Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bjinse on Tue Apr 24th, 2018 at 09:15:24 PM EST

If You Live in a Big City and Breathe, You Basically Smoke: "There's an app for that"
Shit, I Smoke! was created by Brazilian-born designer Marcelo Coelho and Paris-born app developer Amaury Martiny in just a week, after they read a study that analyzed air pollution and its equivalent to cigarette smoking. The article--co-written by Richard Mueller, a MacArthur fellow and physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley--explains a mathematical model that compares smoking and tobacco-related deaths to levels of PM2.5, a microscopic particle that is a dangerous, cancerous pollutant after combustion.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 08:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Universal health care, worldwide, is within reach - The Economist

Universal basic health care is also affordable. A country need not wait to be rich before it can have comprehensive, if rudimentary, treatment. Health care is a labour-intensive industry, and community health workers, paid relatively little compared with doctors and nurses, can make a big difference in poor countries. There is also already a lot of spending on health in poor countries, but it is often inefficient. In India and Nigeria, for example, more than 60% of health spending is through out-of-pocket payments. More services could be provided if that money--and the risk of falling ill--were pooled.

The evidence for the feasibility of universal health care goes beyond theories jotted on the back of prescription pads. It is supported by several pioneering examples. Chile and Costa Rica spend about an eighth of what America does per person on health and have similar life expectancies. Thailand spends $220 per person a year on health, and yet has outcomes nearly as good as in the OECD. Its rate of deaths related to pregnancy, for example, is just over half that of African-American mothers. Rwanda has introduced ultrabasic health insurance for more than 90% of its people; infant mortality has fallen from 120 per 1,000 live births in 2000 to under 30 last year.

And universal health care is practical. It is a way to prevent free-riders from passing on the costs of not being covered to others, for example by clogging up emergency rooms or by spreading contagious diseases. It does not have to mean big government. Private insurers and providers can still play an important role.

When The Economist writes sensible things twice in a row, is it time to start worrying?

by Bjinse on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 08:45:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure that "universal health care" --that satisfies the expectations of westworld "consumer-patient" (David Brailer, first US HIT Officer, 2006)-- is NOT affordable, and its modes of delivery are contentious. Which is conversely to admit, that reality does not stop people practicing "health care" everywhere and any how. Having read the article in its entirety, I noticed, the principal interest of The Economist reconciling those differences is capturing markets --not ray-geem change-- for "medical science" that would otherwise be wasted. So there's that promising interpretation of the article.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Apr 27th, 2018 at 08:25:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A propos universal well-being and lithium cartels, an interview: Phillip Zweig on Legalized Kickbacks in Healthcare. "At the center of the crisis are for profit corporations known as group purchasing organizations (GPOs, formerly known as cooperatives). The big four are Vizient, Premier, HealthTrust [US, Europe] and Intalere."

GPO Prospitalia SWOT presentation: The Present and Future Role of Group Purchasing Organization in Europe

"If you pay the GPO a big enough fee, you get the sole source contract to the hospitals.[...]That's the take of Phillip Zweig, a business journalist who now heads a group called Physicians Against Drug Shortages."
What's more, U. S. drug shortages have had a global domino effect. Sick people in rich and poor countries alike, from Australia to Zambia, are suffering from shortages of many of the same drugs that are scarce in the U. S.
I would feel better about GPO lobbying in govs, if profit maximization were not as it appears the principal motivation behind sharing "medical science" with ROW.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Apr 28th, 2018 at 04:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series