by John Fauber For nearly a decade, Paula Oertel's brain tumor was kept at bay by a drug that was not approved to treat her condition. Then Oertel did something she never imagined would jeopardize her health. She moved -- less than 30 miles -- from one county in Wisconsin to another. That move triggered a review of her health insurance from Medicare, which eventually led to a loss of coverage, including ...

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by Emily P. Walker In the postgame wrap-up on healthcare reform, analysts say the big winners are lobbyists, who managed to earn record amounts during the more than year-long battle. About 1,750 businesses and organizations spent $1.2 billion in 2009 to lobby for their positions on healthcare reform and other legislative issues, according to a new study from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI). An exact breakdown of how much money lobbyists made ...

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Obamacare faces a shaky future because of its call for an individual mandate. This mandate requires people to buy insurance or face income tax penalties, which the IRS would presumably enforce. As I write, attorney generals in 35 states are in the process of challenging the individual mandate as unconstitutional. The individual mandate issue is important.  Kill it, and you kill Obamacare. Why? Because the individual mandate is the political mechanism for controlling ...

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In the Journal of the American Medical Association on May 15, 1991, in our first of many theme issues dedicated to "Caring for the uninsured and underinsured," I wrote: "An aura of inevitability is upon us. It is no longer acceptable morally, ethically, or economically for so many of our people to be medically uninsured or seriously underinsured. We can solve this problem. We have the knowledge and the resources, ...

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by Emily P. Walker A physician profiling method used by private insurance companies to steer patients toward lower-cost physicians isn't reliable, researchers found. According to a study published in the March 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, 43% of physicians who are ranked as "lower cost" doctors according to a common formula used by insurance companies are not actually treating patients for any less than physicians with comparable ...

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The health reform legislation was decidedly unpopular, with a variety of polls showing the majority disapproved of the bill. What did the people want? The ACP's Bob Doherty linked to a post by Princeton's Uwe Reinhardt, who observed 10 things that the public wants in health care reform:

1. Lets only patients and their own physicians determine how to respond clinically to a given medical condition, never an insurance clerk or, even ...

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One of the points of contention in health care reform is whether it will do enough to control costs. Forget about the Congressional Budget Office's optimistic outlook, as it discounts the Medicare "doc fix," which, when factored in, will erase any supposed deficit reduction. Reform doesn't do very much to change the underlying structure of our health system, which continues to pay more for quantity of medical services, rather than shift ...

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During President Obama's final push for "universal health care" legislation, his biggest obstacle was not Republicans but rather anti-abortion Democrats let by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Michigan). Stupak eventually reached a last-minute deal with the White House on federal funding of abortion services. But no one should be surprised that under government-controlled health insurance, medical coverage decisions will be based on political considerations. Rather, the recent wrangling over abortion will be ...

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Let's get one thing out of the way. The health care reform bill that passed the House this past Sunday, and will be fixed via reconciliation in the Senate, is a moderate, relatively incremental approach to fixing our health care system. Conservatives are up in arms, as they have been during the entire process, and are lining up lawsuits and trying to gather momentum to repeal the bill. And I'm asking myself, ...

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by Robin Tang Sunday, March 22, 2010, marked the passage of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872) by the House by a narrow 219-212 margin, with no Republicans voting in favor. Whether you think the bill is good, bad, sustainable, or even constitutional, we can agree this was a historic day. Putting politics aside, I want to highlight two parts of the bill that aren’t getting enough ...

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