"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I've posted here about a number of things that are now in the news again (or never really left). Not much of the ongoing discourse has been all that interesting to me, but here's a roundup of what I do like:

"Whole grain" and "healthy" are not the same thing: as the food industry dumps "whole grains" into their breakfast cookie cereals, some people have managed to notice that this is just a deceptive marketing ploy. Some of us didn't take so long to notice.

Health care costs consumed about 25% of the US GDP last year. That's a lot more than the 6-9% France, Canada and Japan pay for their universal coverage.

If Americans are going to be more active participants in their own healthcare, they need better information. And as we all know, the media is not helping.

Par example, this bit from Yahoo! News: The reporter allows a Galen (ultra-conservative think-tank) rep to tell him about how strict health insurance regulation in New Jersey makes a NJ worker's premium three times what it is in Iowa. Now, yes, those prices may be true, but: Iowa has a lower cost of living than Jersey. Jersey has more environmental health risks, like smog, traffic and dubious water supplies, which inflate premiums - it's called risk adjustment, and is the basis of insurance pricing - than Iowa. Scandlen also gives no indication that the two 25-year-old males in question are in the same job. A receptionist in NJ would pay much less for insurance than a janitor in Jersey. Again, relative risks, this time for the mode of employment.

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