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.

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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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And that's precisely what's obstructing any meaningful reform. Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt talks about how the American people wants to have their cake and eat it too, and devises an "all-American wish list" of what ideal reform should look like to the American public. It includes such items as, "Cost-effectiveness analysis should never be the basis of any coverage decision by public or private third-party payers in health care, for to ...

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Here are the top posts from the past month, based on the number of times they were viewed. 1. Did propofol, or Diprivan, kill Michael Jackson? 2. The AMA and Sermo break up, and how it’s getting ugly 3. Improve primary care access before guaranteeing universal health coverage, my address at the National Press Club 4. America’s failed attempt at a single-payer system, the Indian Health Service 5. Can doctors ...

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The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American Medical Association. by J. James Rohack, M.D. american medical associationAs members of Congress return to their districts this month, it should be a time for thoughtful dialogue on health system reform so that when lawmakers return to Washington they can complete their work. Physicians nationwide are ...

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