Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NSS Comments 10-02-17

Thomas Matula Says:
I tell you this is truly historical. I never thought I would see Rush Limbaugh and organized labor on the same team… I guess President Obama really has a magical way of bringing people together from all walks of life
When you add me to that coalition, it gets even stranger still. How many of you have run an anti-government political party at the state level? I also ran a state Cabinet agency for seven years, but that’s another story…

This is shaping up to be an interesting battle in Congress. Especially with Democrats like Senator Bayh threatening to split the party in the next presidential election…
Not anymore.

He’s said no way, no how, is he going to run in 2012. Too bad, really. If he did, it would be the first time I’ve considered voting for a Dem Prez candidate in many decades.

Edward Wright Says:
For example, I’ve never had an interest in the Moon/Mars debate, because the purpose is to go somewhere, and do something, that we haven’t done before. Faster than can be justified on a commercial basis. And that’s the key.
It doesn’t matter where NASA astronauts go, or how, or why — as long as the trip can’t be justified on a commercial basis?
Basically, yes. I want the government to push the limits, preferably far beyond what would happen naturally. Having some destination matters, to focus the development efforts. I’m less concerned with the specific destination selection, although the Moon seems like the obvious choice to me.

Does that make sense to you, Terry? There’s no commercial justification for flying T-38s from Texas to Wyoming just to pick up burgers and fries — does that mean astronauts should fly their T-38s from Texas to Wyoming to pick up burgers and fries?
Silliness, unrelated to what I’m saying. There’s no new technology development that results from your suggestion. Although…if they want me to fly one of the T-38s, I’ll support the proposal in a heartbeat!

In the sense of “Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before,” absolutely. Absolutely.
Do you think no one has gone to the Moon before?
The flexible path to the asteroids, the LaGrange points, the moons of Mars, etc. seems to fit that definition much better.
All that’s fine. As long as there’s a specific destination and a timeline, and most importantly, funding, I’m pretty flexible on the destination itself. I just think the Moon would be the easiest sell.

Rand Simberg Says: February 16th, 2010 at 9:30 pm
Terry (ignoring the other multitudinous issues with your response), we’re still awaiting an explanation as to why increasing the number of ways to get people to orbit, at lower cost per person, is “killing the American manned space program.”
You’re not waiting; you just missed it. What you describe is a good thing, and I said so. What’s bad (terrible, in fact), is the absence of a funded destination. That is what’s killing the American manned space program.

What you seem to have missed is that flushing Constellation/Ares doesn’t bother me excessively. What bothers me is flushing the return to the Moon mission. I’d prefer to have private industry do it, as long as the mission is funded, with completion dates.

It’s not. And that’s my objection.

Fletcher Christian Says: February 17th, 2010 at 4:18 am
The aim is get a reasonable number of humans (in the thousands, minimum) off this mudball, right? Incidentally, there is undoubtedly a critical number of humans in space that will solve the rest of the problem of space colonisation with no further input from Earth.
If we can get 50 people, that will be good enough. Not from a gene pool perspective, perhaps, but if we get that far, we’ll keep going.

Thomas Matula Says: February 17th, 2010 at 7:28 am
The reference to popcorn above was to watching the Democrats split and President Obama having to run against one or more strong Democratic candidates in the presidential primary. Its what happens when Presidents try to rule rather then govern.
Obama is toast. He has chosen the Carter path, rather than the Clinton path.

Edward Wright Says: February 17th, 2010 at 10:12 am
If there was a killer space rock headed for our planet the best scenario to save the maximum amount of humanity would still be on this planet, not in space. A nuclear-powered submarine underwater would be much cheaper and able to save more of humanity
I know I’m going to regret asking this, but how do you think a nuclear submarine would stop a killer space rock?
In the short term, from a species survival standpoint, the purpose of a space colony is to make sure we survive at all. It won’t take many people to do that. But then, species survival is only one of many reasons. The cultural reasons are far more compelling.


NSS Comments 10-02-16

First, I appreciate the opportunity that Rand has provided to have this discussion. It’s been floating around in the background of the space community for a long time, and the main reason I put my campaign statement up know was to catalyze that discussion out into the open. My hope is that it is a lively, but respectful, discussion from all sides.

But the new policy meets that test much better than the previous one. There was little or no hope that Constellation would have opened up the frontier, even if fully funded. This is something that NSS generally, and Terry specifically, have never really understood.

