Yesterday, we spoke about how PPACA (Obamacare) has been attenuating the US healthcare cost spiral. Over the past few years, the overall cost growth has dropped dramatically. But, many of us don’t feel the love- because our employers and our insurance companies have been playing the “cost shifting” game. They’ve changed our co-insurance, they’ve raised our deductibles- claiming that when we have ‘skin in the game’, we are more attentive to the costs of our healthcare.
The health care cost spiral is slowing- finally. Prior to 2008, the increase averaged at least 8% a year- for two decades! Over the past 5 years (up to 2014), total healthcare costs have growing by less than 3% annually. That trend is up for grabs through, as the last year’s(2015) increase seems to 5.5%- but the current year’s increase will be a little less at 4.8%. Except, these numbers still don’t tell the whole story….
Uh-oh. We thought it was bad enough that criminals could hack into our cars and planes. We knew that these computers we love to play while we drive or fly had downsides. But, we forgot to account for the fact that our car alarms and ignition devices are also controlled by these electronic units.
So, you all do know that this year the number of traffic accidents and fatalities has increased- for the first time in a long time. (35,200- a 7.7% increase over 2014- despite the fact that cars are getting safer.) It shouldn’t come as a surprise, because with the precipitous drop in the price of gas, we are driving more. And, as any cogent being realizes as they traverse this great land, too many folks should not have a driver’s license (maybe they don’t- but are behind the wheel anyway). At the very least, many (most?) should be barred from getting behind the wheels of the ridiculous large vehicles they own, since they can’t handle them properly at all.
NO!!!!! You can’t do this to me- or to anyone else!
I just went out and bought a new one. Because the old one didn’t work very well. (Plus, SONY decides that certain programs can’t be copied. They inserted the ‘copyright police’ into the DVD portion of device. That’s despite the Supreme Court ruling that recording TV shows for home use does not constitute copyright infringement!)
I have written before how our intestinal flora (bugs in our guts, in the vernacular) affect our general health. And, how they tamp down our inflammatory responses. And, how fecal transplants can help many a sick patient or improve patients well-being during chemotherapy.
So, you know I drive my car to and from Philly. And, let’s not forget the trip between Charlottesville and DC. So, I’ve developed two favorite vendors for my stops. One is WaWa. This company has the best food, great coffee, fantastic shakes (we have to rely on my son for this fact), clean bathrooms, and great prices. Oh- and they treat their employees really well. Which is why service is fantastic.