February 23, 2015
There is unprecedented demand for physician assistants as insurance payment and the Affordable Care Act encourage a team-based approach to managing the care of patient populations.
A snapshot of this trend can be seen in a new report by The Medicus Firm, a national physician recruiter, which said physician assistants (PAs) rose to No. 5 among its top 10 most frequently placed medical care providers in 2014, outstripping several categories of medical doctors. Primary care doctors continue to hold the top three spots with family physicians at No. 1, followed by hospitalist doctors and internists at No. 3.
via Paging Physician Assistants As Obamacare Fuels Demand – Forbes.
February 12, 2015
The Obama administration recently made a similar argument about textual interpretation and the public good in the case of Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean. At issue there was whether the 2002 Homeland Security Act should be read to offer legal protections to a fired TSA whistleblower named Robert J. MacLean. According to the Obama administration, the act should not be so read. Ruling in the whistleblower’s favor, the Obama administration warned, would “gravely endanger public safety” and thereby undermine the larger purposes of the Homeland Security Act.
But the Supreme Court did not buy it. The government’s public safety concerns “are legitimate,” conceded Chief Justice John Roberts in his 7-2 majority opinion. “But they are concerns that must be addressed by Congress or the President, rather than by this Court.” As Roberts explained, “Although Congress and the President each has the power to address the Government’s concerns, nether has done so. It is not our role to do so for them.”
via Did John Roberts Foreshadow His Obamacare Tax Vote in TSA Whistleblower Case? – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
February 11, 2015
In “the first large-scale [crash risk] study in the United States to include drugs other than alcohol,” NHTSA found that, once the data were adjusted for confounding variables, cannabis consumption was not associated with an increased probability of getting into an accident.
The study included more than 3,000 drivers who were involved in crashes during a 20-month period in Virginia Beach, Virginia, plus 6,000 controls who drove in the same area during the same period but did not get into accidents. As usual, the study found that alcohol use was strongly correlated with crash risk. After adjustment for confounding, the crash risk for drivers with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent was twice the crash risk for sober drivers; it was six times as high for drivers with a BAC of 0.10 percent and 12 times as high at a BAC of 0.15 percent. But the picture for marijuana was quite different.
Over all, drivers who tested positive for active THC were 25 percent more likely to be involved in crashes. But once the researchers took sex, age, and race/ethnicity into account, the risk ratio shrank from 1.25 to 1.05 and was no longer statistically significant:
via Landmark Study Finds Marijuana Is Not Linked to Car Crashes – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
December 17, 2014
Washington, DC – December 11, 2014 – NIHCM Foundation is introducing a new Health Care Digital Media Award, which will recognize excellence in digital media that improves understanding of health care through analysis grounded in empirical evidence.The winner, selected by an independent panel of experts, will receive a $10,000 cash prize.“We have been so impressed by the influence of digital media on health care issues,” said Nancy Chockley, President and CEO of NIHCM Foundation. “We want to recognize those bloggers who are a cut above, who are changing the way we look at health care.”
via New $10,000 Award for Best Health Care Blogging.
December 11, 2014
For example, the passage of Medicare in 1965 was one of the first major steps taken towards socialized medicine in America. Medicare socializes health care in old age, forcing everyone in society to foot the medical bills of seniors and forcing seniors to get most of their medical care through the government. Medicare’s proponents knew that most Americans — young or old — would not support the program if they knew what it was: a massive entitlement program at odds with the American spirit of individualism and self-reliance. So to pass it, Medicare’s proponents, borrowing a page out of the Social Security playbook, told a different story. They dressed up Medicare as insurance and argued that Medicare benefits, far from being handouts, are actually earned. In The Politics of Medicare, Medicare historian Theodore R. Marmor explains some of the tactics used to sell the program:
“The contributory requirement of social security [Medicare] — the limitations of benefits to those having paid social security taxes — gives the system a resemblance to private insurance. Thus social security members would appear to have paid for hospital insurance. In fact, social security beneficiaries are entitled to pensions exceeding those which, in a strict actuarial sense, they have “earned” through contributions. But this is a point generally lost in the avalanche of words about how contributions, as a commissioner of Social Security, Robert Ball, once remarked, “give American workers the feeling they have earned their benefits.” The notion that contributions confer rights analogous to those which premiums entail within private insurance was one that deeply permeated the advocacy of Medicare.”
Since the passage of Medicare (and Medicaid, which was passed at the same time), American health care has incrementally been further socialized, through new and expanded entitlement programs and increasing regulatory control. Each time, proponents called greater government control of health care anything but socialized medicine. Obamacare is just their latest play.
via Voices for Reason – Jonathan Gruber Is Not the Only One Guilty of Deception | The Ayn Rand Institute.
November 18, 2014
But Gruber’a ideas, and his deceptions, are part of the foundation of Obamacare. They just don’t want to admit it. Indeed, by trying to escape his remarks, Obamacare’s defenders are amplifying Gruber’s essential point, which wasn’t that Obamacare supporters made up spectacular fabrications but instead that they heavily shaded the truth, presenting it and editing it in a way intended to create a false but politically convenient impression: The deception that he described regarding the crafting and selling of Obamacare is on full display as supporters of the health law desperately attempt to diminish and downplay the role of one of its key architects, despite the plain evidence to the contrary.As an episode in the ongoing saga of Obamacare, it’s both revealing and confirming: The White House and its allies are misleading the public about Gruber just as they have about the law. They don’t want the public to know the full truth about either.
via Yes, Jonathan Gruber Is An Obamacare “Architect” – Reason.com.
November 10, 2014
The Supreme Court followed up the landslide election on Tuesday with its own shocker: it announced that it will hear the Burwell case, which challenges the Obama administration’s extension of insurance subsidies in states that do not have health-care exchanges.I think the chances are high that the administration will lose. Because:
1. The plain text of the statute denies subsidies to people who live in states without an exchange.
2. There was no split in the circuits — the lower courts actually seemed to accept the Obama administration’s misreading of its own law.
3. This gives Chief Justice Roberts the chance to atone for his error in upholding Obamacare as a valid use of the taxing clause in that case. His decision in Sebelius did great violence to the Constitution’s protections for federalism — it will be the mission of his Chief Justiceship to repair the damage.
4. The Court will be acting in agreement with, rather than against, majority wishes.
More at Four reasons the Supreme Court is likely to rule against the Obama administration in Burwell » AEI.