I’m quite fond of this photo by Joseph Kennedy showing the puff-bellied pitpit. It’s from the Mystery Bird series at Living the Scientific Life.
• HEALTH CARE SPENDING: David Leonhardt writes about the “big government” form of health care – not about anything proposed; rather about what already exists. He adds up what’s spent, converts it to per person costs, and compares with other countries:
In per person terms, government agencies spent roughly $4,500 on medical care, while the private sector spent roughly $3,100.
Here’s what’s notable about that $4,500 figure: It’s more than what a lot of other rich countries spend on health care — including both the public and the private sectors. All told, Canada, Belgium and Germany each spend about $4,000 per person on health care. Australia and Britain spend about $3,500 each. Japan spends a little less than that.
Ezra Klein puts it this way:
If we spent what Canada spends per person, our deficit problem would go away entirely. And Canada’s per-person average is in a country where everybody is fully covered and so has full access to care. America’s is in a country with 47 million uninsured, and so many people skimp on needed care. So the comparison is actually unfair to Canada.