Tuesday, January 17, 2012 3:21 PM
We ought to put aside our extremism and come together to find common solutions, goes the conventional wisdom—and you can see where that kind of thinking has gotten us.
Well, it’s time to reject this middling middle-of-the-roadism and take a stand, writes Paul Starr in The American Prospect. For the “fanatics of the center” are just as dangerous as the fanatics of the margins. They “believe so deeply in the spirit of compromise that their commitment to it is uncompromising,” he explains. “Every time Republicans move to the right, Democrats are supposed to be willing to find common ground by moving further to the right, too. Civic virtue positively requires it.”
Starr singles out for particular ridicule the Americans Elect third party, which would back only bipartisan presidential tickets, and their most supportive pundit, Thomas Friedman, who last July wrote a breathless column about how Americans Elect will “let the people in.”
Don’t buy what he’s selling, writes Starr:
The history of climate policy and health-care reform is instructive. On climate policy, moderates in recent decades urged Democrats to support a market-oriented approach known as cap-and-trade in the interests of compromise. On health-care reform, they also urged Democrats to accept a market-oriented approach—private health-insurance exchanges and an individual mandate—for the sake of bipartisanship. But when Democrats adopted these approaches, Republicans abandoned them and insisted that they were tantamount to socialism. … Instead of winning over conservative support, compromise has done nothing to discourage Republicans from moving to the right—and nothing to prevent the fanatics of the center from saying that Democrats are equally responsible for political gridlock because they haven’t compromised more.
“I don’t think you go to the middle,” Newt Gingrich recently told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “You bring the middle to you.” That’s not only good strategy; it also describes what conservative Republicans have succeeded in doing over the past 30 years. If Democrats are to reverse the political momentum on the right, they need to bring the middle to them.
Source: The American Prospect
Image by boklm, licensed under Creative Commons.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 1:22 PM
If you’ve been putting off that surgery because your basic health insurance doesn’t cover it and paying for it yourself is out of the question, as you’d have to sacrifice home and wealth along with your health, well, your answer may come with a vacation to Costa Rica. No, I’m not talking about the restorative qualities of a nice lounge on a white sandy beach, staring out at rolling ocean waves as dolphins arc in the distance and you sip a cocktail out of a coconut, dosing from time to time only to be woken up by the distant call of a toucan…sorry, got a little side tracked there; as I write it’s negative 10 with a windchill of minus 24 where I am. Anyway, while the relaxation offered by a good vacation may indeed serve you well, the cost of medical care abroad may serve you even better. Writing for 5280 Magazine Luc Hatlestad highlights the rise of medical tourism and posits that the practice has become a safe and affordable alternative to health care in the U.S.
Last year, Robin Lara flew more than 3,000 miles to see a dentist—in Costa Rica. Because her own insurance didn’t cover a series of dental implants she wanted, Lara decided to become just one more American to experience the growing trend of medical tourism….
The savings companies like MedVacation [a Denver-based medical tourism company] offer can be significant. Lara flew from her home in Sacramento, California, to Costa Rica for her dental work. MedVacation set it all up, including transportation between the airport, hotel, and dentist’s office. She’d been quoted between $15,000 and $20,000 for surgery in the States—none of it covered by insurance—but estimates she spent one-third to half of that through MedVacation. “The quality of the work is amazing, and the dentist was very friendly, professional, and sincere,” she says. “All anyone has to go on down there is their reputation, and they take that very seriously.”
It’s an interesting addition to the current health care debate—while some wait for certain parts of The Affordable Care Act to kick in and others try to dismantle it piece by piece. What do you think? Would you feel comfortable flying 3,000 miles to see a dentist or a surgeon? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: 5280 Magazine
Image by Nancy Pelosi, licensed under Creative Commons.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:26 PM
This article was originally published at
New Deal 2.0
Following last night’s State of the Union address—in which President Obama spoke briefly about the debate over the new health care law—comes this personal account from
Tim Price, a Junior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, about how an unexpected medical crises—and they usually are unexpected—changed his life. Like President Obama said in his speech, the law isn’t perfect, but as Mr. Price says in this piece
when it passed, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief for myself and countless others in my position.”
