we have the most expensive, inefficient, and bureaucratic health care system in the world – Why Medicare-for-All Is Good for Business | Fortune.com


— excerpt below —

Why Medicare-for-All Is Good for Business Bernie Sanders Aug 21, 2017

Despite major improvements made by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our health care system remains in crisis. Today,

we have the most expensive, inefficient, and bureaucratic health care system in the world.

We spend almost $10,000 per capita each year on health care, while the Canadians spend $4,644, the Germans $5,551, the French $4,600, and the British $4,192. Meanwhile, our life expectancy is lower than most other industrialized countries and our infant mortality rates are much higher. Further, as of September 2016, 28 million Americans were uninsured and millions more underinsured with premiums, deductibles, and copayments that are too high. We also pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. UNITEDHEALTH UnitedHealth Names a New CEO The ongoing failure of our health care system is directly attributable to the fact that it is largely designed not to provide quality care in a cost-effective way, but to make maximum profits for health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical equipment suppliers. That has got to change. We need to guarantee health care for all. We need to do it in a cost-effective way. We need a Medicare-for-all health care system in the U.S. COMMENTARY When Success Is About Doing Old Things in New Ways compare-card COMPARECARDS 2 Cards Charging 0% Interest Until 2019 SPONSORED PAID CONTENT It’s More Than A Game: How To Network Through Golf From KPMG MARTIN SHKRELI Why Martin Shkreli Won’t Be the Last Pharma Bro Berryville Democrats new message POLITICS Democrats Promise ‘A Better Deal’ in Populist Appeal to Working Class Voters US-POLITICS-HEALTHCARE-SANDERS BERNIE SANDERS Why Bernie Sanders Isn’t Actually a Socialist Express Scripts To Buy Medco For $29.1 Billion To Gain Scale PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS Express Scripts Shares Flop Over 11% on Likely Loss of Its Biggest Customer Stock Open Slightly Higher On The New York Stock Exchange ONETIME Dollar Steadies After U.S. Healthcare Bill Pulled House Speaker Paul Ryan Holds Weekly Briefing HEALTH INSURANCE The Big Problem (and Benefit) of the GOP’s Health Care Plan Press Secretary Sean Spicer Holds Daily Press Briefing U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT Some Trump Boasts Stumble, But Jobs Do Grow Let’s be clear. Not only is our dysfunctional health care system causing unnecessary suffering and financial stress for millions of low- and middle-income families, it is also having a very negative impact on our economy and the business community—especially small- and medium-sized companies. Private businesses spent $637 billion on private health insurance in 2015 and are projected to spend $1.059 trillion in 2025. But it’s not just the heavy financial cost of health care that the business community is forced to bear. It is time and energy. Instead of focusing on their core business goals, small- and medium-sized businesses are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time, energy, and resources trying to navigate an incredibly complex system in order to get the most cost-effective coverage possible for their employees. It is not uncommon for employers to spend weeks every year negotiating with private insurance companies, filling out reams of paperwork, and switching carriers to get the best deal they can. And more and more business people are getting tired of it and are asking the simple questions that need to be addressed. Why as a nation are we spending more than 17% of our GDP on health care, while nations that we compete with provide health care for all of their people at 9, 10, or 11% of their GDP? Is that sustainable? What impact does that have on our overall economy? Why are employers who do the right thing and provide strong health care benefits for their employees at a competitive disadvantage with those who don’t? Why are some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America, like Walmart, receiving massive subsidies from the federal government because their inadequate benefits force many of their employees to go on Medicaid? Why are most labor disputes in this country centered on health care coverage? Is it good for a company to have employees on the payroll not because they enjoy the work, but because their families need the health insurance the company provides? ADVERTISING Richard Master is the owner and CEO of MCS Industries Inc., the nation’s leading supplier of wall and poster frames—a $200 million a year company based in Easton, Pa. “My company now pays $1.5 million a year to provide access to health care for our workers and their dependents,” Master told Common Dreams. “When I investigated where all the money goes, I was shocked.” What he found was that fully 33 cents of every health care premium dollar “has nothing to do with the delivery of health care.” Thirty-three percent of his health care budget was being spent on administrative costs. “I came to realize that insurers comprise a completely unnecessary middleman that not only adds little if any value to our health care system, it adds enormous costs to it,” Master said. HEALTH INSURANCE Pre-existing Conditions Complicate Health Care Replacement It doesn’t have to be this way. Every other major country on earth has a national health care program that guarantees health care to all of their people at a much lower cost. In our country, Medicare, a government-run single-payer health care system for seniors, is a popular, cost-effective health insurance program. When the Senate gets back into session in September, I will be introducing legislation to expand Medicare to cover all Americans. This is not a radical idea. I live in Burlington, Vt., 50 miles south of the Canadian border. For decades, every man, woman, and child in Canada has been guaranteed health care through a single-payer, publicly funded health care program. Not only has this system improved the lives of the Canadian people, it has saved businesses many billions of dollars. The American Sustainable Business Council, a business advocacy organization, started a campaign in April in support of single-payer health care. To date, more than 170 business leaders have signed on to this initiative in more than 30 states. Here is what these business leaders have written: “All supporters of the campaign believe that a single-payer health care system, which is what the vast majority of the industrialized world embraces, will deliver significant cost-savings, in large part by eliminating the wasteful practices of the insurance industry that are designed for financial advantage.” In my view, health care for all is a moral issue. No American should die or suffer because they lack the funds to get adequate health care. But it is more than that. A Medicare-for-all single-payer system will be good for the economy and the business community.Bernie Sanders is the junior U.S. senator from Vermont. SPONSORED STORIES The Game of Startup: Can Your Big Idea Succeed? The Game of Startup: Can Your Big Idea Succeed? 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University Kiosk AMAZON Amazon’s Newest Venture Is Likely to Be a Bust Senators Leave Capitol Hill For Summer Break HEALTH CARE Why Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Health Care Bill Would Be a Disaster US-POLITICS-TRUMP VACATION How to Take a Better Working Vacation Than Donald Trump Did Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour – London UFC Here’s Who Will Really Win the Mayweather-McGregor Fight SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT This One Device Could End Smart Phones As We Know It & Investors Agree Angel Publishing 1 Stock Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Refuses to Compete With The Motley Fool Electric Car Revolution Leads To Interesting Play For Investors. Lot78 DOL-Compliant Target Date Fund Due Diligence Made Easy: See How Capital Group dianomi-logo SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT MORE FROM FORTUNE.COM FORTUNE INSIDERS The Navy Is at a Breaking Point. Here’s Who Can Save It. HEALTH Why a Tobacco Giant CEO Is Cheering the FDA’s War on Nicotine Reynolds Said to Aim for July Lorillard Deal as Talks Continue HEALTH Brainstorm Health: Philip Morris Cheers Nicotine Limits, Johnson & Johnson Cancer Verdict TECH Google Pushes New Corporate Perks for Chromebooks TECH Popular Robots Have Security Flaws That Could Make Them Dangerous Inside SoftBank Group Corp.’s Pepper World 2016 Event TECH Here’s What We Think We Know About Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 Samsung S8’s First Day Of Public Sales FORTUNE INSIDERS The Only Way Trump’s Afghanistan Plan Would Make Sense President Trump Addresses The Nation On Strategy In Afghanistan And South Asia From Fort Myer In Arlington LUXURY Lagunitas Unveils an IPA Made With Cannabis COLOMBIA-MARIJUANA TECH Amazon Is Offering a Big Echo Discount LEADERSHIP Trump Leans on Afghanistan Tactics That Failed Under Bush and Obama U.S. President Donald Trump Customer ServiceSite MapPrivacy PolicyAdvertisingAd ChoicesTerms of UseYour California Privacy RightsCareers © 2017 Time Inc. 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Superintelligence: The Idea That Scares Smart People

