Tom is a forty-three-year-old self-employed painter and father of two. He’s currently in remission from lung cancer, having been first diagnosed five years ago. At the time of his diagnosis, he did not have health insurance. Thankfully, for him, American law had finally made it illegal for health insurance companies to discriminate against individuals with preexisting conditions. Tom had to be offered insurance at community rates. And, this was a good thing ...

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“Beep,” went the machine. I left a message and hung up. My patient, Mr. G, had just been denied a medicine by his health insurer. It’s the same medication for the same condition that he had been taking last year. I was leaving a message on his behalf. You can be assured that if you hand an insurance card to the front desk employee at your doctor’s office, your doctor deals with health insurers ...

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We are assembling too many panels of people in the name of health these days. Too many. They usually seem like a good idea. I’ve been supportive before. I assumed we needed them. More of them. I might have been wrong. There was a day when I believed my food would be toxic, my medicine harmful, and my safety gone without them. But, I’ve come to believe I was mistaken. I was wrong because ...

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After reading my latest post about conflicts of interest in health care, my wife suggested that I write a piece about butterflies. Something pretty, she said. Natural. Peaceful. Since hostility is never my goal, I thought I’d give it a try. I read for an entire evening on butterflies -- their life cycle, behavior, mechanisms for protection, and how different cultures view them. All I could keep thinking about was how much my grandmother ...

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It has occurred to me that this is a terrible idea. In fact, it’s possibly the least beneficial thing for the general health of a population to have gained momentum in recent years. I’m not discussing cigarettes or e-cigarettes or low-yield cancer screening procedures. I’m not talking about diet drinks or sugary drinks. I’m talking about home blood pressure monitoring. It’s a terrible idea. OK, I get it. The idea sounds benign. Buy your own ...

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This story is a great one. It’s about a female dog with only three legs. Her fourth leg was amputated following a traumatic accident as a puppy. Now, when she walks, she has a hitch in her step. And, when she hitches, she kicks the stump of her injured leg outward. Step, step, hitch. Step, step, hitch. One day, the female dog has puppies. And, her puppies do what all puppies do. They nurse. They watch. ...

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Pharmaceutical drugs cost too much. The new ones are always so expensive. Hence, we need more regulations. And, the government should impose them. Set price limits. Cap drugmaker profits. This will make it better for all of us. The paternalism of our government should be the strongest when we are ill. Because we may need that medicine. The government should regulate things more so we can get it cheaper. Case in point. One new medication ...

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growth-in-administrators_opt I’m taking back medicine. If you didn’t know it left or that someone stole it, I’ll give you a pass. Medicine has been disguised for a long time now. And, when you leave the scene in camouflage, you often go unnoticed. Medicine is supposed to be the science or practice of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. I love medicine. There’s so much to learn. Lots ...

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Eleven billion dollars. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? It is. But, I’ll give you even more perspective, Tony Robbins style. Eleven seconds ago you started reading this page. A few blinks of an eye. But, eleven million seconds? That was a few months back. 127 days to be exact. Can you remember what you were doing then? Eleven million seconds have passed since you did it. But, when you jump to billions, you’ll ...

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shutterstock_247572289 Years ago, I owned a lawn service. I ran the company. Actually, I was the company. The only worker. Then, a buddy of mine joined up. It became our summer gig for many years. We prided ourselves on quality. We were good at what we did. And, we were fast, too. Jump ahead a few years. OK, more than a few. I now work in ...

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