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2009 July 12 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Great System We Have

Wendy Victoria is a columnist for the Local Puppy Trainer, last seen complaining about the religious chatzkies that festoon the tax collector’s office. She now writes about local health care:

The patient spent 12 hours at a local hospital and during that half-day, ran up a $20,000 bill for lab tests and consumed $160,000 worth of drugs.

It’s hard to imagine spending that much money that quickly.

But you have to remember, this is the world of hospitals, where patients don’t have the chance to do comparison shopping. Heck, we don’t even know what they’re doing half the time, much less what it should cost.

But it seems like the final bills have no basis in reality. Nor do hospitals expect to actually be paid the amount they bill. Of the $600,000-plus in total costs, the hospitals will get about $30,000 from the insurance company, according to the statements.

What’s wrong with this picture?

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July 12, 2009   6 Comments

Helping The Less Fortunate

Low cost housing is at a premium in this area. The Section 8 rules are so intrusive for landlords and tenants that few people want to put up with them. It is all well and good, that you need oversight of public money, but it is stupid to spend more money on inspections, that you spend on housing.

Getting low cost housing built around here is another problem, because local governments that depend on property taxes don’t want it. These same politicians don’t have a problem reducing or eliminating those same taxes for commercial development, but they don’t want poor people hanging around.

Then there are the developers.

The Pensacola News Journal reports on one of them: Land trust probe deepens

In October 2004, John Wyche paid the Escambia County School District $64,000 for the former L.A. Kirksey Elementary School on North D Street in downtown Pensacola.

Three years later, Wyche sold the property for $160,000 to the Escambia County Community Land Trust, a nonprofit organization of which he was executive director.

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July 12, 2009   1 Comment

Stage 9, Back In France

Tour de FrancePierrick Fedrigo of France took stage 9 and picked up 26 seconds on the leaders to move from 111 to 86 overall. Egoi Martinez of Spain captured the polka dot jersey, while yellow, green, and white are unchanged, and AG2R still leads the teams.

1. Rinaldo Nocentini (I/AG2R) 34:24:21 [yellow jersey]
2. Alberto Contador (E/Astana) +:06
3. Lance Armstrong (US/Astana) +:08
4. Levi Leipheimer (US/Astana) +:39
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) +:46
6. Andréas Klöden (D/Astana) +:54
7. Tony Martin (D/Team Columbia) +01:00 [white jersey]
8. Christian Vande Velde (US/Garmin) +01:24
9. Andy Schleck (LUX/Saxo Bank) +01:49
10. Vincenzo Nibali (I/Liquigas) +01:54

Selected others:

18. Cadel Evans (AUS/Silence) +03:07
46. Franco Pellizotti (I/Liquigas) +14:49 [red numbers]
48. Egoi Martinez (E/Euskatel) +15:30 [polka dot jersey]
50. Nicolas Roche (IRE/AG2R) +16:45
62. David Millar (GB/Garmin) +27:18
86. Pierrick Fedrigo (F/BBox) +39:43 stage 9 winner
121. Thor Hushovd (NOR/Cervelo) +1:04:32 [green jersey]
135. Mark Cavendish (GB/Team Columbia) +1:13:54

From the BBC Cycling results and the official results sites.

July 12, 2009   Comments Off on Stage 9, Back In France