Imagine you’re watching the evening news, kicking back after a long day in the cubicle. Suddenly a breaking news alert flashes across the screen: “Military Coup Overthrows the Government.” What would be your reaction?
While most Americans say they can’t imagine supporting a takeover of the government by the armed forces, or least aren’t sure about it, a substantial number of people say they can imagine supporting the military in such a scenario.
In a new survey by YouGov, 29 percent of respondents said they can imagine a situation in which they would support the military taking control of the federal government – that translates into over 70 million American adults. Forty-one percent of respondents said could not imagine supporting the military taking over the country.
Republicans (43 percent) were more likely to say they can envision a scenario in which they could support a military coup than Democrats (20 percent). Perhaps that difference is related to having a Democratic president who some critics on the right see as overstepping his power.
Regardless of political ideology, one reason people might support a military coup is because they respect officers in the military far more than they do people in Congress. According to the same YouGov survey, almost three-quarters (70 percent) of respondents believe that military officers want what is best for the country, while only 29 percent think the same of members of Congress.
Lawmakers better shape up or they might be shipped out -- literally.
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“The fact is very little medical care is shoppable. We become good shoppers when we are repeat shoppers. If you buy a new car every three years, you can become an informed shopper. There is no way to become an informed shopper for your appendix. You only get your appendix out once.”
— David Newman, former director of the Health Care Cost Institute, quoted in an article Thursday by Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times. Levey says the “consumer revolution” in health care – in which patients shop around for the best prices, forcing doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms to compete with lower prices – hasn’t materialized, but the higher deductibles that were part of the effort are very much in effect. “High-deductible health insurance was supposed to make American patients into smart shoppers,” Levey writes. “Instead, they got stuck with medical bills they can't afford.”
The House Ways and Means Committee released a new analysis of drug prices in the U.S. compared to 11 other developed nations, and the results, though predictable, aren’t pretty. Here are the key findings from the report:
- The U.S. pays the most for drugs, though prices varied widely.
- U.S. drug prices were nearly four times higher than average prices compared to similar countries.
- U.S. consumers pay significantly more for drugs than other countries, even when accounting for rebates.
- The U.S. could save $49 billion annually on Medicare Part D alone by using average drug prices for comparator countries.
The U.S. ranks 18th for retiree well-being among developed nations, according to the latest Global Retirement Index from Natixis, the French corporate and investment bank. The U.S. fell two spots in the ranking this year, due in part to rising economic inequality and poor performance for life expectancy.