When I woke up on February 20th, 2008, I had no way of knowing that the day’s events would change my life forever. I was midway through my junior year of college, a political science major swept up in the thrill of a historic presidential election and eager to get to class and discuss the latest campaign developments. After having breakfast and checking a few of my favorite blogs, I gathered my books and headed out into a cold but sunny winter morning.
The walk from the front door of my house to the bus stop wasn’t a long one, but it was made treacherous by the need to cross a busy and poorly marked service road. I stood at the corner and waited for the walk sign to change, unwilling to take any chances. Unfortunately, the driver of the large white van that ran me down wasn’t so conscientious. Halfway through the crosswalk I saw him blow the light and swerve toward me. I knew I couldn’t get out of the way in time, so I waved my arms to signal for him to stop. He didn’t.
I’ll spare you the gory details of what came next, but suffice to say I never made it to class. Broken, bruised, and burned, I spent weeks in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries to mend injuries that probably would have killed an older man outright. (”Do you have any medical conditions we should know about?” a doctor asked me through the haze of morphine. “You mean aside from being run over?” I groaned.) I was grateful to be alive, but I knew I had a long recovery ahead of me — one that would be measured in years rather than months — and I knew it was going to cost me. Suddenly, the health care debate playing out on TV wasn’t so abstract. If I was a “young invincible,” I’d just been struck by a Kryptonite meteor.
As a full-time college student, I was fortunate enough to be covered under my mother’s employer-provided health insurance at the time of the accident. But that did little to set my mind at ease about the future. The economy collapsed a few months into my recovery, and even with my graduation plans delayed, I knew I would soon age out of my mother’s group plan and be thrust into the worst job market in 80 years. Equally frightening was the possibility that I’d one day have to purchase insurance on my own and wind up being denied coverage due to my injuries. I knew that the definition of “pre-existing condition” tends to vary according to the insurer’s whims, but I was pretty sure that having more titanium rods and bolts inside me than the Six Million Dollar Man would not work in my favor.
Of course, the doctors and paramedics who saved my life would have done so even if I wasn’t insured, because (government intervention alert!) the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires it. It also would have left me footing a six-figure bill. I’d either have wound up even more broke than the typical college student or the hospital would have had to absorb most of the cost, which it would then pass on to everyone else. And all that doesn’t even begin to address how I would have obtained long-term treatment, like physical rehabilitation, additional surgeries, or pain medication. In short, unless we want to live in a society where EMTs find people bleeding in the street and stop to check their insurance cards, we have to accept that increasing access to health insurance leaves us all better off and is a legitimate use of Congress’s commerce powers.
The Affordable Care Act has many flaws, but when it passed, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief for myself and countless others in my position. I knew I’d be able to keep my mother’s insurance for several more years, giving me time to heal and to find a job with decent benefits. I also knew I’d no longer have to worry about an insurer looking at my medical history and finding some flimsy pretense to deny me coverage or rescind it without warning. That’s why the Republican Party’s current push to repeal the law (with the help of three Democrats) without offering any real alternative is so infuriating. Modern conservative ideology seems to treat lack of insurance as either a moral failing or an unavoidable byproduct of economic liberty. Either way, the repealers claim there’s nothing the government can or should do to help.
This callous disregard is understandable, if not excusable. The representatives leading the charge against “Obamacare” are generally affluent enough to afford gold-plated coverage even if it weren’t provided at the taxpayers’ expense. Having their savings wiped out by a hospital bill after a freak accident or serious illness just doesn’t keep them up at night. But what about their constituents? According to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have pre-existing conditions. This means, as Tim Noah puts it, that “[u]p to half of all Americans are stuck in their current jobs because if they leave they will likely find it very, very difficult to buy affordable health insurance.” The newly empowered GOP doesn’t have to lift a finger to address this; Democrats have already done the hard part. All Republicans need to do is stop trying to turn back the clock and acknowledge a simple fact: No matter how young and healthy we are, no matter how hard we work and how much we save, we can never be certain what’s around the next corner.
Tim Price is a Junior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.
Source: New Deal 2.0
Image by aflcio, licensed under Creative Commons.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 10:31 AM
Today, as Republicans take their first majority in the House since 2006, surgeon, New Yorker writer, and author of The Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande was on Democracy Now! talking about the return of the term “Death Panels” to our country’s debate on health care reform. Gawande calls the use of that term in the discussion a “travesty” and says, “End-of-life discussions are not death panels, but you say it over and over again, you brand it over and over again, and you begin to define what the meaning is of a major policy that’s passed.”
