For decades, community health clinics existed on the margins of the health-care world. Now they're critical to the system.
health care spending
When a hospital charges you $1.50 for a Tylenol pill—which a consumer can buy for 1.5 cents— you may shrug and figure you just don’t understand the system. But Steven Brill’s cover story in Time magazine shows that the 10,000 percent markup on Tylenol is just a hint of the vast price-gouging that goes on in hospital billing.
Last week, Christian social justice activist Ron Sider declared that he is quitting AARP because it's opposing changes to Social Security and Medicare that he finds reasonable: proposals that would ask more from wealthier seniors. There are a lot of ideas out there for shoring up Medicare and Social Security, ideas that should be given serious consideration. And I agree with Sider on several points.
Wonkblog has taken to using “austerity crisis” in place of “fiscal cliff.” They’re right: “fiscal” is not very specific, while “cliff” suggests a problem that happens all at once. The reality is a crisis that unfolds over time. And it’s caused not by our fiscal policy in general but by something very specific: a severe austerity package actively imposed by Congress the last couple times it kicked the can down the road. And as we saw then, there are really two questions at hand: when to reduce the deficit and how. The latter is a relatively straightforward partisan standoff. The former has become rhetorically rather bizarre.