Part of my day job is to prepare quarterly reports for our clients on developments in the stock and bond markets. It's generally a tedious chore (the odd Internet bubble or market crash not withstanding) but every now and again I run across a fact or number that illustrates some larger economic point -- like the time (this was at the height of the late '90s tech stock mania) when I added up the quarterly increase in the market value of the S&P 500 and realized it was bigger than the entire gross domestic product of Canada.
The lesson I learned this quarter is that the health care crisis is now hitting the health care industry where it hurts most -- straight in the wallet. Whether that will will be enough to prod our GOP-run Chamber of People's Deputies into actually doing something about the problem isn't clear, but I think it at least raises the odds. After all, we're not just talking about the sickness and suffering of ordinary human beings. There are large corporations out there in real pain. Something has to be done.
Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that whatever is done will probably make me sick and the uninsured even sicker.