Taunter shreds health insurers' claims that rescission is rare

Cross-posted from The Economic Populist

A big tip'o the hat to okanogen at CorrenteWire for picking up this one: Death by Math.

Taunter analyzes the statement by Assurant CEO Don Hamm’s that "Rescission is rare." Rescission is when a health insurer cancels a policy, usually because the insured "lied" on the original application, usually by failing to disclose a previous condition. If you haven't heard the horror stories of people who required costly medical care only to be dropped by their health insurer, you haven't been paying attention to the world around you. In fact, the insurers have computer programs that screen their policy holders for a list of diseases and illnesses in order to drop those policy holders. Here is what Hamm told Congress in his prepared remarks to the Hearing of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on June 16 this year:


Open Thread -- Are Teachers Losing Their Marbles?

In a story published on Friday, April 25 by REUTERS, writer Julie Steenhuysen informs us of a study by Ohio State University research scientists that recently appeared in the journal Science:


The findings cast doubt on the widely used practice among elementary and middle schools in the United States and elsewhere of using friendly, concrete examples to teach abstract math concepts.

The study found that students who learned math concepts using abstract symbols first fared better than those who learned the concepts using real-world examples,1 and that the abstract-first students were better able to apply the concepts to a variety of situations.

Researcher Jennifer Kaminski stated that this doesn't mean real-world examples or story problems should just go away, however. According to Kaminski, story problems provide a a method for testing whether a student has mastered the abstract concept.

This is an Open Thread.



  1. Real-world examples described in the article included using marbles for discussing probability or "story problems" ('a train leaves Chicago at 3:00...') to teach other abstract concepts.