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The New National Health Plan Is Texting 191

Posted by timothy
from the how-is-babby-formed dept.
theodp writes "With a gushing press release, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra announced the launch of Text4baby, 'an unprecedented mobile health public-private partnership' designed to promote maternal and child health. Expectant women are instructed to 'Enter the date of the first day of your last menstrual period' to start receiving 'timely and expert health information through SMS text messages' until their child reaches the age of 12 months (limited to 3 free messages/week). The White House Blog has more information on the 'historic collaboration between industry, the health community and government.' Separately, the White House announced plans to spend $3,000 on 'Game-Changing' Solutions to Childhood Obesity. Once again, Dilbert proves to be scarily prescient."
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The New National Health Plan Is Texting

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  • Uh, rant much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @08:56AM (#31044970) Homepage Journal

    So you don't like health care reform. Fair enough.

    And you don't like this program. Fair enough.

    Therefore this program equals health care reform?

    WTF?

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:19AM (#31045044) Journal

      Remember, slashdot is run by young rich white guys whose parents were all well-off. They don't need health-care right now, so screw everybody else.

      For those of us on the continent, this whole thing is just another sign of the US tearing itself apart for some reason I at least cannot understand.

      I am reminded a bit about the trouble britain went through in the 60/70's wear it was close to falling apart, almost as if the people hated their own country.

      In the US it seems people hate so much the idea that someone else might get a penny out of them, they rather spend a dollar even if that someone is themselves.

      Really, what is so damned scary about a national health care system. Surely paying less for a system (the US spends more and gets less then any other western nation) would be a good thing? Or is spending 1000 dollars on bad health care to a private company good and 100 dollars on good health care to the government bad?

      • SmallFurryCreature, I agree with what you said: "... this whole thing is just another sign of the US tearing itself apart for some reason I at least cannot understand."
      • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:52AM (#31045190)

        Or is spending 1000 dollars on bad health care to a private company good and 100 dollars on good health care to the government bad?

        If it could be clearly demonstrated that we'd get the same healthcare as we're getting now for a lower price on government-run healthcare, I doubt you could find more than a handful of people in this country who'd oppose it.

        Alas, so far, not a single proposal for government-run healthcare has met that criterion. Certainly this last go-round didn't. What we keep getting from the government is "we'll improve your healthcare by making it cost more, but not deliver more"....

        • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot&uberm00,net> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @10:11AM (#31045270) Homepage Journal

          I give you H.R. 676 [loc.gov], a bill which would provide simple, single-payer health care to all legal residents of the United States, but keeps getting buried by Congress in favour of their massive, complex "health reform" bill that ironically does far less for the people. This bill would actually make the US health care system better than that of most Canadian provinces, since it covers things like dental and prescription medication.

          It has been shown several times that single-payer care costs far, far less in the long run, and allows you to keep everything you have now, minus the insurance company that wants profit over your own health. Unfortunately, it seems that the right wing has successfully equated the term "single payer" with socialism or communism (OMG THE REDS, RUN AWAY!), so I doubt we'll see anything this sane in the next ten years.

          • by Bluesman (104513) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @10:38AM (#31045420) Homepage

            Insurance provides management of risk. Using it as a middleman for payment of routine health care costs is an inefficient perversion of its purpose.

            And please explain how the overhead of any middleman between me and a doctor would be more cost-effective.

            Even a very basic mathematical analysis shows that any of these systems is less efficient than "customer pays."

            If your answer is that the government will have none of the problems that using insurance companies as a middleman have, because the government is good and insurance companies are bad, please try again.

            It's like this: routine care has a cost x. Redistribution of money to pay cost x has an additional cost y, no matter who does it. If the customer pays cost x, adding cost y will increase costs.

            Do you expect your car insurance to pay for your gasoline? Why not? If I offered to provide you with a gasoline payment policy, in which for a monthly fee I'd pay all of your gasoline bills, would you sign up expecting to get a good deal? Would you expect the price or availability of gasoline to change? What if everyone signed up for the same program? Would the incentive be to conserve your usage of gasoline, or to use as much as possible?

