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Image Hosted by Tonight on TDS, Steven Brill ; and on TCR, Dancer Lil Buck.

sausage grinder of snark

Jon's guest tonight is another incarnation of CEO-Man, Steven Brill. It seems he'll be talking about a recent Time article about health care spending/costs (which was originally supposed to be at The New Republic, but they went with another story. And much kerfluffle ensued).

A brief go-over of some of his previous work doesn't inspire me to pay much attention to Brill, and a slightly-more-than-skim of Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us doesn't challenge those assumptions. This brief mention is worth looking at, though:

No one writes smart responses to an article of this length in a matter of hours, but for the time being, here are three things to remember as you make your way through Brill’s article.

Firstly, Americans pay a lot more for healthcare than comparable countries. This spending accounts for 18% of US GDP — a number so large that it’s been called the equivalent of an 8% VAT. Secondly, anecdotal discussion of consumer pricing in industries with large and complex cost structures can be misleading. The cost of the aspirin a doctor hands out in the ER includes not just the cost of a single pill, but also the operating costs of the institution that delivers it, and that cost may be partially or fully covered by insurance — or the hospital itself. Thirdly, if we all knew the markup of every product we purchase on a daily basis, the percentage of Americans living on communes would increase drastically.

Stephen, now, has this guy:


Lil Buck is of course on twitter (@LILBUCKDALEGEND) and facebook, and there is much youtube. He's been written up in a bunch of places (many linked in that twitterstream), including a dance review at NYTimes and a recent piece in The Atlantic, Lil Buck Exports Jaw-Dropping Memphis Street Dance to China, which talks about the documentary Lil Buck Goes to China.

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