Monthly Archives: September 2014

Splashed out on pricey exercise gear? To avoid causing a stink, wear cotton during your workout.

If you’ve splashed out on pricey exercise gear for the gym, it may be time to wake up and smell … erm, your clothes.
Because manmade fibres are more likely than their natural rivals to whiff after exercise, a study has found.
It means those who don expensive polyester sportswear before jumping on their bike or going for a run might stay fresher if they simply wore cotton, according to Belgian experts.


Ebola-Infected Doctor Heading to Nebraska Medical Unit

Dr.Rick Sacra, the medical missionary who has become the third American infected with Ebola in Liberia, is being flown to a special isolation unit at The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment, SIM USA said Thursday.

“Dr. Sacra is expected to arrive in Omaha Friday morning and begin treatment in the hospital’s Biocontainment Patient Care Unit,” the Christian mission group said in a statement.

“I just had a call from the doctor who put Rick on a plane to come to the United States and he said that Rick is clearly sick but that he was in good spirits and he walked onto the plane,” his wife, Debbie Sacra, told a news conference. “We are really encouraged by that news and looking forward to being reunited with him.”

“Rick is clearly sick but … he was in good spirits and he walked onto the plane.”

Health care professionals have been hard hit by Ebola, which has infected more than 3,600 people in the West African epidemic and killed half of them.

“I am overwhelmed and abundantly blessed by all the kind words that have been said about Rick,” Debbie Sacra added at the news conference held by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where Sacra works.

“We are indeed praying that Rick will stay longer with us so that he will continue the good work that he has been doing in Liberia, but he would want you to know that he would not be afraid to pass into eternal life with the Lord,” she added, choking up as she spoke.

Redistribution of Health

We were thinking of writing a column titled something like “47 Reasons Why Lists Are Lazy Journalism,” but we decided that would be overambitious. So instead we’re going to look at one list, “8 Facts That Explain What’s Wrong With American Health Care,” by Vox’s Sarah Kliff, and focus on a particularly silly item on it, No. 3.

Some of the items on her list are legitimate criticisms, such as No. 4: “Our health insurance system is the product of random WWII-era tax provisions.” Although that’s not exactly factual: The word “random” makes it at best an opinion, and perhaps an outright falsehood, for as Kliff notes, the move toward employer-provided insurance was a response to wartime wage controls.

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Kliff complains that “the government loses out on $260 billion annually by not taxing health benefits,” though she neglects to mention that a key component of ObamaCare is a premium-subsidy scheme that will considerably increase the tax expenditure on private medical insurance. She does, however, include fact No. 8: “Obamacare is not universal health care.” She concludes: “There will still, in decades to come, be people who can’t afford health insurance. That means there will be millions who rely on free clinics for medical care.” Why exactly that is a problem, she doesn’t say.

But as we said, the item that caught our attention was No. 3: “Half of all healthcare spending goes towards 5 percent of the population.”

It sounds like a standard progressive-populist plaint about inequality: The wealthy are getting more than their fair share! On average (as of 2009, prior to ObamaCare), the top 5% “use $40,000 of health care annually. The lower-spending half of the population, meanwhile, spent a paltry $236 per person during that same year.”

Except it isn’t the wealthy vs. the poor. What these haves have isn’t money but medical conditions requiring expensive treatment. “High health-care spenders aren’t richer Americans buying up lots of health care,” Kliff acknowledges. “Instead, these tend to be the sickest patients.” Hey, go figure.