I’ve never understood it, because it isn’t true. The model is really quite simple: the government pays to develop advanced manned space techniques that make no sense to do commercially. In other words, the program does things faster than private industry could, not because they are better at it (they aren’t) but because they can do it before it makes commercial sense to do so.

And having a specific objective, where it becomes obvious if you slip or slow down and fail, is critical to making sure that actually happens.

There is no plausible path from NASA’s “NASA uber alles” policy, in which billions are spent to send a few astronauts to a planet for some vague purpose, and space settlement. But NSS continually (despite occasional refreshing support for private activities) supports whatever NASA wants to do.

As long as NASA pushes the edges faster than they would be pushed “naturally”, I don’t have any great bias about the right direction. For example, I’ve never had an interest in the Moon/Mars debate, because the purpose is to go somewhere, and do something, that we haven’t done before. Faster than can be justified on a commercial basis. And that’s the key.

Despite having seen it live on television, at this point, in practice, we haven’t been to the Moon before.

Defending NASA’s new plans on both charges was deputy administrator Lori Garver.

“We plan to transform our relationship with the private sector as part of our nation’s new strategy with the ultimate goal of expanding human presence across the solar system,” she said in a luncheon speech at the conference Thursday. “So don’t be fooled by those who say we have no goal. That is the goal.”

I respect Lori a great deal, but this is mostly fuzzy. It’s a good thing to do, but it’s not a goal, in the sense of going somewhere.

And, let me be clear about this. If the budget had said:

“We’re going back to the Moon, and we’re hiring Branson and Rutan to get us there,” I’d be perfectly fine with that. In fact, I’d be ecstatic. That would be the best possible result. But it didn’t say that, or anything dimly like that.

And this, perhaps, explains a lot of the difference of opinion. I don’t give a damn about having the government do the development work. In general, I think that’s a bad idea. But I want the government to pay for a real project, to go somewhere, sooner than would be justified by simple commercial requirements.

Doing that would develop technology and capabilities faster than it would be developed naturally. In my judgment, we need to get the species established in space sooner than the natural course of commercial events will cause that to happen. I’m not pushing to have the government develop technology (although I’m content with that, if that’s the only way to get it funded); I’m pushing to have the government pay to fund that accelerated development, and go somewhere.

I’m have no problem having the actual work privatized. In fact, I think that’s the right thing to do.

Turning to the private sector to launch both cargo and crews to LEO, she continued, actually lowered the risk to the agency in the long run by keeping it from relying on a single system for human access to orbit.

I completely agree with that. That’s a good thing.

But it’s not enough.

Does this sound like a policy to “kill the American manned space program”?

In the sense of “Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before,” absolutely. Absolutely. Privatizing LEO work is good to do. It’s the right path for that task. But it’s not enough.

If so, I think that Terry owes an explanation of why, to NSS members he expects to vote for him, other than a belief in the Apollo Cargo Cult.

Actually, the fact that I’m running unopposed gives me a little latitude to be even more controversial than usual…



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NSS Board Campaign Statement

Today, I am asking for your support for my election to the NSS Board of Directors.

I have read the NSS strategic plan in detail. It includes many useful and worthwhile tasks, but it is missing one important element: focus. We need to decide much more explicitly what we’re going to support, and what we’re going to reject.

Like any entity, NSS has limited resources, and the rules of “opportunity cost” apply. Any resources we invest in one activity, are not available for other activities. From my personal perspective, there is only one mission for the society that really matters: minimizing the time from this moment to the creation of thriving human communities in space. Space settlement. Space industrialization is essential to that result, as are many other supporting activities, but at the end of the day, space settlement is the bottom line. All activities should be tested against how well they support that core objective.

The problem isn’t primarily technological. Humanity is capable, right now, of creating self-sustaining human settlements in space. We simply choose not to do so.

On this note, I’ll say explicitly that the Obama proposal for NASA is a barely mitigated disaster. It has some good elements, like the emphasis on private sector development, but it has no clear focus of ANY KIND for the American manned space program. As a practical matter, Obama is proposing to kill the American manned space program. I think that’s wrong for the country, and I don’t like it.

You’ll find that I fairly consistently don’t play the PC game that says, “I’m OK, you’re OK, all views are good.” We need to make CHOICES about what we, as a society, are going to support, and reject. If I reject some viewpoint, you’ll know it.

