Originally published in MedPage Today by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer Soft drinks and other beverages loaded with sugar should be taxed as a public health hazard, much as cigarettes are, a group of prominent medical researchers says. medpage-today Since extensive evidence ties sugary drinks to an epidemic of obesity and related health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, they ...

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Newsweek's Sharon Begley pens an excellent piece on why Americans will reject evidence-based medical decisions. She opens with a vignette, which every emergency physician should be familiar with:

A 4-year-old suffers minor head trauma, perhaps from falling off a swing and hitting her head on the ground. She is dazed, and although she doesn't lose consciousness her worried parents—visions of subdural hematomas and concussion dancing in their own heads—rush her to the ...

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by Abraham Verghese, MD The unfortunate politicians who have braved town hall meetings to talk about health reform seem to have been taken by surprise by the vitriol and volume of the push back. Yes, I know the audiences were marshaled and recruited to shout down the speakers but still the passion on display was genuine and not in the least surprising to me. What the President and our politicians should ...

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1. Most physicians do not set their own fees. Medicare, Medicaid, and private health plans set these fees, which often have little to do with the costs of doing business. 2. Congress each year sets Medicare fees through a formula called SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate), which this year calls for a 20% reduction in overall physician fees. 3. If SGR were to go through as to proposed, surveys indicate at many at ...

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by Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today A solid majority of physicians favor creating a new public insurance option that would operate alongside existing private plans, according to a survey published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. medpage-today About 63% of doctors, across a smattering of specialties and in various geographic regions, support a public insurance option. That ...

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by Peggy Peck, Executive Editor, MedPage Today In an important step toward moving healthcare reform legislation through Congress, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced his much-awaited bill today after months of working to gain bipartisan support. medpage-today The chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee released a summary of legislation that would not create a public insurance option and would cost $856 ...

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That's a sensitive topic that progressive reformers often bring up as one way to control health spending. Over at Slate, Christopher Beam takes a balanced look at the issue. He acknowledges that, yes, American physicians get paid proportionally more than the average employee when compared to other countries. But that should always come with the caveat that other countries, like Great Britain and France, heavily subsidize medical education, while the average ...

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by Gary R. Gibson, MD, FACP We can deliver better health care to every U.S. citizen at less than one-half of 2.1 trillion dollars per year with constructive reform, a system wherein people receiving and providing care would feel greater satisfaction and dignity. Through courage and perseverance, we must identify and minimize waste, eliminate corruption and modernize our system. In a competitive world economy, we must reform health care ...

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by Mark Coyne The core of the health care debate revolves around the perceived spiraling cost of health care in America. There are many quotes in the media, and from politicians, that health care costs are increasing by more than 10 percent a year, and consistently increasing by more than wage growth – which is unsustainable in the long term. The basic point being made is correct, the overall ...

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by Kumud B. Jindal, MD, MPH Many patients and self-appointed health care experts view medical services as commodities, and openly express frustration with seemingly opaque pricing for a visit to the doctor’s office. “Doctors should publish their fees so we know what we’re paying!” The idea that this matters significantly with regard to health care costs is a terrible myth, one that deserves much closer scrutiny. The health insurance industry and ...

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