Health Care News & Discussion
More Than I Know
07/04/1997 12:55 PM
The California Department of Social Services computer project, designed to track deadbeat parents who owe child support, is reported to be on “life support.” Although the initial cost was projected to be $99 million, current costs are at $260 million. This comes on the heels of the DMV disaster in which the California government pulled the plug having spent $54 million before the system was terminated. This was followed by the failure of the Department of Corrections computer project which spent $40 million to track inmates and parolees who could not be tracked. The Department of Social Services is reportedly still optimistic that its computer project can “be salvaged” for 23 remaining counties. Sacramento is not on the system. San Francisco County pulled out opting for its far superior 1980s computer system. SF stated that the state computer system could not perform the three basic functions it was designed for: locate people, produce forms and process funds. Los Angeles had previously developed its own system with a separate budget not included in the above figures. However, the report did find comfort in the fact that less than 10% of these funds were from California taxpayers. (Isn’t there an ethical issue involved when the moneys the Federal government forcibly extracts from the citizens of the other 49 states are used to pay for our incompetence in California?) … Maybe we can now understand why the government wants to take over health care. With it’s track record, we can be almost certain that the computer would never get to the stage where it had to process forms to deliver payment to doctors and hospitals.
The auction of 128 government licenses to provide wireless phone, television and data services, including Internet access, brought less than $14 million. Congress, which had ordered the sale, had predicted returns of $1.8 billion… Since the government generally spends $1.90 for every dollar of predicted new revenue, the $3.4 billion being spent as a result of this faulty prediction should translate into a 24,000% increase in federal deficit on this single budget line.
The IRS computers are only slightly better than our state computers. A recent audit found that 6400 tapes, cartridges and magnetic-storage devices are missing. Taxpayers’ data is being improperly used, modified, or destroyed… So far, however, we are assured that all the “dirty facts” on physicians in the national data bank’s computer are accurate.
Dave Barry’s annual tax-advice column this year was in a question-and-answer format. “Q: Are we EVER going to have a federal tax system that regular people can understand? A: Our top political leaders have all voiced strong support for this idea. Q: So you’re saying it will never happen? A: Right.”
Citizen: They finally figured out that jailing drug users just doesn’t work. Congressman: Looks like we figured out just in time how to start jailing doctors before we had to close prison beds. (After the Drawing Board)
Congratulations to Donna Wallace of Biggs, California who returned her $160,000 rice subsidy payment to the US Department of Agriculture for two consecutive years. Mrs Wallace, who barely avoided bankruptcy following the death of her husband in 1983, toured Washington, DC as a rice lobbyist and learned the true colors of the Government and International Marketing. On her return she decided to be innovative and started farming, marketing, and selling without restrictions from the government. Her operation now includes new varieties of rice, gourmet rices, organic rice and new farming techniques. She has her own network of suppliers and contracts with gourmet restaurants and a mail order business… Perhaps we could have her talk to the medical society about how to break away from Government intrusions into an even more personal relationship–the doctor/patient one.
AD of the month: Vagistat-1 is equal to Femstat-3 or Monostat-7… I wonder where Nitrostat-4 fits in?… Saw a patient the other day with a scrotal rash. He said his wife diagnosed it as a yeast infection and gave him some Vagistat-1 to apply stating that “this new stuff was potent.” Well, he was exfoliating. He’s hoping to go for an employment interview as soon as he can get back into his briefs.
Patient: I’d feel a lot better about my disease if you’d tell me all you know about it.
Doctor: I’ve already told you more than I know. (After Adams)