Four years ago, there was legitimate concern over Hillary Clinton’s health. Between her coughing spells, facial tics, stumbles and falls, not to mention her prism glasses and inability to hold more than a few campaign events per week, it wasn’t at all clear that she was up to the rigors of being president. Now it’s Joe Biden and his red eye-raising red flags over his health. His so-called gaffes are well ...

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Every week there is another health pronouncement saying what is now good for you and what is going to kill you. Unfortunately, the “what” is often interchangeable -- what was supposed to kill you last week is now suddenly good for you or vice versa. Foods, supplements, and activities, all studied extensively and determined to be either good or bad, then subject to a new study, with the opposite conclusion. How ...

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Medicare for all is one of the leading campaign issues among the Democratic presidential candidates. Michigan Rep. John Conyers first introduced the idea in Congress in 2003. It went nowhere, but as the one-time party of JFK morphed into something much further left, Medicare for all rose from the dead. Medicare for all promises universal coverage, so that no one is without insurance. Unfortunately, it is cost prohibitive, costing as much as ...

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Older surgeons are coming under increasing scrutiny as their competence and ability to practice medicine are called into question especially since many continue to work in their 60s and 70s. The New York Times addressed this in a recent article entitled, “When is the surgeon too old to operate?” They described an 80-year-old chief of vascular surgery at a New Jersey hospital who was the first doctor evaluated by a ...

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Science is in a constant state of flux. Theories are put forth to explain natural phenomena, based on the best knowledge of the day. These theories are tested. If they correctly predict future observations, the theories become more credible. If, however, these theories fail to predict accurately, they require modification or outright dismissal. What is considered “settled science” one day may be turned upside down the next day as new data comes ...

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President Trump recently unveiled a plan to, “Bring soaring drug prices back down to earth.” Acknowledging that the current system is broken, with drug prices beyond the reach of many patients, the President’s plan targets drug patents, pharmacy benefits managers, and drug pricing negotiated by foreign countries. Yet he misses one of the big elephants in the room, the fact that here in the U.S, Medicare is forbidden to negotiate what ...

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Eye surgery is a delicate business. It involves operating within an orb the size of a large marble to remove a cataract or repair a retinal detachment. Not only is superb eye-hand coordination a must, but also an awareness of the myriad other medical issues in the elderly population most in need of eye surgery. Traditionally, patients undergoing cataract surgery had a preoperative medical evaluation, including blood work, chest X-ray, and EKG, ...

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When thinking about the United States military, we conjure up images of Rambo and GI Jane, or Maverick and Iceman from Top Gun. The images are of lean, mean fighting machines who are ripped, fit and ready to take on America’s enemies. Movies are one thing, but reality paints a different picture. A recent report from The Heritage Foundation describes trouble ahead for the U.S. military. Based on 2017 Pentagon ...

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So much for repealing and replacing Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy Senate bill is on life support. Members of the Senate death panel have made their decision, leaving their patient on palliative care to spend the last few days of life on heavy pain meds but without lifesaving treatments. Death is scheduled for the end of September when time runs out on the reconciliation rules which allow the Senate to pass legislation ...

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Obamacare repeal and replace is going nowhere, despite seven years of promises by Republican members of Congress. For the foreseeable future, it will remain the law of the land, along with rising insurance premiums and deductibles and fewer plans to choose from. It’s worth remembering the next time someone asks you for money to support Republican incumbents. What if the airline industry could light the runway toward fixing one of the ...

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Physicians are influenced by marketing. That's no surprise. So are most consumers, as evidenced by television and radio commercials, billboards, pop up ads and targeted ads for drugs on your computer screen. Big Pharma markets not only to physicians, but also directly to consumers. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Dr. Nicole Van Gronigen made the case that Big Pharma successfully influences physician prescribing behavior via marketing. Specifically, drug ...

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By now, most readers already know that Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor -- specifically, a glioblastoma.  I take no pleasure is suspecting such a diagnosis, as I wrote a few days ago, based on a bit of medical logic and observation rather than what the media reported. This is a devastating diagnosis for the senator and his family, not the blood clot initially described, ...

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Senator John McCain recently had surgery to “remove a blood clot above his left eye” according to a CNN report. CNN, fortunately, didn’t have a chance to wade into their familiar territory of fake news because they had a practicing neurosurgeon, and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on hand to discuss Senator McCain’s surgery. Despite the cheery description, “minimally invasive craniotomy,” this was brain surgery, opening the skull ...

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I was thinking of giving politics a break for my next column, instead focusing on some interesting news in the medical world. But alas, politics has permeated all aspects of life, whether professional sports or the latest TV series. Few television shows don’t have a same-sex couple or transgendered individual. Sports news can’t avoid discussions of race, climate change or gun control. What about the medical world? Is that too overrun ...

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Despite campaign promises from then candidate Donald Trump as well as from incumbent and new members of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, now almost six months into the Trump presidency, Obamacare is still the law of the land. Progress, albeit slow, was apparent this week as the Senate debated their version of a replacement, following the House doing the same two months ago. Are either if these bills a true ...

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President Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare. Congress, when campaigning for reelection every two years, promised the same. Yet Congress can’t seem to get the job done. First, they needed the House, then the Senate, finally the White House. All delivered to GOP control by the voters. With the reasonable expectation of repeal and replace. Yet nothing from Congress but a dial tone. The House passed an Obamacare-lite bill, tweaking ...

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Single-payer health care remains the holy grail for Democrats seeking the ultimate in command and control government. Wealth redistribution on a previously unimaginable scale. The nanny state government controlling all aspects of everyone’s life, as few human activities don’t influence health in some way. Congressional Democrats are locked and loaded with federal legislation expanding Medicare to everyone. Specifically, this bill would provide, “all individuals residing in the United ...

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President Donald Trump in a recent press briefing with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced, “Of course the Australians have better health care than we do - everybody does.” On the heels of the House narrowly passing the first in many steps toward Obamacare repeal and replace, President Trump’s comment caused a bit of a stir, to say the least. MSNBC was all over it. Chris Hayes interviewed fellow socialist Senator ...

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Election Day 2016 should have been Christmas morning for Republicans. Long awaited control of the White House and both houses of Congress. A chance to deliver on an every two-year election cycle promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. In 2010 Republicans needed the House. They got it. In 2014, it was the Senate. Delivered. But we still need the White House they said. Asked and answered with President Donald Trump. So, ...

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As the repeal of Obamacare is debated in the halls of Congress and on cable TV, one common theme is: “What will happen to patients?” Questions loom about what might change with coverage, about cost, about whether you’ll still be able to keep your doctor, and if medications will still be covered But what about doctors? What about how they’re doing? There are things doctors want to tell their patients, not only about ...

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