One of the most common justifications for consumer-driven medicine is reduced health care costs. The reasoning here is two-fold:
1. Since they're high-deductible and low premium, consumer-driven health plans require more out-of-pocket spending. Consumers are more cost-conscious when they have to actively shell out for purchases. As a result, they will user fewer health care services - and thus overall health care costs will fall.
2. If consumers are in the driver's seat, competition in an open market will drive prices down. For-profit providers will want to offer the best deal to get the most business. Consumers will also have better information thanks to the commoditization of medicine, which will translate medical jargon into universally comprehensible knowledge. Smarter consumers translate into less over-payment for services.
This is standard-issue free market orthodoxy at its finest. Unfortunately, this isn't the whole story. In fact, there's an even stronger argument to be made that consumer-driven health plans could lead to higher health care costs.
More and more pilots are reporting that air polluted by engine fumes is making them ill and even incapable of handling their aircraft. So why are passengers not being told? Charles Starmer-Smith reports.
"It was during the descent that my first officer told me he was feeling really bad and very close to vomiting. He went on to oxygen. I felt confused and five seconds later I, too, was close to vomiting. I just managed to put on my mask, after which I could hardly move. We were sitting there flying at 600 miles an hour, late at night, both of us more or less incapacitated. I could not even raise my hand; I could not talk; it was like I was paralysed."
This is not a script for a Hollywood action film but the account of Neils Gomer, a captain on a Swedish aircraft, who was almost completely incapacitated by toxic fumes. He also stated that many of the 73 passengers on the flight were so deeply asleep that it was difficult to wake them up - a fact confirmed by the accident investigator, who noted that passengers were in a "zombie-like condition". He managed to land, but said later that if he had delayed by seconds going on to oxygen the plane would have crashed.
It's become an occupational hazard for celebrities. But what's it really like to live with bipolar disorder?
Gail Porter has it. Stephen Fry made a documentary about it. Sophie Anderton, Adam Ant, Russell Brand, Richard Dreyfuss, Kerry Katona and Tony Slattery are all sufferers. And now Britney, too, has bipolar disorder, at least according to the media, in whose unforgiving glare she has undergone her very public meltdown.
At times, it seems as though bipolar illness is the latest celebrity fad - like wheat intolerance, perhaps. But the apparent spike in celebrity sufferers points to something else: that awareness amongst both clinicians and the public is growing and some of the stigma attached to admitting to mental health problems has begun to diminish.
Once known for gentle cheerleading and encouragement, the genre now berates readers with 'you're an idiot' messages.
Of all the aisles in the typical American bookstore, none has expanded faster than the one devoted to self-help. But customers looking for some sage words of relationship advice or a little "you can do it!" encouragement to lose weight may be in for a shock. The motivational gurus of the Simon Cowell (of "American Idol" fame) generation are here with blunt appraisals of our personal shortcomings.
Beijing - China expressed regret on Thursday at reports the U.S. Olympic team would bring its own meat for the Beijing Games over concerns of drugs tainted food, and said it could guarantee safe supplies.
Onnesha Roychoudhuri Alternet Thu, 21 Feb 2008 01:49 CST
Pollan's new book, In Defense of Food, is a scathing indictment of the food industry and a call for a return to unprocessed food.
The human digestive tract has about the same number of neurons as the spinal column. What are they there for? The final word isn't in yet, but Michael Pollan thinks their existence suggests that digestion may be more than the rather mundane process of breaking down food into chemicals. And, keeping those numerous digestive neurons in mind, Pollan's new book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto entreaties us to follow our knowledgeable guts when it comes to figuring out what to eat.
In this ground breaking multi-part video series, Laura Knight-Jadczyk discusses the history of the modern spiritual movement and the pitfalls and traps awaiting any would-be "channeler". She also provides a glimpse into the events that led to the beginnings of the "Cassiopaean Experiment".
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."
Scientists living under an oppressive regime
decide to clinically study the founders and supporters of evil regimes to determine what common factor is at play in the rise and propagation of man's inhumanity to man.