Friday Links

  • This. All of this. (Incidentally, this is basically exactly the article I planned to write last summer, but chose not to once Soccket wouldn’t give me a chance to interview it. Down to the examples)
  • Of Ron Wyden (D-OR), the new Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, from Norm Ornstein: ““He has relentlessly, vigorously sought to find ways of creating innovative bipartisan approaches to different policies.”” Is there a better endorsement than that in today’s Senate? The Healthy Americans Act (or Wyden-Bennett, as it was known) wasn’t perfect, but it was arguably a better platform for health insurance expansion than the Affordable Care Act; meshing the two together would provide a uniquely-American solution to universal health coverage
  • Background on how WhatsApp went from a (relatively) unknown – at least in America – to a $19 billion piece of Facebook’s growing empire
  • Post-acute care – everything from nursing homes to rehab to skilled nursing facilities – represents an ever-growing piece of the American health care pie, and is ripe for reform. The New England Journal of Medicine shows why. Anecdotally, as an operations consultant for large hospitals, one of the most serious issues I saw was the lack of post-acute beds in a geographic area – forcing hospitals to keep patients far longer than they should, or wanted to. Re-aligning incentives a la bundling or Accountable Care Organizations should help significantly in reducing this totally-unnecessary and patient-unfriendly issue
  • This is a very, very long article on historical American fraternities that is worth reading. There’s a lot to say about the article and the topic, but for the moment I’ll just add this: the case against fraternities is pretty strong (even after allowing the understanding that many college student groups – even the University of Wisconsin band! – act out in ways that are quite destructive and obviously antithetical to their stated goals). The case for fraternities usually argues fellowship, “brotherhood,” philanthropy, community service, leadership, etc. etc. And in some sense, all of that is true (especially, I think, leadership skills; there is probably no better place for a college student to develop a quality leadership style than a fraternity in one form of crisis or another – speaking from experience). But it’s less clear that the fraternity – in the way we conceive it today – is necessary for these high-minded ideals to take root in college males; it may even act as a barrier to successfully developing capital G Good Men. Strong supporters of fraternities – who are, to the letter, former fraternity members (though they’d say they’re “always” a member of the fraternity, which, fine.) – sometimes forget this

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