I can’t help but wonder why the companies that manufacture automobiles ever came up with the “Check Engine” light. It’s just so… useless.
Can you remember your first credit card? Oh my. My memory of that is strikingly clear! It was April 1984 (yep, I’m old) and I was a senior at LSU, when a credit card from JC Penney’s just showed up in my mailbox at the student union.
Years ago, I saw a wonderful movie called “Other People’s Money.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do, especially the monologues in the last 20 minutes of the film. Really first-class lessons in economics and capitalism encoded into a movie.
At one point in the movie, a merger and acquisition specialist (played by Danny DeVito) uses this (paraphrased) example to explain how technology changes our lives: Read more
A little over 10 years ago, I was sitting in a tiny hotel room in Washington, D.C., waiting for a phone call from a friend who is a lobbyist for our Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It was Christmas Eve 2009, and we were awaiting the final vote of the U.S. Senate on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I remember very clearly thinking that there was nothing to stop the then-Democratic majority from passing the ACA. Certainly, they had put a ton of work, time and effort into the law. But — they put much less time into gaining the trust of the opposition.
One of the more interesting things the Affordable Care Act did to the private health insurance business was to tell health insurance companies that the Feds were now in control of their profit margins. What does that mean?
Imagine you are the CEO of your own health insurance company. In fact, let’s call it Your Own Health Insurance Company, or YOHIC for short! How do you think you would feel if YOHIC collected $1 billion in premiums over a year, but only had to pay out $500 million in healthcare costs? Sounds like YOHIC is doing really well, turning a 50% profit. Does YOHIC get to keep the rest of the premiums for its own payroll and profits?
Since 2010, the answer to that question is a resounding NO! Read more