The World Health Organization describes universal health coverage -- a system coupling health care access with financial protection for all residents -- as the “single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” The goal of universal care is to give all people the equal opportunity to enjoy the best health possible. I wholeheartedly endorse universal health care, though not a single-payer system like "Medicare for all" because there is ...

Read more...

This is a brief explanation of Medicare from a physician's perspective, as well as my thoughts on how Congress could make adjustments that would bring us closer to universal care and provide the private market the freedom to improve health care outcomes. Medicare is a national health insurance program that provides health insurance for Americans ages 65 and older, and those who are disabled or have specific chronic conditions. Medicare covers ...

Read more...

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) became a national headline for alleging that "[nurses] probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” during debate on legislation mandating break periods. Many nurses have mailed decks of cards to Walsh and posted pictures of blood-spattered emergency department walls in order to call attention to “last night’s card game,” driving home the point that they aren’t “playing” anything ...

Read more...

Recent polls show a majority of Americans support Medicare for all, but few seem to realize that no other system in the world operates like the current single payer proposals in Congress. Recently, I addressed the concept of single-payer health care, with Cuba's system as an example. Today I'm writing more about the ideas being discussed now in our country and how those compare to other nations ...

Read more...

It’s no secret that in today’s health care market, insurance companies are calling the shots. As a pediatrician in private practice for almost two decades, I’ve seen insurance companies transform into perhaps the single most powerful player in today’s health care landscape -- final arbiters whose decisions about which procedures or medications to authorize effectively end up determining the course of patient care. Decisions made by insurers, such as MassHealth, have ...

Read more...

Recently, a child was on a waitlist for five months to get into my practice. For this article, I will call him Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim, now five years old, has a skin condition known as eczema or atopic dermatitis. When we first met, virtuously every area of his body was covered with wounds from constant scratching. Skin that breaks easily and heals poorly can give bacteria access to other parts ...

Read more...

The New York University School of Medicine stunned the nation by announcing tuition for all current and future medical students will be free, irrespective of merit or financial need. Dr. Robert Grossman, dean at NYU, commented: “This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.” NYU says their scholarship -- which begins in the ...

Read more...

A few weeks ago, I saw a young patient who was suffering from an ear infection. It was his fourth visit in eight weeks, as the infection had proven resistant to an escalating series of antibiotics prescribed so far. It was time to bring out a heavier hitter. I prescribed ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic rarely used in pediatrics, yet effective for some drug-resistant pediatric infections. The patient was on the state Medicaid ...

Read more...

In July, 2009, the family of Massachusetts teenager Yarushka Rivera went to their local Walgreens to pick up Topomax, an anti-seizure drug that had been keeping her epilepsy in check for years. Rivera had insurance coverage through MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid insurance program for low-income children, and never ran into obstacles obtaining this life-saving medication. But in July of 2009, she turned 19, and when, shortly after her birthday, her family ...

Read more...

When Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan (AmBerGan) announced their health care partnership, Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett declared “the ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.”  He is right. Our broken system is infested with tapeworms. Tapeworms are parasites; they exploit their hosts, drain resources, and suck the life out of their prey. Unfortunately, Buffet failed to call attention to the tapeworms specifically; ...

Read more...

7 Pages

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.