Visualizing health care expenses

Student sent me this link from a nice Atlantic post, “10 ways to visualize how Americans spend money on health care.”  There’s some very good ones here.  I’m most fond of this:

We spend much, much more per person than the rest of the world … but we don’t live much longer than some eastern European countries that spend much less than us. As a result, when you plot the United States against similarly advanced countries based on life expectancy and medical spending, we’re all alone on our little island.

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I’m sure of we repealed the Affordable Care Act and simply allowed health insurance competition between states this would all be remedied.

Photo of the day

Mad Men comes back tonight!

Gallery Photography for Mad Men Season 4

Is it wrong for me to admit I have a crush on Don Draper?

Prison in America by the numbers

Nothing all that new here if you’ve been paying attention, but Fareed Zakaria makes a very succinct and data-driven case for just how nuts are current “war on drugs” and incarceration policies are:

 Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and ­Britain – with a rate among the ­highest – has 153….

This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.’s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison.

That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession….

Zakaria also references a great New Yorker piece by Adam Gopnik I wrote about a couple of months ago.  If you didn’t read it then, read it now.

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