H1B visas and Health Care

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From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (eh@mad.scientist.com)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 19:32:17 PDT

I admit it. I was bad. I turned-on NPR and listened to commentary
on the health care debate. My blood pressure is only now coming back
to something sane.

       My weird take on the health care issue. I say we conflate it
(there's a lot of this going around anyway) with the H1B entry visa
issue. Silicon Valley corporate types insist to congress that the
geek shortage is so severe that we absolutely must import third-world
geeks, lots of them, right now, or the economy will crash. When a
senior geek-type person with a touch of gray asks how many jobs at
what rate of pay are actually going vacant, we find out that the
companies want young people and want them cheap.

     The economy is important, but what about health care? Don't
we have hugely escalating costs there because American doctors cost
too much? It won't happen because doctors have a very effective
professional monopoly and lobbying organization. And geeks have,
since earliest days, been non-union. It's still a good idea. I
don't see why high-tech should be treated differently.

        If you're still reading... on this show, one
authority (from academia) stated that individual 'medical investment'
accounts can't work because the average individual cannot afford her
health care. Staggering. How does adding an insurance layer or a
government layer cause money to magically appear? Last I knew, an
insurance firm or HMO had to on average take in more per client than
it spent. I don't think that particular guy was lying. I think he's
an idiot, with no respect for the people he pontificates at. This
seems worse than the normal lefty brain-damage for some reason. Maybe
I should simmer down. On the right, there's really no argument.
They've discovered misquotation and character assassination and are
running that into the ground. Someone on that program used
Libertarian as a pejorative ascription. Gad. I (not a LP person at
all) want a bumper sticker that says "The Libertarian Party isn't
trying to enslave me. Can yours say the same?" Not that I put such
things on my car.

        You know, I'd really like to see competing certification
bodies in the medical space.


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