Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Odds & Ends

■ This past summer, Bob had a series of posts on the TB-infected Atlanta attorney-cum-world traveler who seemed oblivious to the danger he potentially created. According to the CDC, "(t)ests on hundreds of airline passengers show that no one caught tuberculosis" from Mr Speaker.

On the one hand, we're grateful for the positive turn of events.

On the other, it doesn't absolve him from putting other folks' lives in jeopardy.

■ Apparently, the "graveyard shift" is aptly named; turns out, "scientists suspect that overnight work is dangerous because it disrupts the circadian rhythm, the body's biological clock. The hormone melatonin, which can suppress tumor development, is normally produced at night."

This can lead to an increased risk of cancer among those who work such hours.

■ About a year ago, we blogged on the surprisingly low participation in Flexible Spending Accounts. Now, USA Today reports that "la plus ca change:" only 1 in five "of workers in large companies that offer FSAs actually enroll in them."

Unfortunately, it seems to be a simple matter of education; when folks truly understand the tremendous benefits, and relatively low risk, of participating, FSA's become more attractive.

But who, exactly, is going to provide that education?

And some critics (myself included) believe that the major problem with these "use it or lose it" arrangements is that they encourage more health care spending, which in turn drives up costs. Others (myself not included) complain that they "simply encourage overspending on discretionary medical care, at a cost to taxpayers."
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