Passport

Outsourcing elder care to India

The Guardian tells the story of how Florida-resident Steve Herzfield turned to globalization in order to care for his aging parents:

[O]nce staff had been found, he could give his parents a much higher standard of care than would have been possible in the US for his father's income of $2,000 (£1,200) a month. In India that paid for their rent, a team of carers - a cook, a valet for his father, nurses to be with his mother 12 hours a day, six days a week, a physiotherapist and a masseuse - and drugs (costing a fifth of US prices), and also allowed them to put some money away.

Last year, I wrote a short piece for Net Effect's previous print incarnation on a company taking a "Priceline" approach to connect U.S. patients with hospitals in Asia and Latin America for surgery. 

The whole idea of "medical tourism" is a bit disturbing in what it says about the United States' inability to provide its citizens with affordable medical care, but the future growth of this field seems inevitable so it may be time for both the U.S. healthcare industry and government to take steps to enforce a measure of safety and accountability to this sector. 

Hat tip: Marginal Revolution

Passport

Did Israel just rule out airstrikes on Iran?

The AP has a story, noted in this morning's Brief, that quotes Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as saying that Israel does not "intend to bomb Iran." He adds, "nobody will solve their problems with our hands."

This comment is taken by the headline editor to mean: "Israel not going to bomb Iran: Foreign Minister."

But I don't think Lieberman said that at all. He said that Israel does not intend to bomb Iran, leaving open the possibility that Israel might find itself forced to do so by the international community's inaction.

Now, I am about 55 percent persuaded that Israel won't risk a rupture with the United States by bombing, and that Iran in any case won't go beyond a latent nuclear weapons capability, á la Japan. But I certainly don't think Israel has decided to close off the airstrikes option just yet.