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Setback in the outback

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Like many others, we have been following the latest developments in Australia related to the “Assistance and Access” bill with a growing sense of frustration. The widespread adoption of strong cryptography and end-to-end encryption has given people around the world the ability to protect their personal information and communicate securely. Life is increasingly lived online, and the everyday actions of billions of people depend on this foundation remaining strong.

Attempting to roll back the clock on security improvements which have massively benefited Australia and the entire global community is a disappointing development.

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ChrisDL
1 day ago
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New York
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#1442; In which Jimbo pierces the Veil

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The weary bitcoin miners swing into their barracks at the end of a long shift. They shake electrons from their boots and cough out black, gritty blockchain shavings. Tomorrow will be another long day.

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ChrisDL
3 days ago
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New York
jlvanderzwan
3 days ago
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Welcome to Our Modern Hospital Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go Fuck Yourself

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Welcome to America General Hospital! Seems you have an oozing head injury there. Let’s check your insurance. Okay, quick “heads up” — ha! — that your plan may not cover everything today. What’s that? You want a reasonable price quote, upfront, for our services? Sorry, let me explain a hospital to you: we give you medical care, then we charge whatever the hell we want for it.

If you don’t like that, go fuck yourself and die.

Honestly, there’s no telling what you’ll pay today. Maybe $700. Maybe $70,000. It’s a fun surprise! Maybe you’ll go to the ER for five minutes, get no treatment, then we’ll charge you $5,000 for an ice pack and a bandage. Then your insurance company will be like, “This is nuts. We’re not paying this.” Who knows how hard you’ll get screwed? You will, in three months.

Fun story: This one time we charged two parents $18,000 for some baby formula. LOL! We pull that shit all the time. Don’t like it? Don’t bring a baby, asshole.

Oh, I get it: you’re used to knowing a clear price for products and services. The difference is that medicine is complicated and scary — unlike, say, flying hundreds of people in a steel tube across an ocean, or selling them a six-ounce hand-held computer that plays movies and talks to satellites. Anyway, no need to think this through rationally while you’re vulnerable, right? Your head is really gushing, ma’am.

Sure we could start posting prices and discussing our costs, but then it turns into a public debate about transparency, and people get all huffy and self-righteous about $15 pills of Tylenol, $93 to turn on a single goddamned light, or $5,000 worth of sanitary gloves. We’d rather just mail you a bill later for $97,000, full of obscure medical codes you can’t understand. Oh, you like understanding things? Here, maybe this will help:

Hit your head, and talk to a doctor for one minute? $2,500, you idiot.

Want your pesky appendix out? That’ll probably be $33,611. Or it could be $180,000. Shrug. Don’t know. Don’t care.

Need an hour in the ER? How does $15,000-$50,000, sound? Hint: we don’t give a piss how it sounds you stupid fucking helpless human wallet.

Our medical system strikes you as “insane?” Well, you can’t do much about that now. Except of course to go fuck yourself. Yes, ma’am, as a matter of fact, we do have a special room where you can go fuck yourself. Yes, it does cost money to use the room, and no I cannot tell you how much. Want a hint? It’s between $1 and $35,000 per minute. Will you be reserving the go fuck yourself room?

Oh, you think you think we’re cruel and illogical? Well, no one forced you to come here. It’s your decision, you head-injured meatball. Feel free to go out into the parking lot and just die. I suggest you do that out in section F. Try to lean your corpse against a light pole. Our dead body disposal fee is $3.75 and is not covered by your shitty, confusing, out-of-network medical plan.

So, will you be dying in our parking lot today, you pathetic, impotent, walking insurance code? Okay, great! Your husband will get a bill for that soon, and if he doesn’t like it, he can fuck himself too.

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sarcozona
7 days ago
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I am never ever going back
ChrisDL
8 days ago
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number one reason i might move away from the US.
New York
freeAgent
7 days ago
My wife is having a procedure done that isn't covered by insurance. She was referred to a place that was going to charge $1,600. She shopped around and found a different place that will do it for $4-500. She had to go back to her referring physician to have a second referral for the procedure sent to the other location. On top of that, my wife and her referring physician are coworkers, so it is not as though her doctor was trying to screw her over. Doctors just aren't aware of the costs for procedures or the differences in cost between facilities. That there can be a 3x cost difference between providers, even in the same region, for the exact same procedure is ridiculous.
ChrisDL
7 days ago
thanks for sharing that. I feel like we all have some version of these stories at this point. a dentist that gives you a bunch of care you don't really need. Or an insurance company rep that says something is covered but then it isn't, and there just doesn't seem to be any real recourse unless you feel like litigating. The other thing that surprised me is that it seems a lot of americans don't realize it doesn't have to be like this, plenty (arguably most?) other countries don't have these issues.
popular
8 days ago
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wreichard
8 days ago
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Earth
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3 public comments
BLueSS
7 days ago
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Thankfully, dental procedures are the opposite, in my experience. I usually get provided my out of pocket expenses when I'm being told about the work that should be done.

If only medical could catch up to what's done on the dental side...
diannemharris
8 days ago
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The only thing that is wrong about this piece is that a lot of the time people don't have a choice and are taken against thier will, unconscious or not, and they still get the bill.
deezil
9 days ago
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Yet again, McSweeney's hits it on the head. (no pun intended)
Louisville, Kentucky
jhamill
8 days ago
That'll be $150 or $15,000. Don't know. Don't care.

Kindred Spirits

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https://www.geograph.ie/photo/5448194
Image: geograph

Cork, Ireland, displays a sculpture dedicated to the Choctaw Indian Nation. Moved by reports of the Great Hunger of 1845-1851, and recalling their own deprivation as they were removed from their ancestral lands, a group of Oklahoma Choctaw raised $170 in 1847 and forwarded it toward relief of the famine.

In 1995, Irish president Mary Robinson visited the Choctaw to thank them for supporting the Irish people, to whom they had no link but “a common humanity, a common sense of another people suffering.” In 1992 22 Irish men and women walked the 600-mile Trail of Tears, raising $1,000 for every dollar that the Choctaw had given in 1847, and passed the money on to relieve suffering in Somalia.

The Choctaw have donated to New York’s Firefighters Fund after the 2001 terrorist attacks; to Save the Children and the Red Cross in 2004 for tsunami relief; to Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005; to victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2018; and to people affected by hurricanes in Houston, Puerto Rico, and Florida. In 2008 the Choctaw Nation received the United States National Freedom Award for its efforts supporting the National Guard and Reserve and their families.

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ChrisDL
20 days ago
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New York
sarcozona
21 days ago
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Report finds that climate change could cause ‘substantial damages’ to US

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<em>Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park in 2018. </em>

Climate change continues to pose major risks to many aspects of American life, according to a major government climate report that was released today.

“Climate-related risks will continue to grow without additional action,” The report says. “While Americans are responding in ways that can bolster resilience and improve livelihoods, neither global efforts to mitigate the causes of climate change nor regional efforts to adapt to the impacts currently approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.”

The report is the work of more than 300 government and independent scientists. It’s the second volume to be released of the two-part National...

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ChrisDL
20 days ago
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i for one, am open to the concept of beginning to worry. eventually.
New York
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#1437; In which a Choice was made

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Let's just say we haven't ''made Mom's casserole'' in quite a while.

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ChrisDL
24 days ago
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New York
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