Why is our Healthcare so Expensive?

I first saw this story over at Ezra Klein's place, but it is also reported in the  Washington Post.  The "non-partisan" McKinsey Group sought to determine how much we overpay for healthcare by constructing an "Estimated Spending According to Wealth" index, that takes into account not only how much a country spends on health care, but also its per capita earnings.  The results?

In this new report MGI finds that the United States spends approximately $480 billion ($1,600 per capita) more on health care than other OECD countries and that additional spending is not explained by a higher disease burden; the research shows that the U.S. population is not significantly sicker than the other countries studied.

The reason why we pay $1,600 more per capita, even when you figure in that we make much more per capita than many countries, is because of....the free market.

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Rep. Moore submits Voter Identification Bill

Rep. Tim Moore has submitted the Voter Identification House Bill for your approval. The bill takes "§ 163‑166.12. Requirements for certain voters who register by mail and turns it on its head. A law that was meant to make sure that everyone who voted had to show proof of ID at some time or another has now been turned into a fiasco aimed at making sure every person has to show multiple forms of ID every time they vote. And, who does this effect?

When HAVA was being debated in Congress, the most controversial issue was the identification requirement. Some regarded it as a sensible antifraud measure, while others saw it as an avenue to disenfranchisement, particularly of minorities, the poor, young people, and the disabled. Nonetheless, all states now have some form of ID requirement, and some states took the opportunity of HAVA to require all voters to show ID.

Minorities and young people. That is who. Don't think that this law will stop there either, look what other states have done once the Conservatives have their way.

Raleigh To Lead the Way With Low-Energy LED City Lights?

Very interesting [via Engadget, where you'll find a photo and a link to the original news item] —

While it's no secret that LEDs light up the night in a more efficient (albeit expensive) manner, few locales have given the idea of lighting up the town en masse with LEDs any serious consideration. In a feat that would surely oust Brussles' Dexia Tower in terms of magnitude, city officials in Raleigh, North Carolina are hoping to make the Capital City the "world's first LED city."

Open thread from the coast...

One of my pet peeves is gratuitous profanity, name calling, and such. I think there are better ways....and as a point of discussion or entertainment I present some quotes that are more devastating that the "F--k off, you A--wipe" of which I have been a recipent.

Your thoughts...or a favorite insult? OPEN THREAD!

NC Republicans All Over The Map on Iraq

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"I am persuaded by all available evidence that an escalation of U.S. troop levels is not the way forward in Iraq," - Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.

"Some Americans and, perhaps some in this body, oppose the Iraqi operation because they dislike President Bush. I, however, do not march to that drum. I am personally very high on President Bush, but on the matter of troop escalation, I am not in agreement." - Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C.

"Madam Speaker, where's your plan for victory in Iraq?" — Rep. Patrick McHenry R-N.C.

July 19, 2006:

“It’s like after Katrina, when the secretary of homeland security was saying all those people weren’t really stranded when we were all watching it on TV,” said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.). “I still hear about that. We can’t look like we won’t face reality.”

Wright Stuff

Jim Black’s predicament is due in part to State Representative Thomas Wright. If Wright had not helped orchestrate support of the Legislative Black Caucus, Jim Black might never have become Speaker of the House. Anglico wrote about the connection between Black and Wright in an earlier post Tangled Web and as I wrote in comments to that post Thomas Wright is the highest ranking Africa American in the State House because of that connection.

Thomas Wright is back in the spotlight in his own right and more so with the announcement of Jim Black’s Federal plea and, expected State pleas.

Wright has been too busy to file a response to a complaint about late reporting of campaign contributions which hid his relationship with Sims Hugo Neu

In an article in the Wilmington Star, February 2, Mark Schreiner writes

The elections board wrote Wright on Dec. 12 to tell him about the complaint and offer an opportunity to provide a response. The board's request that it be made by Jan. 17 was extended to Jan. 31 at Wright's request.

This is progress?

I think this nugget from Monday's Herald-Sun is worthy of more attention. And where better to spotlight our state's changing economy than BlueNC?

Forest products industry becomes NC's largest Manufacturer

The forest products industry has surpassed textiles as North Carolina's largest manufacturing industry, as measured by employment and wages, according to figures collected by the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State University.

The number of people working in the state logging, wood products, paper and furniture industries as of the middle of 2006 was 103,165 versus 82,110 in textile mills, textile product mills and apparel manufacturing.

The rest of the story is this...

According to Hardwood Review Weekly which keeps track of these statistics, between 2000 and 2006, 279 U.S. furniture factories closed in 29 states, totaling more than 64,000 lost jobs. Between 2000 and 2005, North Carolina lost 68 percent of its 32,000 furniture jobs.

Sandhills Area Open Thread

I'm not sure what day the Sandhills people were assigned for an open thread, but I'm putting this up today. (PS Valentine Love to all BlueNCers)

In today's Pilot Newspaper, Mat Moriarty has written another glowing article on Joe Boylan's adventures in Raleigh. Today's love letter is all about Joe's bill,

State House Rep. Joe Boylan has introduced legislation that would make Moore County its own judicial district.

The bill, one of several filed by Boylan in his first few days in office, would give the county its own District Court. Moore County is currently in a district with Montgomery and Randolph counties.

House Bill 163, Divide District Court District 19B. It has been referred to the committee on appropriations.

NC GOP: So much for the big tent

If you think the showdown between Bev Perdue and Richard Moore promises to be a rough one, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just look at how the Puppets (Republicans for a Permanent Minority) are taking the Asphalt King to task for not being under the thumb of Art Pope.

Senator Fred Smith is just one of many of Paul Shumaker's tentacles and a pawn of his continued effort to infiltrate NCGOP and RNC politics.

Check Fred's voting history, contributors record, committee and caucus actions and comments, special interest bills; and be watching for serious legal business problems and personal legal record to become an issue with his campaign.

We don't need any more RINOs, Dem Enablers or another Morgan embarrasement (sic).

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