A Critical Omission of the Healthcare Debate

By: Thomas Addaquay  |  September 7, 2017  |    |  3

Several months have passed since the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare failed to get a majority vote in the House of Representatives. For all the arguments proffered by opponents of repeal, a critical part of the conversation is missing: Health care delivery, ever-evolving from a core physiological medical discipline, is meshing with information technology creating wholly new disciplines such as bioinformatics, and changing the very conversation.

The genome sequencing project, cloning of Dolly the sheep, tele-medical advances, as well as recent prospects of neural lacing are all possible in part due to advances in Nano-computing utilised to address humanity’s most daunting health care challenges. This places health care delivery in the prism of information technology. Thus, the denial of health care could ultimately be a far worse preposition than denying broadband access to rural communities.

Preparing for the implosion of AI, recent debates around the world about robotics replacing and displacing of workers across multiple disciplines, feature ideas such as universal basic incomes (UBI). Perhaps, those left out of universal coverage could now find purpose and justification for inclusion by simply feeding a “universal” health care delivery engine, driving real time changes to their healthcare. Such an aggregate of health-related knowledge has the potential to improve our understanding, delivery of care, prevention of diseases, and more, all in exchange of a universal basic income.

The debate over health care coverage therefore poses an existential threat to humanity. This should concern every law maker around the world, and each solution is best tailored to embrace their local challenges. Today, the debut of Green X Prize presents an opportunity to gather together brilliant young minds whose primary objective will be to solve challenges facing both the sciences and humanities with sustainable solutions. It is worth highlighting a couple of the fixtures in the “Go Green, Get Rich” memoir which anticipated and predicted this several years before the international conversation took its current turn.

The first is a paragraph on political conundrum, pointing out that individual and party political positional shifts are the result of a self-interest driven agenda, each threatening the foundational purposes of most democracies.                                                                                                



Take, for instance, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Following the killings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Romney offered a tepid response to the question of whether the country should enact new gun laws. Whether Romney himself believes that US citizens should be allowed to own arsenals of semi-automatic weapons does not matter. Modern politics dictated the thing that mattered in that moment: Romney did not want to upset or alienate the National Rifle Association. And he certainly didn’t want to lose their financial support.

Barack Obama visiting victims of 2012 Aurora shooting



My intention is not to pick on Romney or even the conservative right. What I am demonstrating is that even in the case of a politician who believes that green initiatives are important for a healthier economy and environment, change might not occur because of political influence. Instead, many politicians have been indoctrinated to rally behind big oil and eschew everything that even suggests the introduction of greening. Politicians will always abhor polices that are good for the planet or otherwise, if they do not fit into the core principles of their political party or the sources of their financial backing.

It is not just politicians who suffer from self-centeredness. Take anyone you like from any background and you will find that their chief priority is looking out for themselves. There is not anything inherently wrong in this; self-preservation is important. But, it is also important to consider the larger world.

Imagine a bartender in a big city. Suppose his family has worked in the retail distribution of liquor for at least a generation. Having grown up in and around a bar, we can guess a few things about his background and perspectives. If it is a seedy bar, he might hold a worldview steeped heavily in the realities of the underground. He has seen his fair share of addicts and drug dealers, prostitutes and pimps, perhaps bookies and hit men and all other sorts of the criminal element. We surmise that he has likely seen and served many alcoholics, and even though he knows drinking is harmful to them, he will continue to serve them liquor because he is more interested in the welfare of his family’s business than his patrons’ health.

Similarly, when a person is elected to office, he does not change his stripes. He continues to compromise the welfare of his constituents in the same way that the bartender com- promises the welfare of the alcoholics in the bar. His voice will sound human and caring, but his actions will be fruitless and unproductive. His drive will be to speak as powerfully or as meekly as the circumstances require, to safeguard the interest of the party and to get paid generously by special interest groups, while ignoring the needs of his constituents.