            If the overhead for my gasoline single-payer program is only 10%, you're worse off in the program unless your gasoline usage is greater than 10% of the average among all users. Essentially, the bottom 60% is subsidizing the top 40%, and the system as a whole is 10% less efficient than everyone paying for their own gasoline.

            If you're saying that people should subsidize others who can't afford basic care, fine. We have medicare and medicaid, which a majority of those people already qualify for. If there are 5% that don't, expand that program; don't force me into a single-payer program I don't want.

            • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot&uberm00,net> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:29AM (#31045706) Homepage Journal

              Even a very basic mathematical analysis shows that any of these systems is less efficient than "customer pays."

              You're right, of course. We can just conveniently ignore all the moral implications of that. And comparing people's health to simply fueling their cars? Brilliant. Oh, and let's also pretend that everyone should be covered already since Medicare exists, even though it's heavily restricted and there's a huge subset of working poor that don't qualify for it simply because they work. Those people should totally quit their jobs so they can get on welfare for the health care! Or alternately, pay for a private health insurance plan that they can't afford (somehow). What's that? They should have insurance through their employer? Fat chance for a large percentage of people who work for small companies that don't have employee health insurance plans.

              By the way, HR676 doesn't in any way affect your relationship with your doctor and/or hospital other than who they bill. Doctors and hospitals are still private. But feel free to conveniently ignore that and rant on anyway.

              I mean really, we could just boil this down to "I've got mine, so fuck the rest of you."

          • I give you H.R. 676 [loc.gov], a bill which would provide simple, single-payer health care to all legal residents of the United States, but keeps getting buried by Congress in favour of their massive, complex "health reform" bill that ironically does far less for the people.

            I read the bill. It doesn't actually require that you be a legal resident of the USA. Nor does it look to be "simple", with both a National Board, and 50 State Boards used to determine salaries, costs, etc.

            It has been shown several ti

            • by sjames (1099)

              but if there's only one hospital where you live, and it opts out, you're paying for National Health Care without really getting any benefits for same.

              It won't opt out! As soon as it discovers that nobody can afford it's services unless it opts back in, it will because no customers means out of business. Just as likely, as soon as it discovers that the emergency patients it treated under the existing must (minimally) treat laws can't or won't pay any other way, it will happily reach for the check being held out to it by the national health care system.

              It's opt-out in the same way that breathing is opt-out. Why should I argue endlessly about the ethics of

              • As soon as it discovers that nobody can afford it's services unless it opts back in, it will because no customers means out of business.

                The existence of a National Healthcare System does not, in fact, imply that people can't afford to pay for a hospital's service.

                While I consider it unlikely that a hospital would opt out, I don't consider it impossible. Especially if it's a captive audience sort of hospital.

                • by sjames (1099)

                  If everyone only has the insurance they won't accept, the odds are nobody will be able to afford their services. Practically nobody can afford to pay out of pocket these days.

          • by jcr (53032)

            It has been shown several times that single-payer care costs far, far less in the long run, ...Unless you value your life, that is.

            -jcr

        • I know several Canadian citizens who moved to the states in a large part to escape the inferior national healthcare system up north. I suppose if you work part time at McDonalds, government run health care seems like a good idea, but if you have a job where you can actually afford real healthcare, it's terrible.

          [sarcasm]Maybe we should raise the voting age to prevent those pesky poor college kids from voting their silly liberal views. That would eliminate a large portion of the support for this![/sarcasm]

          Bu

          • by dylan_- (1661)

            I suppose if you work part time at McDonalds, government run health care seems like a good idea, but if you have a job where you can actually afford real healthcare, it's terrible.

            Except that's nonsense. Perhaps Canada has a poor system (I really don't know), but why compare with the worst example?

            I know the UK isn't the best in the world, but we pay less on public healthcare (per capita) than the USA does.

            And I also believe our private healthcare is far cheaper too; I know it would be for me. Look at this [moneysupermarket.com]

            • Well, I compare with Canada because I know a bunch of Canadians, and I don't know any UKians.
              • by dylan_- (1661)

                So you concede that it was wrong to generalise that public healthcare was a bad idea, from your limited experience?

