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Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?

The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 28, 2011 - 34 comments

“An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.”

Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance – In 1798
posted by cthuljew on Jan 20, 2011 - 48 comments

Doomed bill HR 2 passes the House

HR 2, officially the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act", has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 245 to 189. 3 Democrats (Reps. Boren (OK), McIntyre (NC), and Ross (AR)) joined all 242 Republicans voting Aye. The bill will not be brought for a vote in the Senate, nor would it escape veto by President Obama. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jan 19, 2011 - 177 comments

Who Is Paying Your Doctor?

As a result of legal settlements, 7 of the major drug companies, representing a little over 1/3 of the prescription drug market in the US, are publishing their direct payments to physicians and other medical professionals. All payments are supposed to be published by 2013. Would it bother you to know that your doctor was making a decent part-time income from promoting specific prescription drugs on the side?
posted by COD on Jan 12, 2011 - 87 comments

The tax cut created in the new health care reform law providing small businesses with an incentive to give health benefits to employees is working.

Major health insurance companies around the country are reporting a significant increase in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees. (via Forbes)
posted by bricksNmortar on Jan 11, 2011 - 76 comments

2010: The Year in Data Breaches

Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Dec 28, 2010 - 26 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

AMA's RUC operating on dollars

Shadofax at MovingMeat has an interesting writeup about two WSJ articles on the AMA's RUC and warring specialities. [more inside]
posted by cftarnas on Oct 28, 2010 - 6 comments

The truth about the "public option".

According to Tom Daschle, the "public option" for healthcare reform was never really on the table.
posted by jhandey on Oct 6, 2010 - 232 comments

If you were the one who had metastatic cancer, what would you want your doctors to do?

What should medicine do when it can't save your life? Atul Gawande looks at the system of final-stage treatment for terminal patients, which, despite more than 40 years of a hospice movement for better end of life care, often ensures that patients die exactly how they least want to: in a hospital, hooked up to machines. Gawande tries to envision how, "when the chemotherapy stops working, when we start needing oxygen at home, when we face high-risk surgery, when the liver failure keeps progressing, when we become unable to dress ourselves" medical care can focus on quality of life, rather than prolonging it. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 26, 2010 - 36 comments

Obama Administration Applies Stupak Amendment to High Risk Pools

Although the Stupak amendment was defeated, women in the new high risk pools will be denied coverage for abortion. The "clarification" from the administration comes in the wake of a scuffle over Pennsylvania's plan to provide abortion coverage. Hopefully, building criticism will have an effect.
posted by stoneweaver on Jul 16, 2010 - 24 comments

"If not now, when? If not us, who?"

Kabuki Democracy: Why a Progressive Presidency Is Impossible, for Now. And what we should do about it. (one-page link)
posted by mek on Jul 12, 2010 - 96 comments

Fighting to Return My Obligation to the American Taxpayer

Dirty Medicine — How medical supply behemoths stick it to the little guy, making America’s health care system more dangerous and expensive. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 12, 2010 - 14 comments

Healthcare.gov

On July 1st, the US Department of Health and Human Services launched the website Healthcare.gov to explain changes that will occur by 2014 because of healthcare reform. It describes the reforms, and also suggests options for those who need insurance. Meanwhile, there are 80 signatures on a congressional petition by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to repeal the bill via the House. The petition was started with the support of the Heritage Foundation.
posted by mccarty.tim on Jul 2, 2010 - 26 comments

Doctors, Not Gods

What US Health Care Needs Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. (via)
posted by kliuless on Jun 21, 2010 - 43 comments

give up that dream

It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream! Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Apr 24, 2010 - 51 comments

Does it come in size BFD too?

The votes are in, the people have spoken. An official commemorative health reform t-shirt design has been chosen and is now on sale at Organizing for America. The Vice President must be so proud.
posted by booksherpa on Apr 13, 2010 - 47 comments

America: Have vs Have-not

The Obama Coalition "These general findings suggest the possibility that the political strength of voters whose convictions are perhaps best described as Social Democratic in the European sense is reaching a significant level in the United States. With effective organization and mobilization, such voters are positioned to set the agenda in the Democratic Party in the near future."
posted by Glibpaxman on Apr 4, 2010 - 37 comments

Good luck, America.

The New York Times has published an informative graphic realization of projected costs and likely funding sources for the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). [more inside]
posted by paulsc on Apr 3, 2010 - 40 comments

Is Nancy Pelosi the most powerful woman in American history?

