This is not actually about the band; it’s the 20th proper post, but this is a brilliant song-  headphones highly recommended.

Below the fold: The secret committee that decides how much you pay for healthcare; how Harper Lee is suing to get the copyright to her masterpiece back, a brilliant essay on class in America, and the best summary/explanation of PRISM so far.

Special Deal
Haley Sweetland Edwards, Washington Monthly

Meet the powerful committee of doctors that fixes the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans, and learn how they form the core of  a perverse incentive system that heavily inflates costs for everyone’s healthcare. This system is a prime reason why the American health care system lags behind that of other countries.

In a free market society, there’s a name for this kind of thing—for when a roomful of professionals from the same trade meet behind closed doors to agree on how much their services should be worth. It’s called price-fixing. And in any other industry, it’s illegal—grounds for a federal investigation into antitrust abuse, at the least.

The RUC, in other words, enjoys basically de facto control over how roughly $85 billion in U.S. taxpayer money is divvied up every year. And that’s just the start of it. Because of the way the system is set up, the values the RUC comes up with wind up shaping the very structure of the U.S. health care sector, creating the perverse financial incentives that dictate how our doctors behave, and affecting the annual expenditure of nearly one-fifth of our GDP.

Read it here, absolutely worth at least a skim.


To Steal a Mockingbird
Mark Seal, Vanity Fair

Harper Lee, author of perhaps the  20th century novel, alleges in a lawsuit that she was duped into signing her copyright away in 2007 by a sketchy agent. It’s a fascinating story, take the time to read it when you have half an hour.

The Percentages
A biography of class. Sady Doyle, Tiger Beatdown.

This is a memoir, a narrative, reflective, personal essay that shows how class shaped the life of the writer. Really compelling. It’s always good to go beyond the tropes and cliches.


Finally, The Verge has by far the best round-up of the PRISM system that I have seen. In-depth, visually pleasing, accessible and comprehensive. Check it out.


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