                BTW, did you look at the link I gave in my previous post? Was the quote comparable to what you pay now? I really don't know what's "usual" for the USA.

                • Well, presently I pay nothing for first rate healthcare for my entire family in NYC, so I'm not exactly an ideal candidate. Nevertheless that website puts me at around 90 pounds for similar care in the E4 6AA [londontown.com] postcode of London (I have no idea where that is, but I don't exactly live in Manhattan, so it seemed comparable), but doesn't cover dental or the cost of anything but out-patient surgery, as far as I can tell (doesn't cover surgery? then what's the point?). But about $140 a month is nearly a tenth [finweb.com] of

                  • There actually can be an easy solution for the possibly problem of the healthcare quality: basic universal healthcare that covers most important things can be provided. If someone wants more service they can either pay cash or have a private insurance. This combines the best of both worlds.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Belial6 (794905)
                    I'm not sure what you mean by you pay nothing. If you mean that it is covered by your employer, then you are wrong. You have just been tricked by a shell game. When an employer hires people, they consider the cost of that employee. That includes both salary as well as all of the employer side payments. This includes health care.
          • by saforrest (184929)

            I know several Canadian citizens who moved to the states in a large part to escape the inferior national healthcare system up north. I suppose if you work part time at McDonalds, government run health care seems like a good idea, but if you have a job where you can actually afford real healthcare, it's terrible.

            Amazing isn't it, how everyone has an ex-girlfriend's former roommate's Canadian cousin who has some unpleasant anecdote the public health care system, isn't it? I almost wonder sometimes if these a

        • by hey! (33014)

          If it could be clearly demonstrated that we'd get the same healthcare as we're getting now for a lower price on government-run healthcare, I doubt you could find more than a handful of people in this country who'd oppose it.

          When you say "this country", what country are you referring to? I happen to live in America and there are plenty of people who hare happy to cut off their own noses to spite their faces. Just about everybody agrees that is true, too. They just differ on who the people advocating that are.

          • by rts008 (812749)

            I happen to live in America ...

            America?
            North, Central, or South America?

            Let's assume North America...
            Canada, USA, or Mexico?

            What was your point?

      • Slashdot criticism: "Once again, Dilbert proves to be scarily prescient."

        From the article, Text4baby founding partners include:
        National Healthy Mothers
        Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)
        Voxiva
        CTIA - The Wireless Foundation
        Grey healthcare group (a WPP company)
        Founding corporate sponsor Johnson & Johnson
        WellPoint
        Pfizer
        CareFirst
        BlueCross
        BlueShield
        "... wireless carriers are distributing free text messages."
        White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
        Department of Health and Human Service
      • by gujo-odori (473191) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @10:14AM (#31045300)

        I can maybe answer some of that.

        Having lived in countries with national health care systems (someplace in Asia), with private insurance (US), and with no insurance at all but low prices (some other palce in Asia), I have found the highest level of care by far to be in the United States. The worst care, by far, was in the place with no insurance but cheap prices. In most hospitals there, if you're not bribing the staff (and thus raising the price), you'll get almost no care. The place with a national health insurance system was a middle case. Primary care and ob/gyn care is reasonably good (but not as good as the US; our first child was conceived in that country but born in the other place in Asia) and the co-pays were roughly price-equivalent to the US. Hospital stays there, however, fall far short of what you get here. I spend a week in the hospital there, and it was most unpleasant. The national health insurance only paid for a bed in a six-patient room and I was surrounded by people who were far sicker than I, with all the noise, smells, and potential cross-infection that goes with that. The equipment was lousy (I couldn't even get an IV tree with wheels; I had to carry the thing to the communal bathroom; no in-room bathroom or shower). The nursing care was fair, and the food was disgusting. I lived off the convenience store in the basement and a pizza a friend brought me.

        Do I want the US health care system to become like the middle case I described? No way. We're way, way better than that now. My wife, who is from one of those other places, agrees that our quality of health care is the best. Going to a national insurance system will probably pull that quality down.