Is Nancy Pelosi the most powerful woman in American history?
posted by modernnomad on Mar 27, 2010 - 106 comments

They probably refer to themselves as 'Freedom Fighters'

Following the vote on Sunday, Mike Troxel of the Lynchburg Tea Party posted the address of what he thought was Dem Rep Tom Perriello, with the comment that activists should add a "personal touch" to their anger at Periello -- who voted yes on the health care bill -- by going to his house. It turns out the address was actually Perriello's brother's house, and the FBI are currently investigating the cut gas line that was discovered the next day. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Mar 24, 2010 - 380 comments

The Borg, and health care reform

In honor of the Health Care Reform bill that passed on Sunday, here is a 1992 episode of Star Trek: "I, Borg" (2, 3, 4, 5). It is one of the unsung heroes of healthcare reform. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla on Mar 23, 2010 - 79 comments

HCR passes the house.

House passes Healthcare reform. All that's left is voting on a reconciliation package for the senate to sign. But the house has passed the senate bill, which means this is basically a done deal. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Mar 21, 2010 - 910 comments

Bitter tea

Getting ugly at the tea party protests today.
posted by kgasmart on Mar 20, 2010 - 1454 comments

Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage.

"In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance. Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis [now Assurant Health], revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Mar 17, 2010 - 139 comments

Finding patients like me

Do you have a life-changing medical condition? Patientslikeme (mentioned previously in a 2008 post on mood conditions) is a way for you share information online with other people who have the same condition. Some of the conditions with groups established already are epilepsy, depression, and Multiple Sclerosis. Started by 3 MIT engineers who had personal experiences with ALS (Lou Gherig's disease), the site is funded by partnerships with healthcare providers who have access to anonymised data about the member base. The stated goal in their Openness Policy is to speed up the pace of research and help fix the broken (US) health system. The Privacy Policy has a plain-English description of what happens to information that members share.
posted by harriet vane on Mar 16, 2010 - 15 comments

Testing, Testing

Atul Gawande offers a way for health care to be improved through experimentation and pilot programs, much as agriculture was in 20th century
posted by reenum on Feb 27, 2010 - 24 comments

PhRMA is ... exactly what it sounds like

The Legacy of Billy Tauzin: Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation details the complicated set of meetings that allowed the now retiring head of prescription drug lobby group PhRMA (derided in a popular Obama campaign spot) to secure influence on the health care bill in exchange for their endorsement. The White House officially announced its health care plan today. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Feb 22, 2010 - 19 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

Elizabeth Drew on the state of US health care reform

Is There Life in Health Care Reform? Elizabeth Drew analyzes the current prospects for US health care reform, in the New York Review of Books. Logically, there should still be a way to get a bill passed. But logic went out the window on January 19. The situation was as much psychodrama as legislative stalemate. The perfectly reasonable argument was made to Democrats in Congress, mainly by the administration, that, having voted for the bill already, it would be worse for them to fail to pass it than to pass it, but this seemed not to be heard.
posted by russilwvong on Feb 16, 2010 - 213 comments

Health Care: Who Knows 'Best'?

Health Care: Who Knows 'Best'? "...comparative research on effectiveness is only part of the strategy to improve care. A second science has captured the imagination of policymakers in the White House: behavioral economics. This field attempts to explain pitfalls in reasoning and judgment that cause people to make apparently wrong decisions; its adherents believe in policies that protect against unsound clinical choices. But there is a schism between presidential advisers in their thinking over whether legislation should be coercive, aggressively pushing doctors and patients to do what the government defines as best, or whether it should be respectful of their own autonomy in making decisions. The President and Congress appear to be of two minds. How this difference is resolved will profoundly shape the culture of health care in America." Interesting NY Review of Books article by Jerome Groopman.
posted by cog_nate on Feb 8, 2010 - 29 comments

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams (no stranger to Metafilter) has travelled to an unspecified location in the United States to have heart surgery.

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams (no stranger to Metafilter) has travelled to an unspecified location in the United States to have heart surgery. [more inside]
posted by Hiker on Feb 7, 2010 - 59 comments

Kiss U.S. Healthcare Reform Goodbye

Republican Scott Brown has defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's former senate seat. [more inside]
posted by notswedish on Jan 19, 2010 - 622 comments

When transphobia interferes with quality healthcare

"Melissa" (name changed for privacy) is a transwoman who was badly injured in a car accident and is in hospital in critical condition. While in treatment, some of the medical staff and her family decided that since she still had a "male" body, to make things "less confusing", they will erase 4 years of her female identity by referring to her as a man and taking her off her hormone therapy. (Warning: possible triggers) As little light puts it:
And if she woke up as from a deep sleep, she’d wake up into a world where her best friend was dead, where her body had been forcibly edited back to its pre-transition state and given a few more years of the influence of testosterone to boot, where her memory and self were hazy and confusing and nobody was calling her by the right name and pronouns, they were in fact pretending four years of her life, the four years she finally got to be honest and true to herself, those had never happened, and shh, she’s just confused, shhhh, calm down, let’s work on fixing your memory some more.
[more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 13, 2010 - 147 comments

HCR: Naughty or Nice?

