Healthcare According To Ernie – One more thing on public funding…


I got a little bored this evening, I’m on the road again, missing my family and sitting in my office at work rotating between upgrading my MacBook Air to the Yosemite Beta 1 release, watching TV and reading my news feeds for the day and I kept coming across all the newly funded enterprises in healthcare and wearables.  I read with great interest this article about a flexible battery company who just secured $6M to develop their technology.

WOW – a flexible AND printable battery that is both versatile and cheap to manufacture and they raised a whopping $6M in seed money.  That seems pretty cool, but then I recalled my post from this morning about how much we as a nation have invested in public exchanges – $5B.  Now I know that setting up a private exchange infrastructure is a daunting task, particularly if you’re a government agency and you don’t know anything about setting up massive-scale web based services to sell insurance – so you partner with a private sector contractor (or 40 of them) to build you a nice solution and you invest, across all those contractors and all those states, $5B.

What else could we do with those funds?  If we spent those tax dollars on funding startups, we could fund ~ 833 startups at $6M each.  Just imagine what advances we could make but alas, we have the system in which we live today.  A system where innovative and creative private sector folks are scrambling for a handful of millions of dollars but when government agencies get billions of dollars they wonder if it will be enough.

Another article in tonights news feed – Congress is finalizing a $17B appropriation to FIX the VA, not to build it from the ground up but to FIX it.

I’ll leave you with this thought – if you’re in the hospital administration business, what could you do with $17B in seed money?  Could you build a national network of hospitals (say about 150 of them) to service the millions of veterans eligible for benefits?  Before you wonder if that’s enough, don’t forget that in 2015 you’re also going to get $163.9B to operate your organization…put me in coach, I’m ready to play that game!