Kathleen Sebelius: Health care in U.S. like ‘a developing country’ – Sarah Kliff – POLITICO.com

March 31, 2011

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says patient outcomes in the United States are like those in “a developing country” – and that they’ll stay that way if the health care reform law is repealed.“The delivery system changes are what will affect underlying costs, and that impacts everybody,” Sebelius said Thursday. “We pay 2 1/2 times what anybody else pays in the world, and our care outcomes look like we’re in a developing country.”

More at Kathleen Sebelius: Health care in U.S. like ‘a developing country’ – Sarah Kliff – POLITICO.com.


A Pound of Prevention Is Worth a Closer Look – NYTimes.com

March 30, 2011

The authors deplore our habit of showering prescription drugs on those unlikely to benefit from them. They trace it directly to the fact that once the experts have drawn the line in the sand that separates “health” from “disease,” we all tend to forget that both entities are etched in shades of gray, not the black and white the terms imply.

Similarly, the line between “normal” and “abnormal” is not the closed border most people envision but a no man’s land of substantial width. And so in our wild enthusiasm for seeking out tiny abnormalities, we often find them — thanks especially to the wondrous eyes of the latest high-priced scanners. Not necessarily the abnormalities we were looking for, but abnormalities nonetheless.

More at A Pound of Prevention Is Worth a Closer Look – NYTimes.com.


» AARP’s Billion Dollar ObamaCare Windfall – Big Government

March 30, 2011

According to this blockbuster report, released today by the House Ways and Means Committee, AARP’s support of ObamaCare and, specifically, the Medicare cuts was entirely rational and self-serving. The Committee found, after an 18 month investigation, that AARP stands to reap an extra billion dollars in profits from ObamaCare. (Yes, that is billion with a B.) Worse, this extra profit is largely BECAUSE of the Medicare cuts.

More at AARP’s Billion Dollar ObamaCare Windfall – Big Government.


Bachmann bill targets ‘ObamaCare’ funds | StarTribune.com

March 30, 2011

Michele Bachmann, pressing her case against the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, announced legislation Wednesday to remove the $105.5 billion in automatic funding that she says was “buried in ObamaCare.”

The bill, which has yet to get any traction with Republican leaders in the U.S. House, would give Congress the authority to take back the funding in future years. It also rescinds all existing unobligated balances in the health care bill, a top target for Tea Party groups across the nation

More at Bachmann bill targets ‘ObamaCare’ funds | StarTribune.com.


Pro-life laws seen as factor in drop in abortions – Washington Times

March 30, 2011

Pro-life laws are part of the reason abortion rates have declined over the past two decades, a study says.

A review of abortion data from 1985 through 2005 provides “solid evidence” that laws restricting but not outlawing abortion “have an impact on the childbearing decisions of women,” Michael J. New wrote in State Politics and Policy Quarterly, a peer-reviewed publication aimed at state policymakers.

Mr. New, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama, studied the effects of informed-consent laws, Medicaid funding rules and parental-notification laws for minors — rules that existed, by 2005, in dozens of states.

More at Pro-life laws seen as factor in drop in abortions – Washington Times.


NAIC to Study MLR Impact on Compensation and Consumers Before Voting on Changes « The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

March 29, 2011

Brokers holding their breath to see if their compensation will be removed from the medical loss ratio formula required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be turning a darker shade of blue. The hoped for support from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which was expected to result from a meeting of the NAIC’s Professional Health Insurance Advisors Task Force this past Sunday, has been delayed at least four weeks.

More at NAIC to Study MLR Impact on Compensation and Consumers Before Voting on Changes « The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog.


‘The Panic Virus’ Review – Seth Mnookin on Vaccines and Autism – NYTimes.com

March 29, 2011

It is not that these parents buy into some of the more lurid accusations out there, like the one floated by a British doctor that all pediatric vaccinations cause some degree of neurologic damage. It is more that the parents are alarmed by the hubbub and prefer to play it safe — but wind up defining “safe” in exactly the wrong way. In some communities nonvaccination rates have hit the double digits — well into the danger zone.Expert opinion seems to have oddly little influence over these parents, but perhaps an analysis by a peer, rather than an expert, will change some minds. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Mr. Mnookin has put it all together in a readable narrative encompassing celebrity high jinks worthy of Vanity Fair at its snarkiest.

More at The Panic Virus’ Review – Seth Mnookin on Vaccines and Autism – NYTimes.com.


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