August 31, 2012
Family doctors are being told to try to talk women out of having Caesareans and very strong painkillers during birth to save the NHS money.
New guidelines drawn up for GPs urge them to encourage women to have natural labours with as little medical help as possible.
But for many women the prospect of giving birth without the painkillers is unthinkable.
via Caesareans and pain relief for mothers giving birth ‘should be cut to save the NHS money’ | Mail Online.
August 24, 2012
In July, 2012, the US economy produced roughly the same volume of goods and services as it did five years earlier with five million fewer workers. Yet, during the first four years of the recession May 2007 to May 2011, the US health system, despite slowing or declining utilization, added 1.149 million workers. Key sectors, specifically hospitals and physician offices, grew their workforces despite declining admissions and office visit volume. Employment data in this post comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ BLS National 4-digit NAICS Industry-Specific Estimates from May 2007 and May 2011.
via Health Care: An Alternate Economic Universe – Health Affairs Blog.
August 24, 2012
A provision of ObamaCare is set to punish roughly two-thirds of U.S. hospitals starting this fall over high readmission rates, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News.
Starting in October, Medicare will reduce reimbursements to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates — which refers to patients who return within a month — by as much as 1 percent. The maximum penalty increases to 2 percent the following year and 3 percent in 2014.
Doctors are concerned the penalty is unfair, since sometimes they have to accept patients more than once in a brief period of time but could be penalized for doing so — even for accepting seniors who are sick.
via FOX News – Health – Top Headlines – More than 2,200 hospitals face penalties under ObamaCare rules.
August 23, 2012
Today’s big New York Times/CBS/Quinnipiac poll found some good news for Barack Obama: In Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida, voters think Obama would do a better job than Mitt Romney handling Medicare by margins of eight to 10 points. Blowback against Paul Ryan?
Well, I’ve got the breakdown of these numbers among seniors, and they are far less encouraging for Obama: In two out of the three states, voters over 65 prefer Romney on Medicare, and in the third, Obama leads, but by a smaller margin.
via In Florida and Ohio, seniors back Romney over Obama on Medicare – The Plum Line – The Washington Post.
August 23, 2012
The report — an update to CBO’s budget and economic outlook — found that Medicare spending will grow from 3.7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product next year to 4.3 percent in 2022.
That’s despite the health care law’s $716 billion in Medicare savings over the next 10 years. Those savings are accomplished mainly by slowing the growth of payments to providers and Medicare Advantage plans, but Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been blasting the cuts as a “raid” on Medicare itself.
Federal Medicaid spending, meanwhile, will increase from 1.7 percent of GDP in 2013 to 2.4 percent in 2022. Those projections factor in the Supreme Court decision that made the health care law’s Medicaid expansion optional, CBO stated.
via Forget the cuts – Medicare spending is still on the rise – David Nather – POLITICO.com.
August 23, 2012
In this article, following our now-famous “Five Takes” format, we will look at some possible meanings and implications of the Supreme Court’s decision.
We first consider possible analogies between NFIB and two other famous cases whose opinions are held out as deftly straddling the line between principle and prudence: Marbury v. Madison and the Bakke case (Takes One and Two). Takes Three and Four examine the opinion though the lens of constitutional theory. We consider whether the decision, Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion especially, served what Charles Black called the Court’s “legitimating” function, quelling doubts about the Act’s constitutionality and, thus, its legitimacy. We further consider whether, in ultimately upholding the Act despite its relative unpopularity, Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion could be seen as an example of judicial restraint a la James Bradley Thayer. Finally, in Take Five, we consider that the peculiar construction of the opinion handed the Administration a somewhat Pyrrhic victory while laying the foundation for robust judicially-enforced limits on congressional power. A brief conclusion follows.
via National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius: Five Takes by Glenn Reynolds, Brannon Denning :: SSRN.
August 22, 2012
We can quantify this a little bit. The following chart looks at Obama’s 2012 fundraising hauls among key industries as a fraction of his total 2008 return. Obviously, we still have three months to go until Election Day, so it is far too early to expect these groups to have matched their 2008 levels. However, we can look at where each group stands relative to the average, which is about 32 percent.
via Morning Jay: Why Is Obama’s Fundraising So Weak? | The Weekly Standard.