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US health care ranked last among 11 developed countries

How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally - "The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. Among the 11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last or near last on dimensions of access, efficiency, and equity." [full report (pdf)] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 17, 2014 - 71 comments

Congress examines single-payer healthcare EEK SOCIALISM!!!

Six years ago, PBS's feature documentary program, Frontline, aired Sick Around the World, a documentary examining health care systems around the world -- and specifically how all those featured were generally superior to the American system. (2008 MeFi post) Today, the American Senate subcommittee on primary health and aging brought the debate over single-payer care to Washington. C-SPAN has a fine video of the hearing, which features seven witness representing health care systems and think tanks from around the US and the world. [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on Mar 12, 2014 - 57 comments

How Obama's tech team saved his presidency a second time

Inside the Nightmare Launch of HealthCare.Gov - "Unknown to a nation following the fiasco, McDonough's assignment from the President had boiled down to something more dire than how to fix the site. As the chief of staff remembers his mission, it was 'Can it be patched and improved to work, or does it need to be scrapped to start over? He wanted to know if this thing is salvageable.' Yes, on Oct. 17, the President was thinking of scrapping the whole thing and starting over." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 3, 2014 - 120 comments

Life After Jan. 1

As a result of new coverage under the ACA, many previously uninsured people in eastern Kentucky are giving the nation a glimpse of life under the new health care law.
posted by reenum on Feb 3, 2014 - 132 comments

Obamacare "horror stories"

"Obamacare horror stories" where innocent citizens are losing their insurance and being forced to pay astronomical costs for new plans on the exchanges are being reported by some media outlets. The problem is that most of these stories don't survive further scrutiny. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 7, 2014 - 129 comments

The Ultimate (Frisbee) Argument For Visiting Healthcare.gov

John Hodgman posted about the ACA, which led his followers to tweet him about the various health problems they had encountered and the effect insurance or a lack thereof had to their lives. Hodgman retweeted many of the stories from people in their 20's and then posted 17 reasons for young people to get insured to his blog.
posted by reenum on Oct 9, 2013 - 189 comments

"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that). "Continuing resolutions" have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda). National parks are closed, contractors are hamstrung, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule" and passes a bill the other branches can agree to. In the other corner, heedless of the chaos (though not without glitches of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges. The portal at Healthcare.gov is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage with premium rebates, guaranteed coverage, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states). A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 1, 2013 - 2207 comments

Distance equation

  1. It is strange, in my opinion, that the insurance market has evolved so, that so few individuals understand the fundamentals of the medical insurance plans they are insured under."
  2. Among the 19% polled who are uninsured, nearly four in 10 don't realize the law requires them to get health insurance next year. Among young people, whose participation is seen as crucial for the exchanges to work, just 56% realize there's a mandate to be insured or face a fine.
  3. Health policy is an extremely personal and complicated topic... Observing historical patterns of attempted healthcare reform and backlash towards these reforms, we may begin to understand what is keeping such a prominent and promising nation from enlisting a social contract of health.

posted by four panels on Sep 26, 2013 - 172 comments

A salt assault

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater - a brief story of the humble bag of saline solution given intravenously at ERs and hospitals, and how one unit of it can be marked up from 86 cents to $91 when given to patients
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2013 - 69 comments

Sick Costs.

John Green: "Why Are Americans Health Care Costs So High?" A quick, handy little overview of common misconceptions on the US healthcare system. (SLYT)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 22, 2013 - 73 comments

"We’re going from Bergdorf’s to Filene's here."

The New York Times is reporting that state health insurance regulators have approved 2014 prices for individual health insurance (SLNYT) in New York State that are on average 50% lower than 2013 rates. [more inside]
posted by medusa on Jul 17, 2013 - 149 comments

Cat Bites Man. Hospital Charges $55k.

Call it the $55,000 cat bite.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jan 28, 2013 - 205 comments

The Costs and Solutions to American Health Care

Three excerpts from David Goldhill's new book on American health care:

Part One: Focus on Health-Care Costs Causes More Spending

Part Two: Obamacare Math Doesn't Add Up to a Healthier U.S.

Part Three: To Fix Health Care, Turn Patients Into Customers [more inside]
posted by hopeless romantique on Jan 7, 2013 - 109 comments

Tie game. Bottom of the 9th. Bases loaded. Two outs. Three balls. Two strikes. And the pitch...

In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law. The product of a strict party line vote following a year century of debate, disinformation, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act would (among other popular reforms) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions. The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives (including presidential contender Mitt Romney) is the central question facing the justices today. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state. But despite the pessimism of bettors, some believe the Court will demur, wary of damaging its already-fragile reputation with another partisan 5-4 decision. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 28, 2012 - 1173 comments

My breast has fallen off. Can you reattach it?

