Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Medicine Privacy Your Rights Online

Larry Page: You Worry Too Much About Medical Privacy 486

jfruh writes "Larry Page revealed that he'd been suffering from a vocal cord ailment that impaired his ability to speak for more than a year. The positive feedback he got from opening up about it inspired him to tell attendees at Google I/O that we should all be less uptight about keeping our medical records private. As far as Page is concerned, pretty much the only legitimate reason for worry on this score is fear of being denied health insurance. 'Maybe we should change the rules around insurance so that they have to insure people,' he said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Larry Page: You Worry Too Much About Medical Privacy

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:38AM (#43748595)

    ... for some fishy reason if it gets out he has some "scary disease" or won't work as efficient anymore. Or might drop out at any time for a week.

    And it is also not that his penis had a malfunction or something.

    I think Larry Page generalises too much, has too much of an agenda, hasn't gotten that not everyone follows the same religion, needs to shut up and retire so he can spend his money on philantropy. I like Bill Gates much more since he stopped babbling his technology-and-business-bullshit and actually put the billions fate threw at him for something useful.

    Larry Page isn't getting a third of what he thinks he got.

  • Medical Privacy (Score:5, Informative)

    by MacTechnic ( 40042 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:48AM (#43748653) Homepage

    I must sincerely disagree with Larry Page on the subject of privacy of medical records. There are many medical conditions, that can be compromising or embarrassing for a patient. If someone has a congenital condition that affect their behavioral or physical condition, that is something they might want to manage privately for their own protection. Reproductive issues are very private issues, for obvious reasons. If someone has a undiagnosed condition that affects their ability to work or to engage in a social life, they deserve privacy while they work with a health provider to figure things out. I find Mr. Page's feelings very inconsiderate to other people. I respect Mr. Page's courage in dealing with his current vocal cord paralysis, which has been ongoing for sometime, and he has taken a very blunt way of dealing with it. Not everyone's condition affords them such candor.

  • by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:03AM (#43748747)
    Exactly. Definitely talking his own book. Especially after failing miserably at having Google Health take hold at all, either amongst patients or amongst doctors, or hospitals, or even insurance providers. Google Health [] dropped with an empty thud as loud as Microsoft's Zune. Google never figured out how to make money off of it, even though it figured out it could avoid HIPAA restrictions by having people voluntarily enroll in it [] and freakin' voluntarily give up their privacy.
    An idiot with a vested interest in invading our privacy tells us "we worry too much about medical privacy". No thanks, I don't care to hear the rest of his opinion or even an attempt at an explanation for why he holds that position. He's just "talking his own book", mate.
  • by gumbi west ( 610122 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:09AM (#43748769) Journal

    Starting in 2014 in the US, this will be the law of the land--companies will have to insure anyone, regardless of existing conditions. It is also the law in MA right now.

  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:09AM (#43749067)

    The days of "the poor rising up against the rich" in a first world country are long over, because the rich now have the large middle class military and police forces to beat the poor back into submission whenever they get out of hand.

  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:30AM (#43749385)

    Not offensive at all, it's an interesting perspective - but the fact is in a first world country as long as you are in the military you are housed, well fed, and you and your family get health care.

    I know this is a recruiting site, but the Army claims the average total compensation package for a service member is about $99,000. That's solidly in the middle class. []

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @05:06AM (#43749753) Homepage

    and of course the UK actually *does* have death panels. []

    "The Gateway Pundit" the name pretty much makes clear this is NOT objective news. Reading just the headers of their articles confirms it. How about a reliable source to support your incredible claims. Do you seriously think UK citizens would accept such "death panels" without atleast massive protests that would have hit reliable news outlets all over the world?

  • Re:insure? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @05:16AM (#43749783)

    Article 25.

            (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @06:47AM (#43750185)

    Disclaimer: I live in Canada.

    It's true what you said. However, you can have a MRI in a private clinic in the same day. It costs around 650$ CAD for a full scan on some area of body. More: it's usually covered by your employer's health insurance if scan isn't asked by your doctor OR, if you have a doctor's prescription, it will be covered by public funds.

    Yes, in Canada.

  • by rednip ( 186217 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @07:03AM (#43750255) Journal

    the insurance will not be affordable and additionally many of the plans will actually end up being inferior to what many had before.

    So says the 'chicken little' AC. Next year we'll find out if everything the GOP has been claiming for the last 5 years is really true. I believe that they will be proven wrong while millions of Americans who had pre-existing conditions will be able to find coverage at normal cost and many thousands will not lose coverage in the middle of an illness. While many millions more American will find better coverage, many at significant savings than they would have paid previously.

