Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Extreme Makeover

Altruism with negative consequences.

Each week, an average 9.4 million viewers tune in to ABC-TV for what, over seven seasons, has become a classic formula: Find a struggling family with a heart-tugging story and send them on vacation as an army of volunteers work frantically to replace an existing home with a much nicer and bigger one in just 106 hours. Each episode ends with a dramatic tear-filled tour of the new home, packed with donated furnishings, and outsize extras like a carousel or bowling lanes.

But after the cameras have gone, another trend has been developing: Homeowners struggle to keep up with their expensive new digs. In many cases, the bigger, more lavish homes have come with bigger, more lavish utility bills. And bigger tax assessments. Some homeowners have tapped the equity of their super-sized homes only to fall behind on the higher mortgage payments.

The show's producers say they are aware of the problem and are making changes appropriate to current economic reality: downsizing.

Gruber on Healthcare

Cspan video here.

Also an excellent study on the source of cancer survival gains. Its not increased testing, it better treatment. Gruber makes the point about 38 minutes into the above video the better doctors do less testing.
Our baseline analysis found that treatment advances account for the vast majority of survival gains for all the cancers examined: breast cancer (83%), lung cancer (85%), colorectal cancer (76%), pancreatic cancer (100%), and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (96%).

Thursday, April 01, 2010


We have much to learn about Parkinson's.