The media is quick to point out the important role of American Medical Association (AMA) and other professional bodies in shaping the future of health policy in the United States. While these organizations have a certain responsibility, it is becoming increasing clear that medical and public health students will shape the future of post-Obama health care landscape. Recognizing their role is pertinent. While physician members from AMA are the practitioners of ...

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We are neurosurgeons, albeit not rocket scientists, but with our insider knowledge, it should be easy for us to understand “narrow networks.” Unfortunately, this is not the case so we can imagine how difficult it is for our patients. Consider the following scenario:

A 52-year-old woman is receiving long-term care for multiple myeloma primarily involving the spine. Well-coordinated neurosurgical and oncological care is provided through a large multispecialty group; however, if ...

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When you go to the internet or phone book today, there are hundreds of physicians listed in most urban areas. In the next two decades, you can expect more difficulty finding a physician in your hometown — a major physician shortage is looming. In the last year, I have noted many mid-career physicians are leaving the practice of medicine. While the growth of mid-level hospital administrators has ballooned at nearly
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Sean MacStiofain said, “most revolutions are caused … by the stupidity and brutality of governments.” Regulation without legitimacy, predictability, and fairness always leads to backlash instead of compliance. Here’s a prediction for you: If something is not done to stop MACRA implementation, more physicians will opt-out of Medicare and Medicaid than is fathomable. Once DRexit begins, there will be no turning back. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is ...

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When the political process is not working, one option is to examine the shared values of most Americans. Values are learned, clarified and even negotiated. They are the algebraic axioms from which the formulas of public policy are derived. Examples include: Society should care for the sick, written into the EMTALA law that prohibits turning patients away from emergency rooms. Free enterprise is the engine of material prosperity. The government must correct the dangers ...

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Election Day 2016 should have been Christmas morning for Republicans. Long awaited control of the White House and both houses of Congress. A chance to deliver on an every two-year election cycle promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. In 2010 Republicans needed the House. They got it. In 2014, it was the Senate. Delivered. But we still need the White House they said. Asked and answered with President Donald Trump. So, ...

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A few weeks ago, before the demise of the American Health Care Act, President Trump sat down for an interview with Tucker Carlson at Fox News. Citing an article from Bloomberg, Carlson informed the president that the counties which voted for him “would do far less well under the bill than counties that voted for Hillary,” were it to pass. Whether intentional or not, Trump agreed with his assessment, noting ...

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There is a growing body of evidence that hospital mergers lead to higher prices for consumers, employers, insurance and the government. It is imperative to educate patients and lawmakers as to how the consolidation of hospitals and medical practices raise costs, decrease access, eliminate jobs and, ultimately, reduce care quality as a result. Lawmakers should focus on this “first pillar” of cost control as they go back ...

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“We are now contemplating, Heaven save the mark, a bill that would tax the well for the benefit of the ill.” The Conversation Although that quote reads like it could be part of the Republican repeal-and-replace assault against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it’s actually from a 1949 editorial in The New York State Journal of Medicine denouncing health insurance itself. Indeed, the attacks on ...

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Recently, the AHCA was pulled from the House floor after not enough votes could be secured in favor of its passage.  A Washington Post article reported President Trump’s thoughts on the matter: “We couldn’t get one Democrat vote, not one. They [Democrats] own Obamacare.  So when it explodes … we make one beautiful deal for the people.” Journalist Robert Costa asserted “there was little evidence that either Trump or House Republicans ...

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