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How the Trump Administration Can Lower Healthcare Costs - Dilbert Blog

How the Trump Administration Can Lower Healthcare Costs

For the past year I have been working with the UC Berkeley start-up ecosystem – the largest in the world – to help improve their efficiency. I seed-funded a project to build a website that connects entrepreneurs, advisors, and investors in the Berkeley area. But I’m also going to highlight in this blog some Berkeley start-ups that can substantially lower healthcare costs in the future. 

Today’s focus is on DeviceFarm, a start-up that cures toe fungus using a patent-pending combination of plasma gas and a special liquid concentrator. You can see more on their website, here.

Disclaimer: I recently invested in this company. This is not a solicitation for additional funding.

Toe fungus is mostly a cosmetic problem unless you have diabetes. But if you are diabetic, toe fungus greatly increases your odds of amputation. DeviceFarm estimates that an effective treatment for this condition could prevent 45,000 diabetic amputations per year at a collective savings of $1.7 billion in healthcare expenses. (Current treatments are relatively ineffective.)

Let me say this again. This little machine might (if the clinical trials work out) prevent up to 45,000 amputations per year. Forget about the cost savings for a minute. Just think about how big a deal that is to quality of life.

Now multiply that sort impact by the dozens of health-related start-ups out of UC Berkeley alone. Now consider all the other start-ups around the world and you can see how much “stranded” potential there is because the start-up world is fragmented and inefficient.

Now imagine a world in which the President of the United States is an entrepreneur at heart and one of his biggest challenges is to make healthcare affordable and available for all Americans. And now imagine that this president is the best salesman you have ever seen, and he wants to streamline the process of doing business in this country. 

See the opportunity?

I’ve seen scores of start-ups that will dramatically lower healthcare costs if their products get to market. All they need, in most cases, is a combination of investment, business advice, and some help getting through all the red tape. That’s the sort of help a Trump administration could provide without spending a dime. Trump knows how to put a spotlight on things, and the world’s attention follows.

I can imagine several ways to approach a solution. One way is for the Trump administration to encourage the creation of “strategic pools” of start-ups by category. One pool would involve start-ups that can lower healthcare costs for the benefit of all. Another pool might do the same for education, the military, and so on. Then the government could encourage investors to look at those start-ups first, as a patriotic service to the country.

You don’t want the government trying to pick winner and losers among start-ups, but the government can ensure that the ones with the most potential to help society get a fair look by private investors. 

As a service to the country, I’ll be spotlighting more UC Berkeley start-ups that can change the world if they get the right kind of attention. Once you see several of them in a row, you’ll understand how big the opportunity is. I’ll only be scratching the surface.

You might like my book because anything is possible except for the things that aren’t.

— WhenHub App —

Speaking of start-ups, I’m getting great feedback on my startup’s new app for geostreaming your location to a friend/client/coworker as you approach your meeting spot. It’s like the Uber app without the Uber car. Here are links:

WhenHub app for Apple: http://apple.co/2eLL3Oh

WhenHub app for Android: http://bit.ly/2fIb6L7