Honda "Drive by Wire" question... what if the power goes out?

Page 5 of 8  
Are you veering OT because the power went out on the drive-by-wire steering?
Sorry - I couldn't resist. <8^)
Mike

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Michael Pardee wrote:

Nor should you have. Mike, LOL.
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Elle wrote:
<snip>

For sure, Elle, plus the enormous cultural reticence to admit that the free market / rugged individualism isn't hacking this particular issue and that the govt might offer something worthwhile.

There's a term which I can't remember which theorizes that one problem with health care in the US stems from the insured consumer's insulation from the economic consequences of his health care choices. Sounds as though that's what you're talking about above?
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E

the
and
not
one problem

consumer's insulation

Sounds as

Spot on.
Health services are not a true free market, because the consumer weighs in not at all on the pricing of the product.
OTOH, plop your typical middle class employee and his/her family down somewhere in Canada for a couple of years of experiencing their health care system, and s/he'll come away saying s/he doesn't want universal health care, because Canada won't give him/her and his/her family every conceivable snake oil product offered for a malady. The person will not believe s/he's getting the best care in Canada. "More is better" is a way of life in the U.S.
A cultural shift in attitude will be necessary, IMO. It will take a generation or two.
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I don't know the term, but a former neighbor who was president of the local hospital at the time explained it pretty much that way, and it made a lot of sense. He said health care at any particular standard costs a certain amount to deliver. First in line is the gov't, which says you will deliver for the amount we pay you or you won't do business at all. Next in line are the large insurance carriers, like Blue Cross, which say you will deliver for what we pay or you will be left in the cold. The remainder of the cost is spread among the self-payers at many times the fair price, because the others just won't pay. A while ago I had to appeal an emergency room visit that had been denied... my cost was to be $1300 and BCBS eventually picked it up for $300. That left the $1000 shortfall to end up on somebody else's bill.
Mike
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that one problem

consumer's insulation

choices. Sounds as

president of the local

and it made a lot of

costs a certain amount

will deliver for the

line are the

will deliver for

of the cost is

because the

emergency room visit

It shouldn't be such a goddarned maze. A few weeks ago a Harvard PhD, a multi-degreed engineer, and a doctor wrote the NY Times each wrote letters saying they couldn't figure out how to navigate the new Medicare drug benefit. Add my father, also multi-degreed, an engineer, from one of those high-falutin' schools who has mentioned twice in the last six weeks that he is struggling mightily with it, as well. If people as educated as this can't figure out how to get the benefit, what about the roughly 80% of adults in the U.S. who never even graduated from any college?

somebody else's

I have read that the uninsured are charged a higher fee (around 30%) because collecting from them is harder. It's revolting that different fees are charged for the same service, but there is, in part, a limited method to the madness.
Also, I hear health care services write off the shortfalls as losses.
I hate to dismiss it as "a lot of funny money is floating around," but the stories I'm reading in reputable publications sure make it seem like there's little order in the system. Bargaining over fees and haggling over what exactly was prescribed given by hospitals seems common. If one doesn't know the ins and outs, one is doomed, ISTM.
Throw in the NY Times piece recently on people with /good health insurance/ who were driven into bankruptcy because having to pay "only 10%" of a million dollars of medical services is still a lot of money.
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Elle wrote:

to bring this back to hondas...
the above reminds me that for every smart internet shopper that gets a good deal through costco, sams, AAA, etc
there are several that get ripped off, pay "added dealer markup", etc.
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It's
that gets a

markup", etc.
I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. It seems to me that hospitals will not generally haggle over costs with individuals without health insurance.
I guess that's incentive to at least have catastrophic health insurance. Even though one may be well below the (usually several thousand dollars) deductible for, say, a hospital visit, one is obtaining the discounted rates that one's insurance company has previously negotiated with the hospital.
So if one wants the discount, one is sort of forced into dealing with insurance companies. But then by being insured one is forced into subsidizing a lot of people who aren't careful with their health. Because of the way the insurance-health care system (monopoly? ponzi scheme?) is set up, there's little incentive for them to refuse unnecessary medical services. Hence doctors may prescribe away, lining their wallets and bringing income to hospitals, and promoting the "more is better" mentality while simultaneously claiming it's necessary because they'll be sued for malpractice if anything goes wrong. Meanwhile, the added cost is passed along to those who work to stay healthy and not abuse the insurance system.
I know buying insurance is about buying peace of mind. One should not expect to ever get back what one pays. Just seems that in the last 15 years or so, too many expect to get back from their premiums what they paid and then some, by excessive use of medical services that benefits them not at all.
Of course, with uninsured individuals in need of significant health care services, at some point Medicaid will kick in. But that also pushes up costs for everone else. Plus, by the time such people finally get to the hospital, a malady that might have been easily cured a year ago has exploded into a very expensive proposition.
Seems to me a Universal Health Care system would solve a lot of these problems. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would stop this persistent spiralling of costs that, as I suggest above, seems more and more like a Ponzi scheme every year.
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Elle wrote:

