No, according to the Arkansas Governor:

AP stalwart reporter Ron Fournier, gives Gov. Mike Huckabee the spotlight to answer the question of whethere we have an "inalienable right" to health care. The governor concludes not. Legally, that's perhaps correct. But should it be the situation in the world's most powerful and prosperous country?

Zero surprise, considering how undervalued it is here:

"Although the U.S. pays more for health care than any other country, we are under-investing in our primary care system," Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, the foundation that sponsored the survey, said in a statement. "Other countries have made high-quality primary care a priority by putting into place the financial and technical systems that support access to, and delivery ...

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What a ridiculous event. The GOP should be ashamed:

The city has stopped offering free flu shots at early voting sites after Republicans alleged it was a ploy by the mayor to lure more Democrats to the polls.

The vaccinations, for people 50 and older, had been offered at early voting sites in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Health officials said they had singled out medically underserved ...

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Most do. (via Dr. RW)

More thrashing of her ridiculous book.

Physician vanity plate

Orac with an original one, and a few others in the comments.

Just something I noticed while perusing headlines. They all seem pretty meaningless to me.

A possible sign of what a government-run single payer system would look like.

It must really be broken for the head of the American Heart Association to speak up. Cardiologists and other procedure-heavy specialties are the beneficiaries of the procedure-tilted reimbursement system:

Incentives in today's health-care system encourage procedures over doctor-patient face time, according to Gibbons. Many serious illnesses are preventable, but their numbers continue to rise in part because doctors "don't have enough time for preventive health measures," he said.

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Is anyone surprised at what happens next?

The medical resident who hit her car is charged with manslaughter.

Dr. A hits the nail on the head:

. . . some docs see it as a business move ("If I don't give them the antibiotic, then they will switch doctors to someone that will.") Some see it as a way to save time ("I'm running two hours behind. And, if I write for the antibiotic instead of explaining why not, then I can keep from getting further behind ...

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The numbers just aren't on your side, as intueri points out. Stay strong Maria!

How then, are they going to learn? Got to start sometime:

Of course these newly qualified doctors cannot prescribe, Professor Bramble. Please take your head out of your arse for one minute and listen. Prescribing is a PRACTICAL skill, learnt on the wards by apprenticeship. Let the doctors learn in the normal way, as they have always done. And, if you must test them, test them at the end ...

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Well documented here that decreasing reimbursement simply increases the volume of procedures. But just how much is staggering (emphasis mine):

This axiom of economics does not hold in the health care market; at least not according to a 1998 HCFA White paper to Richard Foster. The paper found that when Medicare decides to reduce its fees, the quantity of medical services supplied by physicians actually increases. ...

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A hospital CEO takes the clean hands petri-dish test:

The disk on the left shows bacteria colonies that grew from my hand before it was washed with a disinfectant. The disk on the right shows the number of colonies that grew from my hand after it was cleaned with the waterless, alcohol-based antiseptic that is in dispensers outside every patient room in our hospital.

Increase co-pays. With many ER visits being non-emergent, a study has shown that this does not harm overall health:

While emergency visit rates decrease substantially as the co-payment increases, the findings show no increase in the rate of unfavorable clinical events (hospitalization, intensive care admission) and no increase in deaths. The study appears in the latest issue of Health Services Research.

The population-based experiment followed over ...

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Interesting case where growth-attenuation therapy is used to permanently halt a 6-year old's growth so parents can continue to care for her at home:

"Achieving permanent growth attenuation while the child is still young and of manageable size would remove one of the major obstacles to family care and might extend the time that parents with the ability, resources, and inclination to care for their child at home might be ...

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Not surprisingly, he lapses into a coma mid-flight.

Why one should never give medical advice outside of the doctor's office:

One medical liability lawyer stated that his company defends many doctors who were consulted in an informal manner, such as, at their child's Little League baseball game.

Many times in these situations, vital information is lacking, therefore, limiting the doctor's ability to give a reasoned answer. Usually, the doctor is unaware of the questioner's medical history. This ...

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