NSS needs to focus on changing the pattern of resource allocation on the planet in the direction of creating space settlements, which necessarily means spending less on other things. We need to speak more directly. We need less nuance, and more simple, declarative statements.

What was that line at the end of the “Patton” speech? I don’t want to run afoul of the censors, but now you know how I feel!

I look forward to working with many of you to advance the production of independent human space settlements!

The Bubble

There’s a major political bubble deflating rapidly. It has two primary components:

Global Warming
The Bush Derangement Bubble

These two are interconnected.

The legacy media pumped up Bush as the devil incarnate for years, based on highly dubious claims, and some outright bogus data. The legacy media pumped up global warming as the biggest disaster since the dinosaurs were wiped out, based on highly dubious claims, and some outright bogus data. Neither narrative bore the slightest relationship to reality. And yet, they were successful.

Obama was elected based on this bubble of bogus data. The Democrats got their majorities in Congress from the same source. But now, thanks to the ever increasing power of the internet, the bubble has been popped. It now appears that the collapse is going to have speed and magnitude of biblical proportions.

There will be much collateral change that results from this rapid bubble deflation, some good, some bad, but in most cases unpredictable. But since we’ll finally be dealing from an approach much closer to reality, on balance, the changes are likely to be good.

Like it or not, we live in interesting times!


Question with Boldness -- Thomas Jefferson
Hold to the Truth -- George Washington
Speak Without Fear -- Martin Luther King

Monday, February 15, 2010

TCS Resume, 2009

Terry C Savage
774 Mays Blvd #10/122, Incline Village, NV 89451
Tel: 775-833-1413

Exceptional skills in the following areas: Chief Information Officer, Project Management, HIPAA, Budgeting, Strategic Management of IT resources across projects, MMIS/Healthcare, Excellent Communication Skills, Project Management Office, Vendor and Contract Management, Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity, IT Infrastructure, IT Security, Software Development, Systems Implementation and Integration, Network Operations and Capacity Planning, Server Hosting
Andromeda Enterprises, LLC 2007 – Present

State of California
Technical Operations Manager, Department of Corrections (CDCR)

Responsible for Technical Operations for the Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) project, including detailed project planning, and coordination between multiple organizational units.

State of Arizona
Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI)

Planned and managed the implementation of the AZDFI IT Modernization Project. The project was designed to completely update the Department’s IT systems, infrastructure, and processes. Implemented important improvements in the area of IT security, including a new firewall system and a robust off-site back-up process.


Published author, The End of Winter, available at The sequel, Circle of Fire, is in final pre-publication edit.

State of Nevada 2000-2007

Chief Information Officer and Director, Nevada Department of Information Technology

Cabinet-level position appointed by Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn. Four major areas of responsibility:

Project Management and Project Management Office (PMO)

--Established the Nevada State Project Management Office (PMO) and IT Project Oversight
Committee (ITPOC). Evaluated the CMM methodology, and developed and implemented the
Nevada Project Delivery Framework based on PMI/PMBOK methodologies
--Developed and managed the information technology (IT) governance structure for Nevada
--Extensive experience presenting to all management levels, including the Governor and State
--Executive level management of the MMIS project from inception to completion, with direct
supervision of project PM staff, project QA staff, and vendor management of the IV & V
--Executive PM role for the Unified Tax System (UTS) project and Nevada Offender Tracking
Information System (NOTIS) project.
--Established Quality Assurance requirements for all IT projects
--Chaired Nevada Communications Steering Committee, which wrote the first comprehensive
statewide plan for first-responder radio communication interoperability. This involved the
successful coordination of over a dozen different organizations (state, federal, county, city, tribal
nations, etc) that had never worked together before
--Established cabinet-level IT Strategic Planning committee to evaluate and rank major IT
projects for budgeting purposes, and allocation of the state IT budget among various projects and
project requests
--Provided project planning and oversight of all major IT projects

IT Security

--Established and developed Nevada Office of Information Security
--Developed and implemented IT security policies statewide
--Performed IT risk assessments for state agencies
--Implemented award-winning process for identifying critical business applications and
developing disaster recovery plans for those applications

IT Service Operations Management

--Statewide backbone communications network (microwave, fiber)
--Expanded and modernized the Network Operations Center (NOC)
--Mainframe, UNIX, and Wintel computing platform hosting and operations
--Application and database design, development, and maintenance
--Statewide e-mail system (Exchange)

