Why is health care so expensive?

August 21, 2013

This comes up in discussions about ObamaCare all the time.

These guys at Vlog have it nailed pretty well.  Don’t know much about ’em, but their facts square:

Vlog brothers wrote:

Published on Aug 20, 2013

In which John discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who’s at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game? (Hint: It’s that one.)

For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wor…
The Commonwealth Fund’s Study of Health Care Prices in the US: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/med…
Some of the stats in this video also come from this New York Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/hea…

This is the first part in what will be a periodic series on health care costs and reforms leading up to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2014.

The other videos should be similarly enlightening, we hope.

Funny.  They don’t complain about ObamaCare so much.


Maybe estimates of sea level increases are low; maybe climate change damage will be greater than expected

June 20, 2009

Eternal Hope at Daily Kos wonders what happens if the conservative estimates of sea level rise — the ones you usually see cited in the press — turn out to be way too conservative.  What happens if sea levels rise about double what some are estimating now?

If the severity and frequency of storms does not increase much, we may be able to accommodate the changes over time (though remember, some say we can do it easily).

How willing are the skeptics and denialists to tell cities and insurance actuaries that the fears of ocean-level increases are piffles?

Speaking of insurance:  Texas has been hammered over the past 20 years by unseasonal and much more-severe-than-usual thunderstorms, ice storms, straightline winds, tornadoes and hurricanes.  Home insurance rates skyrocketed.  State regulators argue with insurance companies about whether rate increases are justified.  Insurance companies cite claims for problems that did not exist earlier, and which may be blamed on climate change.  (How much excess mold will occur due to warming?)

Sometimes the arguments erupt into lawsuits and regulatory action.  One such argument drags on now, with up to a $1 billion in overcharges at stake.  How much of the fight from the insurance companies comes from their fears of the effects of global warming?

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