While a photo from the “Rich Kids of Instagram” account glorifies the uber-rich lifestyle, the reality is that luxury accoutrements can’t assuage a pervasive anxiety .

If you’ve ever fantasized about enormous wealth, “If I Were a Rich Man” might have begun playing inside your head. A new book suggests you’d be better off humming Cyndi Lauper’s “Money Changes Everything.”

Immense riches do mean you can “build a big, tall house with rooms by the dozen,” as Tevye fantasizes in Fiddler on the Roof. But Lauper’s lyrics provide a cautionary counterpart: “You say, ‘Well, who can you trust?’…Money changes everything.”

That change is the focus of Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live and How Their Wealth Harms Us All. This isn’t a book-length Bernie Sanders speech…


There’s an invisible price tag influencing your doctor visit. But that could be about to change.

Credit: Lauren Burke/Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered why your doctor lingers with some patients and seemingly whisks others out the door, you probably chalked it up to individuals’ differing medical needs.

That may be true, but there’s another factor: Every patient enters the exam room with an invisible price tag.

“It’s a business,” says Jeff Gorke, managing director of the health care practice consulting firm Stout, “and it’s also about the delivery of quality care.”

Both aspects have gotten more complicated recently.

Today, doctors appointments are brief: about 13 to 16 minutes long, according to 2016 data. Dr. Saul J. Weiner, professor of…


Credit: THe Economist

A recent article in Modern Healthcare describes how private equity firms are starting to snatch up specialist physician groups that promise rich revenues, such as orthopedists, dermatologists and ophthalmologists.

Naturally, this is about adding value, not adding to bank accounts. Because whether it’s physicians or hospitals, health insurers or drug companies, no one in health care ever does anything except in the best interest of patients.

The Modern Healthcare article notes that Cincinnati’s Beacon Orthopaedics interviewed 15 private equity firms. Although the orthopedists declined to discuss finances, there was no need: what drove its final choice was the “ability…


On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jews Painfully Silent on Israel’s Role in an Asian Genocide

The U.S. Holocaust Museum has found “compelling evidence” of genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar, the nation once known as Burma.

The top court in Myanmar has just upheld the prison sentences of two Reuters reporters for violating the Official Secret Acts in exposing that country’s genocide against its ethnic Rohingya minority. There’s just one country outside Myanmar where no students will learn about this attempt to suppress news of mass murder.

Unfortunately, that country is Israel. Last year, Israel agreed with Myanmar, once known as Burma, to let each country “mutually verify” what’s taught in its schools about the other. …


Even health and policy experts struggle to choose health care each year. Here’s what to know.

Credit: Irina_Strelnikova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

David Johnson and Terri Brady met at Harvard while both were working on master’s degrees in public policy. He became an investment banker, specializing in complex financial instruments like derivatives and options. She added a law degree from Columbia.

When the couple moved to Chicago and needed to figure out which health insurance plan to select from Brady’s employer, it felt natural for the duo to set up a spreadsheet. They’d simply calculate tradeoffs among the different plans, such as annual premiums and deductibles. After hours of frustration, however, the couple came to a realization.

“It was impossible to know…


Near-Empty Miami Marlins Stadium Assures Team High Score in “Who Needs It Most?” Index

When your favorite team fails to make the playoffs, it can be tough retaining a rooting interest. My solution is the “Who Needs It Most?” Index (WNIMI).

Unlike simply “rooting for the underdog,” the WNIMI considers both a team’s neediness in the sports sense and in regard to the place it represents. The higher the score, the more desperately a championship is needed to bring at least a small ray of light into an otherwise gloomy existence. The lower the score, the less a championship matters.

The two index components can function together or separately. Take the San Diego Padres…


Source: CareMore Health

Recently, I visited CareMore Health, a suburban Los Angeles-based Medicare Advantage (MA) plan long hailed as a “model for the future of health care delivery.”

I was impressed, but also puzzled. CareMore is paid via capitation, like any other MA plan, and it contracts similarly for Medicare/Medicaid “dual eligibles” and Medicaid managed care. Why hasn’t everyone else caught up?

Why isn’t CareMore the “new normal”? It’s an important question, given the widespread assumption that with the right payment scheme, all else falls into place.

Before I suggest a couple of answers, some background. Capitation is a fixed per-member payment…


Struggling to break free from Obamacare oppression, Idaho is offering low-cost health plans that achieve this goal by avoiding covering anyone who’s been sick in the past and skimping on coverage for any diseases that might make you sick in the future. These strategies are, inconveniently, explicitly banned by the Affordable Care Act.

Fortunately, I have a solution perfect for Idaho and other GOPers eager to emulate Idaho’s example. My plan covers young and old, sick and healthy, fitness buff and couch potato, all for the same incredibly low price. No one, and no illness, is excluded.

Welcome to the…

Michael Millenson

As author, researcher and consultant, I focus professionally on safe, high-quality and patient-centered health care. I also write on more personal concerns.

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