A poignant, and non-partisan, take on how patients are excluded from the health reform process. width="430" height="412" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/9dXbafOQmDM&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash">

The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American College of Physicians. by Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP The unfettered debate about ideas that characterizes the democratic process in the United States operates best when there is a truthful presentation of the issues, and when the process is civil and respectful. Unfortunately, the debate about health care reform has evolved to the point that it ...

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by Susan H It seems that health insurers are serving as exchange and clearing firm for "health futures" traders. Traders of "health futures" are potential patients, and health care providers. Patients are synthetic buyers of futures on health care provision, doctors and providers of medical goods and services are short sellers of those futures. The exchange and clearing firm (health insurer) represents that it serves to stand as guarantor in the ...

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Is health care a public good?

by Jeoffry B. Gordon, MD, MPH The public policy and current political action around changing the system overlooks two important technical fallacies: (1) That health care is most efficiently distributed by a free market mechanism; and, (2) That medical services are an ordinary commodity. The commercial market model is a failing economic and public policy ideology used to rationalize and justify corporate control of the health care system to profit from the enterprise. ...

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Confused about health care reform? Dan Roam, of Back of the Napkin fame, explains what's going on, in his signature visual style. Good stuff.

Healthcare Napkins All style="margin:0px" width="425" height="355">
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Here are 8 health reform posts recently published on the blog. 1. Do some patients not deserve health care reform? 2. AMA: A look at the facts on health reform 3. KevinMD health reform Virtual Town Hall: Thursday, August 13th at 12:15pm Eastern 4. Countries with worse health care systems than the United States 5. Does cutting health care costs mean spending less on the elderly? 6. Who speaks for ...

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Today's health care communications lesson is brought to you courtesy of Whole Foods ... I mean John Mackey. John Mackey's stepped in it again. Last week, Mackey, the libertarian CEO of natural-foods behemoth Whole Foods, wrote an op-ed piece on health reform for The Wall Street Journal. But Mackey felt it necessary to republish it on his blog because the Journal editors lightly edited it, Journal headline writers wrote a ...

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One of the storylines in the health reform debate is how the Medicare population is fighting the current reform efforts. It's ironic, in a way, since if the status quo continues, fiscally sustaining current Medicare benefits will be a near-impossibility. In his regular column, The New York Times' Ross Douthat provides some insight as to the mindset of the Medicare recipient. He says, rightly, that, "At present, Medicare gives its ...

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One reason why health care costs are rising is the demand for the latest medical technologies. And when it comes to surgery, the latest techniques may not be worth the costs. General surgeon Jeffrey Parks talks about gallbladder surgery, where, the laparoscopic approach reduced hospital stays and diminished surgical scarring, and as Dr. Parks puts it, "the innovation has inarguably justified its increased cost." But when talking about so-called "natural ...

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by Ralph Silverman, MD, FACS, FASCRS I am tired of the comparisons people make between health care in the United States and other countries. For instance, there are those who think that we should have universal health care because some European countries and Canada do. It is true that those countries do have universal health care, but is it a fair comparison? Who does Canada rely on to defend its borders? When the ...

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