Invisible Middlemen Are Slowing Down American Health Care

Many Adjunct Profs Earn Less Than Minimum Wage ; Casimir Pulaski Was Intersex ; and More Picks

Big pharma, health care
The author writes, “In the sea of America’s health care system, pharmacy benefit managers tend to be seen as destructive leviathans. Invisible to everyday patients, PBMs lurk beneath health insurance companies and swim through nearly every prescription-drug transaction. They squeeze rebates out of drug manufacturers, pass most — but not all — of those rebates on to health insurers, pay the pharmacy for the drugs, and collect payments from the insurer. In doing so, they subtly shape the currents of American health.” Photo credit: Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)

How US Recycling Is Changing Now That China Won’t Take It (Chris)

From Grist: “As of January, Philadelphia was sending half of the recyclables it collects straight to the incinerator. Minneapolis stopped accepting black plastics. Marysville, Michigan, will no longer accept eight of 11 categories of items (including glass, newspaper, and mixed paper) for curbside recycling, in order to cut costs. Deltona, Florida, stopped curbside pickup altogether.”

Many Adjunct Professors Earn Less Than Minimum Wage (Chris)

The author writes, “One report last year from the Institute of Policy Studies found that at the 25 state schools with the highest-paid presidents, the number of part-time adjunct faculty increased 22 percent faster between 2005 and 2011 than the average national growth for all universities — an indication that those schools are offsetting their administrative bloat with cheaper labor.”

College Grads Sell Stakes in Themselves to Wall Street (Gerry)

The author writes, “Instead of taking out loans, students can agree to hand over part of their future earnings in return for investment.”

Thanks, TurboTax (Reader Steve)

From ProPublica: A bill supported by Democrats and Republicans would make permanent a program that bars the IRS from ever developing its own online tax filing service.”

Casimir Pulaski, Hero of the Revolutionary War, Was Most Likely Intersex (Russ)

The author writes, “Casimir Pulaski had male characteristics, like facial hair and male-pattern baldness, but his skeleton looked female. Researchers now believe he was intersex.”

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