Related: Read Gawande’s “Letting Go” in The New Yorker, where he addressed the question, “What should medicine do when it can’t save your life?”
Monday, March 22, 2010 8:25 AM
From Jonathan Chait at the New Republic:
Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import. We don’t know what will follow in his presidency, and it’s quite possible that some future event—a war, a scandal—will define his presidency. But we do know that he has put his imprint on the structure of American government in a way that no Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson has.
From Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic:
Yes, in the end, he got all the primary delegates House votes he needed. Yes, he worked our last nerve to get there. But, yes, too, this is an important victory—the first true bloodied, grueling revelation that his persistence, another critical Obama quality, finally paid off in the presidency. He could have given up weeks ago, as the punditry advised (because they seem to have no grasp of substance and mere addiction to hour-to-hour political plays). But he refused. That took courage. And relentlessness.
From John Nichols in The Nation:
The rancorous debate over President Obama’s reform proposal was portrayed by much of our historically-disinclined media as an ugly degeneration of the body politic. In fact, the fight over health care reform has been no more difficult or disturbing than past fights for needed federal interventions.
Consider the battle of the mid-1930s over Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Social Security Act, which created what is now one of the most popular federal programs.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, recalled during Sunday evening’s debate that critics of Social Security denounced the reform as “the lash of the dictator.”
“Those slurs were false in 1935. They were false in 1965. And they are false in 2010,” declared Hoyer, as he argued that the similar slurs against Obama’s health care plan will be proven equally false.
Chris Hedges at Truthdig is not moved:
This bill is not about fiscal responsibility or the common good. The bill is about increasing corporate profit at taxpayer expense. It is the health care industry’s version of the Wall Street bailout. It lavishes hundreds of billions in government subsidies on insurance and drug companies. The some 3,000 health care lobbyists in Washington, whose dirty little hands are all over the bill, have once more betrayed the American people for money. The bill is another example of why change will never come from within the Democratic Party. The party is owned and managed by corporations.
Finally, Paul Waldman at The American Prospect:
Over the course of this debate, progressives have gotten used to beginning their comments on the various reform plans by saying, “It's not everything that I'd want, but…” And of course the bill that finally passed isn't perfect, which is why we should continue working to improve it in the coming months and years. But it is something extraordinary nevertheless, The passage of health-care reform is a huge benefit to lower- and middle-class Americans; finally, there is something resembling health security for all of us. Some of the most despicable misdeeds of the insurance companies have been put to an end, and a raft of programs have been put in place to help rein in costs. And that's just a few of the legislation's achievements. Millions upon millions of American lives will be improved by what Congress and the White House just did.
Sources: New Republic, The Atlantic, The Nation, Truthdig, The American Prospect
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:00 AM
In Nigeria, where 85 percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day, more than half of the country has mobile phone service. Cell phones are being used for health care, business, and to promote adult literacy. In Kenya, where the cheapest mobile phone costs about half the average monthly income, one cell phone service has more than 13 million subscribers.
Throughout Africa, Jenny C. Aker and Isaac M. Mbiti report for the Boston Review that “mobile phone use is booming despite high costs.” The phones are also making measurable improvements in people’s lives in the process. The authors make sure to provide plenty of fascinating examples, including these:
Health practitioners have been at the forefront of using mobile phones as a development tool in Africa. Mobile phone services monitor measles outbreaks in Zambia; support diagnosis and treatment by health workers in Mozambique; and disseminate health-education messages in Benin, Malawi, and Uganda. In Malawi mobile phones not only remind HIV-positive patients to take their anti-retroviral drugs, but also allow community health workers to share information on their patients status, saving considerable time and money.
Source: Boston Review (Article not yet available online.)
, licensed under
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:15 PM
Just in time for sounding extra-smart when discussing health care, Merrill Perlman dissects the finer points of how to correctly use insure, assure, and ensure for Columbia Journalism Review’s Language Corner. Allowing for the fluidity of English (and subtle, disputed uses), Perlman still manages to boil down general proper rules into one illustrative sentence: “In Washington, legislators are trying to ‘assure’ their constituents that they are working to ‘ensure’ that any new health-care bill will ‘insure’ them.”