Since she is not truly an emergency patient, she is triaged to the back of the line, and other folks, those in immediate distress, get in for treatment ahead of her. She waits on a gurney in a cavernous green hallway. The “chief complaint” on her chart at Grady Memorial Hospital, in Downtown Atlanta, might have set off a wave of nausea in a hospital at a white suburb or almost any place in the civilized world. It reads, “My breast has fallen off. Can you reattach it?” (via Boing Boing) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 24, 2012 - 103 comments

Insurance. The numbers just. Don't. Work.

Kevin Zelnio is a science writer with a degree in marine biology. He is the father of two children. And, like many in this country, he has no insurance. Earlier this week, his 6 year-old developed pneumonia.This is his account of what happened.
posted by Laminda on Feb 11, 2012 - 201 comments

Women's health care: now without co-pays

Effective January 1, 2013, United States insurers will now be required to make a variety of medical procedures and medications available without copay as part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Although the availability of prescribed birth control without copay is likely to have the widest effect, the plan also includes breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual well-woman examination, and testing for gestational diabetes and the virus that causes cervical cancer, as well as other services related to women's health. [more inside]
posted by catlet on Aug 1, 2011 - 110 comments

Choose Life.

It's Only Rape if They Say So House Republicans decide to fight abortion access by redefining rape.
posted by emjaybee on Jan 28, 2011 - 168 comments

Getting what we pay for

Per capita US spending on health care in 2008 exceeded $7500-- more than any other OECD nation, half again the spending of the runner-up [PDF], and double its spending in 1990. Why? Aaron Carroll of the Incidental Economist explains in 12 parts. [more inside]
posted by nathan v on Dec 3, 2010 - 41 comments

Will marry for health insurance

Will marry for health insurance. "They're not going to pass health-care reform, so what are my options? Friends and I were joking, and one friend said,'Well, you could always marry some guy who has a good policy.' And I thought, You know what. That's crazy. That's unbelievable, but it's my only option." [more inside]
posted by velvet winter on Feb 19, 2010 - 179 comments

Sen. Lieberman (I - Aetna).

Joe Lieberman... Deal or No Deal?! (SLYT) A campaign ad for Ned Lamont has suddenly become very relevant, considering Sen. Joe Lieberman's recent statement threatening to block any health care legislation with a public option. "I accused him of, after 20 years, dithering on that topic," said Ned Lamont yesterday. "As far as I can tell, a filibuster is one more dither."
posted by markkraft on Oct 28, 2009 - 123 comments

insurance companies need our support

something terrible is happening
posted by philip-random on Sep 23, 2009 - 24 comments

Healthcare on 4 Napkins.

The healthcare debate explained on the back of 4 napkins. Napkin 1: The health care equation. Napkin 2: It's not about health care. Napkin 3: The plans on the table. Napkin 4: What's it mean to me?
posted by lunit on Aug 26, 2009 - 95 comments

A very good article on health care economics

How American Health Care Killed My Father After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem. (via mr) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 18, 2009 - 144 comments

Where do you get your health insurance from?

A simple question shows how complex the issue is. Chris at "Cynical C" asks his fellow citizens where they get thier health care (insurance) from and the incredible diversity of the current options and situations is immediately apparent. Quite spontaneously (but surely not unexpectedly), the question of "How much does it cost you?" becomes an essential part of the answers. Outsiders opine and tell stories and commiserate. [more inside]
posted by sid abotu on Aug 4, 2009 - 117 comments

healthcare the safe way?

How Safeway Is Cutting Health-Care Costs - "At Safeway we believe that well-designed health-care reform, utilizing market-based solutions, can ultimately reduce our nation's health-care bill by 40%. The key to achieving these savings is health-care plans that reward healthy behavior... 70% of all health-care costs are the direct result of behavior... 74% of all costs are confined to four chronic conditions (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity). Furthermore, 80% of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is preventable, 60% of cancers are preventable, and more than 90% of obesity is preventable." [1,2] cf. Wyden's Third Way & Healthcare CEOs Shoot Themselves in the Foot [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 21, 2009 - 130 comments

“I want you to know I care deeply about your views”

Single-payer health care advocates arrested at Senate hearing. On May 5, 2009 advocates of a U.S. national health care program disrupted a Senate Finance Committee event to call for single-payer healthcare to be part of the discussion. The eight protesters were subsequently arrested. The protesters included representatives of Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors the The United States National Health Care Act, H.R. 676. Committee Chair Max Baucus (D - Montana), who has received more money in contributions from health insurance companies than any other member of Congress, favors requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance from those companies. Baucus, who has previously said that single-payer is "off the table," responded to the doctors and their fellow activists with, “I want you to know I care deeply about your views," and then, "we need more police [to eject protesters]."
posted by univac on May 6, 2009 - 146 comments

Gorilla Hospitals

The invisible hand of the Free Market guides insurance payments to hospitals "Call it the best-kept secret in Massachusetts medicine: Health insurance companies pay a handful of hospitals far more for the same work even when there is no evidence that the higher-priced care produces healthier patients. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true: Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, earns 15 percent more than Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treating heart-failure patients even though government figures show that Beth Israel has for years reported lower patient death rates."
posted by Kirth Gerson on Nov 19, 2008 - 29 comments

"It seems like a money-saving exercise," she said. "If a patient dies, tough."