        What, then, do we need to fix? A few things:

        1) Fix the extremely hostile and litigious malpractice lawsuit industry; it's a major factor in what makes health care and insurance so expensive here. It desperately needs reform. And by "fix" I mean that it needs to be far, far harder to sue someone for malpractice, that you need to really prove they fucked up hugely, along the lines of something that could cause a license suspension or revocation.

        2) The way health insurance companies can screw people by doing things like declaring a pre-existing condition uncovered, charging people who actually get sick and use their insurance more money (it's supposed to be a shared risk pool; everyone should pay the same).

        3) Get better standardization of forms, etc., so it doesn't cost doctors so much to deal with health insurance. The best thing about the country with national health insurance is that doctors easily knew where they stood and didn't need to employ one or more insurance specialists.

        4) Use the forms in points 1-3 to make health insurance cheaper and available to all. Subsidize the cost with tax credits for people who are low income if you have to.

        That's how we need to reform health care. What we definitely don't need is national health insurance.

        What's so scary about a national health insurance system? To *really* fuck something up requires a government. The US government, in particular is very good at that, and is also very good at ridiculously underestimating what something will cost (or more likely, lying about it). One thing is for certain: spending 100 dollars on government health care will most certainly not get you better health care than spending 100 dollars on private health care. The government never, ever does things better and cheaper. Typically, it's both worse and more expensive.

        Government is rarely the solution. More government is even more rarely the solution. Mostly, government is the problem. Sure, we have improvements to be made, but a huge, bloated and expensive government health care bureaucracy isn't the way to do it.

        • since you don't specify the countrys, it hard for /. readers to know if your comments are reasonable as to your "solutions" without malpractice, what saves me from bad doctors - isn't malpractice the free market solution to bad care ? your other cost savings ideas are good, but show a lack of understanding of true costs, which are driven by technology: it is not how (paperwork) that costs money, it is new technology and an aging population that are the true cost drivers; fixing forms will provide a temporar
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          When I read your post, I could see you have an amazing sense of entitlement, which probably comes with the American culture.
          You seem to think that a hospital should be like a hotel, where everybody gets their own room and a continental breakfast. Well, surprise -- You're not there on vacation, you're there to get medical treatment.
          Space is a commodity; I, for one, will put up with a little less room if it means that the impoverished family down the street's daughter gets necessary treatment.

          I live in Ca
        • It's becoming clear that Americans can't afford care better than the "middle case" that the rest of Western world has, and tweaking malpractice liability and medical forms will only reduce costs trivially. Large private companies are just as bad if not worse than governments when it comes to bureaucratic incompetence, and it doesn't make sense to put health care into their hands since it is primarily an entitlement or charitable service to which profit calculations don't apply. The government already pays f
        • by hey! (33014)

          Fixing the litigation problem is a good idea, but it won't make a significant difference to the fact we are heading toward spending 20% of our GDP on health care.

          So far as our health care being the best in the world, it depends on how you define and measure that. If you look at customer satisfaction of people who have the means to buy good insurance, that's probably true. For example if you want a particular procedure and have the insurance to cover it, you're probably happier about that procedure.

          If you d

        • by sjames (1099)

          Consider, if there is health insurance that makes sure basic needs are covered, supplemental insurance that upgrades you to a private room and better food would be a lot cheaper (since you could just say no otherwise). Problem solved.

          I have yet to see any proposal in the U.S. that would forbid choosing to pay more for a private room or supplemental insurance to cover that for you.

        • You know, a lot of what you're proposing, (aside malpractice reform), sounds an awful lot like Obamacare (if the Senate bill passes).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gujo-odori (473191)

        P.S. Nice try with the racist reference to rich, young white guys. There's nothing wrong with being rich, young, and white, and it doesn't make you somehow automatically wrong.

        P.P.S. We don't spend more and get less than any other western nation. Health care may be tremendously expensive here, but it's also by and large tremendously good. Far better than any other country I've been to. My wife - who is not an American - says the same. She's constantly astounded by how good the health care system is here. T

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dylan_- (1661)

          We don't spend more and get less than any other western nation.

