Salient Policy & Practice News –
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The U.S. wastes $1.6 Trillion/yr on inefficient health care spending compared with the 2011 OECD per capita average, which becomes an extra tax on everything American workers make. Let's adopt best efficient practices instead of cutting Medicare and Medicaid coverage as part of some "Grand Bargain"
US per capita health care spending in 2011 was $4390 more per person than in France (acclaimed as having the best healthcare) and is $5169 above the OECD average without better results.
selected 2007 with avg. doctor visits showing we're least cared for for the money
U.S. health care greed, fraud & inefficiency costs $5169/person/yr too much and is trending higher—especially for the self-employed, making U.S. products expensive and offshoring jobs more profitable.
Lastly and importantly, health worker pay is NOT the problem.
[Sorry I didn't date this, which has been updated over time, my anger unrelenting. It was posted in early 2010. A similar editorial re. triple-play communication services is also much deserved, since many OECD countries pay half as much
[Imagine how drone technology would be super helpful to "hunters" like the Japanese and Sarah Palin...
Virgin chief writes on his blog that businesses should follow Apple's example and take a stand against climate scepticism
Two Independents who caucus with the Democrats, Vermont's Bernie Sanders and Maine's Angus King, will also take part.
As might be expected, no Republican senators signed on to the new initiative. A number of energy-state Democrats are also staying away, such as Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska. Mark Warner of Virginia who is up for election in 2014 was also not on the list of participating senators.
De Boer told the Guardian: "It's about implementation now. We need to focus on helping countries to formulate programmes they can take to the bank, working with countries to tap into finance mechanisms that are out there [for their low-carbon projects]."
He said key sources of finance were still largely untapped, including pension funds, which he said had a clear interest in long-term investments that would help to head off the worst dangers of climate change. The UN-sponsored Green Climate Fund would also provide a strong source of finance, de Boer predicted, though the slow progress on setting up the fund and disbursing cash has frustrated many international green campaigners.
Recently, a group of medical investigators have begun to wonder whether antibiotics [used to boost the growth of poultry and livestock] might cause the same growth promotion in humans [since the same chemicals are in our antibiotics!]. New evidence shows that America’s obesity epidemic may be connected to our high consumption of these drugs.
“The findings of today’s report are an example of Illinois leading our country’s movement to a more sustainable future from the community level,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “Communities up and down the state have banded together to pursue renewable electricity, reducing both their utility costs and the state’s environmental footprint. Illinois is showing what can happen when change at the local level is harnessed to create a collective movement, and I hope other states take notice.”
Each community in Illinois independently voted to purchase electricity through renewable energy credits, leveraging their group buying power to receive renewable electricity while also reducing overall electricity cost.
A.C. THOMPSON and JONATHAN JONES in ProPublica
Looking at real bills for real patients cuts through the ideological debate over health care policy.
the USA ranks first in the world in health care spending, but only 45th in life expectancy....
Climate change inaction is a leading global cause of death.
If we had the per-person costs of any other OECD country, America’s deficits would vanish....
How Industry Money Reaches (aka 'bribes') Physicians
To remove your appendix in one California hospital costs $180,000, at a different facility the bill is $1,500. [Who has time to 'shop'?
Why is Healthcare Absurdly Expensive in USA: Graphics (Part 2) (Part 1 is here)
Videos of Less Corrupt Health Care Systems
SOURCE: Public Broadcasting System & ABC News | Ref.
Health Care Reform Reality Check
SOURCE: The White House | Ref.
Health Care Reform: An Online Guide
SOURCE: Slate Mag. | Ref.
International Healthcare Systems Primer
SOURCE: The American Medical Student Association | Ref.
Global Warming Links
SOURCE: Readers | Ref.
Russia's occupation of Crimea has violated international law and created a new crisis among world leaders. Now the EU and the US are fighting over the best means to address Russia's reawakened expansionary ambitions.
In a SPIEGEL interview, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, 51, argues Moscow is more vulnerable than many think, and that the EU should take a firmer stand against Russia in the Ukraine conflict.
Obama should anticipate that if far-right figures shape the policies of the new government, tensions between the eastern and western parts of the country will get worse, not better. Public opinion in cities such as Kharkiv and Donetsk, where people are nervous but don’t want to become Russians again, may begin to shift Putin’s way.
The upheaval in Ukraine, I’m afraid, is anything but simple — and anything but over.
The failure of hawks to acknowledge that obvious, incontestable fact helps to explain the current backlash against foreign interventionism.
In the absence of violence, there is no terrorism. It is nonsense to make talking into a terrorism offense. Nor is it useful to castigate whole countries as ‘terrorism supporters’ and to shun them over political differences.
So this is the Saudi grand strategy: prop up anti-Brotherhood Egyptian nationalism, isolate Qatar, overthrow Bashar al-Assad (Iraqis maintain that a. If it all worked, the Saudi Kingdom would have uprooted populist political Islam from the region. It isn’t likely to work. [Saudi Arabia: Only Wahabi Islamic fundamentalism—believed by al-Qaeda —is not "terrorism"]
Eric Holder and Barack Obama can hope for change all they want. But US prisons have become a big-money war zone
In the United States, people can land in prison for life over minor offenses. They can be locked up forever for siphoning gasoline from a truck, shoplifting small items from a department store or attempting to cash a stolen check. Sentences across the United States in the last 30 years have doubled. [Who profits?
When it comes to recognizing people, elephants may not be alone in this ability. Other research has suggested that wild bottlenose dolphins in Brazil have become so familiar with humans that they engage in cooperative hunting with artisanal fisherman.
