Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The State of the Union address is tonight. For some reason, whenever I see that abbreviated as SOTU, I immediately think of STFU. Whatever.

Would anyone like to take part in my poll on how many times the word "terror" or "terrorism" will be used in tonight's speech? My vote is for 25. The winner gets a cookie. Put your guesses in the comments. I'll even accept entries after the fact, as long as you swear you didn't cheat. This is an honor system blog.

One of the other major topics Dubya is expected to opine about is health care costs. I'm not very informed on this topic (but that doesn't usually stop me from having an opinion). I've been reading Angry Bear a lot lately; they seem smart. Kash had this to say today:

If he addresses the question of high medical spending at all in his State of the Union address tonight, Bush is likely to focus solely on the medical liability insurance explanation (though I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised on this). His proposed solution to this problem is tort reform. Unfortunately, as I’ve written about previously, non-partisan estimates suggest that tort reform is likely to produce only a small decline in health care costs, of perhaps $6 billion per year, out of total medical care spending of $1,878 billion in 2004. That's not much of an impact.

... A more recent study in the International Journal of Health Services found that in 2003, administration costs in the US health care system ate up about $400bn, or about 25% of total health care spending.

... The NEJM study estimated that hospitals and doctors devote roughly one-fourth of their resources to dealing with insurance paperwork

I have a blog entry I've been meaning to get around to that shows for-profit insurance companies are inherently poorer than not-for-profits. Maybe this is why. Twenty-five percent of our health care spending is unproductive overhead. Holy hell.

Update: I just can't bring myself to actually watch. I'll see the important parts on the Daily Show, I suspect.


Anonymous said...

"whenever I see that abbreviated as SOTU, I immediately think of STFU"

Similarly, when I hear about the doings of the IAEA I think "Why is a big blue and yellow sweedish furniture store interested in nukes?"

Possibly this could mean we're both a little off...


Narc said...

And knowing the Great Swedish Furniture Store, they'd come up with interesting names for things: Bøm, Ürnanium, Fizion, Plütønium...