Health of the US Healthcare System

How does the U.S. healthcare system compare to health systems of other high-income countries, and how has it fared over time? Kaiser Health News and former-NPR reporter, Julie Rovner, takes us through a check-up of our system by assessing four key areas: how healthy we are, the quality of care we receive, how much it costs, and how accessible it is.

Source: Health of the Healthcare System

Jobs of the future?Health care, social assistance, business & professional service jobs will dominate employment by 2024 

Health care and social assistance to have largest share of total employment by 2024

DECEMBER 31, 2015:

The health care and social assistance industry is projected to increase its share of total wage and salary employment to 14.5 percent by 2024, up from 12.8 percent in 2014 and 10.8 percent in 2004.

The share of employment represented by professional and business services is also projected to increase, rising from 12.3 percent in 2004 and 13.5 percent in 2014 to 13.9 percent in 2024.

The share of total wage and salary employment represented by manufacturing is projected to decline in the coming period, falling from 10.7 percent in 2004 and 8.6 percent in 2014 to 7.6 percent in 2024. The decline in manufacturing’s employment share is the largest of any industry sector for the 2014–24 period.

For more information, see “Industry employment and output projections to 2024” by Richard Henderson in the December 2015 Monthly Labor Review.

Visit Employment Projections for the 2014–24 news release and related data.

Employment projections by occupational group 2014–24

DECEMBER 30, 2015

Between 2014 and 2024, U.S. employment is projected to increase by about 9.8 million – equal to a growth rate of 6.5 percent.

Healthcare support occupations and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to be the two fastest growing occupational groups, adding a combined 2.3 million jobs, about 1 in 4 new jobs.

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are expected to grow 16.4 percent adding 1,348,100 jobs over the 10-year span.

They also were among the highest paying occupations with 2014 median annual wages of $61,710.

Healthcare support occupations are expected to add 974,200 jobs (+23.0 percent) and had a 2014 median wage of $26,440.

In 2014, management occupations were the highest paying occupational group with a median annual wage of $97,230. These occupations are expected to add 505,400 jobs (+5.5 percent) over the next 10 years.

Computer and mathematical occupations were the next highest paying group with a median wage of $79,420. They are also projected to be among the largest sources of job growth, adding 531,400 jobs from 2014 to 2024, an increase of 13.1 percent.

Food preparation and serving related occupations ($19,130) and personal care and service occupations ($21,260) were the lowest paying occupational groups.

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations (-5.9 percent) and production occupations (-3.1 percent) are the only occupational groups projected to lose jobs. Both of these groups also had median wages that were lower than the median wage of $35,540 for all workers in 2014.

For more information, see “Occupational employment projections to 2024” by Andrew Hogan and Brian Roberts in the December 2015 Monthly Labor Review. VisitEmployment Projections for the 2014–24 news release and related data.


Health care and social assistance to have largest share of total employment by 2024 : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Health care and social assistance to have largest share of total employment by 2024 on the Internet at (visited December 31, 2015).

CURMUDGUCATION repost: New York Times editorial claims to have spotted the problem in public education

A grumpy old teacher trying to keep up the good classroom fight in the new age of reformy stuff.

NYT Spots the Problem

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 07:28 AM PST

The New York Times is wrapping up the year with a full-court press on the magical marvels of teaching, including a shot today from the editorial board that really does show us a major part of the problem. But not on purpose.

They open with this line:

Teachers unions and other critics of federally required standardized tests have behaved in recent years as though killing the testing mandate would magically remedy everything that ails education in the United States.

Then they go on to talk about testing as though following the testing mandate would magically remedy everything that ails education in the United States.

