I'm a nice guy who doesn't believe in eternal damnation (that eternal is a long time!). I believe in the road to redemption for many people. And lately I've become concerned about a couple of our favorite billionaires: Charlie Munger (99 years of age), and Warren Buffett (92 years of age). I’m wondering if they should be tying up some loose ends at their age.
My concern started when I saw their Berkshire Hathaway company held a huge share of davita, the huge kidney dialysis company (40% last I looked - though only a tiny part of the Berkshire portfolio, less than 1% from what I understand) - I’ll give some background and then why I’ve worried.
I've been well acquainted with davita since the year 2000 when my daughter was in a dialysis clinic (transplant now). My experience with kidney dialysis peaked in 2007 when I helped head-up a group that got a bill for the certification of kidney dialysis techs passed (renewed in 2012 and 2019).
What surprised and concerned me about Berkshire being involved in davita was the fact I would think Berkshire would check out the "product" better. I can tell you what we've been seeing: just the numbers and John Oliver and friends. With davita less than 1% of the Berkshire portfolio I thought this must just be some sort of oversight! But then I became aware of this. Huh, besides a long line of former kidney dialysis patients waiting for Mr. Munger and Mr. Buffett in the hereafter there maybe others lined up behind the dialysis folks! It looks like they may have some explaining to do! (thank you Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) I don't think their absentee-owner, denial-of-culpability act may play as well in the hereafter.
So how can we help these dear unfortunate souls who may have gone through a good portion of their lives with blinders on? I say we encourage Mr. Munger and Mr. Buffett to put the dialysis field of medicine back to the way it was! It was a group of many small clinics - the big for-profits have proven they can't handle too much power!
They have been guilty of:
- using underpaid, under-trained, overworked staff (staff used to be mostly nurses vs. mostly techs now)
- shortening of treatments
- a multitude of scandals- among them having had the Highest Mortality Rate in the industrialized world! (again the numbers) And unique in medicine for having had rising mortality (2nd post) All for sky-rocketing prices!
So please sign this petition! It can be taken to the ‘Save the Billionaires’ Walk’ on May 6th and presented to Berkshire at their event. Feel free to show up at the Walk! Strike a blow to change this country back from “We the corporations of the United States” to “We the people of the United States”! I have my one share of Berkshire (B) for entry, so I'm sure I'll be treated like royalty.
- 'Save the Billionaires' Walk' updates
- BillionaireRedemption Blog
- 2007 Colorado state bill pushed by a group headed up by this DE member for the certification of kidney dialysis technicians (renewed in 2012 and 2019)