Health Care

Sorting Out The Great Pet V. Human Health Care Debate
July 14, 2009

This chart from Andrew Biggs at The American showing how spending on human and animal medical care has grown at nearly the same clip has gotten a lot of attention around the web:   The point Biggs wants to bring home is that we shouldn't be looking at the growth rate in spending but the overall level: Two things are interesting here: first, the rate of growth of spending from 1984 to 2006 wasn’t all that different—and in both cases, spending grew faster than the rate of economic growth.

At What Cost?
July 14, 2009

Negotiations over health care reform screeched to a halt late last week when 40 centrist Democrats--members of the House Blue Dog Coalition--signed a letter saying they could not support the House’s emerging legislation without significant changes. Their major complaint? They said the House bill would not do enough to bring down health care costs and, by extension, limit the taxpayers' liabilities. Without more changes to reduce the cost of medical care, they warned, it would be unwise to back massive expansions of insurance coverage.

The Operator
July 01, 2009

The first time I remember speaking with Karen Ignagni was via a TV satellite, for a debate about health care policy on CNN. It was the summer of 2007, not long after the debut of Michael Moore's Sicko, and each of us was playing our usual role. Ignagni is the telegenic president of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and arguably Washington's most influential health-industry lobbyist.

Buyer Beware
June 12, 2009

One of the more promising signs for health care reform over the past two years has been the apparent support of the business community. Corporate executives and trade groups have repeatedly spoken out about the problems of our health care system. Even more remarkably, they have joined coalitions pledged to finding comprehensive solutions--the sorts of plans that would bring affordable insurance to all Americans while easing the financial burden many companies now face.

Numbers Racket
June 03, 2009

Everywhere you look, health care reform seems to be chugging along. Insurers and drug companies are visiting the White House to show solidarity with President Obama. House Democrats are promising to pass a bill by July 31. But, if you talk to senior staff in the administration or on Capitol Hill, you'll detect anxiety over one tiny agency--an agency that helped kill health care reform in 1994 and has the power to do so again. That agency is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is just now weighing in on the debate.

Medical Miracle: Doctors Embracing Reform
April 02, 2009

Harold Pollack is a public health policy researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, where he is faculty chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies. He is a regular contributor to The Treatment. For years, the medical profession has lagged only the insurers as a designated bogeyman for many who favor health reform.

Stayin' Alive
April 01, 2009

In early January, most of Barack Obama's senior staff assembled with the president-elect for a meeting inside a windowless, eighth-floor office at the transition headquarters in Washington. It was a pivotal moment in Obama's transformation from candidate to commander-in-chief. Obama's advisers had taken all of his campaign pledges, factored in his promise to reduce the deficit, and put together a provisional blueprint for governing.

This Won't Hurt a Bit
February 18, 2009

Health care reform for dummies.

Going Under
December 31, 2008

In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections. He would stick a syringe into a glass ampule of fentanyl or morphine or Dilaudid, pulling up the plunger to draw his dose. Then he'd inject the dose into his patient.

Life Support?
August 08, 2008

On an oppressively hot Saturday morning last month, a handful of pro-life activists gathered outside of a Starbucks in suburban Virginia to strategize about how to influence the Democratic Party’s national platform. The meeting quickly turned into a support group of sorts, as the members justified the seeming contradiction inherent in pro-life Democrats.

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