          Yes you do.

          Health care may be tremendously expensive here, but it's also by and large tremendously good.

          No it isn't.

          Far better than any other country I've been to.

          Perhaps you should visit more countries.

        • by JackDW (904211)
          It looks like you haven't watched enough Michael Moore documentaries. Rich and stupid white men are to blame for all problems. That's not racist, it's just a fact :).
      • by RicktheBrick (588466) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:14AM (#31045592)
        I was in Nebraska last year with my 7 year old nephew who needed medical assistance. They billed his mother stating that they do not accept out of state insurance. A couple of years ago I was in charge of distributing my mother's money. I made the mistake of giving my niece her money. The government seeing that she had a little bit of money(just $10,000) stripped her of medical and food benefits. While she had that money she had a $2,000 medical expense so they took her state income tax refund to pay for it. Why didn't I just give the money to the government instead? I did have to pay the federal and state governments over $15,000 in taxes. The gross national income is around $50,000 per person in this country and yet we have to take away money from the people who make less than the poverty level. I sure hope the tea party members are enjoying themselves while on their expensive cruise and while they are listening to the $100,000 speech by Sarah Palin. I am sure they can justify taking from the poor so they can spend all that money.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          I was in Nebraska last year with my 7 year old nephew who needed medical assistance. They billed his mother stating that they do not accept out of state insurance.

          And there is the case for insurance portability across state lines. We can do that easily with private insurance by simply passing a law that lets them compete across state lines.

          A couple of years ago I was in charge of distributing my mother's money. I made the mistake of giving my niece her money. The government seeing that she had a little bit of money(just $10,000) stripped her of medical and food benefits. While she had that money she had a $2,000 medical expense so they took her state income tax refund to pay for it. Why didn't I just give the money to the government instead? I did have to pay the federal and state governments over $15,000 in taxes. The gross national income is around $50,000 per person in this country and yet we have to take away money from the people who make less than the poverty level.

          Government programs aren't free, someone has to pay for them. Every time you advocate for a government program, you are advocating raising taxes on more people. The wealthy literally can't afford to pay for all the government programs various peoples want. You can confiscate 100% of their income and 100% of their wealth and it woul

        • A couple of years ago I was in charge of distributing my mother's money. I made the mistake of giving my niece her money. The government seeing that she had a little bit of money(just $10,000) stripped her of medical and food benefits.

          I am not sure you understand what it means to be an executor.

          You are there to manage your mom's money. Not to play Lord Bountiful to your niece.

          This is why you take estate planning to the pros - the banker, the accountant, the lawyer.

          Transfer of assets to family members abou

      • by jcr (53032)

        >Really, what is so damned scary about a national health care system.

        Rationing by congestion is no walk in the park. You should do a bit of research on it.

        -jcr

      • Remember, slashdot is run by young rich white guys whose parents were all well-off. They don't need health-care right now, so screw everybody else

        So basically, anything a white guy has to say doesn't count? That's pretty racist to me.

        Really, what is so damned scary about a national health care system

        Those who have good medical care already, will get less medical care, as a national health care system really means rationing. That's pretty much what it is. If you have the money and a good job in the USA, yo

      • by couchslug (175151)

        US public opinion is wilfully uninformed (not you, dear readers, the OTHER ~300,000,000 morons you share space with).

        There are only "identity politics", where the morons seek affirmation. The nation being split between religious zealot white bigot conservatives (not to say they don't have some good ideas) and leftists who want complete redistribution of wealth (not to say they don't have some good ideas) along the "forty acres and a mule" promise model.

        None of the issues in the US are actually about the iss

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dreamchaser (49529)

        I pay for my own healthcare and I didn't have wealthy parents yet I'm against publically funded healthcare. Why, you ask? It's because it is NOT the Government's job to be our nanny. People need to care for themselves. If someone truly cannot do so then yes there should be safety nets, but the health care of the bulk of the population should not be paid for by their fellow taxpayers. Get a fucking job and earn some money and care for yourself.

