Author Archives: admin

The difference 730 days can make

What would happen if we didn’t get Medicare until we were 67, instead of 65?  Theories abound, ranging from doom to nirvana.  The truth is somewhere in the middle, and it depends who you are. You are poor: Forbes columnist … Continue reading

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Newtown: Illness for One, Heartache for Millions

Last week’s tragic shooting was a horrible demonstration of how one person’s mental illness can affect millions of people.  Not just the families of the children who died, but families everywhere. The shooter was, apparently, not diagnosed with mental illness … Continue reading

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Stuff You Don’t Need

With $210 billion spent on unnecessary care, it should be easier to cut down than it is.  But unnecessary care is not like a bad Christmas gift – it isn’t obvious.  Besides, your own care is never unnecessary – it’s … Continue reading

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Good News: U.S. Health System Working Perfectly . . . Sort Of

Consider the tales of two women with breast cancer, described in How We Do Harm, (Brawley, St. Martin’s Press 2012): Edna reports to an emergency room after her breast has fallen off entirely.  She had health insurance until her employer … Continue reading

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Is It Health or Is It Wealth?

For people who get health insurance from their employer, it has long been the practice to consider the true value of the pay is the salary plus the cost of health insurance (and other benefits).  If we did the same … Continue reading

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The Annual Check Up Does Not Check Out

Earthshaking news for wellness groupies everywhere: annual check-ups don’t help.  (Thinking Twice About Health Check Ups, Bakalar, New York Times, 10/22/2012)  Why do I hear silence instead of thousands shredders eating brightly colored newsletters?  Why do I see calm instead … Continue reading

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The Surprising Source of Health Reform

The Conservative Case for Obamacare (J.D. Kleinke New York Times, September 29, 2012) traces the origins of health reform to  — wait for it! — Republican roots. Yes, the idea of requiring people to buy health insurance came from a … Continue reading

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What you can get for $500,000 these days

With $500,000, you could buy 1 experimental bio-engineered organ for one young father. 250 courses of prenatal care. 81,168 pints of Chubby Hubby Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Obviously the Chubby Hubby would create the most joy, but which option … Continue reading

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The Next Hula Hoop

Health care cost fads come and go – in the 1980s, it was HMOs; in the 1990s and into the 2000s, it was consumer-driven plans.  In 2010, the Affordable Care Act supported “Accountable Care Organizations” or “ACOs” (pronounced Ay-See-Ohs.) Ho … Continue reading

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Health vs. Health Care

Health is only partly about health care services.  That is the major point of a perspective essay What Business Are We In? The Emergence of Health as the Business of Health Care (New England Journal of Medicine).  Drs. Asch and … Continue reading

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