Posted tagged ‘healthcare’

Healthcare and Simple Math

July 16, 2009

I have to tell you I got pretty excited last night watching the news.  It seems that the House has come up with a way to afford the new universal healthcare package the government is going to provide, and it will actually save as much as it costs!

The plan is simple.  The new universal healthcare plan will cost a TRILLION a year, and we can get that money by taxing the RICH and small businesses an extra 5%.  Pretty cool, I think.  Plus, and here is the best part, our government leaders are promising that so many reforms will be made in the new universal healthcare package that it will actually save an extra $500 BILLION to $1 TRILLION a year.  One Democrat leader even promised that if the savings was $1 TRILLION they would rescind the 5% tax hike on the RICH and on small business.

So, here are some math questions I have, as well as some foundational truths.

Truth #1 – Isn’t the future viability of our country based on the ability of our country to stay prosperous and financially stable?  It seems to me that our biggest challenge right now is our debt level and our sluggish economy.

Idea # 1 — What if we just put a 12-month freeze on universal healthcare, passed the tax increase on the rich, and used the money to pay off $1 TRILLION in debt?  I would also pass a law that we cut the total government budget by 10%.  It seems like most American citizens and businesses have cut back their spending by 10%; I think our elected leaders need to do the same and lead by example for a change!  I know many businesses (ours included) have had pay cuts of at least 10% – what if all government employees got a 10% pay cut?

Idea #2 – At the end of 12 months, we take the money we would have paid in interest on the $1 TRILLION in debt we paid off, and we use it to reform the healthcare system we have now.  We use the money on the things that will give us the biggest savings first.  Wow, all of a sudden the universal healthcare is starting to pay for itself, the only difference being is we waited one year to start and our debt is reduced by $1 TRILLION.  If we kept this up for the next eight years, we would be out of debt and have universal healthcare that pays for itself!  (You can check out our national debt here)

Truth #2 — Some people really need healthcare and they can’t afford it, through no fault of their own.

Idea #3 — I agree 100% with this, and I think almost every American does as well.  I hear different numbers on how many people don’t have healthcare because they can’t afford it  all of the time, so please correct me or point me to the real figures if I am substantially off base.

It seems that there are approximately 40 million in America who do not currently have healthcare.  About 15 million of those people REALLY can’t afford it and need our help.  They have special needs, or are hardship cases, etc.  Another 15 million are illegal immigrants.  And the final 10 million are people who can afford it, but choose not to – they prefer their iPods, vacations, nice cars, and fast food instead.  So the math question is – do we really have a 40 million person problem, or is it really a 15 million person problem?  I would really like your thoughts on this one because this seems to be really high level math!

Zappos – Hope for Us All!

July 6, 2009

I saw a great news report on Zappos by Nightline.  Zappos is pretty much the world leader in online shoe sales, and gaining ground in other areas as well.  They do this by giving outstanding customer service, and by making the customer feel 100% at ease with purchasing online.

Normally, buying shoes is all about trying on many pairs and styles until you find the right fit.  Ordering them online can be dangerous and a hassle.  Zappos makes it hassle-free by giving free shipping, and free shipping again if you need to return them, and you get one full year to return for a full refund.  That’s awesome!

Zappos also takes incredible care of their employees.  Everyone goes through an extensive training program and everyone gets cross-trained so that they understand the big picture.  Plus, they get incredible benefits, like free food at the company cafeteria and free food from vending machines at their offices.  Now that is cool, but I also think it is unfair (I will explain the unfair part in a minute).

Clearly, the Zappos business model is all about winning by treating both their customers and their employees in a fantastic way.  The more they sell, the lower the prices and the better the service can be.  Happy customers translate into profits and Zappos then puts that back into employee benefits and training, resulting in even better customer service and more happy customers.

Now for the unfair part.  I think it is really unfair that only the employees get the benefit of the free food.  I mean, there are a lot of hungry people in the world, and some of them are even their customers. Since Zappos is number one in online shoe sales, they are clearly big enough to be able to afford letting anyone who is hungry join their employees in the company cafeteria (they could even put vending machines on the outside of their offices to make it easier).

I know some of you are thinking I have lost my mind!  You are thinking, “Now wait a minute, Ziglar, those employees worked for those benefits, and there is no way that Zappos can feed everyone, it will put them out of business!  And if they go out of business, then everyone loses; the company owners, the employees, and the customers.”

Ok, so you caught me in a little trick.  Don’t worry.  Zappos is pretty smart and will not let that happen.  I even have some information that Zappos has established border security and an official checkpoint for visitors.  It seems you can’t just wander in to Zappos HQ and chow down unless you are invited.  They understand that their best chance of feeding the hungry is by staying in business.

A Healthcare Conversation

July 2, 2009

I was speaking with a friend the other day who spent some time in Rome recently.  He struck up a conversation with a “local” who had on a Texas Rangers baseball cap.  The “hat” man was a very successful professional whose business brought him to the states several times a year.

They spoke for quite awhile.  The “hat” man commented that it must be great in America right now, since everyone was finally going to get universal healthcare and would no longer have to go without it.  The “hat” man commented on how great their system was.

My friend said that we already have universal healthcare, and that in fact we already have laws in place that require hospitals to treat anyone who comes in with an illness.  This comment stunned the “hat” man.  He was basically under the impression that sick people without money were just out of luck in the United States.

My friend asked the “hat” man how the government-provided healthcare was working for him.  He said he didn’t use it because he had private insurance instead.  Now they were both stunned!

Funny how the media and governments of two different countries speak the same mistruths.  I thought everyone in Europe got “free” healthcare and there was no need for private insurance.  I mean, why would you need private insurance if the “free,” government-provided healthcare is so great?  And, of course, the fact that many Europeans believe that millions of Americans are just dying on the hospital steps because they can’t afford treatment.

Could the real answer be that governments understand that the more people who depend on them for their needs, and the more money they get because more people depend on them for their needs, just solidifies their position of power?  Hmmmm.