Class 2 – Thursday Sep 6, 2012

Up late last night to watch the Clinton speech, so not enough sleep. Adrenaline should work during class. Election day today – I will ask (anonymously) how many know that, and how many will vote. As for real QR – I’ll do the health care for the uninsured problem from Chapter1

Here are the results of the election day poll:

Reviewed/restated the annual retail food cost estimation from last class, using units:

500 billion dollars





– can’t format that nicely on the blog, but don’t want to write

(500 billion dollars / person ) / year

That gave me a head start on next week (next chapter) on units.

[Long interruption to answer linear algebra questions. I’ll do what I can now before I go to teach that class.]

The rest of the class (almost an hour) we spent understanding what you can infer from the $43 billion annual medical costs for the uninsured – amounting to $1000 extra premium for each insured family. We managed the first part, after a while: it’s about $150 per person per year. It took a while to read the question carefully enough to see that the denominator was (total US population) not (number of uninsured) – that was the next question. A nice unplanned conclusion from this one was to compare that $150 to the food cost. Turns out to be about 7%, which is really substantial. All done cheerfully with curly arithmetic.

Google told us there are about 60 million uninsured – 20% of the population. The $43 billion comes out to about $1,000 per person, which is a believable average. Many people have almost no expenses but a few have enormous expenses – so I was able to promise we’d talk about weitghted averages some day …

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