High health-care costs: It’s all in the pricing via the Washington Post -
“In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978. If we had the per-person costs of any of those countries, America’s deficits would vanish. Workers would have much more money in their pockets. Our economy would grow more quickly, as our exports would be more competitive.”
“On Friday, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — released more direct evidence. It surveyed its members on the prices paid for 23 medical services and products in different countries, asking after everything from a routine doctor’s visit to a dose of Lipitor to coronary bypass surgery. And in 22 of 23 cases, Americans are paying higher prices than residents of other developed countries. ”
“The result is that, unlike in other countries, sellers of health-care services in America have considerable power to set prices, and so they set them quite high. Two of the five most profitable industries in the United States — the pharmaceuticals industry and the medical device industry — sell health care. With margins of almost 20 percent, they beat out even the financial sector for sheer profitability.
The players sitting across the table from them — the health insurers — are not so profitable. In 2009, their profit margins were a mere 2.2 percent. That’s a signal that the sellers have the upper hand over the buyers.”
“But many researchers are skeptical that this is an effective way to fund medical innovation. “We pay twice as much for brand-name drugs as most other industrialized countries,” Anderson says. “But the drug companies spend only 12 percent of their revenues on innovation. So yes, some of that money goes to innovation, but only 12 percent of it.”
“The money we spend on health care is money we don’t spend educating our children, or investing in infrastructure, scientific research and defense spending. So if what this means is we ultimately have overmedicalized, poorly educated Americans competing with China, that’s not a very good investment.”
Washington Post-Late-night care fills a need for parents -
Many people work odd hours or two or more jobs to survive.
Washington Post-Women's Veterans of the Korean War Honored -
Female veterans share their stories and one Korean war couple’s quest to help other amputee soldiers
Postal Closings Would Deepen the Digital Divide in Rural America via the Washington Post -
“Nationwide, about 1.7 million people live near post offices slated for closure in areas with limited or no broadband Internet service.” Broadband Internet is still not available where my parents live.
Here’s an idea for the USPS, partner with eCommerce websites like Amazon and eBay.
I personally hate shipping through UPS and Fedex because it costs an arm and a leg. The only reason I do it is because the post office closes early and there aren’t as many post office locations as there are UPS stores and Fedex stores.
Redesigning Reality: How 3-D Printing Is Shaping the Future of Art, Engineering, and Everything Else | Artinfo
Two interesting things happened this year. First, doctors in Belgium performed the country’s first face transplant. Second, Asher Levine, a young avant-garde fashion designer for the likes of Lady Gaga, produced a pair of radical sunglasses on-site during his New York Fashion Week show. What do a surgical procedure and a line of shades have in common? Both were made possible by additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing or rapid prototyping, a technique whose quickly expanding accessibility may have as much of a revolutionary influence on how we relate to manufactured objects as Ford’s assembly line.
It’s a space-age sounding process: The same way a printer produces a document based on a computer file, additive manufacturing devices create made-to-order objects based on a CAD file. There are a few variations to the technique, but they all operate by building an object layer by individual layer in a single process. Some 3-D printers pipe melted plastic through a nozzle in a process called fused deposition modeling (FDM); higher-tech methods, like stereolithography (SLA) run lasers through a vat of powdered material — metals, nylons, concretes — solidifying anything they touch; and then there’s selective laser sintering (SLS), which similarly runs a laser through a resin and solidifies it into a single object by binding each layer together. All of these allow for the creation of extraordinary complex designs with extraordinary ease for the average person.
Hailing from the 1980s, the technology isn’t exactly new, but it has been making inroads lately in both art and engineering, being used to manufacture prosthetic limbs, car parts, furniture, and jewelry. It’s also subject of “Print/3D,” an exhibition of objects at New York’s Material ConneXion that opened this week. “3-D Printing breaks away barriers in design that are challenged by the constraints of standard manufacturing or manual production,” show curator Susan Towers told ARTINFO. While the process still has some definite kinks to be worked out, it’s already being put to revolutionary use.
To see objects manufactured by Shapeways, Materialise, and MakerBot, click the slide show, or visit Material ConneXion’s ”Print/3D,” on view through May 11.
OAPEN is pleased to announce a new service for Open Access monographs: the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). DOAB will provide a searchable index to peer-reviewed monographs and edited volumes published under an Open Access business model, with links to the full texts of the publications at the publisher’s website or repository. The beta version of the service will contain publications of a selected number of academic publishers. The beta version will be made public early spring 2012.
The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers will be invited to provide the metadata of their Open Access books to the DOAB. Metadata will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues, thereby helping scholars, students and the general public to discover the books. The directory will be open to all academic publishers and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these books are peer reviewed and published in Open Access. DOAB will determine requirements for publishers to qualify as Open Access academic book publishers and will maintain a certification procedure. — Read more about the new Open Access Directory plans here! (via nocureforcuriosity)
STAR TREK: The Musical! OK, not really, but even Mr. Spock would find fascinating what we dug up in the Billy Rose Theatre Division about the original Star Trek actors before they went stellar. Who knew that Nichelle Nichols sizzled in the local cabaret scene before taking up her earpiece on the starship Enterprise? Or that George Takei was an activist, or that William Shatner, of Shatner’s World; We Just Live in It… — first trod the Broadway boards over 50 years ago? Dust off your Klingon dictionary and stay tuned, as we bring you the stage origins of Kirk, Spock, Sulu and crew, and boldly go where few have gone before with rare photos in our Gallery.
ER Doctor Will See You After You Pay A $150 Fee -
This story illustrates the growing gap between the haves and the have nots. People are being turned away from emergency care because they don’t have any insurance. Many of these patients are not following up for additional care after being turned away. The United States supposedly has some of the most advanced medicine in the world yet its own citizens don’t have access to it.
Class Pager, text your class -
Class Pager allows teachers to engage with students and parents in a new way. Granted, these people have to have access to mobile phones, which may not be the case in some areas.
Beyond SATs, Finding Success in Numbers - NYTimes.com -
The Posse Foundation is changing how universities define success.
What an inspiring program and it’s harder to get into than Harvard.