        Yeah I'll get modded down but I'm sick of everyone with thei

    • by jerep (794296)

      You know, with each new government action that gets posted here on slashdot, my hope in democracy as it stands now fades away, I thought at one point it would disappears but now it appears I have negative hope towards democracy.

      That system is now so corrupt it itself has trouble keeping track of what it stands for and makes decisions like.. texting health plans. That sounds like someone needing mass attention or wanting mass distractions to me.

      • by hey! (33014)

        Well, I see nothing a priori wrong with a "texting health plan" so long as we don't intend it to be the only way people can get health information.

        Railing against this seems to me to be like railing against a web site with health information on it because people should be getting this kind of information from their primary care physician. That's absolutely true. It's also true that many people don't have a PCP and many family's don't have a pediatrician, and *nobody* has a plan on the table to fix this. N

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      I'm not sure that's even the low point of the "summary". The last sentence

      Once again, Dilbert proves to be scarily prescient.

      equates a private company abolishing its health care provision for employees with a government creating a scheme to provide people with information.

      • by hey! (33014)

        The implication is that the government is going to take away our private health insurance and make us *all* make do with text messages.

        Of course everyone knows that's not true, but it doesn't stop some of us feeling like that is true.

    • Re:Uh, rant much? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ojintoad (1310811) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:19PM (#31045996)
      Moreover, from the Press Release:

      The infant mortality rate in the United States is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise. Each year in the United States, more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday—signifying a public health crisis. Prematurity is often cited as being leading cause of infant mortality. Key predictors of a child's chances for survival are birth weight and gestational age. (emphasis mine)

      Given this, providing information to young mothers with cell phones makes sense. While the Dilbert cartoon brings up valid points on using the internet for self diagnosis because you potentially can't trust the source of the data and might misinterpret it, this program does the exact opposite by creating a trusted source of information. In addition, the Dilbert article is critiquing corporate practices of cutting health care - what the hell does that have to do with limited government sponsored initiative to distribute specific information via cell phone to potentially low income individuals who can afford a cell phone but not health care since they work at a low paying job without benefits? In addition, they're partnering with the commercial sector so the costs are offset from taxpayers in exchange for the advertising and goodwill publicity for those partner companies.

      Also, the word "gushing" in the summary should be a big tipoff (potential dogwhistle?) to the bias of the summary writer. If you read press releases at all, you'll know they tend to be either gushing, or defensive, or editorializing in some way. They're press releases, not pieces of journalism.

  • Spend ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by arielCo (995647) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:07AM (#31045018)
    Quoth TFS:

    Separately, the White House announced plans to spend $3,000 on 'Game-Changing' Solutions to Childhood Obesity.

    3,000 bucks sounds amiss. So, quoth the linked press release:

    • Incentives: We discussed government limitations on the size of the prize ($3,000 – a purse we’ve awarded in public service announcement contests as well). Design questions focused on the degree to which other stakeholders might supplement the prize with privately raised funds; develop new markets for educational games, including schools, parents, and after-school programs; and recognize finalists at the White House or other venues. What incentives would you recommend we deploy to maximize high quality participation?

    (Bold italics mine)

    Ah, they mean to give each "winner" kid $3,000 as an incentive/prize for being fit.

    • Whatever happened to academic ability? Wouldn't this system further reinforce the kids who waste their childhood playing silly games, ultimately instilling a desire to contribute nothing to the development of mankind?

      Additionally, I'm all for being healthy, but let's be honest here: no kid is going to be interested in these hollow shells of entertainment. Even at the age of 12 children can differentiate between what essentially amounts to government propaganda and actual entertainment. I'll give you a hint

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BigSlowTarget (325940)

      Actually no, the prize is to developers to make a game that promotes nutrition. That is there will be several 'medals' awarded to developer teams and each medal can get up to $3k. They are awarding two medals worth 3k and an undeclared but it looks like small number of medals for lesser competitors.

