Health Care Reform

President Obama,

I have been following the health care debate closely over the last few weeks. One thing that stands out is the lack of clarity on what you want from it.

For me, health care reform should achieve three goals

  • anyone who lost their job should not automatically become uninsured
  • more individuals should get insured
  • make health care more affordable for everyone

To this end, all the talk about public option and how or whether private insurance will be able to compete does not make sense.

Why should private companies compete with the public option - they should provide add-on health insurance.

It could be real simple - public plan declares what it is willing to pay for - a routine physical, or particular cholestrol treatment. There will be some physicians and hospitals that will accept this payment, and others that will demand more. If a patient chooses to go to such a physician/facility, either they pay the extra amount out of pocket, or their private add-on insurance pays for this.

Of course, public plan will need to pay a competitive price to ensure a certain percentage of physicians/facilities accept its insurance 100%.

You surrounded yourself with smart advisors during the 2008 election cycle. Your voucher scheme for fixing the education system was spot on, and that is very similar to what I propose above. Why are you letting congress and special interests take the lead on health reform?

Oh, and this proposal does address the question raised by Prof. Gregory Mankiw in his NYTimes column of Sep 20, 2009.


Bing 1 Google 0

I was a sceptic when Bing launched - if Google provides me the answer I'm looking for, what is the incentive to even test out an alternative?

Found one today - searching for "Thailand Visa", the first page of results on Google did not have any official resources, but Bing's second result is Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand.


Clear Unread and Unaccepted Outlook Invites

If you're annoyed with unread or unaccepted invites clogging up your outlook calendar
  • Tools –> Options –> E-mail Options -> Tracking Options
  • Clear the ”Process requests and responses on arrival” check box


Chrome's startup page for Firefox

Google Toolbar 5 beta for Firefox adds the chrome-like new tab page for Firefox.

However, by default, this only works for new tabs - not for your homepage, as it does in Google Chrome. To fix that, set your Firefox homepage to:



Bookmark keywords in Google Chrome

I had previously mentioned that I use Google Chrome 80% of the time. My primary complaints with Chrome were:

  1. No adblock
  2. Lack of bookmark keywords
  3. Compatibility

Well, it appears that there's been some good progress.

Regarding #1, Google recently unveiled a developer preview channel to test a new version of Chrome that supports extensions

Regarding #2, I was able to find a method to add bookmark keywords! Thanks to postings at the unofficial google-chrome-help usenet group and at the unofficial googlesystem blog, here's how to do it:

  1. Click on the wrench icon, select Options
  2. On the 'Basics' tab, 'Default search' section and click on the 'Manage' button
  3. In the 'Search Engines' popup, click 'Add'
  4. Fill in the required fields. e.g.
    • Name 'Yahoo Finance',
    • Keyword, 'fy',
    • URL, 'http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=%s'
You're set!


My take on election 2008

  1. Past voting margins are more reliable than polls based on 1000 voters. So if a state was republican by more than 10% margin, there's no way its going democrat.
  2. Obama to get any state that either Kerry or Gore won easy
  3. Other states that Clinton won and current polls show leaning obama are tossups.

Link to Full Spreadsheet

  1. Obama needs one of Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Missouri to win.
  2. Best case margin of victory for Obama is 345-189


McCain's Choice

This ad is absolutely fantastic!

John McCain made his choice. Time for you to make yours.