Longer Looks: Crowdfunding Health Care; Why Humans Sleep; And Pseudoscience In Health
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Go Fund Yourself
Health care in America is the wedge of inequality: It’s the luxury everyone has to have and millions can’t afford. Sites like YouCaring have stepped in to fill the gap. The total amount in donations generated by crowdfunding sites has increased elevenfold since the appearance of Obamacare. In 2011, sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring were generating a total of $837 million. Three years later, that number had climbed to $9.5 billion. Under the Trump administration, YouCaring expects donations to jump even higher, and the company has already seen an estimated 25 percent spike since the election, which company representatives believe is partly a response to the administration’s threats to Obamacare. (Stephen Marche, 1/2)
Why Do We Need To Sleep?
The precise benefits of sleep are still mysterious, and for many biologists, the unknowns are transfixing. One rainy evening in Tsukuba, a group of institute scientists gathered at an izakaya bar manage to hold off only half an hour before sleep is once again the focus of their conversation. (Veronique Greenwood, 1/3)
Tom Brady Is Drowning In His Own Pseudoscience
I’ve spent the last year and a half reporting and writing a book about exercise recovery, and what I’ve learned is that advice from elite athletes is often cluttered with pseudoscientific explanations for their stupendous results. The problem is that gifted athletes don’t necessarily know how they got that way. Or, in the words of David Epstein, author of “The Sports Gene,” “Just because you’re a bird doesn’t mean you’re an ornithologist.” (Christie Aschwanden, 1/3)
The New Yorker:
My Father’s Body, At Rest And In Motion
My father, eighty-three, had been declining for several weeks. The late-night phone calls had tightened in frequency and enlarged in amplitude, like waves ahead of a gathering storm: accidents were becoming more common, and their consequences more severe. This was not his first fall that year. (Siddhartha Mukherjee, 1/1)
The Future Of Weed Science Is A Van In Colorado
The lab is mobile because it has to be. Researchers at CU Boulder’s Change Lab built it to study marijuana’s effects on human test subjects. But even in states like Colorado, where recreational marijuana has been legal since 2014, federal law prohibits scientists from experimenting with anything but government-grown pot.And Uncle Sam’s weed is weak. (Robbie Gonzalez, 12/31)
Prison Food Is Making U.S. Inmates Disproportionately Sick
New evidence suggests that the situation is worse than previously thought, and not just because prison food isn’t winning any James Beard awards. It’s also making inmates sick. (Joe Fassler and Claire Brown, 12/27)