinks is best for you, but on what’s going to create less problems for him or her. For example failure to perform or follow a certain guideline could and will result in his pay being cut or even possibly a lawsuit, so what is the doctor supposed to do, well, what most of them do, practice defensive medicine, which definitely increases the cost of your visit. But now to make matters more complicated, those same tests and treatments derived from the doctors need to protect themselves are now being scrutinized and denied by the same people ( Corporate America/Lawyers ) that forced the doctors to order them in the first place. And it all becomes nothing but a viscous cycle of bureaucracy and higher costs.

    So my proposal to fix our broken system would be to increase regulation on both insurance companies and lawyers, but wait... they are the same guys that lobby our congressmen and senators and presidents... I just hope one day someone would have the strength to say enough is enough and do the right thing, regulate insurance companies and lawyers and let the doctors be doctors. Of course they need some oversight but it’s time to stop focusing on the wrong guys.