Financial and Management

--Operating budget of approximately $40M/year
--Developed service rates and chargeback methodology fully compliant with federal OMB
Circular A-87
--Regular briefings to the Governor and legislative committees

Interval Logic, Menlo Park, California 1999
(Software Developer. Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software)

Senior Software Integration Project Manager

--Managed software integration projects for semiconductor manufacturers
--Coordinated and supervised engineers in multiple locations
--Forecast consultant requirements and utilization
--Planned software projects in detail, including detailed scheduling and workload balancing
--Identified and resolved customer concerns, both technical and non-technical

21st Century Solutions, Inc. 1997 to 1998
(Consulting Firm)

Principal Consultant, Project Management

Worked with customers to:

--Develop master schedules for projects in fast-paced software development environments.
--Identify and track resources required for projects, leveling resources and adjusting schedules as
required to provide accurate completion estimates.
--Forecast staffing requirements based on project schedules.
--Develop change control systems, test plans and quality control procedures.

Consilium, Mountain View, California (1994-1996)
(Developer/implementer of manufacturing execution system (MES) software)

Senior Software Integration Project Manager

--Managed teams of engineers engaged in software development and software systems integration
projects for domestic and international clients
--Custom configuration of MES software running on both HP/Unix and VAX/VMS systems
--Configured and integrated automated document control systems
--During implementation projects, worked with customer QA organizations to ensure compliance of
integrated system with federal regulations
--Supervised design of validation test plans
--Developed cost estimates and proposals for software projects. (Customers included: Glaxo
Wellcome (Canada), Eli Lilly, ANAM Industrial (Korea), Amgen)

ICSensors, Milpitas, California 1992-1993
(Manufacturer of microelectronic and micro-mechanical devices)

Manager, Wafer Fabrication and Equipment Maintenance

--Instituted statistical process control in wafer fabrication area
--Implemented preventive maintenance program
--Wrote complete system of quality procedures
--Performed process failure analysis and recommended corrective actions
--Assessed Y2K compliance status of supplier systems
--Implemented an ISO-9000 compliant quality system

TRW Space & Defense Systems Group
Redondo Beach, California 1975 - 1992
(Defense Contractor)

Manager, Various Software, Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Financial tasks

--Implemented a networked PC-based office automation system for 1200-person division
--Responsible for hardware and software installation, user training, and support
--Developed automated project planning tool on VisiCalc, cutting down project "what if" turn
around from
overnight batch run to less than one hour/iteration
--Wrote output routines in FORTRAN IV on CDC 7700
--Performed binary programming of numerically controlled equipment
--Supervised combined production/R&D semiconductor manufacturing area
--Managed Advanced Packaging Lab, including transitioning from R&D to production quantities
--Performed extensive bid/proposal work and cost tracking and reporting
--As Senior Business Analyst, responsible for capital, indirect expense, and manpower planning

Education/Other Activities:

Project Management Institute (PMI), member
NASA PM certified, C/SCSC
BA Cum Laude, University of California at Los Angeles
Biochemistry studies, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Vice-President, National Association of State CIOs
Guest lecturer, National Defense University Information Resource Management College
Guest lecturer, National Governor’s Association Best Practices Policy Academy
Science Fiction Author

Partial Project List
Terry C Savage

Project title: Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS)
Approx total cost: $455M
Approx dates: 2009-present
Project scope: This project is to completely automate and integrate numerous disparate IT support systems within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, from original intake into the systems, through completion of parole and final release.

TCS role: I am responsible for technical systems operations broadly, including project planning, network capacity planning, infrastructure, Helpdesk, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning


Project title: NOMADS
Approx total cost: $110M
Approx dates: 1994 - 2001
Project scope: This project completely replaced the Welfare and Child Support eligibility and management system with a new system compliant with federal requirements

TCS role: Chairman of the NOMADS project steering committee. Executive level project oversight. Management of the computer facility and mainframe systems that housed the application. Both vendor and state PMs reported to me. The IV&V contractor reported to me directly.


Project title: UTS
Approx total cost: $45M
Approx dates: 2004 - 2008
Project scope: The Unified Tax System project eliminated the varies spreadsheets and hand calculations in favor of a completely unified systems for all 17 tax types in the State of Nevada. The system will pay for itself through significantly enhanced ability to detect fraud and omissions on the part of taxpayers.