Great apes, crows and even prairie dogs have also been shown to differentiate between humans on some level.
Is the left enjoying a moment of triumph -- or has a president with no bearings left the Tea Party in charge?...the rise of the political consultants is an expression of the problem, because the service that they sell is the alternative to popular electoral mobilization.
Entitled "Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent," the report from the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First shows that the world's largest companies aren't models of self-sufficiency and unbridled capitalism. To the contrary, they're propped up by billions of dollars in welfare payments from state and local governments.
The torrent of outside money that has flooded presidential and congressional races in recent years is flowing into down-ballot contests coast to coast — driven by new, well-funded super PACs and court decisions easing restrictions on corporate and union spending in American elections.
Sanders: "...the corporate media ignores some of the huge accomplishments that have taken place in countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. These countries, which have a long history of democratic socialist or labor governments, have excellent and universal health care systems, excellent educational systems and they have gone a long way toward eliminating poverty and creating a far more egalitarian society than we have. I think that there are economic and social models out there that we can learn a heck of a lot from, and that’s something I would be talking about."
This Bill Moyers segment provides an in-depth discussion of race. Legal scholar Ian Haney López focuses on how both parties use what he calls the racial dog whistle to mobilize voters, and how those passions are mapped onto policy issues, such as cutting food stamps and other social welfare programs. [And not to worry, the Democratic party sleight of hand gets the attention it deserves.]
Jobs numbers beat expectations despite severe winter weather even an as unemployment rate ticked up slightly
Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. So when you see something like the current scramble by Republicans to declare their deep concern for America’s poor, it’s a good sign, indicating a positive change in social norms. Goodbye, sneering at the 47 percent; hello, fake compassion.
The battle stems from a hotly contested report into the use of torture by the CIA in the interrogations it carried out after 9/11, whose conclusions are so explosive that it has yet to be declassified, despite exhortations from the White House that a summary should be published.
Retaking the House has long looked out of reach, but now there's a real possibility the party could lose the Senate, too.
Letters to the Editor
|Arts & Education Events:|
Readers | Ongoing
Forests and trees. We live in a world built on such an overkill of 24/7 propaganda and misinformation that some of it easily slips by. At that point you need to rely on the little man inside to raise a warning sign. That’s about how I felt when I read yesterday about EU plans to deliver gas to Ukraine by reversing the flow through existing pipelines. That made me wonder things like: ‘How would that work in practice?’ and: ‘Which gas?’ While the little man simply said: ‘I don’t believe a word of this’. [The rush is on to profit from fossil fuel reserves before the world wakes up to its killing us]
Russia broadened its war of words with the United States over Ukraine on Saturday when the Ministry of Defense said it would consider stopping international inspections of its nuclear weapons in response to threatened sanctions from the West. [Checkmate]
Now that Viktor Yanukovych has gone, and new elections are promised, we need to assess the political and popular forces that succeeded in overturning Ukraine’s political system. Who were the protesters and what were their goals?
Given that the China threat is not quite cutting it politically, there is an elegant symmetry in this Ukraine hysteria. The timing for a foreign policy crisis with the hated Russia over freedom-loving Ukraine is coincidentally covenient, coming as it does with the Pentagon’s release of its greedy sequester-dodging Pentagon budget plan (see page 3)
– especially when coupled with the growing awareness that the only way to feed the voracious appetite of the Miitary – Industrial – Congressional Complex will be to declare war on social programs like Medicare and Social Security — see The Biggest Threat to the Pentagon’s Budget Is Entitlement Spending
. This war on social programs has been in the works for a long time , for reasons I explained in this 5 September 2000 op-ed
, and now that the war of terror in winding down, a new cold war is just the ticket needed to win the real war at home.
A day after Crimean lawmakers voted to break away from Ukraine, leaders of both houses of Russia’s Parliament said on Friday they would back the move.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of Fox’s documentary series Cosmos, said on Sunday that the news media should stop trying to “balance” the debate on scientific issues by hosting people who deny science.
Both "conservative" and "liberal" journalists are held to account for unprofessional work.
There is nothing quite so tempting as a poorly managed country with exploitable resources and assets like food, energy, and people. And if it is well located for other geopolitical purposes, then so much the better. Winning.
It boils down to this: Britain is ready to betray the United States to protect the City of London’s hold on dirty Russian money. And forget about Ukraine.
[The 'dirty money' was stolen from the Russian Public, but it's not illegal and prosecuted? What's the International Criminal Court for?
Jerry Epstein: President Obama's budget would slash the Commodity Futures Trade Commission budget to about $200 million, which will make regulating the $400 trillion derivatives market even more challenging [In known corrupt countries we must always question if deals are done for campaign donations, etc.]
A rare sociological analysis of Federal Reserve policy confirms what many economists already knew: top central bank officials missed the oncoming crisis because they failed to make the connection between housing, the banking industry and the economy.
Fed officials argue that by introducing new supervisory measures like bank stress tests, higher capital requirements and obtaining the authority to wind down large financial firms, they have gone a long way toward addressing the problem.
"There were a lot of bad loans made during the financial boom, and the United States taxpayer was left holding the bag through the VA and FHA loan programs," Edwards' lawyer, David Wasinger, said in a phone interview. "Hopefully the settlement sends a message to Wall Street that this conduct is not allowed, and that in the future it will be held accountable."
In recognition of the dangers inherent in the consolidation of mainstream corporate media The Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel
(formerly a newspaper) advances awareness of important suppressed news and opinion.
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