Price controls? I thought the Republican term for that was death panels?
Still, at the risk of seeming to ask for intellectual coherence from politicians who'll say anything to get elected and have no principles whatsoever, I submit this story from the Los Angeles Times about Mitt Romney's admiration for the way Israel handles health care:
Romney praised Israel for spending just 8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare while still remaining a "pretty healthy nation."
"We spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare," he said of the U.S. "Ten percentage points more. That gap, that 10% cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4%. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide healthcare to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our healthcare costs."
So how does Israel do it?
The country created a national healthcare system in 1995, mostly funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance. Everyone is required to have it.
People in Israel pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans, which can't turn anyone away because of preexisting conditions. Israel also heavily regulates its healthcare system to control costs.
I have never made a big point, or any point, about not eating at Chick-fil-A. The company is anti-gay. OK, it's a free country.
And I don't have to buy their products. Also, a free-country thing.
But since, between the company and Mike Huckabee, it's now Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, when everybody who appreciates how anti-gay they are is supposed to show it by eating their stuff, I will take the occasion to say:
I don't appreciate Chick-fil-A. And I don't eat there.
Not saying you shouldn't.
To each his own.
Then this morning, I see a press release from the Beehive Collective (they're another good story). They make grants for good works in Raleigh, and they've chosen placemaking as their theme for 2012.
They're offering one grant of up to $25,000, for which they're taking applications through September 4:
Placemaking means making the built and social environment that surrounds us positive, healthy, and restorative for individuals and communities. In choosing this giving theme for 2012, The Beehive Collective seeks to fund work in Raleigh that focuses on improving our physical and/or social environment to have a positive impact on ourselves and our community. One grant of up to $25,000 will be awarded. If you or your organization has or is thinking about undertaking a project that fits our theme, please consider submitting an application by our deadline on September 4, 2012.
There's a little more about the Collective's concept of placemaking on their website.
These types of places may vary from community and healing gardens to teen centers, arts venues, crisis centers, or shelters. These could be organizations that work on advocacy for positive places, such as bicycle advocacy, environmental activism, or community groups that focus on making Raleigh neighborhoods safe, vibrant and healthy. Successful grantees will focus on improving our physical or social environment to enable people living in it to flourish and to be of service to their community.
If you go to enough planning meetings, you'll begin to think that everyone's into placemaking and everyone knows what it means. The auto-correct function for this blog has obviously never heard of it, however. Because every time I write placemaking — and don't stop to change it back — it turns into platemaking.