TCS role: Actively involved with the requirements definition process and proposal development and review. Served on the project Steering Committee. Both the vendor and state PMs reported to me directly, as did the state Quality Assurance function

Project title: MMIS
Approx total cost: $35M
Approx dates: 2000-2004
Project scope: Completely replace the Medicaid Management Information System with an updated system that met federal requirements. Interface with the NOMADS system for eligibility data.

TCS role: I served on the requirements definition steering committee, and chaired the development and operational steering committee. Both the vendor and state PMs reported to me directly, as did the independent Quality Assurance vendor

Project title: Nevada Offender Tracking and Information System (NOTIS)
Approx total cost: $11M
Approx dates: 2005 - 2007
Project scope: The Nevada Offender Tracking and Information System was the first effort to provide significant improvement in the management of prisoner information in the state, including medical information, gang affiliation, and other essential data.

TCS role: Reviewed all proposals, served on the Steering Committee. Both the vendor and state PMs reported to me directly, as did the independent Quality Assurance function.


Project title: Millennium Scholarship
Approx total cost: $5M
Approx dates: 2000-2001
Project scope: This project was sponsored by Governor Kenny Guinn using the tobacco settlement funds. The funds were to provide scholarships for qualified students to go to college. The IT project was to integrate the high school records with the University and Community College records system.

TCS role: I planned and managed the project, and supervised both technical personnel and the vendor doing the application development


Project title: IT Security
Approx total cost: $4M
Approx dates: 2003 - 2007
Project scope: Establish the state IT Security function, assess the state’s IT security posture, identify and implement corrective actions for deficiencies and proactive procedures to secure the states IT assets.

TCS role: I had previously established the IT Security Committee in 2001 to develop basic IT security policies, and assist agencies with implementation of those policies. While the committee was extremely effective, a formal, staffed IT Security organization
was clearly needed. I successfully obtained funding for the Office of Information Security (OIS) from the legislature, and oversaw the development and implementation of an award winning disaster recovery planning process.

Project title: PMO
Approx total cost: $2M
Approx dates: 2005 - 2007
Project scope: Formally establish the Nevada Project Management Office, and develop and implement project management procedures based on the PMI/PMBOK methodology.

TCS role: I had previously established the IT Project Oversight Committee (ITPOC) in 2002 to oversee and assist with all state IT projects of $500K or more. While the committee was extremely effective, a formal, staffed PMO would clearly improve the committee’s effectiveness. I personally chaired the ITPOC for the first two years of operation, and successfully obtained funding for the PMO from the legislature.


Project title: Arizona DFI IT Modernization
Approx total cost: $500K
Approx dates: 2007
Project scope: Complete Modernization of the IT function for the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions

TCS role: Project Manager and chief project engineer. Replace and upgrade all systems to be compliant with the Arizona CIOs policies and recommendations, including IT Security.


Project title: Nevada Communication Steering Committee (NCSC)
Approx total cost: N/A
Approx dates: 2002 - 2007
Project scope: The Nevada Communications Steering Committee was the first effort to successfully involve all interested parties in the development of a statewide First Responder Radio Interoperability Plan. This plan was passed without amendment or dissent by the Nevada Homeland Security Commission.

TCS role: I formed the committee, and chaired if from it’s inception to my departure from state government. I personally wrote the “action plan” section of the Interoperability Plan.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Meet Depressed: Joe Biden :Revelation

Ol’ Joe Biden is reliably entertaining, and he didn’t disappoint today.

Today, however, he was extremely illuminating, which is quite out of character for him. To be fair, the illumination was unintentional…

Gregory (Who has done FAR better as host of Meet The Press than I expected; I was a hopeless Russert fan) asked him (all quotes approximate):

“There are a lot of people saying that the Obama administration isn’t taking the War on Terror seriously. How do you respond to that?”

And Ol’ Joe said:

“They must not be paying attention, then. We take the War on Al Qaeda extremely seriously…” and then went on to rant about the current Afghanistan campaign and Dick Cheney generally.

See the problem?

The QUESTION was about the War on Terror.

The ANSWER was about the War on Al Qaeda.


This is extraordinarily revealing about the fundamental perceptual handicap that the Obama administration has on this entire issue. The problem is a size 1000, and they see it as a size 10. I haven’t seen anyone else pick up on this yet, but I’m sure they will.

