Bookmark Me: New John McDonough Health Blog |

November 8, 2011

Our old friend and Healthy Blog founder, John McDonough, today opened up his new blog at He’s calling it Health Stew, and explains “I like stew because lots of different ingredients get thrown in, often with delicious results. I’m interested in lots of things related to health care policy and politics, and how odd things can fit together.”

Already there’s an introductory post, and a discussion about whether Massachusetts really does have the highest health care costs in the nation.

You’ll want to bookmark this:

via Bookmark Me: New John McDonough Health Blog |.

CARPE DIEM | Avoid Long Waiting Lines and Inconsistent Care

October 15, 2011

From The Local: Sweden’s News in English:

“While Sweden has long taken pride in its public healthcare system, lengthening queues and at times inconsistent care have prompted many Swedes to opt for private healthcare with many gaining the benefit through insurance policies offered by employers, currently responsible for 80% of healthcare insurance market.

The idea behind private health insurance is simple enough: those put off by the idea of heading to publicly funded clinics and hospitals can purchase a policy through an insurance company and instead enjoy speedy medical attention with private doctors.

As many as 500,000 Swedes are now estimated to be using private healthcare insurance, up from 100,000 only ten years ago. And a flawed public system is often cited as the cause of the rapid expansion.

Long queues are one of the main complaints for consumers of Sweden’s public healthcare services, with patients sometimes forced to wait as much as fifteen times longer for treatment compared to private options.”


Design Can Improve Healthcare; Can It Also Lead to New Cures?

October 12, 2011

Perhaps most important, a design approach would ensure that we keep our focus on patients, rather than on dubious animal models that are often far more effective at generating research grants and advancing academic careers than they are at providing meaningful insight into a disease afflicting patients. It might also stimulate some of our smartest and most creative basic medical scientists–researchers who have traditionally been drawn to reductive, highly simplified systems–to start innovating around patients, trying to develop a far more detailed and relevant understanding of disease as it exists in the organism that ultimately holds our greatest interest and investment: ourselves.

Revolutionizing fundamental medical research may be an unreasonably audacious goal, but figuring it out–finding a way to incorporate in a meaningful fashion the principles of design thinking in the approach and strategy of basic scientists–is a worthy ambition, and one I suspect Steve Jobs would have felt proud to inspire. Let the conversation begin.

via Articles & Commentary.

Health Sector Management Director’s Corner

August 29, 2011

This week, two economists argue that data from a natural experiment in Oregon provides insight into this question 1. Oregon Medicaid had a waiting list of 90,000 people who wanted access to health insurance coverage. One third of these people were randomly selected to be given coverage and we now know the one year results of this experiment: a 25% increase in total annual health care expenditures including an increased probability of using outpatient care by 35%, of using prescription drugs by 15%, and of hospital admission by 30%. This was accompanied by an increase in use of preventive services (mammogram use increased by 60%). Overall, people with insurance were more likely to report that they are in good or better health status, and less likely to report that they are depressed.

via Health Sector Management Director’s Corner.

Job One for the Budget Super-Committee: Cut the New Health Entitlement’s Cost | e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century

August 24, 2011

The White House, continuing its rhetorical approach employed during recent budget negotiations, has publicly expressed the hope that this committee will “seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction.”Different observers will inevitably have different opinions of what constitutes “balance.” I offer the view that no deficit-reduction agreement can credibly be called balanced if it fails to do one simple and necessary thing: cut the projected cost of new spending enacted in last year’s health care law.

via Job One for the Budget Super-Committee: Cut the New Health Entitlement’s Cost | e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century.

Pajamas Media » ObamaCare and the Constitutional Road Not Taken

August 22, 2011

The Eleventh Circuit majority opinion (nicely summarized by Dan Miller) is noteworthy not only as the most thorough judicial discussion to date — 207 pages — but as an opinion written jointly by Chief Judge Joel F. Dubina (appointed by the first President Bush) and Judge Frank M. Hull (appointed by President Clinton). As a single opinion, co-authored by two experienced judges, appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents, it has considerable persuasive force.

The federal district courts have divided on the constitutionality of ObamaCare under the Commerce Clause; the courts of appeal have now split 1-1 (we are awaiting the decision of the Fourth Circuit); and the Supreme Court will have to provide the definitive answer. But with respect to one argument — the attempt to uphold the ObamaCare mandate as a “tax” under the Tax and Spending Clause of the Constitution — the verdict is pretty clear: the Eleventh Circuit became the seventh straight court in which the government failed to convince a single judge.

via Pajamas Media » ObamaCare and the Constitutional Road Not Taken.

If the Joint Committee fails, some ObamaCare spending will be cut | Keith Hennessey

August 19, 2011

Elements of ObamaCare spending are now in the mix to be cut. I like this; liberals will hate it.

This injects ObamaCare spending squarely into the Joint Committee negotiations, and not just the vulnerable parts. I hope Republicans appointed to the Joint Committee will argue for repeal of these big new entitlements. I think Congressional Republicans erred by leaving it out of the last battle.

It also brings ObamaCare back into the broader fiscal policy and election debate.

via If the Joint Committee fails, some ObamaCare spending will be cut | Keith Hennessey.

Reading the constitutional tea leaves: How will the Supremes vote on the Affordable Care Act? : SCOTUSblog

August 9, 2011

Washington Legal Foundation’s Cory Andrews argues that despite the elasticity of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause, its authority is not unlimited. As a result, the Court will find the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional.

The following essay for our symposium is by Cory Andrews, Senior Litigation Counsel of the Washington Legal Foundation. WLF is a public interest law firm located in Washington, D.C. Mr. Andrews served as counsel of record for WLF in the Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits in briefs filed by WLF in opposition to the PPACA’s individual mandate.

via Reading the constitutional tea leaves: How will the Supremes vote on the Affordable Care Act? : SCOTUSblog.

Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional? What should the Supreme Court do? : SCOTUSblog

August 9, 2011

Northwestern University’s Stephen Presser argues that if one believes the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional, then by implication, there are no limits on Congress’s power.This essay for our symposium is by Stephen B. Presser, the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History at Northwestern University School of Law and a Professor of Business Law at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He has been a frequently invited witness before Congressional committees to testify on constitutional issues, and is the author of several books and dozens of articles on constitutional law, legal history, and business associations.

via Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional? What should the Supreme Court do? : SCOTUSblog.

Rahm Emanuel “Begged” Obama Not to Push Health Care – Political Hotsheet – CBS News

August 6, 2011

In his new book on President Obama’s first year in office, “The Promise,” Jonathan Alter includes a quote from the president’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, illustrating just how opposed Emanuel was to the president’s push for comprehensive health care reform.

“I begged him not to do this,” Emanuel told Alter, as detailed by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, writing off advanced excerpts put out ahead of the book’s release Tuesday. (Hotsheet just got its copy of the book and is planning to dig into it this weekend.)

The president overruled Emanuel, telling him, according to the book, that he “wasn’t sent here to do school uniforms.”

via Rahm Emanuel “Begged” Obama Not to Push Health Care – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.