I read this article in The New Yorker about Jason Polan and his Taco Bell Drawing Club, shortly before moving to the city.
The drawing club inspired me, for what purpose I’m not sure yet, but it was just a cool idea.
Anyway, I was sad to see that he died this week. His friend Austin Kleon wrote something nice about him.
Some good news re: H1N1 lately:
U.S., Australian Researchers Say Single H1N1 Vaccine Dose Protects Adults Against Virus
Earlier Release Date Planned for H1N1 Vaccine
The below are intended to provide some Monday morning enjoyment.
New York Times via MSNBC:
Remember: the most effective way to stop the spread of flu until a vaccine is ready is to wash your hands…often.
Health care added jobs in July (as it has continued to do) according to the latest BLS report (pdf). Two reactions:
- Good. We need employers to add jobs.
- It increases health care costs, especially not such a good thing as the economy continues to struggle.
The Health Blog reports that total health care employment has risen from 13.3 million to 13.6 million jobs, with grown seen throughout the industry.
Take these + this + this and we’re likely to see more of this:
The idea is to take the mind-boggling process of shopping for insurance and make it a little more like buying an iPod. Customers are greeted by a concierge. There are work stations for do-it-yourselfers and private rooms for meeting with salespeople.
The Health Care Fed idea was one of the best in the now waste of $10 Daschle book (Amazon tags it a BARGAIN PRICE, go figure; any lawyers want to start a class action filing to get our money back?).
Anyway, aren’t the “Me-too” drugs and devices critical to competition?
What we need is a “health-care Fed”: A panel of independent experts, consumers and ethicists who would make these tough decisions based on scientific evidence about what works, and what doesn’t.
Technologies that are real advances would go on the “A list” and be covered in full. “Me-too” drugs or devices with modest benefit for patients would only get partial coverage. And forget about treatments with unsubstantiated efficacy.
Making them more expensive (to the paying party) than the first movers defeats the purpose of competition.
Execution! “The last 98%.”
Groups representing hospitals, health-insurance companies, doctors, drug makers, medical-device makers and labor … will promise to help reduce the growth of national health-care spending by 1.5 percentage points in each of the next 10 years. (Wall Street Journal)
Cynicism aside, it’s a good first step. Certainly a far cry from Harry and Louise (though even their views have changed). But remember, a reduction in health care cost growth still means health care cost growth. The left is optimistic, the right is trying to get organized.