Here are the top posts from the past month, based on the number of times they were viewed. 1. Did propofol, or Diprivan, kill Michael Jackson? 2. The AMA and Sermo break up, and how it’s getting ugly 3. Improve primary care access before guaranteeing universal health coverage, my address at the National Press Club 4. America’s failed attempt at a single-payer system, the Indian Health Service 5. Can doctors ...

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Those on the left will pretty much sacrifice everything to attain their goal of universal coverage. But, in this well-reasoned piece by conservative economist Tyler Cowen, expanding coverage won't necessarily control costs, which is a more imperative issue. The bandied about means of cost control, such as electronic medical records, cutting provider payments, and preventive care, all will have little nor no impact in controlling costs. Take physician reimbursements, for ...

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The repercussions after Obama's speech to the AMA's delegates continue to be felt. Not least of which are the murmurings of the other professional physician groups, who say that the AMA does not represent a majority of physicians. In this piece from pediatrician Rahul Parikh, he notes that about 30 percent of physicians are AMA members. Remaining doctors belong to groups with more liberal political leanings, including the American ...

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I wrote back in February that one of the biggest threats to health reform was not from conservatives and the right, but from within President Obama's own party. Today, some four months later, the Washington Post reports that that's pretty much what's happening. In its report, the Post writes:

In the high-stakes battle over health care, a growing cadre of liberal activists is aiming its sharpest firepower against Democratic senators ...

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Family physician Doug Farrago, of Placebo Journal fame, gives his take on President Obama's speech to the AMA. width="425" height="344">

The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American Medical Association. by J. James Rohack, M.D. We have a historic opportunity for health reform this year and the AMA was delighted to welcome President Obama to our Annual Meeting in Chicago earlier this week. Like the President, we are committed to health-care reform that will provide all Americans with affordable, high-quality health coverage. I was personally honored ...

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With entries dating back to 2004, here are 10 classic blog posts on President Obama: 1. How the primary care doctor shortage threatens Obama’s health reform plan 2. The Obama health care summit, and did the President offer any clues to the upcoming health reform effort? 3. Is Physicians for a National Health Program the biggest threat to Obama’s health reform plan? 4. Did Obama provide any health care clues ...

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Emergency physician WhiteCoat continues the chronicles of his concluded malpractice trial. A recent episode focused on the deposition at the plaintiff attorney's office. Along the way, there are observations on whether doctors with thick foreign accents make good witnesses (according to WhiteCoat's lawyer, "juries are not very forgiving of foreign doctors"), or if the bathrooms were bugged. Cloak and dagger stuff. But importantly, with the deposition focused on whether WhiteCoat ...

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I was seeing patients during the actual speech, so I had to rely on the transcript. The points that interested me the most were any language pertaining to malpractice, addressing the AMA's recent concerns about the public plan option, and reforming the physician payment system. I think he did pretty well. Regarding the physician payment system, he again addressed McAllen, Texas, which is fast becoming the symbol of what's wrong with American ...

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Or is it a red herring? President Obama is making a much-ballyhooed address to the American Medical Association today (and will be live-Tweeted over at MedPage Today), and perhaps not coincidentally, there's a piece in today's New York Times saying that Obama himself is one of the few supporters willing to address the issue of malpractice reform. According to the piece, "In closed-door talks, Mr. Obama has been making the ...

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Most of us are now familiar with the estimates that as much as one-third of our health care dollars are squandered on ineffective, often unnecessary, unproven and overpriced products and services. But which third? The fat in our health-care system is not hanging out conveniently on the edges of the steak, waiting to be trimmed. It will take a scalpel, a keen eye, and a steady hand to remove at least ...

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President Obama hopes so. But, as Abraham Verghese writes, we can't be so sure of that. The great cost-cutting hopes proposed by the government, which also include information technology and preventive medicine, all have very little data that show there will be any meaningful cost savings. Are we focusing on the wrong things for cost control? Instead of making the difficult decisions, which includes revamping the physician payment system, ...

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Doctors still wield tremendous influence in the health care debate, since they still have the confidence of most patients. If Congress and the Obama administration can convince doctors to support health care reform, it can be, as the ACP's Bob Doherty notes, "decisive in determining if the public will be behind the effort, because voters are much less likely to support health care reform if told that it will result ...

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Sonia Sotomayor has been named as a potential favorite to fill the upcoming Supreme Court opening. But she has type I diabetes, and diabetes blogger Amy Tenderich discusses whether this will work against her. As she puts it, this can be a ground-breaking decision, "where survivorship with chronic illness meets the glass ceiling." There are arguments in the blogosphere back and forth, but Ms. Tenderich raises some interesting points. For instance, when ...

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As we know, the American Medical Association was part of the consortium that offered to voluntarily rein in health care spending over the next decade.

I'll leave it to the health policy blogs to discuss the implications, but of course, everyone is asking, "What's in it for me?"

The AMA tipped their hand a bit in a recent WSJ Health Blog post. It's well known that President ...

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The following is the first in a series of original guest columns by the American Medical Association.

by J. James Rohack, M.D.

In an unprecedented endeavor aimed at achieving health-care reform this year, the American Medical Association (AMA) stood with President Obama and other key health-care stakeholders Monday to announce efforts to "bend the spending curve" on health care. U.S. health-care ...

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With entries dating back to 2004, here are 10 classic blog posts on health care reform:

1. Convincing doctors to accept a public health care plan option

2. Why health reform is going to be difficult, and the trouble with saying no to American patients

3. Should a public plan option be part of any health reform initiative?

4. The Obama health ...

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A few zealous single-payer advocates, Physicians for a National Health Program included, were arrested this past week for disrupting Senate hearings.

Pictured here is psychiatrist Dr. Carol Paris, who was among the doctors arrested.

I'm not going to rehash the single-payer debate in this post, but I wonder whether resorting to criminal activity is really the best way to push your agenda.

From this corner, ...

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Here are the top posts from this past month, based on the number of times they were viewed.

1. How do I prevent and treat swine flu, and, is a pandemic imminent?

2. The Craigslist Killer is a Boston University medical student

3. Is the nursing shortage overblown?

4. Most hospitalists are good, but some, like these ones, aren't

5.
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Top story in The New York Times.

Excellent.

There's hope that maybe, just maybe, we're getting through to the decision makers in Washington.

The article itself is old news to regular readers of this blog, and regurgitates many of the arguments impeding health reform, as well as the problems in solving them.

"Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase ...

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