So here we have the primary problem, the ultimate political conundrum: how to make hundreds of self-serving politicians look beyond their immediate personal interests and start doing things that benefit the world at large? With so few substantial green technology patrons available and able to buy the loyalty of the people in power, it is likely to be an up- hill battle. Until then, politicians will likely maintain their course, upholding unsustainable, environmentally damaging, economically draining, and national security-threatening energy policies.” (Addaquay, 2017)

In addition to this example from the book, we found such positional changes employed skillfully, if unexpectedly, by none other than the president of the United States himself. (goo.gl/4kXAGY)

As the healthcare debate raged on, after the eventual rejection of Trump Care, pundits were quick to point out that the U.S was ceding power to China. We have theoretical anecdotes favoring that possibility, with the U.S eventually ceding economic supremacy to China. Much as Great Britain ceded economic power to the United States, as Adam Smith so long ago predicted would occur, pointing to the clumsy and expensive nature of British colonization, compared to the United States’ embrace of wealth acquisition through corporations. Smith accurately forecasted the end of Great Britain as an economic super power

As the healthcare debate raged on, after the eventual rejection of Trump Care, pundits were quick to point out that the U.S was ceding power to China. We have theoretical anecdotes favoring that possibility, with the U.S eventually ceding economic supremacy to China. Much as Great Britain ceded economic power to the United States, as Adam Smith so long ago predicted would occur, pointing to the clumsy and expensive nature of British colonization, compared to the United States’ embrace of wealth acquisition through corporations. Smith accurately forecasted the end of Great Britain as an economic super power

“Consider the Occupy movement. What began as a peaceful demonstration against Wall Street on September 17, 2011, grew into massive protests in more than 600 communities across the country. Given these numbers, politicians and business leaders should count themselves lucky, as protests today look far different than they did at the time of the American Revolution, when public beatings, imprisonment, and wanton destruction of property were the norm. The substantial turnout of the so-called “99-percenters” represents what I believe to be a sign that the US and the world must brace for dramatic change. This is no blip in the economic cycle. We are on the cusp of a new epoch of wealth creation which we have not seen before, at least not since the Industrial Revolution.

I will demonstrate the parallels between the economic and social upheaval that led to the collapse of empires, and the rise of industry and the new frontier of individual wealth creation rendered possible by recent advancements in consumer technology. In short, if we examine the sum of American economic history, what we will find is that this country has experienced three distinct eras of wealth generation:

1) The first period saw the creation of wealth solely at the nation-state level. This was the age of empires, wherein sovereign nations used their military advantage to amass economies steeped in gold and silver.

2) The second era would be known as the Industrial Revolution, a time when the dynamics of wealth creation were increasingly privatized due to changes in economic thinking and the development of mass production.

3) The third and latest era has been borne of technological advancement, as key developments of consumer technology have led directly to substantial wealth creation. What was once attainable only for a nation-state became possible for a powerful corporation. What was once only possible for a titan possessed of a massive workforce and tremendous control over raw materials became possible for any basement programmer with a great idea. King George became John D. Rockefeller, who became Mark Zuckerberg. As with Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments, first published in 1759, and the concept of assembly-line labor, the current model of wealth creation is in need of a new and powerful idea to render it stable. We need an idea that will make individual wealth creation more accessible to the common man, an idea that will take this tumultuous world economy and turn it on its head for the better.

In 1776, the world economy was shifting toward a new world order. Advances in technology and economic thinking paved the way for a new, privatized, model of wealth creation, placing it in the hands of industrial titans. While economic disparity often leads to social, political, and economic change, it also sometimes leads to a gradual and relatively peaceful decline. Consider what happened to the British Empire following the American and Industrial Revolutions. The Empire declined greatly over the century that followed. Britain’s cost of support and control had become too substantial for it to sustain its sprawling territories.

Whenever structural economic change happens, the legislative branch of government loses its prioritizing capabilities. This was evident during England’s transition from a nation with military priorities to a country with industrial imperatives. The Great Depression ushered in social changes that made taxes increasingly necessary, due to the increased cost of social programs and the size of the government. Since the Great Recession of 2008, there has been some confusion in the priorities of our legislative branch, to say the least.

Today, the US may succumb to a similar fate. The world’s new economic power appears to be China, while the US appears to be fading and becoming dependent on China. Unless this country can come to embrace new economic principles and technologies, it stands to go the way of the British Empire.

Without a new brand of economic, political, and social thinking, the Great Recession may never truly end. This is why a new way of earning wealth is so important.” (Addaquay, 2017)

As you embark on this journey, bear in mind that future innovations will go a long way towards eventually healing our planet. We hope to sustain the rewards monthly, after the maiden winner is announced. Good luck and may the best person/team win.




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