Shikha Dalmia's Diwali Rumination On Hinduism's Propensity for Cults and Charlatans

During
the Diwali celebration today, Hindus worldover will celebrate the
victory of good over evil. But this year many of them are wrestling
with the allegations that one of their most popular gurus engaged
in an evil deed: raping the minor daughter of a devotee. He is not
the first guru to go rogue and nor will he be the last. Fake gurus
are an endemic feature of the world’s oldest religion. Shikha
Dalmia ruminates whether this propensity should be regarded as a
defect, or an internal defense against dogmatism.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/03/shikha-dalmia-on-hinduisms-tendency-for
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Sheldon Richman Explains the Humanitarian Shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act

Let’s stipulate that most people who favor the
ACA have honorable intentions: they want everyone, including people
in ill health, to have access to good and affordable medical care.
All decent people should want that. Nevertheless, explains Sheldon
Richman, the problem is that in making government policy, unmovable
obstacles often stand between motives and desired results.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/03/sheldon-richman-explains-the-affordable
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Abby Schachter on Pennsylvania’s Swaddling Ban

Swaddled babyPennsylvania, along with several other states,
has changed day care regulations to include a ban on
swaddling. The unelected busybodies who write these rules are
convinced that swaddling isn’t safe because the day care workers
may incorrectly wrap the baby, the blanket could come loose, the
baby might roll over into the loose material, and then the baby
might, possibly, die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But
there are no known cases of a baby dying at day care from
suffocation by a swaddling blanket. According to Abby Schacter, the
ban is unnecessary, unreasonable, and puts a burden on
both parents and day care workers. 

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/abby-schachter-on-pennsylvanias-swaddlin
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Abby Schachter on Pennsylvania's Swaddling Ban

Swaddled babyPennsylvania, along with several other states,
has changed day care regulations to include a ban on
swaddling. The unelected busybodies who write these rules are
convinced that swaddling isn’t safe because the day care workers
may incorrectly wrap the baby, the blanket could come loose, the
baby might roll over into the loose material, and then the baby
might, possibly, die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But
there are no known cases of a baby dying at day care from
suffocation by a swaddling blanket. According to Abby Schacter, the
ban is unnecessary, unreasonable, and puts a burden on
both parents and day care workers. 

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/abby-schachter-on-pennsylvanias-swaddlin
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How American Healthcare Killed My Father: Q&A with David Goldhill

 

David Goldhill is the head of the Game Show Network – and one of
the most-lucid analysts and unforgiving critics of the American
health care system.

In this interview, produced by Reason TV’s Jim Esptein and
conducted by Kmele Foster, Goldhill talks about his must-read new
book,
Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father–and
How We Can Fix It
,
what’s wrong with Obamacare, and much
more. If you care about the future of medicine and insurance in
this country, watch this interview.

Released on Friday, November 1. Read the original writeup and
get more info by clicking below.

In 2007, David Goldhill’s father was admitted to a New York City
hospital with pneumonia, and five weeks later he died there from
multiple hospital-acquired infections. “I probably would have been
like any other family member dealing with the grief and disbelief,”
says Goldhill, a self-described liberal Democrat who is currently
the CEO of the Game Show Network. “But,” as Goldhill recounts,

A month later there was a
profile
 in The New Yorker of physician
Peter Provonost, who was running around the country with fairly
simple steps for cleanliness and hygiene that could significantly
reduce the hospital-acquired infection rate, but he was having a
hard time getting hospitals to sign up for this. I had helped run a
movie chain, and we had a rule that if a soda spilled, it had to be
cleaned up in five minutes or someone got in trouble. And I thought
to myself, if we can do that to get you not to go to the theater
across the street, why are hospitals having such a hard time doing
simple cost-free things to save lives?

That’s how Goldhill first got interested in the economics of the
American health care system. In 2009, he published a
much-discussed article in The
Atlantic
, which he has now expanded into a book,
titled Catastrophic
Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father–and How We Can Fix
It
.

Goldhill argues that the major problem in health care is a
system of incentives that puts most of the purchasing power in the
hands of insurance companies and the government, while cutting
patients out of the equation. This system isn’t just costing us a
lot of money, it’s killing us. As Goldhill explains, there’s a
direct link between the way we pay for health care and the
estimated 100,000 patients in the U.S. who die every year from
infections they picked up in hospital.

Reason TV Contributor Kmele Foster sat down with Goldhill to
discuss the problems in our health care system and why turning
patients back into customers will go a long way towards solving
them.

Produced, shot, and edited by Jim Epstein. Additional camera by
Anthony Fisher.

About 30 minutes.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe
to Reason TV’s
YouTube Channel
to receive automatic updates when new material
goes live.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/how-american-healthcare-killed-my-father
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How American Healthcare Killed My Father: Q&A with David Goldhill

 

David Goldhill is the head of the Game Show Network – and one of
the most-lucid analysts and unforgiving critics of the American
health care system.

In this interview, produced by Reason TV’s Jim Esptein and
conducted by Kmele Foster, Goldhill talks about his must-read new
book,
Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father–and
How We Can Fix It
,
what’s wrong with Obamacare, and much
more. If you care about the future of medicine and insurance in
this country, watch this interview.

Released on Friday, November 1. Read the original writeup and
get more info by clicking below.

