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 ...

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Every time I hear that there is a nursing shortage in America, I feel myself cringe. There is not a shortage of nurses in America. There is a shortage of nurses who choose to work at the bedside. There is a reason, and it is called post-traumatic stress disorder. Medically, we have learned that PTSD can occur after a single event or as a result of chronic stressors for a period ...

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If you live or work in Washington DC, your number one health care question is how do I (or my meal ticket people) win the next election. If you live or work in Caruthersville MO, chances are that your most pressing health care question is how do I (or my immediate family members) get a hold of some insulin this month. Theoretically speaking, in a healthy democracy, the answers to ...

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“Does my insurance cover this?” I cannot calculate how often a patient poses this inquiry to me assuming wrongly that I have expertise in the insurance and reimbursement aspects of medicine. If I -- a gastroenterologist -- do not even know how much a colonoscopy costs, it is unlikely that I can speak with authority to a patient’s general insurance coverage issues. Of course, patients assume that we physicians have an expansive ...

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I delight in learning my patients' stories and giving them exactly what they need when I take care of them in the hospital. Who they are and what is the best approach to their problem is the primary mystery to be solved, my Sherlock Holmes moment. This is why, if somebody asks me, I will tell them that doctoring is the best job in the world. The opportunity to connect ...

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Let’s burn health insurance down. Greedy corporate bastards should burn. Big Pharma and big hospitals should probably burn too. You know who else is really, really, bad? Wall Street. Let’s burn the banks. And let’s burn Big Tech and the entire Silicon Valley cartel. Let’s also burn Big Agribusiness that’s making us fat and sick. And let’s burn the Oil companies that are destroying the planet, and let’s burn the ...

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Our health care system is in crisis and needs significant change. So, I was excited to read Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum's great February 2019 three-part series in the New England Journal of Medicine and accompanied round table about teamwork in health care. Rosenbaum kicks off each piece with a story: How the Brigham's and Women's Hospital's "shock team," doctors of different specialties, worked seamlessly in a "remarkable ...

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Well, I won. Six years after I started down the very slow process to end forced MOC in my state, it happened. On December 27, 2018 Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed HB 4134 and 4135 into law. The harm BCBS caused me and my patients will never happen to another pediatrician in Michigan. I know. Crazy. I'm still in shock. It's taken a while to process it enough to ...

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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 ...

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“I don’t know what happened” is probably one of the most common phrases any parent hears. Last weekend, while wrapping my son’s bleeding head in gauze from our first aid kit, this was the best explanation my daughter could muster as to why her two-year-old brother was screaming, holding tightly to a blood-covered plastic ice cream cone. In the end, it was a complete accident (he hit his head on ...

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