They make sure to call out the usual villains–look, teachers unions make the very front of the multi-wrong lede. First, teachers unions are hardly the most notable critics of the testing mandate in New York, but the Times has been steadfast in its refusal to see the Opt Out movement as parent-led. Second, nobody has claimed that the end of a testing mandate would fix all that ills public education, particularly ills like poverty and systemic refusal to fully fund schools that are most in need. (Also, “get rid of tests in the early grades”? What early grades, because no federal law has ever reached lower than third grade)

The writer then goes on to complain about weak curriculum and graduation requirements, and at this point a fog of confusion settles over the writer, who seems to believe that no student should graduate from high school unless that student is fully prepared for college. Really?
As “proof,” the Times offers vague references to “college entrance exams” by which they mean… SAT? ACT? The exam given by the college (either Harvard or Podunk U)? As an example of why this is bad, the writer expresses concern that South Carolina, with its lax graduation requirements, “is producing high school graduates who are not qualified to compete for higher-skilled jobs at companies like Boeing, Volvo and BMW.”

Five minutes of googling indicates that they can be less worried.BMW appears ready to add more jobs in South Carolina, and these jobs include Forklift Operator and Production Associate. Production associates must have a year of steady job experience and be able to pass a drug test; they must also be willing to work any day they’re called, for a 10-12 hour shift. Forklift operators must have experience operating a forklift. Clearly more AP math courses would help graduates be better-prepared for these jobs.

The NYT has of course completely skipped over the question of students who seek employment in areas that don’t require a college degree, just as they’ve skipped over the question of who determines the need for college remediation, and how.

The editorial board complains that 40% of students are not ready for college math and English, though they offer no source for this figure (which I find, kind of incredible from the New York Times). The figure suggests that they’ve picked up this finding from the NAEPfolks, but that’s a problem as we’ve known since 2007 that NAEP doesn’t know all that much about college readiness (about half of the students who scored “basic” i.e. “not college ready” went on to achieve bachelors degrees or higher). Or they could have pulled the 40% from this analysis by the ACT folks, which says that only 40% of ACT-takers scored high in t least three of English, reading, math and science. In other words, that math genius who graduated valedictorian from your college but who needed your help to pass Freshman Composition 101– that guy was count by ACT as “not ready for college.”

Sigh. We’re not done yet, and we haven’t even gotten to the crux of the matter…. read more here: CURMUDGUCATION: NYT Spots the Problem

Why we shouldn’t let the food industry dictate our diets | from the PBS NewsHour

Michael Pollan’s bestselling book “In Defense of Food” was a call to arms for making real food a bigger part of Americans’ diets. Now he takes that push to PBS with a new documentary. He joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss why we’ve lost the true definition of food and how to take back control from the food industry.

MICHAEL POLLAN, Author, “In Defense of Food”:

I have been writing about the food system for a very long time, but what I kept hearing from readers was, yes, yes, yes, you have told me where the food comes from and how the animals live and everything, but what I really want to know is, what should I eat?

We make over 200 decisions about food a day, and the majority of these decisions are basically unconscious to us.

The food industry has gotten incredibly food at manipulating the properties of food, so it has just the right texture, just the right color, just the right smell.

But we have been paying a heavy price.

Four of the top 10 things that will kill you are chronic diseases linked to diet.

Source: Why we shouldn’t let the food industry dictate our diets | PBS NewsHour

From NPR> Obamacare Insurers Sweeten Plans: Free Doctor Visits & Free Shots 

Health insurers in several big cities will take some pain out of doctor visits in 2016.

The plans will offer free visits to primary care doctors in their networks.

You read that right.

Doctor visits without copays.

Or coinsurance.

And no expensive deductible to pay off first either.

In Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and more than a dozen other markets, people seeking coverage through the insurance exchanges can choose health plans providing free doctor visits, a benefit once considered unthinkable.

The change is rolling out in a limited number of plans following reports that high copays and deductibles have discouraged many Americans who signed up for private coverage the past two years from using their new insurance under the Affordable Care Act.Insurers say they hope encouraging visits to doctors will benefit members and their bottom lines by catching illnesses early before they become harder and more expensive to treat.

For example, prescribing antibiotics promptly to a patient with pneumonia could avoid a lengthy hospitalization costing tens of thousands of dollars.In addition, the policy could also….

More here: Obamacare Insurers Sweeten Plans With Free Doctor Visits : Shots – Health News : NPR