U.S. health-care spending may double
U.S. health-care spending may double by 2017 to $4.3 trillion, 19.5 percent of the gross domestic product, The Washington Post reported Feb. 26. Health-care spending in 2006 grew to $2.1 trillion, 16 percent of gross domestic product.
California creates volunteerism post
California is elevating its volunteerism commission to a cabinet-level office, the first such position in the U.S., The New York Times reported Feb. 26. The state, which marshals thousands of volunteers during its frequent natural disasters, decided greater coordination was needed after a recent oil-spill clean-up.
New York Philharmonic plays North Korea
The New York Philharmonic played a historic concert in North Korea, The New York Times reported Feb. 27. Traditional Korean folk songs and the American national anthem elicited emotional responses from audience and musicians alike.
Wal-Mart giving grows
Wal-Mart increased its U.S. charitable giving 8 percent last year, The Associated Press reported Feb. 25. While the increase was slower than profit growth and below its 2006 increase, the company expects to retain its position as the nation’s largest corporate donor. Wal-Mart says its international giving grew nearly 50 percent in 2007.
Surgeon shortage threatens rural America
A surgeon shortage is threatening the health care of 54 million rural Americans, USAToday reported Feb. 26. The crisis is rooted in the 1980s, when U.S. medical schools capped enrollments, fearing a glut of doctors in the wake of increasing influence by managed health care.
Group pushes pro bono for architects
San Francisco nonprofit Public Architecture aims to make pro-bono work an industry-wide standard, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Feb. 26. The organization hopes to get architectural firms to donate 1 percent of their annual billable hours to socially responsible projects.
Churches battle health-care costs
Church leaders are finding themselves caught between caring for their ministers and managing budgets, as health-care costs escalate and membership and donations dwindle, The Washington Post reported Feb. 23. Some are finding the solution is to encourage pastors to get healthier.
British museums consider attic clean-out
Museums should safeguard their collections against the dictatorship of passing trends, instead of selling off unfashionable works to fund cafés and computer lounges, wrote Jonathan Jones in a blog for The Guardian. Jones responded to an opinion column by Susan Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, suggesting a “new code of ethics” for Britain’s museums.