Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Monday, March 19, 2012

HCR -- Fareed Zakaria on Health Care

By John Ballard

Fareed Zakaria did a special last night focused on health care in America. I didn't see it but here are bullet ponts gleaned from his Twitter feed.

  • In the US, an estimated 137,000 people died over 7 years because they were uninsured.

  • .#Health care costs take up 1/5 of the #US economy. By 2050, if things don't change, it could consume almost 2/5.

  • The least efficient payers in the world are American private insurance companies with administrative costs of 20-30%.

  • Private insurers in the US spend more money on non-medical costs like ads & reviving claims to help them stay profitable.

  • In the UK, the Brits spend about $3,500 per person on health care. The #US spends around $8,500 per person.

  • TR Reid quotes the UK Health Minister as saying, 'We cover everybody, but we don't cover everything.'

  • Taiwan went with a "single-payer" insurance model in 1995 and the number of uninsured dropped from 41% to 8% in one year.

  • Americans go to the doctor about 4 times a year on average. The Taiwanese go around 14 times a year.

  • Taiwan spends 7% on healthcare with better results than the US.

  • A lot of rich democracies � Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands � cover everybody in the private system.

  • Abt 20 years ago, #Switzerland passed #ObamaCare. Everyone's now covered. Topnotch care. Excellent health outcomes. Choice

  • In the US, health care is almost twice as expensive as everywhere else.

  • Average US spending on pharmaceuticals is about 3 times UK spending.

  • Rafiq Kathwari ? @brownpundit @FareedZakaria: My bill $12,000 for 3 nites isolated rm Roosevelt Hosp NYC. Presidential suite at Waldorf costs less.

  • The avg elderly patient on Medicare has more than 10 specialist physicians -- who often dont talk --by their last year of life

  • Just 5% of Americans accounted for half of all #US health care costs in 2009.

  • America's health care system is a mess. Its partly free enterprise, partly state-subsidized and overall highly inefficient

  • A pure free market model simply cannot work in providing health care unless we're willing to let people who can't pay die

  • Obamacare does little by the way of systemic cost controls. There must be some kind of board deciding what's covered & not

  • You can catch it on CNN International on Saturday, March 24 at 9:00pm ET. http://ow.ly/9Jla3

Pretty impressive if you ask me. 


  1. He's also got a pretty good article in Time this week on the same topic.

  2. Some worthwhile notes in there, but:
    "In the US, an estimated 137,000 people died over 7 years because they were uninsured."
    That's 6/1000 of 1%, which is actually a rather surprisingly low number. I know, you're going to accuse me of being callous, but in being so concerned with the needs of the individual, or the very few, we sometimes work against that which is the responsibility of government, that being the best interest of the community as a whole.
    "Health care costs take up 1/5 of the #US economy. By 2050, if things don't change, it could consume almost 2/5."
    Projections like this tend to be unreliable as hell. When I was in high school it was projected, based on current birth/death rates that the Earth's population would be 20 billion by the year 2000. We came up just a little bit short.
    "My bill $12,000 for 3 nites isolated rm Roosevelt Hosp NYC. Presidential suite at Waldorf costs less."
    You have to be kidding. The Waldorf isn't saving your life.

  3. He basically ripped off T.R. Reid and had to nerve to include snippets of Reid in the piece. Reid's doc on PBS several years ago covers all of this and more IMO.
    Way to get there late, Fareed!
    I wish he could have done more ORIGINAL reporting.
    Or at least given Reid more than an offhand book mention.