Health Care is a Rip-Off

What we call health care is a bad deal for the consumer. The name alone is a lie. It should be called “sickness care” or even “sickness facilitation ” because, for those who are covered, it tricks them into placing the responsibility for their health on their doctor. This is a big mistake.We are each individually in charge of our own health. How can the doctor be at our side all day and night to counsel us to “Put that cigarette out!” or “Don’t eat that cheeseburger! Remember your high cholesterol!” By the time we are forced to go in to the clinic by some scary symptom, we are already in trouble. It is too late for health care — now it’s time for drugs and scalpels.Depending on a doctor for information on preserving your health is like closing your barn door after your horse has escaped. It’s too late for doing the easy, inexpensive course of action. Now, you’re in for it!So, forget about health care. Health care is not about health. It is all about getting you back on the factory floor or back in your cubicle, ready to work, so you can keep paying your premiums. It is about extracting as much money as the law allows by sending you in for tests, which you may or may not need. It is about selling you prescription drugs that you are instructed to take for the rest of your life — drugs that counter the effects of your bad food choices, for example.Doctor: “The lab tells me you haven’t brought your cholesterol down with a change of diet and exercise since the last time I saw you, John. What I can do — to get you down into a safe range for your LDL — is give you a prescription for Lipitor.”Patient: “Sorry, Doc. I just can’t give up my favorite foods — eating’s the only pleasure I have left after the wife left me. And taking walks around the block just isn’t my style.”Doctor: “That’s fine, John. We’ll try Lipitor, then, and see how that works for you. Schedule a follow-up appointment with my staff before you leave. Call me if you have any problems.”Health care is a rip-off because:It doesn’t address the real problems that cause most of our illnesses (Namely: our diet, smoking, excessive drinking, and lack of exercise)By the time we begin to have symptoms of some disease, it is usually too late for inexpensive interventionMost of what ails us, we bring on ourselves — to correct the after-effects of this is an enormous task…So health care is really not about caring for our health, it’s about facilitating our bad behavior and then extracting as much money as possible from whatever source — the patient, the employer, or the taxpayers in generalOut-of-control malpractice claims, together with the need for doctors to keep their high-tech diagnostic equipment in use, have encouraged doctors to order many unnecessary and expensive testsWhen the federal government got involved is when costs skyrocketed (with the advent of Medicare in 1965)Setting the whole complicated mess under the thumb of the insurance industry added another layer of bureaucratic expense and the need for ever-increasing profitability because these are publicly owned corporations that are expected by the stockholders to show improved profits every quarterThis distorts the quality of care and gives incentive to finding new services to sell. It’s all about the bottom line, not about the health of the patient anymore.Our health insurance system, by itself, adds 20% to the cost of the medical services provided. Other countries have better health results for 1.5-6% administration costs! We’re being over-charged, plain and simple.The pharmaceutical industry charges markups of 2000-30,000% of the ingredients in the drugs they sell. Fifty percent of their costs are not for research and development(much of which is subsidized by the taxpayers), but for their marketing expenses — everything from fancy dinners for doctors who sell lots of their medicines, to the many two and three page ads in magazines urging patients to “Ask your doctor if Dynofab is right for you,” to all-expenses-paid trips to Hawaii to educate doctors on that company’s latest prescription drugs.In the end, we all must pay for the rich system of perks and comforts of those who have been entrusted with our health. Or, we must find out for ourselves how to maintain our own health.With the present system, the public is not clearly shown how to prevent disease, nor how to maintain optimum health for a long successful life. We are encouraged to turn this sacred task over to others, many of whom know little about how to maintain health and a great deal about ways to make a lot of money by shunting patients through a labyrinth of tests, drugs, and procedures at a substantial profit for the providers, even if the patient doesn’t survive it all.To be fair to doctors, very few of them know much about how to preserve health through intelligent nutrition. They only live to an average age of 57, while their patients live an average of 75 years, more or less. So, doctors are not experts on health — it is more accurate to call them sales agents for drugs, diagnostic tests, and surgery.Asking Congress to negotiate us a better deal is foolish. The wise consumer will find and implement a comprehensive program to protect their own health, so they will not find themselves begging for medical care at the end of their life. Without knowledge, the consumer has no power in the negotiation for a fair deal.All the unsophisticated, unhealthy consumer can expect is a rip-off when they are forced to beg Congress for affordable health care. Who would like to break the news to them?

Health Care Reform – Let It Come But Be Ready for Change!

