LittleSis Teams Up With The Huffington Post To Monitor Health Care Debate

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Kevin Connor & Matthew Skomarovsky, co-founders of Sunlight-supported LittleSis.org, announced yesterday they are joining forces with The Huffington Post Investigative Fund’s Health Care Investigative Unit on a joint research project. They will be reporting on the congressional lawmakers that receive the most money from health care interest groups. Here’s a list of those lawmakers, as produced by The Huffington Post and Maplight.org. And you can sign up with the investigative unit here.

Also, within the next few weeks, LittleSis will be launching an application programming interface (API) to provide developers and friendly organizations access to their raw data. Anyone interested in previewing the API can register for a key, and you can check out the API’s documentation here.

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  • Gman

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/weekend-opinionator-a-sick-debate/

    August 7, 2009, 8:13 pm
    Weekend Opinionator: A Sick Debate
    By Tobin Harshaw

    Comments:
    12. August 8, 2009 1:57 am
    I have lived in Europe, the USA (NYC and FLA) and currently live in Canada. I am a reasonably well-informed financial executive. I make my living as a capitalist.

    I wouldn’t know where to begin re: the health care debate but I will make a couple of observations:

    1. The USA has the finest health care in the world — bar none — provided that you have a no-limit gilt-edged money is no object health plan. Or you are rich. In my experience the 2 go hand in hand.

    Failing such insurance or such boundless wealth how any rational human being with an IQ over 75 and an income below, say, $250k (forget the social compassion argument) could defend the existing system is beyond comprehension.

    2. The outright lies — yes lies — that critics of health care reform spew is disturbing. The intentional misrepresentation of the Canadian and European models is outrageous. The Canadian model is flawed. There needs to be greater access to ‘private-delivery’ alternatives (which currently exist in some fields.) Having said that, since I returned to the province of Ontario in the late 1990’s until now the improvement in standards and care is staggering and in most cases matches anything I witnessed or experienced in NYC. Yes, health care is rationed here (hence a need for ancillary private care) but it is rationed everywhere — including the US. The exception being as per point #1 above. Per capita Ontario spends approximately 65% of what the consumers/taxpayers of the US/NY spend. However Ontario delivers 90% — or more — of the US standard. That is one very big financial/efficiency/productivity gap. That money gap goes to the US insurance companies, doctors, malpractice lawyers and lobbyists. The common canard about Canada etc is that “faceless bureaucrats make life or death decisions” (as opposed to, say, faceless HMO clerks). The truth is that in Canada the ‘gatekeepers’ who allocate critical care are the physicians themselves — the specialists.

    3. Aside from private-payment plastic surgeons it is true you will not see many doctors in Canada driving a Rolls Royce. But you will see an awful lot driving a Benz or a Jag. Doctors here work hard and are well compensated. What we lack here is the concept that a medical degree should be attributed Venture Capitalist returns.

    4. Lastly, a general observation/question (again, I really am a capitalist). Why is it that in the USA (a country I genuinely love) millions of people who barely make a living or are working class and/or just holding on to the ‘middle class’ are the most vocal — hysterical wouldn’t be an exaggeration — in defending the privileges of the rich and the corporate? Against their own self-interest I might add. Anywhere else in the western world the existing US health care tyranny would have people in the streets demanding reform — not ‘debating’ it.

    — jon c