Friedman hails new businesses that will help business deal with Obamacare regs

Hey! Obamacare's not all that bad. Just ask Tom Friedman of the New York Times who has discovered a midget pony in the Mount Everest pile of manure that is Obamacare:

LISTENING to the debate about President Obama's health care plan, some critics argue that Obamacare is going to need Obamacare -- because it's going to be a "train wreck." Obama officials insist they're wrong. We'll just have to wait and see whether the Affordable Care Act, as the health care law is officially known, surprises us on the downside. But there is one area where the law already appears to be surprising on the upside. And that is the number of health care information start-ups it's spurring. This is a big deal.

The combination of Obamacare regulations, incentives in the recovery act for doctors and hospitals to shift to electronic records and the releasing of mountains of data held by the Department of Health and Human Services is creating a new marketplace and platform for innovation -- a health care Silicon Valley -- that has the potential to create better outcomes at lower costs by changing how health data are stored, shared and mined. It's a new industry.

"This is a big deal"..."It's a new industry"...But a "health care Silicon Valley"? Oh, shut up. High tech start ups have generated hundreds of billions of dollars in GDP, not to mention creating hundreds of thousands of jobs directly, and millions more indirectly. This tiny segment of the $2 trillion health care industry will certainly create a lot of jobs for clerks, receptionists, and janitors - but not much else. As all data processing companies, the large majority of jobs will be low paying clerical jobs.

But don't stop Friedman - he's on a roll:

The Health and Human Services Department connected me with some start-ups and doctors who've benefited from all this, including Dr. Jen Brull, a family medicine specialist in Plainville, Kan., who said that she was certain she had been alerting her relevant patients to have colorectal cancer screening -- until she looked at the data in her new electronic health care system and discovered that only 43 percent of those who should be getting the screening had done so. She improved it to 90 percent by installing alerts in her electronic health records, and this led to the early detection of cancer in three patients -- and early surgery that saved these patients' lives and also substantial health care expense.

Reminds me of Soviet minders taking gullible American reporters around to showcase factories to prove the Soviet "economic miracle." Of course, the factories were Potemkin villages and the reporters, swallowing every piece of propaganda, wrote glowing dispatches about how great things were in Russia.

I might point out that the unnecessary expense generated by testing 57% of her patients for cancer offsets any health care savings from keeping electronic records. That's the major problem with "preventive" medicine. It's why the CDC recommended fewer breast cancer tests for women. Turns out that preventive medicine doesn't save enough lives to justify the massive increase in costs when you test everybody for everything.

But Friedman's major goof is in being enamored of a "new industry" based on dealing with the bewildering complexity and nonsense regulations promulgated for Obamacare. There will also, no doubt, be new businesses sprouting up to help consumers meet new IRS requirements for health insurance, new Medicaid enrollments, and perhaps even navigating the new state insurance exchanges.

This is economic stimulus we could do without.

Hey! Obamacare's not all that bad. Just ask Tom Friedman of the New York Times who has discovered a midget pony in the Mount Everest pile of manure that is Obamacare:

LISTENING to the debate about President Obama's health care plan, some critics argue that Obamacare is going to need Obamacare -- because it's going to be a "train wreck." Obama officials insist they're wrong. We'll just have to wait and see whether the Affordable Care Act, as the health care law is officially known, surprises us on the downside. But there is one area where the law already appears to be surprising on the upside. And that is the number of health care information start-ups it's spurring. This is a big deal.

The combination of Obamacare regulations, incentives in the recovery act for doctors and hospitals to shift to electronic records and the releasing of mountains of data held by the Department of Health and Human Services is creating a new marketplace and platform for innovation -- a health care Silicon Valley -- that has the potential to create better outcomes at lower costs by changing how health data are stored, shared and mined. It's a new industry.

"This is a big deal"..."It's a new industry"...But a "health care Silicon Valley"? Oh, shut up. High tech start ups have generated hundreds of billions of dollars in GDP, not to mention creating hundreds of thousands of jobs directly, and millions more indirectly. This tiny segment of the $2 trillion health care industry will certainly create a lot of jobs for clerks, receptionists, and janitors - but not much else. As all data processing companies, the large majority of jobs will be low paying clerical jobs.

But don't stop Friedman - he's on a roll:

The Health and Human Services Department connected me with some start-ups and doctors who've benefited from all this, including Dr. Jen Brull, a family medicine specialist in Plainville, Kan., who said that she was certain she had been alerting her relevant patients to have colorectal cancer screening -- until she looked at the data in her new electronic health care system and discovered that only 43 percent of those who should be getting the screening had done so. She improved it to 90 percent by installing alerts in her electronic health records, and this led to the early detection of cancer in three patients -- and early surgery that saved these patients' lives and also substantial health care expense.

Reminds me of Soviet minders taking gullible American reporters around to showcase factories to prove the Soviet "economic miracle." Of course, the factories were Potemkin villages and the reporters, swallowing every piece of propaganda, wrote glowing dispatches about how great things were in Russia.

I might point out that the unnecessary expense generated by testing 57% of her patients for cancer offsets any health care savings from keeping electronic records. That's the major problem with "preventive" medicine. It's why the CDC recommended fewer breast cancer tests for women. Turns out that preventive medicine doesn't save enough lives to justify the massive increase in costs when you test everybody for everything.

But Friedman's major goof is in being enamored of a "new industry" based on dealing with the bewildering complexity and nonsense regulations promulgated for Obamacare. There will also, no doubt, be new businesses sprouting up to help consumers meet new IRS requirements for health insurance, new Medicaid enrollments, and perhaps even navigating the new state insurance exchanges.

This is economic stimulus we could do without.

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