We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There are a lot of reasons why health care costs rise. Inflation is certainly one of them. Technology is a big driver of costs, especially "crisis" technology like cancer chemotherapy and cardiac surgery. These expensive therapies save some lives, extend others, and have no benefit for some people. The question, of course, is when is this care "wasteful"? We often don't know that it's going to be futile until well into the course of treatment. And the technology doesn't have to be new to be expensive: we've been doing cardiac transplants for 40 years and they're still very expensive.
"Defensive" medicine -- lab and imaging studies, or treatments liek defnsive c-sections that look good in court -- surely account for some of the waste, but they would be a pretty small amount.
Cost control in healthcare is a chimera. It's true that people might not pay $5,000 out of pocket to have hip replacement surgery, but then we would have people getting around in pain.
My own theory would run along the lines of "major medical": each family pays about $300 per month in premiums and they pay the first $3,000 each year in health care bills out of pocket. (These numbers for illustration only). Minor care reverts to a family budget item -- am I willing to pay $250 to have this mole removed? Major care shifts to the insurance pool: my $25k melanoma treatment after that $250 mole job. (No, I don't have melanoma -- just illustration again.)
JJM ... Linda Duncan is apparently the Queen of Unreason, at least for today. It's apparently super-cold up in our Northern neighbor, after a series of several "colder than normal" winters all over the northern hemisphere, and she says this will silence the climate change deniers? What has that poor child been smoking?
The theory is: Because of climate-change, the extremes of the weather become more extreme -- storms more severe, cold-snaps colder, dry spells dryer.
Since tmin follows a gaussian pattern, the number of tmin "record cold" events per year should gradually become fewer as the length of our temperature record increases. If global warming is happening, that pattern would break down, although the mean tmin would increase year on year.
Can't have it both ways...They preached global warming for decades...I don't intend to let anyone off the hook who now claims "climate change" is the boogey-man...Furthermore, the whole theory of global warming said that it would be warmer this decade than last...It's not. So, the projections were dead wrong. Finally, if you are going to throw out references to gaussian patterns to lay persons who read these blogs. Common courtesy would dictate that you provide just a bit of background. You may know your physics, maybe, but your expository writing needs work...
Well, okay --so, which does Al Goldfinger want us to fight? Suppose we fight the warming extreme when nature is cooling? Suppose we were really good at it and could change the temp more and faster than say a hundred trillion bucks (into IPCC's pal's accounts, but thatsanotherstory) per hundred trillionth of a degree.
Suppose, then, we jumped up and knocked off a tenth of the world's agriculture before we even knew it or could reverse it? wouldn't that starve a billion distinct, one-of-a-kind individual human beings to a miserable death, and start wars which would kill off another billion or two such unique specimens (one or more of whom may have thitherto been bound to make the material or spiritual breakthrough that would have saved EVERYTHING --but thatsanotherstory) ?
So here's an idea --we conserve and keep the place tidy, and, especially since Providence shall do so anyway and man's TRUE only choice is between liberty and futile (futile in the climate sense, not by a LONG shot in the One-Day-In-The-life-Of-Ivan-Denisovitch sense) totalitarianism, we let God handle the solar system.
Howdy, Phil and JJM
Icebergs calve from glaciers due to a number of factors. A broad warming of the glacier (apparently occuring in part of Antarctica but not all or even most of it) would very possibly push and calve more icebergs. Icebergs take years, sometimes decades to melt. Which is why fearing the Antarctic or Greenland caps will melt away significantly in the near future is silly.
Paul Harvey, bless his soul, was good at taking an ounce of fact, a pound of speculation, and producing five pounds of story. He once said that the iceberg which sank Titanic might have been calved three thousand years before near Ellesmere Island. For all I know, he was right. But I'd want some provenance.