The problem is with the public. A variety of papers examining Hillarycare's first attempt blames the American people for, i) being too selfish; ii) having an excess of self-interest; and, iii) an inability to accept change.

Has anything changed today? Unlikely.

Pfizer's patent for Lipitor continues until 2010. Find out how they're taking advantage of this.

Living with cancer

Newsweek writer Jonathan Alter gives a heartbreaking account of his battle with lymphoma. (via Freakonomics)

By giving them a medal:

Just ask yourself: if you are on the fence about donating an organ, does the thought of a commemorative medal sway your opinion at all?

Major media has largely ignored the potential harms of cancer screening. The WSJ wisely addresses it:

While it may seem like a no-brainer to get a lung scan to find cancer early, it isn't clear whether doing so will prolong your life. As a result, patients need to be aware of the risks of the screening procedure itself. One concern is radiation exposure. Each low-dose lung CT scan ...

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According to Joe Paduda, a policy wonk with little or no clinical experience. Please educate him.

The ACP with a more nuanced approach, suggesting that women in their 40's discuss mammograms with their physician.

Kudos to the ACP for making women "stop and think about the decision."

With the recent hype on breast MRIs and chest CTs for lung cancer screening, urging the public to think about the potential risks of evidence-bereft screening is the correct, and long overdue, approach.

Update:

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The NY Times with a topical essay. In today's malpractice environment, how much say do patients really have in the treatment plan?

Tell it like it is physician Terry Bennett is back in the news, detailing the problems he sees with the health care system. One interesting point he makes is how hospitals may be artificially causing a PCP access shortage, thus diverting patients to the emergency room, which generates revenue for the hospital:

The second issue involves the driving up of health care costs by what Bennett calls "corruption" at ...

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Was it worth it?

60 Minutes exposes what went on behind the scenes. According to US Representative Walter Jones: "I've been in politics for 22 years, and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years."

An 5-week old infant presents with a fever. The mother refuses the standard lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis. The ER doc called Child Protective Services, who took custody of the child, and the LP was performed. The physician was subsequently sued:

A recent Idaho federal court ruling shows doctors should tread carefully when considering whether to get the state involved to ensure that a child ...

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Physician-owned hospitals sometimes are not equipped to handle codes overnight, necessitating a 911 call. (via symtym)

Dr. Nancy Snyderman is NBC's chief medical editor. She went on The Today Show and irresponsibly spouted off cancer screening suggestions that did not follow any accepted guidelines (emphasis mine):

In discussing colon cancer screening, Snyderman explained that because she has a family history, she started having colonoscopies at age 40 in two to three year intervals. She says now that she's over 50 she gets ...

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Amidst the recent cancer stories in the media and the news on breast MRIs, comes this timely article from Orac. Required reading:

The bottom line is that the ever-earlier detection of many diseases, particularly cancer, is not necessarily an unalloyed good. As the detection threshold moves ever earlier in the course of a disease or abnormality, the apparent prevalence of the disease increases, and abnormalities that may never turn ...

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They're coming back with an epic 2 1/2 minute TV ad. (via PharmaGossip)

Update:
The WSJ Health Blog with more.

Pharm Aid and Dr. RW comment:

The web listing of No Free Lunch pledge adherents has yet to appear on line despite having been promised on the site for several years. One wonders if more than a small handful of doctors has taken the pledge. Indeed on close examination very few practicing physicians, at least in the United States, could honestly sign the pledge because of this requirement: "to ...

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A group of Scottish doctors brings forth this controversial suggestion:

Any woman with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 should be placed on a waiting list until she has dieted to an agreed weight, according to the Scottish Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Women with a BMI of 36 or higher should be banned from even joining the waiting list, it says. ...

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CRNAs vs PCPs

California Medicine Man returns with commentary on how the public values these two professions, previously mentioned a few days ago here.

Edwin Leap tries to make sense of it:

No one bats an eye at television shows about rappers or athletes and their elaborate homes, or extensive car collections.

But doctors! Oh my! One reader commented on my column on free care with a very annoyed letter to the editor, ranting about doctors and their six figure salaries. But what about seven figure salaries of ...

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