It's pretty simple, really. Once people gain actual real-life experience with a government program, they abandon their fear of the unknown, see its benefits more clearly, and become invested in its future. We've seen that with Medicare, which consistently pleases its beneficiaries. Part D has similar traction, and now we've learned that the citizens of Massachusetts are increasingly happy with that state's health reform. I'm not arguing that Massachusetts, Part D or even ...

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If we're serious about cutting Federal health care expenditures over the long term, here are two changes that will do just that. 1. Requiring HHS to negotiate with pharma for Part D drug costs would reduce annual expenditures by over $20 billion. As I've noted repeatedly(but unfortunately few in the mass media have), Part D's perhaps the biggest deficit problem we have - the ultimate unfunded liability is now over $20 trillion. ...

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To understand how hard it is going to be to control health care costs, one merely has to consider the outrage surrounding TSA's recent roll-out of "enhanced security" measures - measures which include 'enhanced pat downs' and full body scans. Videos of boys getting patted down personified the problem. But the upset and outrage and anger visible today will be nothing if ...

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There's no question the Accountable Care Act needs work - everyone agrees on that. So let's talk about the specifics - what needs fixing, why, and how can we get those fixes passed. First, let's understand how bad our current system is. Some who want to repeal and/or replace the ACA continue to publicly state we have "the best health care in the world." While that may - or may not - have ...

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We're learning a lot from Massachusetts' experiment in universal coverage - and some of the lessons are rather enlightening. According to Bestwire, Lora Pellegrini, president of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, said something along the lines of "That's the problem with the new U.S. health care reform law ... it offers millions of uninsured Americans access to health insurance but doesn't address underlying medical costs, which are contributing to costly ...

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Just in case you thought the problems with abuse of powerful prescription drugs have been overstated, here's a wake-up call.

The CDC's Director is taking this very seriously, saying: "Overdose with prescription drugs is one of the most serious and fastest-growing problems in this country." The problem is showing up in a doubling of emergency room admissions due to prescription drug abuse, driven primarily by oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone. Narcotic use is rampant ...

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The recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as head of CMS has incited a furor among politicians outraged at what they claim are his advocacy for rationing and fondness for Britain's National Health Service. To support their claims, these politicians are using Berwick's own words, in a way eerily reminiscent of the recent Shirley Sherrod debacle. It started with Glenn Beck, master of the one-word quote, and then slipped over into more ...

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Some physicians and physician groups are quite upset about insurers' recent moves to offer employer customers tight, small networks of providers based on quality and cost criteria. In an effort to block these new plans, the AMA and other groups are focusing on the few problems with ratings and avoiding the larger issue - some physicians are just bad actors. What they should be doing is working closely with health plans ...

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