Tag Archives: medicine

LeBron James doesn’t think his children are as tough as he is

LeBron James made headlines Friday* when he informed ESPN of his Decision not to let his sons play football because of “the health dangers”. Presumably, James is concerned about “the health dangers” posed by concussion and other violence-induced head injuries that have driven down participation in youth football programs by over 10% in over just a three-year span (2010-2012). Those are legit.

But don’t let James fool you into thinking he is taking some sort of principled stand against the dangers of participating in sport.

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How disingenuous is Egyptian claim that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is “inhumane”?

Reports the Jerusalem Post:

Egypt: Israeli blockade ‘inhumane’

Egypt’s foreign ministry said that the country’s border with Gaza at Rafah remains open, despite media reports claiming the border was closed with exceptions for humanitarian or aid transfers.

“Since Israeli attacks commenced, Egypt has been adamant in keeping the Rafah crossing open continuously and exceptionally to allow for the passage of people and humanitarian aid convoys and to receive the wounded,” said the ministry in a statement, Ahram Online reported on Sunday.

[A]ccusations that Egypt was keeping the border closed are “in complete contradiction to facts on the ground.” In fact, the ministry said, it is Israel that continues its “inhumane” blockade on Gaza. The ministry demanded the blockade be lifted.

That’s sort of a funny demand from Egypt’s foreign ministry given that, according to the New York Times (and many others not cited here), Hamas’s latest attacks on Israel were really just a proxy fight against Egypt:

Continue reading How disingenuous is Egyptian claim that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is “inhumane”?

Really with Zeke and Amy

Readers of the New York Times were recently treated to Ezekiel Emanuel’s four-part series on how to rein in the cost of health care. I’m not an expert on health care; this post is not about his proposals. That said, the coming paragraphs are a crash course in Ezekielcare. If you read the series, feel free to skip ahead to the jump, or consider this a refresher.

In the first of four parts, Emanuel lays out the problem:

In 2010, the United States spent $2.6 trillion on health care, over $8,000 per American… our health care spending is the fifth largest economy in the world.

But he also recognizes that the issue is not the absolute dollar value spent on health care – it is the results those dollars buy. If we chose to spend exorbitant sums on health care, life expectancy skyrocketed, and disease disappeared, that cost would reflect a funding priority, a policy or market decision to exchange resources for a specific form of quality of life.

Instead, there is almost no correlation between the amount spent and health outcomes, relative to other developed countries. Simply put, Americans waste a lot of money at a time when they don’t have much to waste:

Almost no matter how we measure it — whether by life expectancy or by survival for specific diseases like asthma, heart disease or some cancers; by the rate of medical errors; or simply by satisfaction with health services — the United States is actually doing worse than a number of countries, like France and Germany, that spend considerably less.

In Part 2 of his series, Emanuel describes certain solutions – from tort reform to transforming health insurance companies into nonprofits – he says would do too little to solve the problem. Part 3 describes how 21st-century information systems could lower health care costs by $32 billion a year – a conservative estimate ‘just’ over the $26 billion threshold Emanuel believes useful solutions must cross. But most importantly, he closes his third installment with a promise:

Next week, I’ll write about broader, more systemic and bigger ways to save

For about one moment, I thought the author might deliver on his promise.

Continue reading Really with Zeke and Amy