To stir emotions the health care reform debate doesn’t have to peel the onion back very far. There are those who could always afford health insurance and are worried that their costs will significantly rise in the attempt to cover the cost of care for those who have gone without. There are those with numerous and expensive to treat medical problems, who have no health insurance or inadequate health insurance coverage and they need relief, now! And there are those who are healthy, have chosen not to have health insurance, and resent a mandate requiring them to “buy-in” or face monetary penalties.The Health Care Affordability Act of 2010 is wide in its scope and goals. First, it moves us to a place where most Americans will be covered by health insurance. This will remove “the” key impediment to “routine” health care services for millions of Americans. Subsidies will insure health care insurance regardless of an ability to pay and just because you have pre-existing medical conditions you will still be eligible for “reasonably priced” coverage. Stated another way, insurers will not be able to reject you or drastically increase your premiums if you suffer from chronic illnesses that generate a high level of claims, nor will they be allowed to set dollar limits on health insurance coverage.To fund these objectives the Health Care Affordability Act requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. There will be subsidies if you are in a low income category and if you have no ability to pay anything you will be eligible for Medicaid as these state level programs will be more accommodating and act as the ultimate safety net. Through its mandates, the law requires millions of healthy individuals to pay into the system. The idea here is that those of us who are not in need of health care will fund those who draw from it. Since any of us can succumb to a health emergency at any time and thus become in need of potentially costly health care interventions those who support the mandate feel that this is fair – we are simply looking out for each other. Next, there are numerous plans in testing phases that are designed to make the delivery of health care more efficient and more cost effective. These pilot programs are being managed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and include the cooperation of health systems throughout the country. These are complex to say the least and in early development stages and until proven, which is years from now, it is not known what their effect will be.I support the attempt by the Obama administration and others to get something done on this pressing national issue. But there is a lack of candor about the cost, where the funds will come from, what treatments and medical technologies will be restricted due to very high costs and how the demand of millions of newly insured patients will be managed in terms of timely access to care and treatments. I have spent forty-one years of my life in a medical technology career that focused on global health economics and reimbursement issues and believe me, something will have to give. In every country outside of America, health care budgets are limited and capped. Fees to hospitals and physicians are set, annually reviewed and kept in check and new medical technology prices and access to them are restricted in subtle and not so subtle ways. And if you think that these policies won’t happen in America – think again, as spending limits are being set and will be set and we will have to live within them!Having said that, let’s continue on with the reforms, some government mandated, some driven by the market place as conservative health policies propose. Just know that we will be dealing with health care reform for a very long time and there are going to be a lot of disillusioned folks along the way, newly enfranchised and otherwise. The emerging health care system will be “more just” but it will require real and noticeable sacrifice from the majority of Americans who heretofore never much worried about the fairness of it all.

How Good Are Free Ransomware Decryptors?

In the light of recent months, with the cases continuously climbing high during the current pandemic, many companies and their customers have been facing numerous ransomware and hijacking attempts – from robotext messages, robocalls, and virus injections. Hackers are really leaning hard on ransomware because it gives them an edge over the customers – lock their data, and if you pay the ransom, we’ll give you a solution, and you can decrypt your files! One such ransomware virus that took the world by storm was the ThiefQuest (a.k.a. EvilQuest) ransomware virus. But one company decided to break that cycle by offering a way that people can decrypt their data for free: the one and only SentinelOne.

Recommended article: SentinelOne is #1 at Crushing Viruses and Keeping You Safe

Mac Users Are the Targets
Unlike the other numerous viruses that target Windows users, the specific EvilQuest ransomware targets Mac operators. However, the downside to this is that many businesses are the primary users of Mac computers, laptops, and products. As a matter of fact, there are more iPhone users in the world that use the MacOS on their mobile platforms and office computers than Windows users. Either way, the virus is meant to decrypt files, and it does not tell infected users how to contact the company. It does provide a Bitcoin wallet and where to deposit your ransom to. And they only give you 72 hours to get your ransom to them.

The Free Decryptor
There are many other ransomware programs out there, and SentinelOne is one of those companies who have been able to say they’re coming to the call. Most users who get infected with ransomware don’t get their files restored with this virus, and they are permanently locked out of them. The decryption process that SentinelOne provides is that their researchers basically recreated the virus and then reverse-engineered it. They were able to analyze the code pattern and decipher the malicious code that’s injected into the files so they can remove it. Fortunately, it’s because the ransomware itself is rather new (meaning that it was very recently created – so it has some bugs). Other ransomware viruses are a bit harder to crack. But does it work?

Recommended article: How Quickly a Ransomware Attack Can Happen In 2020

According to SentinelOne, it does. And so, do many others. Of course, they do have disclaimers in case they can’t decrypt literally every single file. That’s because there is no guarantee that every virus is different. One virus, though, that’s being used a lot is the WannaCry ransomware on PC’s ranging from small businesses all the way up to government officials (and one of the most common during these times). Having a good product such as SentinelOne, or even getting the Trend Micro tool can help. There is a good chance that you may not actually need to pay the fee to get your files unlocked. However, some of the more advanced viruses may have numerous variants in code, so it may not be easy to pinpoint which one it is and the code (which may sometimes be randomly inserted into a file) itself. Therefore, you need to have a good protection plan in place.

What Should I Do?
If you get ahold of your local IT support team, they’ll be able to help you get some of the best security tools and can even provide local and cloud-based backups of your precious data in case of a ransomware attack. Many companies have been able to say that their ransomware hiccups have cost them, but most of them are paying their hackers not to leak their customers’ data. Don’t be that person, and keep your data safe, and you’ll be much better off in the long run!