Source: Columbia Journalism Review
Thursday, September 10, 2009 4:29 PM
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) issued his now infamous outburst—“You lie!”—during a very specific part of President Obama’s health care speech: the dismissal of claims that a new health care plan would cover “illegal” immigrants.
“In an instant, Wilson was willing to breach protocol, embarrass himself, and undermine his party—because he was so infuriated by the idea that Obama’s plan might provide care to a certain group of people,” Channing Kennedy writes on ColorLines’ blog RaceWire.
To illuminate why “our conversation around immigration [is] so often driven to extremes, both of language and of policy,” Kennedy points to a fantastic short video about the loaded term illegal featuring ColorLines publisher (and 2008 Utne visionary) Rinku Sen.
Source: RaceWire, ColorLines
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 3:16 PM
When assault rifle toting, anti-health care reform advocates stormed town hall meetings, many people thought it was big news. The bigger story, according to the Pew Research Center, was that Brett Favre was returning to professional football. A full 69 percent of people heard at least something about Favre returning to the NFL, while 66 percent heard about the gun-wielding protesters. Both of those stories trumped the news that former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced that he was pressured into fiddling with the terrorist threat levels for political purposes. Almost half (48 percent) of the people surveyed said they had heard nothing of Ridge’s allegations.
Source: Pew Research Center
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:44 AM
With the public option clinging to life and the health care debate drowning in a sea of hyperbole and lies, efforts to insert truth and nuance into the debate are constant, if not entirely successful.
Morning Edition spent eight minutes debunking myths about Britain's National Health Service in, which Republican Congressman Charles Grassley says would kill Ted Kennedy if it could only get its hands on him.
The Daily Dish has collected all of its View from Your Sickbed posts in one place. This moving series of posts from Daily Dish readers is as damning an indictment of the current sytem as any I've seen.
Foreign Policy takes the side door into the debate, placing a summary of the decisions that have shaped the current U.S. health care system at the end of a list of the world's worst healthcare reforms.
Meanwhile, the battle to discredit the Obama "death panels" rages. A new poll finds that 57% of Republicans either believe or are "not sure" about the truth of claims that President Obama and supporters of health care would murder the terminally ill. Thank you (again) Sarah Palin.
Sources: Morning Edition, Daily Dish, Foreign Policy
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:47 AM
Type-2 diabetes has reached epidemic levels in the United States and is particularly destructive in low-income and immigrant communities where, according to a New American Media report, language and education barriers affect “the patient’s ability to read food labels, track blood sugar levels, assess insulin amounts, record meal schedules and communicate with clinicians.”
A new program in San Francisco helps low-income and immigrant patients manage their diabetes over the telephone. Participants who enroll in the project—Improving Diabetes Efforts Across Language and Literacy (IDEALL)—aim to better control the disease and its associated health problems by receiving weekly phone calls from an automated telephone support system. Each call is delivered in the patient’s native language (English, Spanish, or Cantonese), and depending on his or her responses, the system generates information “regarding issues ranging from symptoms and taking prescribed medications to diet, physical activity, and self-monitoring of blood sugar.” If necessary, a nurse calls back for a “live” chat.
Dr. Dean Schillinger, director of San Francisco General Hospital’s Center for Vulnerable Populations, which runs the project, told New America Media: “We were really impressed that diabetes patients with limited literacy and limited English proficiency, who many health care workers consider to be ‘hard to reach,’ were the most likely to use this communication tool. . . . We found that better communication between a public health care system and the vulnerable populations they serve yielded concrete benefits.”
It looks like San Francisco wants to expand the program, and not a moment too soon: The University of California at San Francisco estimates that 3 million Californians—about 1 in 10 of the state’s residents—have the disease.
Source: New America Media
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:55 PM
Healing lepers, giving sight to the blind, the Bible portrays Jesus as a one-man health care reform plan. A significant portion of the gospels are devoted to the idea of healing the sick, and much of the political debate in Washington currently centers around the same idea. Karin Granberg-Michaelson writes for Sojourner’s, “Faith and healing are integrally related, as demonstrated in all the healings recorded in Scripture.”
