Father of Microcredit

On NPR’s Marketplace, my favorite radio program, there is an interesting interview with Muhammed Yunus.  Mr. Yunus is the founder and director of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.  The bank describes itself as follows: GB [Grameen Bank] provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. At GB, credit is a…

Medical Service Bargain hunters?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) 2005 Employer Health Benefits Survey, the estimated number of firms who will offer high deductible health plans has increased to 20% in 2005.  This is up from 5% in 2003 and 10% in 2004.  Despite this increase, only 3.9% of workers–about 2.4 million in total–are covered either by a…

Naked Economist peeps at healthcare

Charles Wheelen is a respected journalist, author and lecturer. He is currently a lecturer in public policy at the University of Chicago, but he is most famous for his best selling book “Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science.” In his blog, he cites the top ten reasons why health care costs are increasing. While the…

Google Health

Fard Johnmar of the Healthcare Vox blog has written a post regarding the introduction of Google Co-op.  Google Co-op allows users to perform detailed searches regarding medical issues.  You can search by symptom, condition, medical test, etc.  Johnmar states that: What’s interesting about this service is that Google is not taking responsibility for vetting healthcare…

Millions wasted on unnecessary test

Forbes reported last week (“Millions…“) that millions of dollars are wasted each year due to unnecessary tests. Their findings are based on an article by Dr. Dan Merenstein and co-authors and is to appear in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. What is the definition of an unnecessary test? The United…

The Dismal Science

Alex Tabarrok of the Marginal Revolution blog, has an interesting post regarding economics, long known as the dismal science.  First off, he has an entertaining excerpt from the Jon Stewart show: Jon Stewart: Uh, the way you’ve explained the tax cuts doesn’t really seem fair. John Hodgman: Fairness isn’t really the point.  They don’t call…

Economist’s Morality

I just finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a very entertaining novel about the maturation of a boy who grew up in Afghanistan and later emigrated to the United States.  In the book, there is a wonderful passage where the protagonist’s father lectures him on morality.  His speech is one with which most…

IRS Subpoenas UnitedHealth on Stock Options

In February, this year, I wrote of the seemingly outlandish compensation William W. McGuire, the CEO of UnitedHealth Group, received in 2005. Of his $124.8 million of compensation, $114.6 million was in the form of stock options. It now seems that this compensation might not have been entirely kosher. Yesterday, the New York Times (“US…

Physician Affirmative Action in India

In India, low-caste and minority individuals often have difficultly ascending the social ladder.  Discrimination against the low-caste individuals has been extensively documented.  In order aid these disadvantaged groups, the Indian government has increased the quota for low-caste and minority physicians at state-run hospitals.  The International Herald Tribune (“Doctor’s Strike…“) reports that “22.5 percent of jobs…