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The New National Health Plan Is Texting 191

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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  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:57AM (#31045220)

    don't appreciate coercion

    Your flaky legal system hands out massively excessive prison sentences. Then uses prisoners in forced labour camps.
    The US is built on coercion. Slavery is your principle.

    Mod this down if you're a nationalist with their head stuck in the sand.

  • I give you H.R. 676 [], 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 @10:48AM (#31045474) Homepage

    "Government is theft" is the kind of emotional political slogan I can't abide from either side

    This is not a political slogan, it speaks to the nature of how government achieves its goals. The power of government stems from the threat of violence and loss of liberty. To deny that is to deny reality.

    When people sit in wonderment as to how anyone could possibly oppose *favorite government program*, it's worthwhile to remind them of the ultimate source of government power, because this is the premise of the argument (call it libertarian, conservative, what have you).

    The reason the U.S. Constitution was so revolutionary was because it was one of the first times these issues were taken into account. To ignore that and simply argue over a plan's perceived efficiency and pass it because "we want to," rightly gives thinking Americans pause.

  • Re:Spend ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by BigSlowTarget ( 325940 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:19AM (#31045636) Journal

    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 expect for a possibility of $3k, but it will probably end up being bored flash developers and computer-precocious grammar school classes that compete.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:45AM (#31045804) Journal

    What Madison meant by regulation, and what our government does today, are greatly divergent. To Madison, "regulation" meant to keep commerce regular, by enforcing the rule of law, and providing a court system to adjudicate contract disputes.


  • Re:Great. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:16PM (#31045970)

    Yes, actually. It's called the Safelink program, it's been around for years, and it's immensely beneficial to a large number of working poor.

    Those who say "cellphones aren't a necessity" obviously haven't worked with the poor in this country. For most folks I know who use Safelink, it's their only means of communication with employers, social services, etc. How do you apply for a job when you don't have a phone number for the employer to call you back at?

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @02:21PM (#31046876)
    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 ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:57PM (#31047862)

    Unfortunately for your argument, there are facts that completely contradict it. Please read this article for an appropriate attitude adjustment: []

    Oh, and that's from a 2009 fee schedule study -- not ancient history.

    So, in the end, Medicare pays as well as the insurance companies do while being 30 times more efficient.

  • by gemada ( 974357 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:15PM (#31047938)
    overhead in our publicly run system in Canada is under 3%. Whereas in private systems such as the US it around 30%.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!