Category Archives: Health Policy

SCOTUS Has Ruled on Obamacare. So What’s Next?

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court Thursday spared the Affordable Care Act from what would have been a death blow. The Court’s action upholds the right of the federal government to subsidize low-income Americans who purchase health insurance through … Continue reading

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What Physicians Can Learn from Veterinarians

A while back, I linked to a story by Rebecca Plevin, out of California Public Radio, on the challenge of discussing health care costs.  Well, she has tuned up that piece and placed it on Marketplace. Here is a print … Continue reading

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An Eye for an Eye, a Cataract for…$4000?!

California is in the middle of an historic drought, with the government setting limits on how long people can sing in the shower. Farmers in the state may soon need to cut back on planting or production, as ground water … Continue reading

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The Outlier Problem of Healthcare Spending

We have an outlier problem when it comes to healthcare spending. Sure, there are some services we provide far too often for far too many people. And in the United States, at least, most of the healthcare services we provide … Continue reading

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Old Practices Die Hard

Below is a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, written by Niam Yaraghi  of the Brookings Institution, on why doctors continue to perform expensive and unnecessary tests like prostate cancer screening. Unnecessary and harmful medical procures are a … Continue reading

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Bundling Hospital Pay Without Bungling Patient Care

Paying someone to mow your lawn is a pretty straightforward affair. Ryan the lawn guy will look at the lawn size and maybe the hilliness of your yard and you’ll settle on a price for mowing and trimming it. When … Continue reading

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What Happens When We Penalize Hospitals For Harming Patients?

I recently had surgery to relieve an impingement of my left hip. I suffered a complication of the procedure in the hospital where I received the surgery performed follow-up care to treat the complication. As I lay on the table … Continue reading

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Health Insurance Is About Financial Security Too

People like me, trained to be physicians, have pushed hard to promote health insurance in the United States because we believe, with some evidence to back up our claims, that good health insurance promotes better health. When people don’t have … Continue reading

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If You Look for Cancer, You’ll Find It

What would you like first: the good news or the bad news? Let me start with the bad. Life expectancy among patients in the U.S. with thyroid cancer lags behind that in Korea. In fact, the vast majority of patients … Continue reading

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Millions To Be Made On…Generic Drugs?

It is well accepted among health economics wonks that the lion’s share of pharmaceutical company profits come when these companies hold exclusive rights to their products. Once their blockbuster pills go “generic,” competitors enter the marketplace and profits plummet. Consider … Continue reading

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