Part 3—Respecting a disappeared group: At present, you're seeing a lot of journalism about American health care.
As you parse and peruse this onslaught of babel, you'll almost never see a mention of the USA 9400. There's a very good chance that you'll never see this important group mentioned at all.
The USA 9400 are one of the modern world's least mentioned groups. Let's offer a quick comparison:
Did you think the Aghori, a cannibalistic Hindu sect, were being under-covered before Reza Aslan broke bread (ate brain) with them in the first episode of his new evergreen weekend time-killer for CNN—the embarrassing "cable news" series which settles the lingering question of whether Aslan's a music man?
(To see Aslan eat brain, just click here.)
Did you think the Aghori were being ignored in the day? Even before Aslan arrived on the scene, they were receiving saturation coverage as compared to the USA 9400, a disappeared group which eats no brain and is found right here in the homeland, though certainly not on the popular TV show of that very same name.
Who are the USA 9400? They're the descendants of the USA 5267, the rarely mentioned group identified by Paul Krugman in April 2005.
In yesterday's award-winning report, we walked you through Krugman's highly informative column from Tax Day 2005. Below, you see the passage in which he mentioned the USA 5267:
KRUGMAN (4/15/05): In 2002, the latest year for which comparable data are available, the United States spent $5,267 on health care for each man, woman and child in the population. Of this, $2,364, or 45 percent, was government spending, mainly on Medicare and Medicaid. Canada spent $2,931 per person, of which $2,048 came from the government. France spent $2,736 per person, of which $2,080 was government spending.Way back in 2002, the USA 5267 were the dollars spent on health care for the average man, woman and child here in the American homeland.
Amazing, isn't it?
Quite sensibly, Krugman noted how "amazing" it was that we were spending so much more on health care than everyone else while receiving quite average results. After thirteen years of cost controls, the numbers looked like this, or so the OECD said:
Per capita spending, health care, 2015Full disclosure:
United States: $9451
We refer to "the USA 9400" as a courtesy, as a bit of a hometown call. By normal rounding procedures, we should be lamenting the under-reporting of the USA 9500, which would make our tale sound even worse!
At any rate, there you see the USA 9400, one of the least recognized groups in the world.
The Aghori, who "often dwell in charnel houses" and "have been witnessed smearing cremation ashes on their bodies, and have been known to use bones from human corpses for crafting kapalas," are getting big overage on CNN. For more information, click here.
By way of contrast, the USA 9400 continue to languish in obscurity on that well-known cable news channel, and indeed everywhere else.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko had a few thoughts about that. "If a man lived in obscurity/making his friends in that obscurity/obscurity is not uninteresting," the poet once thoughtfully said.
Yevtushenko's idealism to the side, a person might wonder if the public interest is being served by the journalistic disappearance of this most obscure of all North American groups.
In the figures we've posted above, you see an amazing number of dollars disappearing in the practice of modern American health care. France provides full coverage and good care to all, while spending just $4400 per person per year. In this country, an extra $5000 per person per year is disappearing into the ashes of our wonderfully complex health "systems."
Those ashes are remarkably like the ashes Aslan smeared on his head. And yet, CNN shows no interest in the missing five thousand dollars which forms a key part of our least understood group.
Where the heck is all that extra health care money going? For whatever reason, our news orgs have long agreed that they must never ask or answer that question. Tomorrow, we'll show you how to conduct a meditation concerning this long-standing practice.
We'll teach you how to read health care reporting and commentary in an exciting new way. Using that recent New York Times editorial as our starting point, we'll show you how health care reporting takes on a new look if we perform a simple small act:
Health care reporting takes on a new look if we perform just one simple act—if we insert even one paragraph about the 9400.
Tomorrow: A new way of reading the world