Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Mailbag

I hope you don't think it's easy coming up with material every day. So thanks to C. Corax for this tip. It seems that some international organizations we're supposed to admire, in the name of conserving wilderness areas, are helping to push indigenous people's off of their lands. It's long been my view that one of the highest priorities for our future has to be making it possible for people to live sustainably on the land. Indigenous people must be partners in conservation; casting them as the problem is outrageous. (And if anybody wants to tell another side of this story, feel free.)

And, from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous but who probably should be writing this blog instead of me, this from the Washington Post. We've long taken comfort in the idea that even though they can outsource computer programming, customer service and shoe manufacturing to Asia, medical care has to stay home, along with all those high paying jobs. Well, as I've pointed out earlier, the radiologist who reads your MRI or CT Scan is quite likely in India. Now, Blue Cross/Blue Shield in southern California is sending people to Tijuana for cheaper medical care. That won't work in Iowa, but I have heard of people travelling on their own initiative to as far away as South Africa for surgery, in order to save money.

Meanwhile, the Arab princes are sending their family members here for expensive procedures, which they evidently assume must be better than what they would get in Qatar (probably not so). Many academic medical centers have large marketing departments devoted to bringing in wealthy foreigners who will pay top dollar -- even as uninsured Americans go without. I don't know where all this leads, but it does complicate our thinking about the future of health care in the U.S.

1 comment:

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