Kim Dotcom's oft-delayed extradition hearing began on Monday 21 Sep, nearly three years and 10 months since the infamous raid of Dotcom's New Zealand mansion. Over that time span, Dotcom's legal team has managed to drag out the affair through 10 extradition hearing delays and various other legal maneuvering. And according to some number crunching from the New Zealand Herald (confirmed by the Crown Law Office, the NZ prosecutors representing the US there), Dotcom's trials and tribulations have cost NZ taxpayers nearly NZ$5.8 million in legal fees (or approximately $3.7 million).
The total cost is just one of the eye-dropping[sic] Dotcom-related numbers the Herald outlined this weekend. To start, it's been 1337 total days since the raid. And in total, 29,344 hours of legal work has been made possible through taxpayer investments; two-thirds of those hours have gone specifically towards the extradition request according to the paper. With the base rate for Crown solicitors set at NZ$198/hour, the Herald puts the current cost at the NZ$5.8 million figure above. Dotcom took to Twitter to note that such a calculation means NZ has spent almost the equivalent of half of its 2014 budget for Crown prosecutions on Dotcom alone. (In contrast, the Herald reports Dotcom has spent an estimated NZ$10 million, roughly $6.4M, on his defense.)
(Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Thursday October 01 2015, @06:26AM
I dislike bureaucracy, but I would prefer some government bloat to privatized middle managers. Bureaucrats are a pain, but I fear more the ones who are actively seeking to profit at the expense of other people's healthcare. That being said, our current health care system seems like a compromise for a worse system, but that is pure armchair speculation as I'm lucky enough to have benefits at my job. Anyone have thoughts on our new system?
~Tilting at windmills~
(Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:06PM
It's an unreasonably expensive to expand healthcare coverage while still not covering everyone.
It's been called RomneyCare after it's actual originator. It might be a good system if they stripped out the insurance companies. Everyone gets sick, so insurance is only a decent model for major medical. And I priced dental insurance a couple of years ago, and studied what they decline to cover under the policy. None of the policies that I saw were worth a plugged nickle. They cost more per year than just paying the dentist, and if anything major came up they declined to cover it. I expect that most health care insurance is like that except for major medical (and I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt).
Additionally health care policies have drastically raised the expenses of running a medical practice.
That said, many people have benefited from "ObamaCare". I just wish they'd clean the insurance companies out of the system. And provide full coverage, so the paperwork could be drastically cut.
(Score: 1) by anubi on Friday October 02 2015, @05:35AM
I beg you, kind sir, to run for office.
You offer insight into this medical mess I have not seen from anyone I have seen so far.
I had the same experience with dental... however I actually had a dental plan - and paid monthly premiums for about five years - before I needed it and got a really rude awakening.... aka "not covered"... when I needed it.
I have been leery of "insurance" ever since. It has been my observation that only liability insurance makes sense. And then, its not they will pay... its that they are big enough to hire enough lawyers to defend their position, so no one is gonna get paid. Kinda like having a protection racket. Those guys are big enough that they won't be ramrodded like a little guy with no backup will.
What are those "three simple questions" to "determine eligibility" for those senior insurance policies that well-known TV celebs hawk on late night television? I am of the strong belief those "three simple questions" are so that if their lawyers can dig up any alternative interpretation of what you answered, they can keep the premiums you have paid so far and unhook themselves from the insured peril. I believe they will use your answers to those "three simple questions" to decline your eligibility to receive any compensation - and that will be done at the time the policy is needed... not at the time the stream of premium payments is established. Insurance companies are not in business to give money away. Where does the money for all those big buildings, executive salaries, office support staff, advertising, and TV celebs come from? Premiums!
The TV pitchmen roll that "just answer three simple questions" out just as smooth as others hock up "FREE! ( just pay shipping and handling )"... and you know every time that TV ad-head hocks up that phrase, your credit card charge will nearly double from the price shown on the TV screen.
I see premiums kinda like buying fancy dinners and investments for the suit-and-tie crowd. Unless I "win the lottery" and have a genuine covered peril, I just lost all those years of paying premiums.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]