Over the last two decades, the health care sector has been a remarkable engine of job growth in the United States. Even as the economy plods along, health care has been responsible for adding an average of 22,500 jobs per month in 2011 through July. Health care jobs now represent about 11 percent of American employment, as compared to 8 percent in 2001.
In the wake of rising dissatisfaction with Vladimir Putin and protests against irregularities in Russia’s recent parliamentary elections, Mikhail Prokhorov’s decision to run for president was greeted with a lot of excitement. But, soon enough, paranoia set in: Is he a freedom-loving democrat, an opportunist, or just another Putin stooge? While the jury is still out on that question, one thing is clear enough: He’s incredibly rich, and perhaps like most über-wealthy individuals, he’s cultivated quite a few … eccentricities. Here are just a few that stand out. 1.
Newt Gingrich is no stranger to hypocrisies. It’s just that his own self-righteousness often gets in the way of admitting to them: “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” the family-values candidate once famously said about his multiple extra-marital affairs.
[Guest Post by Darius Tahir] Early this September Stanford Hospital discovered that somebody had posted personal data for nearly 20,000 emergency room patients online, so that anyone who happened across the page could look up everything from the patients’ names to the codes identifying their various diagnoses. Worse still, the data had been online for more than a year. The tale of how the data ended up online involves the sort of slapstick you expect from a bad sitcom.
[guest post by Darius Tahir] Last Friday Mitt Romney laid out a plan to reform Medicare, as part of a broader fiscal framework. And he appeared to call for fairly dramatic changes, although it’s difficult to be sure.
When news broke last Sunday that GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain had been accused of multiple instances of workplace sexual harassment in the 1990s, conservatives had the opportunity to reevaluate their opinion of the candidate and his fitness for the highest office. Instead, reactions broke down roughly into two camps: those who saw nothing but a racist witch-hunt from the liberal media and those who took the opportunity to dispute and belittle the existence of sexual harassment in the first place.
[Guest post by Darius Tahir] Want to know whether health care reform will really reduce health care spending? Then pay close attention to what’s happening with a new regulation designed to reconfigure the way we pay doctors and hospitals. As any card-carrying health care wonk can tell you, the root of all evil (or at least a lot of evil) in our health care system is “fee-for-service” reimbursement. That’s the most common way that we pay for medical care in this country: By paying the provider of that care for every service rendered. So an office visit is one charge.
[Guest post by Darius Tahir] It’s a minor irony that, when the Republican-dominated House Appropriations Committee proposed on September 29 to defund major parts of Obama’s recently-passed health care reform bill, the proposal went after those portions of the Affordable Care Act intended to actually reduce the deficit in the long-term—most notably, comparative effectiveness research into the cost and outcomes of various medical treatments. Why only minor? That’s because no one has an absolutely clear sense of how well this portion of the Affordable Care Act will end up working.
On October 18 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will vote on a proposed rule to limit the percentage of contracts in a given commodity that any individual trader can own.