And, full disclosure, I’ll second Dick Cheney’s view, and state that I completely endorse what the Obama administration is doing in Afghanistan currently, in general, and in Pakistan as well.

Carry on, Mr President!



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Health Care Deform -- The Irrational Debate

Before diving into the specific irrationality in the current health care deform debate, I need to dispel a myth. Do you remember the myth that the warmists threw out saying that the issue of global warming was “settled science?” Pure nonsense, of course, as is becoming increasingly clear.

The current myth is that “everyone agrees” that we need to do something about health care. Clearly false. I don’t agree. I know many people who don’t agree. But, more important than my limited set of personal data points is the fact that the American people don’t agree. In the most recent poll that I saw, 76% of Americans are happy with their health care.

The only health care “crisis” is how badly the government wants to screw it up.

The debate is irrational because people don’t know what they’re talking about, and are mangling the English language. The Democrats say they want to provide “insurance” for everyone. But it’s obvious from their proposals that they have no idea what insurance is, or how it works. This is best illustrated around the issue of “pre-existing conditions”.

Let’s say you have diabetes (as an increasing number of Americans do), and you apply to get health insurance. The insurance company may decline to cover you, or decline to cover anything related to your diabetes, because you already have it; it’s a pre-existing condition. This is entirely rational behavior on the part of the insurance company.

Insurance is about risk. Risk is about things that aren't known. Are you going to trip on the stairs and break your arm? Who knows? That means it’s a risk. But, insurance companies know roughly how often people fall and break their arms. So, they go through an arcane calculation, and decide the aggregate cost of the broken arms they are on the hook for, based on how many people they insure, how likely those people are to break their arms, and the cost of fixing a broken arm. That cost is then spread around the entire pool of people they insure. The people who break their arms get their bills paid. That’s how insurance works. It spreads around the risk of unknown things.

Now, suppose you fall and break your arm, and then you go to an insurance company, and you ask them to sell you a policy to cover the cost of the arm that you already broke.

How dumb is that? Breaking your arm isn’t a risk anymore, and insurance is about risk. You now have a broken arm---a pre-existing condition.

If you have a pre-existing condition, and you can’t afford to pay your medical bills, you need charity, not insurance. When people talk about providing “insurance” for a pre-existing condition, they are either lying, clueless, or both.

And, there’s another distinction that gets blurred in all of this: the distinction between charity and socialism. The difference is very clear.

Charity is voluntary.

Socialism is based on theft.

When you propose to steal money from some people to give it to others to pay for their pre-existing medical conditions, it’s not insurance. It’s not even charity. It’s socialism, socialized medicine, and it’s theft. And it’s extremely bad for the country.

Fortunately, the hugely socialist proposals that have been floating around seem to be going entirely off the rails. The poll numbers are clear. The more people know what's in this plan, the less they like it. And now, they will find out a lot about it before it ever goes to a vote. Congresscritters can expect to get a blistering earful during the August recess, and the advocates of socialism are not going to like what they’re going to hear. They’re going to hear that most people like the health care they have, and that Congress damned well better not do anything to mess with that, or they will regret it in 2010.

The worm has turned.

As a libertarian, I know all taxation is theft. As a realist, I know that sometimes it’s the right thing to do. But ObamaCare is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

If we do anything to our health care system (which is unnecessary, and ObamaCare would be hugely bad for the country), we should do five, and only five, things:

1) Mandate that Americans can buy insurance from any state that they choose. Eliminate state restrictions on out-of-state insurance purchases. In addition to making a big dent in costs to the consumer, this would be…for once…a proper use of the commerce clause.
2) We need to get serious about tort reform. Loser pays! This would go a long way to eliminating wasteful, expensive, unnecessary tests by doctors practicing defensive medicine.
3) Get the waste, fraud, and corruption out of Medicare and Medicaid
4) Expand Medicaid to cover people who are really too poor to get their own insurance (not to include people who choose to spend their money on other things)
5) Provide tax credits and/or vouchers to people who can afford to buy insurance with some help. In addition, level the tax playing field. Anyone who buys health insurance on their own, rather than through an employer, should get the same tax benefit that employers get now for providing it

That’s it. No further molestation of the free market required!

I was personally responsible for implementing the upgraded Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) for the State of Nevada while I was Chief Information Officer for the state, so I know something about this.

I sent the above proposal to President Obama (in a slightly more polite form). We’ll see what he says!

What do you say?