    Meanwhile, the medicare cuts made by the ACA (aka Obamacare) which the GOP claimed would kill, have contributed to a 5% savings in Medicare costs which has reduced the budget deficit even more than expected. Every year the Republicans have been claiming that we are at the doorstep of disaster, and seemingly despite their best efforts, it has not happened. The question is when the stop being pessimistic and start claiming 'victory', how do they claim Obamacare was their idea?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @07:32AM (#43750387) Homepage

    Let me know when you feel like waiting a month or so for a MRI or longer, unless it's serious.

    If it's not serious, what's the rush? Why do you need it immediately?

    The US has the same problem Canada does, namely that more people want MRIs immediately than can get them. The Canadian's solution is to make those who don't need them right now hold off for a while until the resources our free. The US's solution is to tell approximately 15% of its citizens that they can't pay the exorbitant price for it, so screw 'em, they can drop dead for all we care. Since you're almost definitely not part of that 15%, you don't see that cost, only the benefits of faster service for you.

    Alternately, you can look at any statistics from any international body that monitors health statistics, which will universally say that the British and Canadian population is healthier than the American population.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @08:32AM (#43750759) Homepage

    The cost of medical services is not merely out of control. It's beyond comprehension.

    Let's look at this from a consumer standpoint. Let's imagine you're a rich person and do not need insurance and will pay for everything in cash. You bought your last car with pocket change. In every case (with a minor exception of the mobile phone bill) you know exactly what you will be paying and why. It seems only the medical industry never tells you exactly how much everything costs along the way.

    No one [normal] would go to a restaurant and order off the menu without knowing what the prices were, so imagine being unable to know what you will spend the next time you go to McDonald's... or the grocery store... or anywhere.

    There is no negotiation and no fore knowledge of what the bill will cost. It's insanity. And the industry says "it's okay... don't worry about it... let the insurance company worry about that, you just pay the co-pay." Meanwhile, the insurance industry loves this because they get more and more customers. These two sytems are designed to abuse the ignorance of the consumer and to keep them blind. When you think about how unacceptable this would be anywhere else, you have to wonder how this insane system came to be as it is.

  • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:15AM (#43751155)

    The US has not had anything even close to a "free market" for decades. Particularly regarding anything related to healthcare and pharmaceuticals

    You by defintion cannot have a "free market" in health care, because demand is completely inelastic. If I need dialysis to live, I'll agree to pay whatever you feel like charging me. The customer is not, and in most cases cannot be a free player.

    Trying to have a "market" in health care is as silly as it would be for Police or Firefighting services.

    Where the USA gets in trouble is that it refuses to acknowlege this fact, and tries to inject "free market" constructs into its system whereever possible. Sure enough, the inevitable happens, and the USA has ended up with most expensive health care system in the world (while getting mediocre results).

  • by HaZardman27 ( 1521119 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:54AM (#43751611)
    I did an enlistment in the USAF between 2008 and 2012, and while I don't believe the $99,000 value is correct, it was certainly a middle class level of compensation that I received. Just looking at base pay, most enlisted members poor, but then you have to account for monthly non-taxed BAH (monthly money for rent), BAS (monthly money for food/hygienics), no healthcare premiums or deductibles for yourself, and very small premiums and deductibles for your family, cheap food at the commissary on base, non-taxed general goods at the PX/BX/NEX, free education (plus a significant amount of college credits for your training - I think I got 20-something), no life insurance costs, and yearly uniform allowances. I'm sure I'm missing some benefits, too. Overall, aside from deployments, it's a pretty comfortable lifestyle. And the idea that military is almost exclusively drawn from the ranks of the poor is misleading. That's more true for services like the Army and the Marines. The Air Force provides extremely lucrative job training and experience, and tends to attract a lot of middle-class kids who don't want to go the college route (many of which have some college experience prior to enlisting).
  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:11AM (#43751775) Homepage Journal

    Yes, but another aspect of the law is that insurance companies(as of late 2012) have to submit explanations to the feds for every increase in premiums. And(in 2013) they cannot make more than 20% profit. And their overhead has to come out of that same 20%. 80 cents out of every dollar you pay for insurance has to go to actual medical providers or medicine.

    What that does incentivize is really high premiums, and insurers choosing expensive procedures in order to maximize how big that 20%. What the whole package is predicated on is that the buyers will choose a different plan if insurance companies go too far in that regard(hence the exchanges). It's not perfect, but it's the best we could manage in the political situation.

  • by d34thm0nk3y ( 653414 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:47PM (#43754135)
    Fuck that. I shouldn't have to pay the medical expenses for smokers, alcoholics or drug users.

    If you have insurance you pay the medical expenses for smokers, alcoholics or drug users.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982