£35,000-a-year kidney cancer drugs too costly for NHS: Sutent offers to extend a kidney or GIST cancer patient's life by about 26 months, but the British NHS refuses to fund it, citing "marginal benefit at quite often an extreme cost."
posted by anotherpanacea on Nov 17, 2008 - 47 comments

The Prognosis, Doc?

Two years since Massachusetts instituted major statewide healthcare reform, the statistics are coming in. 340,000 residents, roughly half the state's previously uninsured, are now insured. The state says that 95% of its population is now covered, based on Department of Revenue estimates. However, a large portion of them are enrolled through state-subsidized insurance programs, and those program's rate of enrollment have far outpaced estimates. This has led lawmakers to forsee a budget shortfall. Premiums and co-pays are going up, cigarette taxes have increased, and a cost control proposal is making its way through the legislature. Assessments have been all over the map.
posted by Weebot on Jul 2, 2008 - 79 comments

Closer to the heart

"In 2003, Americans spent an estimated US$5,635 per capita on health care, while Canadians spent US$3,003... Canada’s single-payer system, which relies on not-for-profit delivery, achieves health outcomes that are at least equal to those in the United States at two-thirds the cost." What do wealthy, educated Americans living in Canada think?
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 3, 2007 - 137 comments

Elect Susie!

Millions of uninsured children in this country. Even with public assistance, they teeter on the brink of a catastrophic illness. What's the answer? Elect Susie!
posted by Mur on May 17, 2007 - 33 comments

Mr. Universe's muscular agenda

California's Governor Seeks Universal Care: Under a plan by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California would become the largest state to attempt to provide near universal health coverage.
posted by kliuless on Jan 8, 2007 - 53 comments

Coverage with Evidence Development

Coverage with Evidence Development. Never heard of it? Me neither, until today. It's what they call this idea: if you want to be covered by Medicare, you're forced to participate in medical research. The AMA approves (article abstract only). So much for informed consent.
posted by ikkyu2 on Sep 4, 2006 - 26 comments

I bet you look real purty in a burka, baby...

The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S. 1955) has passed out of committee and is now slated for a floor vote. The bill is ostensibly designed to save small employers money and extend health insurance options to employees who hadn’t had them. What it is actually likely to do is end basic health insurance coverage for women (and diabetics); birth control, regularly taken prescriptions, cancer screenings, maternity care, and more. Women in every state will lose benefits. S. 1955 would allow insurance plans to ignore important state laws that protect patients, directly affecting more than 90 million Americans. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on May 2, 2006 - 42 comments

Broken promises, broken hearts

The New England Journal of Medicine published several articles this week on remaining, statistically significant gender and racial disparities in the quantity and quality of various medical procedures and care management resources made available to black and white Americans. These disparities may possibly help our understanding of the cause of some of the unexplained differences in mortality rates between populations. "Although the reasons for these differences are unknown, their persistence emphasizes the need for a continued search for explanations so that inequities in clinical care may be eliminated..." (registration req'd)
posted by Rothko on Aug 19, 2005 - 23 comments

The healthiest states in America

The healthiest states in America "Louisiana finished last, preceded by Mississippi (49), South Carolina (48), West Virginia (47), and Florida (46)... Minnesota captured first place by scoring highest overall in categories measuring access to health care, disability, disease, mortality, and occupational safety." full report here.
posted by kliuless on Dec 2, 2001 - 9 comments

Health Care For Youngest Americans...or Sneak Attack On Pro-Choice Lobby?

Health Care For Youngest Americans...or Sneak Attack On Pro-Choice Lobby? Interesting proposal from HHS...guaranteed to fan the flames of what has been called the "most divisive issue in modern America." Should a fetus be classified as a "beneficiary" of health care benefits under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)? If this proposal is approved, will it forever change the debate?
posted by davidmsc on Jul 7, 2001 - 10 comments

Doggy PPO/HMO

Doggy PPO/HMO, I saw on the news tonight where local companies are offering Healthcare plans for their pets as an added employment bonus. "Annual exams and annual vaccines are provided in FULL at NO charge. Extensive veterinary services are provided at significantly reduced fees. Office visits are only $15.00 which is a significant savings for United Pet Care members." How cool is that?
posted by 120degrees on Jul 12, 2000 - 1 comment

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