Health Care category archive
In the Sunday New York Times Magazine, Siddharta Mukherjee took a fascinating look at a recent study as to what makes health care in the United States consume twice as much of GDP as it does in other industrialized nations. A snippet:
The researchers begin by extirpating some common myths. Are our health care costs astronomically high because we don’t have enough primary-care doctors? No; the number of primary-care physicians in the United States lies squarely in the middle of the 11 countries. Is our population more prone to illness? Yes and no; Americans smoke fewer cigarettes and drink less alcohol, but our rate of obesity is highest. Do we pay more for health care because we use more health care? Again, at face value, no. As a country, we went to the hospital about half as often as the Germans. We consulted doctors about a third as often as the Japanese. We beat the stoic Swiss and the frugal Dutch in the number of days that we spent in the hospital.
I commend it to your attention.
Brodock is quite correct about doctors’ not knowing how much health care costs. When I told my doctor how much one prescription he gave me cost, he nearly fell off his chair. It was almost 10 times the cost of an equivalent over-the-counter nutritional supplement. He okayed my using the OTC product.
Thom tells of the story of a friend who died because he couldn’t afford health insurance and draws its lessons.
It’s policy in the coming Republican dystopia.
Officials in nearly a dozen states are preparing to notify families that a crucial health insurance program for low-income children is running out of money for the first time since its creation two decades ago, putting coverage for many at risk by the end of the year.
Details at the link.
Mike wonders why Republicans and their vocally self-proclained “Christian” supporters are willing to condemn children to sickness and death through their failure to renew CHIP. (Warning: Language.)
Danny Westneat tries to understand the Republican obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act.
He starts with recalling Rep. Cathy McMorris’s (R–Don’t Get Sick; If You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly) request for ACA stories a couple of years back, She received over 10,000 responses, the great majority of which were positive. Nevertheless, she announced that she would favor the repeal of the ACA:
But the larger problem — the one that continues to hang the party today — is that she wasn’t remotely interested in the real story.
Dick Polman tries to understand why the Republican Party is determined to strip affordable health care from millions of Americans, despite opposition from “the American Medical Association, the AARP, the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and at least five Republican governors who care a great deal about their affected constituents.”
He proffers four theories, each one of which I think has a piece of the truth, and no one of which rules out any of the others. Here’s one of them:
They’re trying to please Trump; more precisely, they want Trump to stop making fun of them. For months he has mocked their legislative failures (even though his failure to lead and his ignorance of policy have made things worse), and they’re sick of reading those tweets. They’re upset that Trump has been dealing with Democratic leaders, so they’re desperately jonesing to give him any Win whatsoever, even a Win that screws tens of millions, in order to get back in his good graces.
Follow the link for the other three.
In the far western corner of Virginia, there is an annual event called the Remote Area Medical Expedition at Wise. Doctors, dentists, nurses, and many other volunteer their time to treat persons who otherwise have no access to health care.
In The Roanoke Times, Dr. Ralph Northam, current Virginia Lieutenant Governor, writes eloquently of his experience there this year. Here’s a bit:
Both federal and state policymakers should also not lose sight of the enormous stress this (Trumpcare–ed.) debate is putting on millions of Virginians. A woman I met at Wise underscored this to me after I diagnosed her daughter.
She was scared, but not about her plan for treatment. She was scared her daughter would be unable to get health insurance because she now had a pre-existing condition. This is a mother and child. These are our friends, our neighbors. They are not political footballs.
Dick Polman looks back over this week in the Trumpling. A snippet:
The death of the (ACA–ed.) repeal crusade — thanks to Republican dissenters Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain (at this point, what can Trump do to him?) — marks a great day for America. McCain, casting the pivotal No and atoning for his tendency to talk rebellion and vote tribally, did a big favor for the many Republicans colleagues who hated Mitch McConnell’s craven repeal manuevers but hesitated about voting No. The big lesson last night is that the Republican Senate doesn’t fear or respect Trump; in the end, it opted to humiliate him.
Indeed, humiliation turns out to be the theme of the week. Finally, we’re starting to see some pushback, on virtually all fronts . . . .
Follow the link for his list of fronts.
By the by, I must admit that I am pleasantly surprised the John McCain finally did something McMavericky. It’s been a long time coming.
Nicholas Kristoff wonders what would happen if Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell were your E. R. doctors.