I’m Back

Hi gang, I was out but now I’m back.


Treasury ends the myRA, Obama’s retirement savings program

CNN Money:

The Treasury Department said Friday that it will end an Obama-era program called myRA that created accounts aimed to help Americans start saving for retirement.

The reality is that this was a way for politicians to build a market for their over-spending habits. It invests only in US government bonds. As the politicians continually over spend, they issue more bonds to pay for it, similar to using a credit card but not paying off the balance every month.

What’s worse, people who want to save can use any of several brokers and mutual fund companies such as Fidelity, Vanguard, and Charles Schwab.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Actress, Author, and Founder/CCO of goop.com

Gwyneth Paltrow has transitioned to a career in business from acting, and she seems thrilled.

I (basically) walked away from a career where people kissed my ass to being grilled by a VC or my board. I used to worry about myself and myself alone, and now I am responsible for the livelihoods of 50+ people. These days I spend every waking hour trying to execute on a strategy I created with my team to make goop the number one global lifestyle brand (a girl can dream), while trying to get us to profitability before my series B runs out. All while being as professionally fulfilled and happy as I have ever been in my life. More so.

Best of luck.


Jackson Health System to Offer Prices for Services

Finally! A health facility that will provide price quotes in advance of a procedure for healthcare services at their facilities. Jackson Health System has facilities located in the Miami, FL area. Link to quote page here. Their reason:

More and more insurance plans require out-of-pocket spending by the patient. Whether you have a deductible or coinsurance – or if you’re searching for healthcare services without insurance – Jackson wants to help you understand what you’ll pay for care. Today, patients do not have consistent access to quality, price, and service information when they are choosing a healthcare provider or considering treatment options. This price transparency service enables patients to make more informed choices.

Prices for medical services can vary significantly, even for the exact same procedure in the same area, with the same equipment. Jackson will empower you with information to make an informed decision about your care. Unlike traditional price estimators, which rely on averages, our service checks patients’ actual insurance information to provide highly accurate quotes based on their insurance plan design, deductibles, coinsurance, and more. This information will also be useful to patients who don’t have health insurance and want to research cash prices.

These quotes are for hospital fees only. Professional fees from doctors are a separate charge.

But still, its a step in the right direction towards price transparency that we, as consumers, enjoy with most other products and services we buy.

Mylan’s EpiPen Injector for Epinephrine

Mrs. Clinton Tweeted out her displeasure about the price of this medical device. Here’s my take.

The EpiPen device has the high price, not the medication. Epinephrine has been around for more than 100 years and is easy to produce.

The FDA has a complicated and ambiguous process for approval of the EpiPen, and that is is inhibiting competition. Sanofi withdrew an EpiPen after 26 cases in which it delivered an inaccurate dose. In February the FDA rejected Teva’s generic EpiPen application. In June the FDA required Adamis to expand trials and reliability studies for *another* firm’s auto-injector.

The price of a product or service carries valuable information about the security.

In this case the higher price for EpiPen carries information about the relative scarcity of it. In general, high prices draws in producers but in this case the producers of other EpiPens such as Sanofi and Teva are unable to enter the market because of the FDA’s approval process.

It isn’t something nefarious by Mylan’s employees but the absence of competition that is not spurring them to change anything.

If Mrs Clinton, wanted to help she should start a program with the Clinton Foundation to buy EpiPens from Mylan and distribute them. And as President, she could commit to streamline the approval process at the FDA. She’d be a hero to many families and reform a government agency. But so far, her campaign took the nasty, authoritarian, exploitative role.