Archive for September 11th, 2008

Medical Tourism in the US

September 11th, 2008 | No Comments | Source: Wall Street Journal

Driven by opportunities to save money and reduce wait times, Americans have for years been travelling abroad to get medical care. Now, some self-insured US employers like Hannaford Bros. encourage employees to travel within the US for certain medical services.

Hannaford has negotiated deals with domestic suppliers for surgical procedures such as knee and hip replacements and coronary bypass. The deals feature steep discounts from the US providers. The favorable pricing enables Hannaford to offer financial incentives to its workers, and the incentives effectively shuttle workers to the domestic providers.

The financial incentives are powerful indeed. They typically include reimbursement for all out-of-pocket expenses, as well as free access to concierge services that organize appointments, travel plans and post-procedure follow-up. The incentives are worth thousands of dollars to workers and theoretically they save time and reduce stress as well.

Healthplace America, a 2008 start-up, is an innovator in domestic medical tourism. It has targeted self-insured companies like Hannaford and has organized a domestic provider network consisting of 15 hospitals in the West and Mid West. Passports are not required.

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Ten Years After

September 11th, 2008 | No Comments | Source: Washington Post

We will never forget what happened seven years ago today.

Sometimes we do forget how long it’s been since the US government set out to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. It’s been ten years.  bin Laden issued a fatwa against Americans and ordered the bombings of US embassies in East Africa back in 1998, and that’s when the hunt began.

There hasn’t been so much as confirmed siting of bin Laden since the CIA nearly had him in Tora Bora in December, 2001.

Recently, the US government seems to have changed its tactics. It had focused primarily on developing human intelligence along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border but this has failed completely. Now it has stepped up Predator drone attacks on al-Qaeda operatives and command posts in the region. This year the US has launched 11 attacks so far, including four in the last month alone. All last year there were three.

Of course when it comes to bin Laden himself, you can’t hit what you can’t see.

It’s frustrating, no question. Consider though what it will actually mean when we capture or kill the criminal. In terms of bringing an evil coward murderer to justice, it means everything. But should we expect any impact on the global jihad that he and others launched against us? A movement isn’t much of a movement if it can’t survive the loss of its leader. We’re not naïve enough to think things are that easy.

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