Beyond political reform, Granberg-Michaelson writes that churches should work toward a “whole person health care [the treatment of a person as a unity of body, mind, and spirit].” This can work in tandem with modern medicine, and neither spiritual nor medical care should be neglected. She writes:
Problems occur when we isolate and compartmentalize either source of healing. A wholly scientific approach lacks the resource of God's power, and a wholly spiritual approach overlooks God's confidence in human beings.
This spiritual approach can point the way toward a more progressive health care system, according to Rose Marie Berger on Sojourner’s God’s Politics blog. She writes:
We want to craft a health-care system that honors a fair exchange of money for services, that redistributes our social capital toward the health and healing of all over the long-term, and that allows for philanthropy and generosity of heart by those who can give freely for the betterment of all.
(Thanks, The Immanent Frame.)
Monday, July 27, 2009 6:27 PM
Opponents of health care reform say that the Democrats are trying to impose “Canadian-style health care” on the United States. They warn of long lines, delayed or denied care, and restrictive bureaucracy. A recent attack ad features a Canadian woman claiming, “If I had relied on my government for health care, I’d be dead.”
The hyperbolic ad is proving effective at eroding support for health care reform among people of all parties, according to Media Curves. The research firm showed pro- and anti- reform ads to 611 people and found that the attack ad was far more convincing.
The anti-reform message is compelling—and entirely misleading. Maureen Taylor reported to On the Media that the star of the attack ad did not, in fact, have brain cancer. And the woman’s life was not threatened by her condition. Taylor, a health care reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, questions why the idea of Canada is so threatening. She pleads, “People, I'm not walking over a lot of dead bodies here on my way into the studio.”
Source: Media Curves, On the Media
Thursday, July 23, 2009 10:30 AM
After 10 years as a doctor, Pamela Wible was burned out, “tired of being a factory physician, pushing pills and tests I didn’t always believe in,” she writes in a candid piece for Spirituality & Health (article not available online). “My soul was more than irrelevant; it slowed down the production line and got me into trouble with administrators.”
So she quit her job and held a big community meeting, asking attendees to describe what their ideal medical clinic would look like. And then she built it! (Warning: If you spend a lot of time in your doctor’s bland, hot tub–less waiting room, prepare to get very jealous.)
Clients can enjoy yoga; massage; a wheelchair-accessible, solar-heated saltwater pool; and a soak in the hot tub before their appointments. They relax on plush overstuffed chairs in a cozy office and look forward to warm exams as they’re wrapped in fun, flannel gowns. Antioxidant-rich chocolates and smiley-face balloons surprise the unsuspecting on random patient-appreciation days.
Most of would love to see health care look more like this, obviously, but what I really appreciate about Wible’s analysis is her emphasis on the comfort and well-being of both patients and physicians. Clearly, the health care system doesn’t work for either group, and seeing what’s wrong with the relationship from a self-aware physician’s perspective is incredibly illuminating:
Given that we all pledge to “first, do no harm,” why do we make physicians the first victims? While patients are encouraged to tell all, doctors must remain detached, sterile, untainted by emotions. No “irrelevant” personal anecdotes. No off-the-cuff commentary. Physician self-disclosure is a no-no. Decades of practicing professional distance—emotional and spiritual disconnect—destroys from the inside out. Who really wants to be treated by someone whose heart has died?
Source: Spirituality & Health
Image by thomaswanhoff, licensed under Creative Commons.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 3:56 PM
Before Barack Obama won the 2008 election, pundits and politicos were already planning his first 100 days in office. Since then, the situation in the United States has gotten worse and the urgent calls for reform have gotten louder.
“No president in recent memory has come into office with so many and such varied crises to deal with,”
passing and (the hard part) implementing universal health care,” Donahue and Stier report.
After a campaign based on such amorphous themes as “hope” and “change,” some expect the myriad problems to evaporate as soon as the new president takes office. “I think that we've replaced the housing bubble in the United States with an Obama bubble,” Steve Clemons, a senior fellow and director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation told Salon.com. Clemons and others are calling for quick, decisive action on foreign policy and other initiatives. According to Clemons, “He's got a very short window to make the Obama bubble mean something before it explodes.”
