This and That

49% of Americans oppose a single payer health care system in which all Americans would get their health insurance from one government plan that is financed in part by taxes. 44% support such a plan. [NBC/WSJ 7/9/19]

As of June 30, there were 282 active U.S. drug shortages, this is up from 224 last year. There are people of all ages who are suffering at this moment because of these shortages. [WSJ 8/10/19]

The bottom seems to have dropped out of the public’s view of the technology companies.

In 2015, 71% of respondents said that the technology companies were having a positive impact on the way things are going in the country. By 2019, only 50% share that view. The negative view of the companies has grown from 17% to 33%.

By 54% to 44% Democrats and Dem-leaning Independents are more likely than Republicans and GOP-leaning independents to have a positive view on the way things are going in the country. [PEW 7/29/19]

With the Common Application now accepted by more than 800 schools, the average college applicant submits roughly 4.85 college applications. [WSJ 8/4/19]

Starting next month, you will no longer be able to buy newspapers at your favorite Starbucks. Starbucks has not given a reason for the change but apparently, they will also remove the shelving and fixtures that display whole bean coffee and grab-and-go snacks. [NYT 7/13/19]

I asked several baristas at my local Starbucks why they were no longer going to sell newspapers. If they knew they did not let on and simply said they did not know.

What is your favorite sandwich? The following is the result of a recent YouGov survey. Respondents liked or somewhat liked the following: Grilled cheese – 79%; Grilled chicken – 75%; Turkey – 75%; Roast beef – 71%; Meatball – 56%; Reuben – 48%; French dip – 46%.

In 1999, the average health insurance coverage for a family consumed 14% of the average household income. By 2017, family coverage absorbed more than double this amount, about 31% of take-home pay. Health insurance has hovered consistently around 31% of household income since 2012. In that period companies have been shifting their employees to plans that had steady premiums but higher deductibles and out of pocket costs. [Axios Vitals 8/5/19]

“Anyone interacting with the U.S. health care system is bound to encounter examples of unnecessary administrative complexity–from filling out duplicative intake forms to transferring medical records between providers to sorting out insurance bill. This administrative complexity, with its associated high costs, is often cited as one reason the United States spends double the amount per capita on health care compared with other high-income countries even though utilization rates a similar.

“Each year, health care payers and providers in the United States spend about $496 billion on billing and insurance-related (BIR) costs, according to the Center for American Progress estimates presented in this issue brief. As health care costs continue to rise, a logical starting point for potential savings is addressing waste. A 2010 report by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) estimated that the United States spends about twice as much as necessary on BIR costs. That administrative excess currently amounts to $248 billion annually, according CAP’s calculations.”

The paragraphs above are the opening paragraphs of an article entitled, “Excess Administrative costs Burden the U.S. Health Care System.”
[Center for American Progress, 4/8/19]

In the late 1970s, the average American consumed a bit less than 250 pounds of milk annually. By the late 1990s annual consumption had dropped to 200 pounds of milk per person. Today, average consumption has dropped to 149 pounds per year. [Lydia Mulvaney, Bloomberg 8/7/190]