In 2007, David Goldhill’s father was admitted to a New York City
hospital with pneumonia, and five weeks later he died there from
multiple hospital-acquired infections. “I probably would have been
like any other family member dealing with the grief and disbelief,”
says Goldhill, a self-described liberal Democrat who is currently
the CEO of the Game Show Network. “But,” as Goldhill recounts,

A month later there was a
profile
 in The New Yorker of physician
Peter Provonost, who was running around the country with fairly
simple steps for cleanliness and hygiene that could significantly
reduce the hospital-acquired infection rate, but he was having a
hard time getting hospitals to sign up for this. I had helped run a
movie chain, and we had a rule that if a soda spilled, it had to be
cleaned up in five minutes or someone got in trouble. And I thought
to myself, if we can do that to get you not to go to the theater
across the street, why are hospitals having such a hard time doing
simple cost-free things to save lives?

That’s how Goldhill first got interested in the economics of the
American health care system. In 2009, he published a
much-discussed article in The
Atlantic
, which he has now expanded into a book,
titled Catastrophic
Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father–and How We Can Fix
It
.

Goldhill argues that the major problem in health care is a
system of incentives that puts most of the purchasing power in the
hands of insurance companies and the government, while cutting
patients out of the equation. This system isn’t just costing us a
lot of money, it’s killing us. As Goldhill explains, there’s a
direct link between the way we pay for health care and the
estimated 100,000 patients in the U.S. who die every year from
infections they picked up in hospital.

Reason TV Contributor Kmele Foster sat down with Goldhill to
discuss the problems in our health care system and why turning
patients back into customers will go a long way towards solving
them.

Produced, shot, and edited by Jim Epstein. Additional camera by
Anthony Fisher.

About 30 minutes.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe
to Reason TV’s
YouTube Channel
to receive automatic updates when new material
goes live.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/how-american-healthcare-killed-my-father
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The Government’s Cheap, Dishonest Campaign Against the Chinatown Bus Industry: Jim Epstein in The Daily Beast

Customers line up in NYC's Chinatown to board a Lucky Star bus. |||

I have an article up at The Daily Beast looking at how
the government’s forced shut down of
two Chinatown bus companies was based on fabricated evidence.
Here’s how it 
begins:

On May 20, 2013, a passenger motor coach run by a Chinatown bus
company called Lucky Star departed New York City for Boston’s
SouthStation. Shortly after hitting the road, the driver heard
a strange bang come from under the bus. The bus seemed to be
functioningnormally, so he kept going.

Upon arriving in Boston, the driver was shocked to find a New
York City manhole cover lodged in the vehicle’s luggage
compartment. Apparently, the bus struck the loose cover in the
streets of Manhattan, sending it darting up into the vehicle’s
undercarriage. Lucky Star immediately took the bus out of service
and sent it to the garage for repairs.

The following month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) ordered Lucky Star to cease operating
on the grounds that its buses and drivers posed “an imminent hazard
to public safety.” One of the primary reasons the FMCSA gave for
the shutdown was the manhole cover incident. But the out-of-service
order, which is the official document revoking the company’s
operating license, incorrectly states that after discovering the
damage, Lucky Star’s dispatcher kept the vehicle out of the garage
and continued sending it on passenger trips in an act of willful
negligence.

The false account of the manhole cover incident is just one of
many distortions and inaccuracies that appear in the out-of-service
order, according to multiple sources familiar with the
investigation. (FMCSA spokesperson Duane DeBruyne declined to
comment for this article.) The case of Lucky Star, a well-run
company with a nearly spotless accident record, is the latest
example of how the government’s stepped-up safety regime is
destroying small bus companies to the benefit of large,
politically-connected corporate carriers, and in the process making
American travelers less safe.


Read the whole thing.

And watch my recent Reason TV collaboration with Naomi
Brockwell, The
Feds vs. The Chinatown Bus
:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/the-governments-cheap-dishonest-campaign
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James Poulos Writes In Defense of Guerrilla Street Art

To be a brand name in guerilla street art is to
be in exclusive company. And no one has built a bigger brand
imposing his stencils, spray paintings, and sculptures on the world
than Banksy. Despite the grumbling critiques from both nannyesque
Bloombergians and the kinds of property rights advocates who
sometimes cross swords with the Mayor, James Poulos argues that
unauthorized art invites us to think anew about the place of street
art in our lives.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/james-poulos-writes-in-defense-of-guerri
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Open Thead: Why the Hell Not? Plus: Subscibe or Die!

It’s been a long
time since we had an open thread. So here’s one. Have at it.

And as long as you’re hanging out here, why not:

Related:
Reason’s founders discuss 45 years of the magazine
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/open-thead-why-the-hell-not-plus-subscib
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Administration Officials Worried Obama's Promise that People Could Keep Their Plans Wasn't Right, and Let Him Make It Anyway

We already know that administration policymakers
were aware that President Obama’s promise that people who like
their plans can keep them under Obamacare was not true, because
estimates built into early regulations indicated that many plans
would lose their grandfathered, protected status.

A
report
in today’s Wall Street Journal indicates that
senior White House advisers were also concerned that the promise
could not be fulfilled, but decided to let the president make it
anyway: 

When the question arose, Mr. Obama’s advisers decided that the
assertion was fair, interviews with more than a dozen people
involved in crafting and explaining the president’s health-care
plan show.

But at times, there was second-guessing. At one point, aides
discussed whether Mr. Obama might use more in-depth discussions,
such as media interviews, to explain the nuances of the succinct
line in his stump speeches, a former aide said. Officials worried,
though, that delving into details such as the small number of
people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would
clutter the president’s message.

“You try to talk about health care in broad, intelligible points
that cut through, and you inevitably lose some accuracy when you do
that,” the former official said.

The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought
political debate “if you like your plan, you can probably keep it”
isn’t a salable point.

So they apparently decided the president should repeatedly make
a promise that wasn’t true, and whose impacts would be felt by
millions of Americans, simply because they hoped that would make it
easier to sell the legislation they wanted to pass. 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/02/administration-officials-worried-obamas
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