A huge challenge for the incoming administration is deciding which issues should be dealt with first. Shirley Ann Jackson, writing for the Scientific American, has joined a multitude of scientists and environmentalists calling energy security, “the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity of our time.” In his first 100 days in office, Jackson wants Obama to update the national power grid, create a $200-billion “clean energy” bank for investment in sustainable energies, and “triple the currently paltry federal investment in basic and applied energy research and development.”
Though energy reform and foreign policy may garner big headlines, the most important tasks of the new administration may be the most mundane. Donahue and Stier report for the Washington Monthly that Obama should focus on fixing the federal bureaucracy, before moving on to bigger ticket items. “To put it bluntly” Donahue and Stier write, “even with brilliant policy ideas and flawless political instincts, Barack Obama’s administration is likely to fail if it doesn’t reverse the erosion in federal capacity.”
The disastrous example of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during Hurricane Katrina has shown what can go wrong when a federal agency is dysfunctional, and Donahue and Stier report that many important federal offices have fallen into disrepair. Donahue and Stier provide an urgent call to reform Medicare and Medicaid, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Defense Contract Management Agency, the Defense Nuclear Detection Office, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and especially FEMA, now under the Department of Homeland Security.
Most people realize that Obama’s promised “change” won’t come overnight, and that’s not a bad thing, according to Mark Schmitt writing for the American Prospect. Many politicos and pundits urged Obama to hit the panic button at various points throughout the 2008 election, but the candidate won with “a long, patient strategy of assembling a majority of delegates, one at a time, in friendly and unfriendly states alike.” Schmitt writes that the President-elect will need to use that same patient style to truly turn the country around in 2009.
, licensed under Creative Commons.
Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:32 AM
Just about every episode of the hit medical drama House MD follows a pattern, as the humor magazine Cracked points out: A patient presents weird symptoms that escalate into a life-or-death situation, House and his team take ridiculous risks to save the patient, and then the patient is saved.
What many viewers don’t know is that the National Institutes of Health has its very own House-like team called the Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP). The main idea of the TV show echoes the UDP’s work, but the two don’t have much else in common. The New Scientist interviewed program head William Gahl, who, unlike the TV show's protagonist, seems to be a humble, caring man with a sincere interest in his patients. Plus, real patients usually show up with slow-developing conditions, not the dramatic collapses seen on the show.
The UDP began in May of 2008 and in those seven short months has received over 1000 doctors’ inquiries. The program, according to Gahl, serves two purposes: Not only do the physicians work to diagnose and help patients, they also try to identify new medical conditions in the hopes of making future diagnoses easier for everyone.
Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:05 PM
It’s not often that someone is awarded for resigning, but that's precisely why Glen Mabie received this year's Ethics in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Mabie, the former news director of a TV station in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, stepped down in January after the station made a deal with Sacred Heart Hospital to run specific stories about the facility’s employees and services.
The Association of Health Care Journalists and the SPJ warn that these stories violate media ethics and unfairly influence the public, writes Trudy Lieberman for the Columbia Journalism Review. People are “unaware that the five o’clock news story on the latest imaging device used on patients at a local hospital—perhaps reported by the TV anchor—is really an ad in disguise.” There is no objectivity: when a facility is paying for the coverage, no alternative viewpoints are allowed.
Lieberman’s rundown of similar incidents in the media shows that they are more common than one would think or hope. She also points out that biased health reporting perpetuates the health care industry’s obsession with obtaining expensive equipment instead of focusing on patient education and care.
Thursday, November 08, 2007 3:02 PM
Mountains of contradictory statistics, insurance plans, tax brackets, and general wonkery confront anyone who tries to wrap their head around the morass of American health care. The American Prospect’s Ezra Klein makes the nut a little easier to crack by boiling down the data into ten bite-sized reasons why the U.S. healthcare system is floundering.
Here are some choice findings: Even though Americans spend more on healthcare than any other country, our doctors fall behind other nations’ doctors in adopting new electronic filing technologies that can save everybody money. Americans have the second-highest rate of chronic disease in the world, but we can’t get the consistent care to fix the interconnected problems that go along with a diagnosis of diabetes or heart disease. And even though we spend the most on healthcare per capita, 16 percent of the population doesn’t even have healthcare. But at least the US healthcare system can help Rudy Giuliani with his prostate. —Brendan Mackie
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