Medicaid — the program that provides funding for adults, seniors (along with Medicare), children and people who are blind or disabled who can't pay for their own health care — is expensive. It is painfully expensive. The program, along with CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program), marketplace subsidies and Medicare is responsible for 25 percent of the federal budget. Total Medicaid costs in 2016 were ...

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On May 15, President Trump attempted to kill not just two, but three birds with one tweet, simultaneously denouncing the Media and the Mueller investigation, and crowing about his approval ratings. “Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best ...

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On June 10, 1963, the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, amending the previous Fair Labor Standards Act.  Under this law, pay disparities between men and women were clearly prohibited. More than fifty-five years later, women are still fighting to be paid the same as men holding the same jobs. Gender pay disparities exist among all professions. Not only does a pay gap exist ...

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I lost a friend this month. She was a surgeon; she was one of us. We lost her. So did her patients. All the ones she helped. The ones she saved. So did her hospital, her nurses, her techs. So did her family. All the love, coming to a screeching halt. Another friend lost. Another brilliant healer in medicine -- gone. Another one I will now refer to as “she was …” when I talk ...

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A relative taught me to drive in a burgundy Lincoln Town Car in an empty Long Island parking lot in the 1980s. After emphasizing the need to practice driving in reverse, he also warned: “A car is a weapon. You can kill someone, or get killed, in an instant.” I am a safer driver (forwards and backwards) thanks to his warning. This relative had purchased several handguns over the years. He ...

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When news broke that Dr. Atul Gawande had been named CEO of the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Chase health care partnership, industry insiders were quick to raise doubts about his credentials. Some pointed to his limited administrative experience, questioning how someone who has never managed a hospital or health system could oversee the care of some 1 million patient-employees. They also noted that the surgeon and bestselling author doesn’t know much ...

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Like many of us, I have been struggling to reconcile my love for everything good about this country with the senseless gun violence that terrorizes us today. In the wake of each shooting, I vow to do more — to speak up as a surgeon, as a former victim of gun violence and simply as a fellow human — but the words escape me. How do we make meaning out ...

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That statement from a recent patient was a summary to me of what is bad in our health care “system.”  It’s a terrible summary of what is seen all over this country with people who must make the choice between financial solvency and health. Here’s what happened:  It was a new patient I saw, who is a veteran who owns two businesses.  He went out on his own when he “kept ...

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"Some data is better than no data at all." Do you believe that? I heard it frequently when the infamous ProPublica's Surgeon Scorecard first appeared three years ago. Back then I blogged about it saying “To me, bad data is worse than no data at all.” A recent study in BJU International confirmed my thoughts about this type of publicly posted data and identified a previously unreported issue. The paper attempted to ...

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STAT_Logo Fair and just societies protect children. The Trump administration’s unconscionable practice of separating children from their families at the border between Mexico and the United States is making me rethink what kind of society I live in. The images and the stories are heartbreaking. In an effort to deter families from migrating to the United States, reports ...

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