      I would actually expect something more like what you described given how our society seems to work sometimes, but in this particular example it's NOT the case. I'm not sure what level of development they expec

      • by arielCo (995647)

        I'm not sure what level of development they expect for a possibility of $3k, but it will probably end up being bored flash developers and computer-precocious grammar school classes that compete.

        Thanks for the correction - it was not entirely clear to me with all the buzzwords the measly $3k led me to think that it was for the kids (their families).

        Now come to think of it, how on earth is a videogame going to make kids exercise and eat healthier? I remember a silly flash game on Dilbert.com where you caught fruit and other healthy morsels and dodged pizza, burritos, etc. as they fell down the screen.

  • by goldaryn (834427)
    'Enter the date of the first day of your last menstrual period'

    I'M NOT TELLING YOU THAT! YOU MEN YOU'RE ALL THE SAME!
    • Yes, we all want desperately to know every detail of your menstrual cycle... *cough*
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I'M NOT TELLING YOU THAT! YOU MEN YOU'RE ALL THE SAME!"

      That's rather harsh. We're not all like that.

      Pics with timestamp will do.

  • 1) the health care debate is about how to ration care currently, we ration care by income (largely) - good income, less rationing you are working class, with problems, to bad for you bub. single payers like me want to ration care fairly; basically on a doctor decided need to basis for those of you about to howl about socialized medicine, you want some gov't doc rationing your care or you want a private insurance company, which is what we have now 2) Costs are driven by technology It is n
  • Haven't these people heard about HIPAA? You can't just transmit personal health information over arbitrary text message networks. It doesn't matter if they have a "secure server" somewhere(*). The whole network needs to be secure and auditable. And something tells me that this isn't the case for text messages.

    (*) Google can find exactly two mentions of text4baby and HIPAA, both of which just say that there is a secure server.

    • You fail to understand how HIPAA works:
      A) you signed up for it
      B) It's not specific, it's generic "Hey by the way" messages.
      "You're 3 months along, you should expect morning sickness"
      "Your child is 4 months old, he or she should start rolling over"

      It's basic information that most people SHOULD know, but don't.

      HIPPA only prevents personal identification. Drs can talk all they want about you, in front of others, but can't say your name. (Or vice versa, Guess who came to the office today, but can't say anything

  • Seeing as a new born baby is a worry bomb for most parents, and the infact morality rate in america is trival, all mums and dads need is some text service to baby babble, until they get used to it, (some 20 years later). Capitalism does pretty well out of this sort of stuff, so i don't think the government need pay for it, and its the sort publc guesture that goes down well, until looked into.

    ---

    Baby Care [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

  • "Historic" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by electrosoccertux (874415) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:22AM (#31045660)

    Love how everybody's been throwing this term around lately.
    This is not historic.

  • Suppose the woman delivers prematurely? Will she keep getting text messages telling her to do the wrong things?

    A system like this is great but it must be done in conjunction with a medical professional. To just turn this thing on and have it spout pre-programmed recommendations regardless of real-world conditions is naive at best and damaging at worst.
  • Coming from a country where we have public and private health care, I can't seem to understand why people are so against it in the USA. Worse yet, it appears that the people who it would benefit seem to be against it!? Can someone explain to me the issues?

  • France already has a benefit system for pregnant women. There's a sort of "coupon book", with coupons for various tests and examinations. Of course, France has a Government health care system.

  • I get a great kick out of reading the arguments about health care. I don't want "free", but I don't want a screwing, either...which is what is happening. Health care is a utility. In my area, there are 3 companies that write individuals. They all price the same. There is no "free market", and you have no "choices". You live in a box of rules they make, and have to argue with them when they deny services (did you know you can't sue a health care insurance company in most states ? surprise !!!!) In 2
  • I have relatives in Germany and Canada. They are all cared for by the govt. system. It works for them. My parents and my wife's parents all are covered by Medicare. It works well for them too. In my personal experience, "socialized" health care is a far, far better deal than the private limited player monopoly system I suffer under. These are not anecdotes, these are real people-"socialist" health care, at least in those two places, works...better than the botch we get...Auto companies build plants in

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