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The Almighty Buck Science

Computer Model Reveals Escape Plan From Poverty's Vicious Circle 356

KentuckyFC writes "Infectious disease condemns poor countries to an endless cycle of ill health and poverty. Now a powerful new model of the link between disease and economic growth has revealed why some escape plans work while others just make matters worse. The problem is that when workers suffer from poor health, economic output goes down. And if economic output goes down, there is less to spend on healthcare. And if spending on healthcare drops, workers become less healthy. And so on. So an obvious solution is for a country to spend more on healthcare. But the new model says governments must take care since the cost to a poor country can send the economy spiraling into long term decline. By contrast, an injection of capital from outside the country allows spending on healthcare to increase without any drop in economic output. 'We find that a large influx of capital is successful in escaping the poverty trap, but increasing health spending alone is not,' say the authors. And the amount required is relatively little. The model suggests that long-term investment needs only to be more than 15 per cent of the cost of healthcare. But anything less than this cannot prevent the vicious circle of decline."
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Computer Model Reveals Escape Plan From Poverty's Vicious Circle

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  • Re:Healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @02:28PM (#45556631)

    Spending money on cosmetic surgery

    Huh? That's not part of the US's problem at all. Cosmetic surgery isn't covered by insurance, it's at-will and paid directly by those who want it. It's totally irrelevant to the problems in the healthcare industry in America. In fact, if anything, it's probably more cost-effective and efficient because it cuts the insurance companies out of the equation.

    and everything else you pay for out of your own pocket.

    Yes, that's already how we do it for cosmetic surgery. It's everything else that's a disaster.

  • Re:Healthcare (Score:2, Informative)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @02:28PM (#45556635)

    Which apparently requires many intrusions on freedom and liberty, rapidly driving down the quality of life to the point of not worth living status. For what? To pay of the crazy debt the government has accrued over the last 5 decades? Fuck them. I didn't ask for this nor did I vote for it.

    The last thing I want is the state telling me what I may eat, how much, when and where I must exercise, how much I must work, and when and where I may travel. Of course, all of this is required in order to 'live longer, work longer, and pay more tax.' Fuck that.

  • Re:Healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @02:55PM (#45556829) Journal

    Pay less? I doubt it, especially over the long term. It doesn't matter if we overpay the insurance companies or the state..both are experts at wasting other people's money.

    The USA Spends more per capita (by far) than any other nation on earth. [] Yet our actual life expectancy is just 33rd. []

    Doubt all you want. I prefer to get some facts and base my opinions on them rather than "gut feelings".

  • Re:Healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @03:54PM (#45557213) Homepage Journal
    Any patient on medicaid/medicare gets more treatments, pills, devices, etc. because the hospital, dr, or specialist can bill for it.

    You grossly overestimate how much medicare (and medicaid) provide, and ignore the cost of what you receive. Being on medicare, a chunk of your Social Security income is taken for part A. For me, that amount is almost $200 a month. I only get an allowance of ~$630 dollars a month to spend on the hospital/PCP/specialist. A trip to the hospital, and I owe out of pocket. If I visit my PCP (primary care physician) AND have a psychiatrist appointment, or a physical therapy appointment in the same month, I owe out of pocket. Essentially, I get a "free" ~$430 to throw at my medical care and the rest is up to me to cover.

    Medicare Part B (drugs) is optional. It can cost anywhere from $120 to $300+ dollars a month, depending on what and how much you want. It is only beneficial to have if you are on a regimen of costly drugs that would normally go above what you would pay without it. Even if you opt to purchase part B, not everything is covered, and you have a varying copay.
  • Re:Healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

    by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @04:57PM (#45557533) Homepage Journal

    many of us have a serious issue with the portion of this country that consumes far more from the fed then it pays in taxes.

    You mean the southern red states + Alaska? []

  • Re:Healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @05:14PM (#45557605)

    many of us have a serious issue with the portion of this country that consumes far more from the fed then it pays in taxes.

    To be clear, that's only federal income taxes. They still pay state/local taxes, SSI/Medicare and sales taxes. In addition, that 47% includes SSI/Medicare disabled, retirees. From The 47%: Who They Are, Where They Live... [] (with graphs and charts):

    Who They Are:
    In 2011, 47% of Americans paid no federal income taxes. Within that group, two-thirds still pay payroll taxes. The rest are almost all either (a) old and retired folks collecting Social Security or (b) households earning less than $20,000. Overall, four out of five households not owing federal income tax earn less than $30,000, according to the Tax Policy Center.

    There are some not-so-poor outliers, like the 7,000 millionaires who paid no federal income taxes in 2011. But for the most part, when you hear "The 47%" you should think "old retired folks and poor working families."

    Where They Live
    The ten states with the highest share of "non-payers" are in the states colored red. Most are in southern (and Republican) states. Meanwhile, the 13 states with the smallest share of "non-payers" are in blue. Most are northeastern (and Democratic) states.

    Why the Meme Matters
    The 47% aren't lucky ducks cheating the system. They're mostly poor working families getting pilloried by the political party that wrote the rules they're following. If the 47% are the monster here, then Republicans helped play the role of Dr. Frankenstein. "Non-payers" have grown in the last 30 years because of marginal tax rate cuts and credits like the EITC passed under Republican presidents and continued by both parties in Congress.

  • Re:Healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheNastyInThePasty ( 2382648 ) on Friday November 29, 2013 @05:38PM (#45557761)

    What? How? Explain the context to me then. I've watched the entire video and the line means exactly what you'd expect.

    There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what...who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ...These are people who pay no income tax. ...and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

    Also, did you forget about the "You didn't build that" misquote? The line in context CLEARLY meant "You didn't build that infrastructure." Yet, the Republicans used the misquote as the theme of their damn national convention!

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.