Source: Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People


Last year, the philosopher Nick Bostrom published Superintelligence, a book that synthesizes the alarmist view of AI and makes a case that such an intelligence explosion is both dangerous and inevitable given a set of modest assumptions.

The computer that takes over the world is a staple scifi trope. But enough people take this scenario seriously that we have to take them seriously. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and a whole raft of Silicon Valley investors and billionaires find this argument persuasive.

Let me start by laying out the premises you need for Bostrom’s argument to go through:



I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it | Tim Berners-Lee | Technology | The Guardian


 — excerpt below —

Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the worldwide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.

1) We’ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data and chose when and with whom to share it. What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

This widespread data collection by companies also has other impacts. Through collaboration with – or coercion of – companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused – bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, such as sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.

2) It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web

Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites make more money when we click on the links they show us. And they choose what to show us based on algorithms that learn from our personal data that they are constantly harvesting. The net result is that these sites show us content they think we’ll click on – meaning that misinformation, or fake news, which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases, can spread like wildfire. And through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.

3) Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding

Political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry. The fact that most people get their information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data mean that political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users. One source suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000 variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a near-impossible situation to monitor. And there are suggestions that some political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep others away from the polls. Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?

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 Sir Tim Berners-Lee: how the web went from idea to reality

These are complex problems, and the solutions will not be simple. But a few broad paths to progress are already clear. We must work together with web companies to strike a balance that puts a fair level of data control back in the hands of people, including the development of new technology such as personal “data pods” if needed and exploring alternative revenue models such as subscriptions and micropayments. We must fight against government overreach in surveillance laws, including through the courts if necessary. We must push back against misinformation by encouraging gatekeepers such as Google and Facebook to continue their efforts to combat the problem, while avoiding the creation of any central bodies to decide what is “true” or not. We need more algorithmic transparency to understand how important decisions that affect our lives are being made, and perhaps a set of common principles to be followed. We urgently need to close the “internet blind spot” in the regulation of political campaigning.

Our team at the Web Foundation will be working on many of these issues as part of our new five-year strategy – researching the problems in more detail, coming up with proactive policy solutions and bringing together coalitions to drive progress towards a web that gives equal power and opportunity to all.

I may have invented the web, but all of you have helped to create what it is today. All the blogs, posts, tweets, photos, videos, applications, web pages and more represent the contributions of millions of you around the world building our online community. All kinds of people have helped, from politicians fighting to keep the web open, standards organisations like W3C enhancing the poweraccessibility and security of the technology, and people who have protested in the streets. In the past year, we have seen Nigerians stand up to a social media bill that would have hampered free expression online, popular outcry and protests at regional internet shutdowns in Cameroon and great public support for net neutrality in both India and the European Union.

It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone.

The Web Foundation is at the forefront of the fight to advance and protect the web for everyone. We believe doing so is essential to reverse growing inequality and empower citizens. You can follow our work by signing up to our newsletter, and find a local digital rights organisation to support here on this list. Additions to the list are welcome and may be sent to contact@webfoundation.org

Click here to make a donation.