Landmark health care reform legislation passes senate on a Christmas-eve party line vote. So after a turbulent and contentious legislative process with many sudden reversals and last minute surprises, what's actually in the bill? NPR offers a "Consumer's Guide" to the form the final, reconciled legislation now seems likeliest to take. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Dec 24, 2009 - 111 comments

Single Link Wire-Filter

You’re going to hire people to guard your sh*t, but you’re not going to give them health care. Vice has a long spoiler- and profanity-laden interview with The Wire creator David Simon, running the gamut from backstage Wire details to the media's obsession with "the Dickensian aspect" to his next series (set in New Orleans) to Joe Lieberman to this fight he almost got in at a concert one time. Via /Film.
posted by gerryblog on Dec 17, 2009 - 41 comments

Politics is about rewarding friends and punishing flip-floppers.

The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn declares the public option dead. "The Senate isn't going to include any version of the idea in its bill. And while the House can still demand a public option in conference, nobody I know expects the House to prevail." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 15, 2009 - 584 comments

Senate Sends Health Care Bill to Floor

The Senate votes to bring health care bill (text in an amendment) to floor, 60-39. Major concessions extracted by holdout senators. Other analysis here and here. Differences between this and the House bill.
posted by shivohum on Nov 22, 2009 - 74 comments

How Tyler Cowen Would Fix the Current Healthcare Bill

What should we do instead of the Obama health reform bill?
posted by reenum on Nov 20, 2009 - 99 comments

How will the jobless afford such a thing?

Lawmakers attempt to target elective cosmetic surgery to pay for health reform in the United States. Simply an inviting target? The idea isn't that new, it was shelved once before. Now it's back. There is opposition as botox sales have already been dropping off.
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 20, 2009 - 31 comments

Mammograms for some, miniature American flags for others!

Yesterday, the little-noticed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force caused a stir by releasing new guidelines discouraging routine mammography for women under age 50 and breast self-examinations at any age. (Comparison chart of new and old guidelines here.) The American Cancer Society immediately registered its strong disagreement; meanwhile, the National Breast Cancer Coalition came out in strong support of the new guidelines, saying:
The over-emphasis on the importance of screening, despite a lack of strong evidence, has been elevated to such a degree that some even equate screening with prevention of breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Coalition hopes that today’s release of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revised recommendations will put the brakes on this run-away train and will put screening and its limitations into proper perspective.
[more inside]
posted by iminurmefi on Nov 17, 2009 - 64 comments

Health Care Has Passed

The House of Representatives just passed the health reform bill in a vote of 220-215.
posted by reenum on Nov 7, 2009 - 425 comments

This one's a keeper!

Representative Alan Grayson (Dem- Florida) has recently been supporting the Democrats health care plan. Well, 'support' is an understatement. His first speech on the subject outlined the Republicans plan: "Don't get sick. And if you do, die quickly." After mass outrage from the GOP, Grayson made an apology, but not to the GOP. Instead, he apologized to the 44,000 Americans who die each year due to lack of insurance. Yesterday, Grayson took the floor and named the number of people expected to die in each Republican representative district. This time, the Republicans tried to stop him.
posted by Taft on Nov 5, 2009 - 169 comments

Walkin' Tall

Health Care debate summarized via massive pig
posted by Taft on Nov 2, 2009 - 25 comments

Rip off.

An insurance industry CEO explains why health care in the U.S. costs so much. Full set of charts here (1.29 mb pdf)
posted by gman on Nov 2, 2009 - 89 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

google ron wyden

Health care around the world
-Hawaii: The state has had success over 35 years of requiring employers to provide health care benefits.
-Singapore: Its health care is first class, cheap and market-driven.
-Taiwan: "more than 80 percent of the population is happy with the system"
-China: "300 million people have no coverage at all"
-Dutch: "America is going to go Dutch"
-US: "I just wanted to flag for colleagues that their bosses should be careful using the talking point that under the Dem bill, Americans who don't like the coverage they have, will be able to choose something else... more than 90 percent of Americans will remain barred from shopping for insurance in the exchange."
posted by kliuless on Oct 23, 2009 - 45 comments

Do you want to die in jail?

They were very resentful about people in prison for horrendous crimes getting better medical care than their families.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker on Oct 17, 2009 - 46 comments

Your roots are showing

Rachel Maddow interviews Americans for Prosperity's Tim Phillips. [more inside]
posted by sloe on Oct 16, 2009 - 54 comments

Health care plan clears major hurdle

The Senate Finance Committee has approved the plan proposed by Max Baucus.
posted by reenum on Oct 13, 2009 - 177 comments

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