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Health Care Politics

Notes from a Hearing on Sen. Murray's Cost Control Bill

Here's the State House News Service account of today's hearing in Gardner Auditorium: Senate President Therese Murray's health care cost control legislation received mostly positive reviews during a public hearing on it Wednesday afternoon, although some said it didn’t go far enough and others warned of unintended consequences. With health care costs gobbling up larger portions of government, business and household budgets, those who turned out for the hearing said cost control is critical and that while the legislation could be improved, it sets the state off in an important and correct... Read more »

Cost Control: What Are YOUR Ideas...?

See Andrew Shalit's comment on yesterday's post re: Sen. Pres. Murray's cost control package: Andrew Shalit Says: March 4th, 2008 at 1:25 am e Do these cost control measures include any steps to target the outrageously high c-section rate in Massachusetts? There is no reason that 30% of births in Massachusetts should be performed by c-section. Every c-section birth costs several thousand dollars more than a vaginal birth. (The last estimate I saw put it at about $7,000 more per birth.) Multiply that out, and you have potential savings in the tens of millions of dollars annually, possibly over... Read more »

Health Experts Decry "Harry & Louise" Tactics

Nineteen health policy experts (one MA signer -- MIT's Jon Gruber) issue an open letter to presidential candidates complaining about the tone of the dialogue on health care, key excerpt: Unfortunately, the Obama campaign is circulating in Ohio and elsewhere its “Harry and Louise” mailers that unfairly and unconstructively attack Senator Clinton’s universal health care reform plan. These mailers purposely revive “Harry and Louise,” the actors hired by the insurance industry to help destroy health reform in the first Clinton Administration. They make the inaccurate claim that the plan would... Read more »

Poligraph Your Healthcare Position Vs. the Candidates

Check out this interesting "Health Care '08 Poligraph" by clicking here. See where all the presidential candidates stand on six health care issues, and chart your own views graphically in relation to theirs. A little simplistic, but pretty neat. Read more »

Health Care is THE Issue

Both Obama and Clinton are focusing on universal coverage in their latest TV ads: Read more »

Mandates and Demogoguery

From RJ Eskow at the Huffington Post, a balanced and thoughtful assessment of the national debate (including MA) over the individual mandate: Health-Care "Demogoguery"? Read more »

A Pessimist's View of Prospects for National Health Reform

If you missed it, don't miss Larry Brown's (Columbia University School of Public Health) pessimistic take on our nation's prospects for meaningful health reform in the 1/24/08 New England Journal of Medicine: The Amazing Noncollapsing U.S. Health Care System — Is Reform Finally at Hand? Money quote: Read more »

Patrick Calls Clinton Health Plan "Remarkably Similar" to Obama's

From today's State House News Service -- the increasingly bizarre health reform conversation: ...Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday evening said Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care plan is "remarkably similar" to rival Sen. Barack Obama's, even though his lacks an individual mandate. In one of their few overt policy differences, Obama has touted a health care plan without a mandate that would force individuals to purchase health insurance. Clinton's plan has been compared to Massachusetts's health care reform effort because of its reliance on a mandate for individuals to purchase insurance. Read more »

Why Republican Presidential Candidates Don't Talk about the Uninsured...

...The answer is here. Thanks to a the Pew Research Center. A poll on what voters in each party think should be a "top priority" for the new President and the new Congress. Support for addressing the uninsured: 65% of Democrats and 27% of Republicans -- the largest difference on any issue in the survey between Ds and Rs. More than climate change, more than crime, more than immigration. Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish (my very favorite blog, I confess).John McDonough Read more »

Checklist Redux II: NIH Is Nuts

So last we heard, the incredibly promising quality intervention known as the simple "checklist" had been blocked by a National Insitutes of Health requirement for human subjects review everytime any institution wanted to use it. (Click here and click here for our prior posts on this subject.) Not so, says NIH. Institutions are free to use the checklist anytime they want so long as they do NOT study the results. If they do want to study the results, they have to get permission from every physician and every patient on whom the checklist is used. We're not making this up. Today's New York... Read more »

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