The American Health Care Market Just Became Less Opaque

May 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article, Medicine

How much a plate of spaghetti is going to cost you isn’t usually a mystery. Sure, the price can vary quite a bit–from a few cents if you’re making the plate yourself from groceries, to dozens of dollars at a fancy restaurant. You shouldn’t be too surprised by the bill at the end; the price […]

The Health Care Debate

Oct 7th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article, Medicine

The US healthcare system, in its present state, is a failure. It fails those with and without coverage. We spend more, care for fewer and are sicker than the citizens of any other industrialized nation.

Drugs and Devices

Oct 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Medicine

Why are prescription drugs so damn expensive? Or that test your doctor ordered–requiring you to be contorted into some ornate machine–that costs thousands of dollars?

Why Are American Doctors So Damn Expensive?

Sep 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Medicine

The salaries of American doctors are huge, terrifying, for anyone trying to bring down health care costs in the United States. Why are American doctors so damn expensive? Medical school is a big part of the answer.

Turfed in the American Health Care Market.

Aug 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Medicine

The only good insurance customer is the healthy and irresponsible consumer–the prototypical healthy 30 year old who refuses to get a flu shot or annual checkup. Everyone else gets turfed. Ah, turfed. Allow me to introduce you to one of the cherished terms of medical care in the United States. You turf difficult, or undesirable, […]

The Case for a Public Health Plan

Jun 25th, 2009 | By | Category: Medicine

… isn’t about the uninsured. Paul Begala put it concisely on Real Time with Bill Maher last week: (Most relevant part starts at 3:35.) My transcript: What we’ve really spent our money on, in this system, is trying to figure out to not cover people who have paid for their premiums. There was a hearing […]


May 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Medicine

As a pathogen, influenza is the cat’s pajamas; influenza puts the ortho in orthomyxovirus, the segments in its RNA genome and the misery in sneeze droplets everywhere. Let’s unpack H1N1 and H5N1. The ‘N’ in both stands for neuraminidase, a fancy way for saying “snot eating enzyme.” The virus needs to get to the juicy […]

Good Work Dendreon

Apr 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Economics, Featured Articles, Lead Article, Medicine

Dendreon, a Seattle-based biotech startup, just completed a successful phase III trial on an entirely new kind of cancer treatment.

Vytorin (Ezetimibe/simvastatin) Doesn’t Work; You Wouldn’t Know.

Apr 7th, 2008 | By | Category: Medicine

In the past few months, I bet you’ve seen at least one ad like these. When I first saw these ads, I was impressed. Most direct-to-consumer drug advertising is loathsome, filled with moronic non sequiturs–what does kayaking have to do with a nucleoside analog used to treat herpes–or simply build up anxiety about a problem, […]

Energy Sparing

Dec 26th, 2007 | By | Category: Weight Loss

In my week of carefully recording my weight and diet, using the excellent CRON-o-Meter program, I gained a half pound–from 163.5 to 164.0 pounds in the seven day moving average. Just to emphasize, I wasn’t trying to lose weight, rather just to record what a typical week of eating was like for me. A few […]