then theres double-billing.
the time i twisted my ankle i did everything by the book, (listed urgent care facility, paid my co-pay, etc.) bout a year later i got a bill from a doctor i NEVER saw that day, for treatment/services i NEVER received. only 2 people i saw were the receptionist, and a licensed vocational nurse.
went straight into the shredder and havent heard anything since.
the dealer version of that is the:
"you need to come back with a check because..."
1) the car was mica blue metallic, and we forgot metallic paint was extra
2) down payment was too small
3)credit didnt go through
4)numbers didnt add up
5)want another chance to ream ya
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shopper
dealer
that
(listed urgent

got a bill from

NEVER received.

vocational nurse.

since.
paint was extra

lol
... but to a large extent, I /do/ agree with this part of your analogy. Indeed, from what I'm reading in reputable publications, the medical-insurance billing process is so complicated that mistakes are very common. IIRC, and ballpark, 30% or more of the time there is a significant billing error by health care/insurance services. Whether they're intentional, or just gross gross negligence is another matter.
I give the current, non-Medicare U.S. health care system 20 years or less. By which time I will be on Medicare. Still, if all Americans are paying less for health care (while some are paying a bit more in taxes), that will impact on inflation, etc.
Nice tip re garages, water heaters, and leaky car fuel tanks. Whoa! Glad you're still alive to post here! We need a top ten list of "Things NOT To Do While Repairing One's Honda," drawn from real life experiences.
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Elle wrote:

snip
We need a

1. Do NOT crawl under a jacked up car with jackstands in place!
JT
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place!
What's the matter with using jackstands (of the appropriate size) to support a car while doing work underneath it?
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Elle wrote:

Heh. I forgot the "out." Hadn't had my coffee yet...
<G>
JT
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Okay, time to fess up. Sometimes I can do the *dumbest* things, too.
I used to have an early Nissan 300ZX (troublesome beast!). One day it developed a leak in one injector, so I bought a replacement. I was waiting for the weekend to undertake the job, but one night the engine started running rough. I was only a couple blocks form home so I went home and parked in the driveway. Then I noticed smoke coming from under the hood. I didn't have an extinguisher or even a plan, but I opened the hood anyway. "Huh. I wonder what's happening?!" Of course the leak had caught fire, but it had burned down to where it was only hoses and insulation sedately flaming, so I bent over and blew them out like a candle on a birthday cake. Not two seconds later the fuel injector hose that had been burning ruptured and sprayed about an ounce of gasoline where the flame and my face had been! Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
Who's next?
Mike
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About a year ago I was working on those nasty rear control arm bolts etc. I had to be someplace the next day, so I had to stop mid-job. For a temporary "replacement" of a bolt I wired up one control arm with some 10 AWG copper wire I had lying around, several loops. I thought I should take a test drive. I made it halfway out the driveway at a couple miles an hour when the car went over a half-inch bump. The applicable rear strut assembly collapsed, and that rear quarter of the car crashed to the ground. The wheel bent out in a totally unseemly way, and I thought, "Oh no... " The wire was sheared right apart. Jacked it up. Stuck the old control arm bolt yada in place. Wheel looked okay. The asphalt of the road where the car quarter landed was kinda scratched up. Had the wheel balance checked a week later; it needed no adjustment. The road looks fine, after a year too.
Helluva crash. I got lucky.
snip "thing not to do during Honda repairs"

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I was checking under the hood of a Pontiac Tempest and the wind blew the hood right almost on the windscreen. It was so strong I could not bring it down to hook in the support rod. So I left it there thinking I will be done in a second. I got involved with whatever I was doing (I will tell you in a second why I forgot) and then heard a very loud thud and everything turned white. The wind had let up and the hood used me as a supporting rod.
I staggered into work and put in a full day. I think my boss was happy with how quiet I was that time.
wrote

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Michael Pardee wrote:

which sounds pretty damn good. all our elected representatives get free health care off our dime, while a lot of people that pay taxes have no healthcare at all.
if the govt can negotiate for 300+ million people, they should get a better deal than my employer! and in that case, id give up my *excellent* healthcare coverage for something mediocre if my employer wont have to deal with that burden.

or not. you likely didnt even receive $300 worth of service.

