Healthcare Reform Debate at Supreme Court (UPDATED)

My consumer lobbying and healthcare interests explain my attention to this week’s Supreme Court case and the many articles I’ve commented on and tweeted about. Comments generally go something like this: Without the mandate, we need another way to pay for the Affordable Care Act (opponents call it ObamaCare) or an entirely new alternative to our existing healthcare system. The Read More …

Chipping Away at Healthcare Special Interests Yet?

Is it just “One Step Forward and Two Steps Back?” or is something bigger happening? Last week I read an excellent article in Huffington Post by Charles Francis, and it inspired today’s post about public interests versus special interests. In this article I’ll reflect on the healthcare progress consumers are making despite politicians working against them. But first, more on Read More …

Influencing Healthcare Policy – Lobbying, Incentives & Insurance

By Wayne Caswell, Founding Editor, Modern Health Talk As President Trump’s administration transitions from the Obama era, a conservative ideological shift will influence healthcare policy, but so will other factors. They are discussed here, based on my response to “The Past, Present and Future of Healthcare Policy” at ReferralMD. Influencing Healthcare Policy Although The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more Read More …

Ask the Right Questions about Healthcare

By Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk Politicians Need to Ask the Right Questions about Healthcare In Healthcare: Mandatory Coverage or Universal Access?, Dr. Josh Luke presents one perspective – that of a hospital CEO. Readers should know that he represents the medical industrial complex, which also includes insurers, drug companies, equipment providers, and testing companies. Their collective interest is to protect the Read More …

People Like the ACA, so it’s hard to Repeal. Here’s why.

It’s not surprising that so many people like the ACA (Affordable Care Act), and that it’s been difficult for Republicans to repeal. ACA (Obamacare) versus AHCA Here are 12 reasons people like the ACA (also known as Obamacare), along with detail in supporting charts that compare it with the Republican’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). Most of this work is attributed to The Century Foundation. Read More …

Republican Sabotage of Our Health Care System

Democrats in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions recently released a report warning that Republican actions are causing uncertainty in health insurance markets that is resulting in higher premiums and insurers pulling out. A Manufactured Crisis: Trump Administration and Republican Sabotage of the Health Care System is summarized here Read More …

Trumpcare will kill more Americans than Terrorists have

Today I commented on The Senate’s Trumpcare Bill Will Kill 50 Times More Americans Than Terrorists Have. This FORBES article frames the issue in a way that puts the large numbers in perspective. According to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, “15 million people losing insurance translates to at least 18,000 preventable American deaths.” If Republicans simply repeal Obamacare instead, 38,400 would Read More …

The High Cost of Health Care – Infographic

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina produced the following infographic about the high cost of health care, and I added the following comment. The key to getting costs under control is to get the incentives right all along the health care continuum. PAYERS — Where insurance companies once were able to control profits by selecting only the healthiest customers and cutting Read More …

As Our Health Goes, So Does Our Economic Recovery

  It’s the Health Care, Stupid: As Our Health Goes, So Does Our Economic Recovery By Peter Abaci, M.D., Chronic pain specialist (original on Huffington Post) “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein As we head into the final stages leading up to election day, expect the fight over Read More …

Patient Choices in the Used Car Lot of Healthcare

Guest essay by Chris Oldenburg [with editor’s comments at the end] In America we love our choices. Drive by any car lot and you might see 10 models that only differ in exterior color. We also love simplicity and service. Those cars had better have a clear cost taped to the windshield right next to a list of what’s included.

Health Reform needs a WELLNESS emphasis

How can healthcare systems encourage patients to take greater ownership of their health so they live longer? That was the question posed to a Linkedin discussion group that generated some interesting responses. I initially weighed in with: Public Health and Social Programs We don’t often think of clean running water, indoor toilets, sanitation systems, and school vaccinations as having profound Read More …

Why High Medical Bills Are Killing Us

In his 38-page TIME magazine special report, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us,” Steven Brill dives into our health care system to understand why things cost so much, avoiding the more traditional question of who pays for what. What he found was both disturbing and telling. (His 3:38 min video introduction is at the end.) His first story Read More …

Social Media in Politics

I’ve posted several articles about social media in HEALTHCARE, including: Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media Social Media Growth is Fastest among Boomers Consumers use Social Media more than Health Companies Physicians find and help Patients through Social Media Physician use of Social Media This article is about social media in POLITICS. While I try not to Read More …

Now the Real Work of Healthcare Reform Begins

Roberts Saves Obamacare: Now the Real Work of Reform Begins By Arianna Huffington The narrow survival of the Affordable Care Act last week was certainly cause for celebration. But as the jubilation subsides, it’s important to realize that having avoided what would have been a giant step backward doesn’t mean we’ve taken a giant step forward. Because the law as Read More …

Is American Health Care the Best?

“Is American Health Care the Best?” The answer to that question might depend on whom you ask, but by almost all measures we aren’t even close. That was the message of this article on Vox that says people who believe our health system is the best are “measuring it wrong.” Here’s some measures we should be considering, followed by some supporting graphs and Read More …

Consumers Screwed with Insurance Loopholes

Insurance Loopholes & Master Pricing: How Surprise Medical Bills Knock Consumers Down Most of us know which local hospitals and doctors are covered by our insurance providers, but even when we make sure that we only see an in-network physician or surgeon, nearly one-third of privately insured Americans are still hit with higher-than-expected medical bills, often because their in-network hospital Read More …

Here’s My Top 10 Healthcare Issues. What’s Yours?

I recently contributed to a Linkedin discussion of Telehealth and how it could impact Seniors and Less-mobile Patients. I was asked to join in because my digital home and telecom technology perspective adds to that of medical practitioners, and I took the opportunity to share my top 10 list of healthcare issues from a home healthcare perspective. I crafted the Read More …

Politics and The Modern Killing Fields

I begin with this widely shared Facebook post by Dr. Wallach that calls out unscrupulous doctors, and I follow with my perspective of the modern killing fields caused by public policy. THE KILLING FIELDS…. Dr Joel Wallach “The United States had lost 56,000 military personnel in Vietnam over a ten-year period, for an average of 5,600 per year. Millions of people Read More …