acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. By the time you read this, Congress will be in session and hopefully not engaged in another watermelon spitting contest on health care (I’d use a urological metaphor, but there may be children in the room). If our Representatives and Senators choose to ...

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In a recent Vox interview, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced his plans to allow individuals without insurance to buy Medicaid coverage. As a family doctor caring for patients on Medicaid in Senator Schatz’s home state, I cannot support such a plan. Medicare continues to be run by the federal government. In contrast, Medicaid programs are run by states. The trend in recent decades is for ...

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Twenty years ago, Congress made a commitment to its children when it created the Children’s Health Insurance Program, recognizing working parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid still couldn’t afford health insurance for their kids. For pediatricians who remember, the practice landscape was a great deal different then. So many children were uninsured that pediatric emergency rooms were filled with children who needed routine school physicals and regular ...

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There is a 4,300-strong grassroots movement known as “Save Our Hospital” gaining notoriety in Albert Lea, Minnesota. This story is symptomatic of the fact that hospital consolidation has slowly become a national pastime. With declining revenue under the Affordable Care Act, mergers increased by 70 percent, leaving small communities scrambling for health care access. The latest casualty in the “hospital-consolidation-for-sport” trend is Albert Lea, a small ...

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As Congress returns from its summer recess, the health care debate is sure to heat up … again. And over the past few months, the debate has had a significant impact on public opinion. A recent report describes how Americans currently view the ACA. According to national polls, over 90 percent of Americans would change the current law. Most Democrats would expand ACA coverage while most Republicans ...

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A curious post popped up on my Facebook feed recently: "Another doctor running for office!" A picture of an attractive family was nestled below that exclamation, asking to show your support (in the form of dollars) for this doctor running as a Democrat for the House of Representatives. It had that sense of enthusiasm that implied I was obligated to be excited, but instead came off more like Jeb Bush's ...

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I’m pleasantly surprised to see how a growing number of physicians are finally starting to percolate openly with their extreme dissatisfaction about a just how broken our medical system is. I admire and am proud of these brave vanguards who are a minority but have seemed to pick up steam. I still don’t hear their fearless voices carried in major media outlets (shame on these outlets!), but they are more ...

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Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is on indefinite life support. The political consensus was that President Trump needed to pass health care reform to be able to move forward with his legislative agenda. While this may be true, the passing of any repeal and replacement bill without fundamental reforms has little chance of long-term success, likely defining Trump’s presidency as a failure no matter how successful he is ...

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It’s a health care buzzword for sure, but when we talk about quality, what do we mean? We can compare the quality of similar things and focus on its absence, but otherwise, putting the idea into words becomes complicated. Context is important. And so is perspective: One’s position within the health care system influences how he defines quality to a larger degree than it does at a restaurant, or in ...

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The McDonald’s cheeseburger is an icon of America. Admit it, you know you love one. A guilty pleasure to say the least, but as far as cheeseburgers go, it is far from the best. In reality, if you were to taste test all cheeseburgers, the McDonald's burger would probably rank near the bottom. The beauty is that no one cares, and they sell these things by the millions. Why? Because ...

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