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The only health care plan our elected representatives deserve is the Soylent Green plan. Fire up the furnaces.

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because
admit that the

particular issue

snip
CEOs who lead

<this is an auto

debate the

Today's NY Times editorial page has fascinating commentary related to the above discussion as follows:
"Big Labor's Big Secret" (NY Times, Dec. 28, 2005)
As most Americans are aware, our auto industry is in a crisis.
Workers' wages are falling, and hundreds of thousands of jobs are being sent offshore. ...
How did we get here? There are many causes: poor car designs, high pension costs, increased foreign competition. But much of it comes down to the overwhelming health insurance costs borne by the auto makers. This is why the union's president, Ron Gettelfinger, has urged Congress to enact sweeping health insurance reforms.
If the government paid everyone's health insurance bills, as those in Canada and most of Europe do, Detroit's Big Three could save at least $1,300 per vehicle. Profitability would return. With deeper pockets, the auto makers could afford to pay their suppliers. Communities would be spared layoffs. ...
Most advocates of universal health care focus on the opposition of Republicans and insurance companies. But perhaps the most important factor keeping an overhaul off the national agenda is one that few Democrats acknowledge: most of Mr. Gettelfinger's fellow labor leaders don't support a single-payer system either.
The reason comes down to simple self-interest. The United Auto Workers is one of the few private-sector unions that doesn't run its own health plan. Rather, most have created huge companies to administer their workers' plans, giving them a large and often corrupt stake in the current system.
Opposition to a national health care plan is as much a part of the American trade union tradition as the picket line. It goes back to Samuel Gompers, the founder of the American Federation of Labor, who railed at early Congressional efforts to pass a law mandating employer coverage as Britain had done, which he said had "taken much of the virility out of the British unions."
This line of thinking led to the notorious decision in 1991 by the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s health care committee to reject a proposal that the federation support a single-payer plan. The majority said a national system simply had no chance in Congress, but others saw a conflict of interest: government-supplied health care would put union-run plans out of business.
The deciding vote was cast by Robert Georgine, chief executive of Ullico, a huge insurance provider created by the unions. A decade later, Mr. Georgine, who was paid $3 million a year by Ullico, and several other company directors - all heads of major A.F.L.-C.I.O. unions - were investigated by a federal panel for insider trading involving Ullico stock. Mr. Georgine and several directors resigned, and this year he agreed to pay back $13 million to the company.
Let's face it: union-administered health insurance funds provide irresistible opportunities for labor leaders. First there's patronage: hiring friends and relatives. Then there are the conventions, junkets and retreats provided by the plans and the providers. And for those willing to cross the line of legality, there's the chance to take kickbacks from health care vendors.
Many officials are charged, but few go to prison, even when money allegedly winds up in Mafia hands. Last month federal prosecutors lost a criminal case in Brooklyn in which they charged that the Genovese crime family leaned on two International Longshoremen's Association local presidents to, among other things, choose a favored health vendor.
Evidently, the jury was convinced by the defense's argument that the union leaders were under duress. Even Lawrence Ricci, the principal accused Genovese figure, was acquitted, although he disappeared during the trial and never testified. (His body was found last month in the trunk of a car in Union, N.J.)
Despite shrinking membership, organized labor still has enough money and muscle to get behind a campaign for national health insurance. Last month, public-sector unions in California came up with tens of millions of dollars in a successful campaign to defeat a ballot measure that challenged their right to use union dues for political purposes.
The problem is getting American unions to fight for common concerns as opposed to narrow institutional interests. It may just be that a broad-scale union overhaul will have to precede one in American health care.
--

By Robert Fitch, author of the forthcoming "Solidarity for
Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and
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Elle wrote:

snip
I suspect that the "savings" of $1,300 would quickly be distributed as bonuses and other executive perks etc. with little going to reduce prices or instituting efficiencies...
JT
(Who really like to call "trickle down" something else...)
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