My take: Social networks, Obama, mandates, Super Bowl, military malpractice

1) My take is that the physician-only sites like Sermo and iMedExchange have fantastic, illuminating discussions that I read on a daily basis. Some of the gripes and stories relayed behind closed doors offer the most honest look at what’s wrong with health care today. Part of me wishes that the public would be invited to see what’s being said, so they can get a first-hand taste of …

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Mandate wars

Obama and Clinton’s plans are essentially the same, save for individual mandates for adults. I tend to agree with Obama, who focuses on costs above mandates.

As Massachusetts is finding out, an individual mandate still leaves people uninsured. Also, if the penalties aren’t stiff enough, you see the ridiculous scenario of people paying not to have insurance.

Presidential candidates and their voices

Interesting WSJ article on what the candidates do when their voice becomes hoarse from the constant public speaking:

John McCain’s voice was little more than a rasp at Jan. 9 rallies in South Carolina. With a televised campaign debate scheduled the next night, aides sprang into action. They bought the Arizona senator a bottle of olive oil.

The 71-year-old Mr. McCain took a tablespoonful an hour before the …

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Health care in Nevada

Nevada has a high number of uninsured, bringing health care to the forefront there, says the NY Times:

The state has an unusually high number of people with no insurance, doctors are hard to come by, Medicaid reimbursements are low and health care safety nets are eroding.

Hmm . . . doctors are hard to come by, and Medicaid reimbursements are low. Isn’t the solution staring the politicians …

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Tort reform: Where the candidates stand

A nice summary. Of the Democrats, Obama’s statement following statement still resonates with me: “Anyone who denies there’s a crisis with medical malpractice is probably a trial lawyer.”

Handy to remember come tomorrow when I go to the polls.

"If Obama were starting from scratch, he would support a single payer system"

Well, thank God we’re not starting from scratch.

That being said, he is quite impressive on the stump, and anyone who annoys Paul Krugman captures my attention.

Still undecided on who I’m going to vote for in the NH primary, but he’s one I’m considering.

Obama vs the liberal bloggers

Anyone who takes on Paul Krugman gets high marks in this corner. Obama did, and now is facing the wrath of the progressive bloggers. See how this is a good thing:

Obama’s greatest strength may be in understanding the views of other political groups far better than those who attack him. Seeing Obama pursue a liberal agenda while still managing to differ from the orthodoxy of the Democratic …

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Health care fight on the left

I have to admit, I’m somewhat enjoying this. Anyone, from the left no less, who takes on Paul Krugman bears watching. Obama just moved up a few notches in my book.

Interesting Obama take

Obama is under fire for the lack of an individual mandate in his health care plan. Is it political brilliance?

Is Obama addicted to Nicorette?

Tara Parker-Pope takes a look at the presidential candidate’s nicotine habit.

Giuliani’s health plan

He offers a free-market based solution:

Mr. Giuliani said that a “socialist” model would bankrupt the government.

“That is where Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are taking you,” he said. “You have got to see the trap. Otherwise we are in for a disaster. We are in for Canadian health care, French health care, British health care.” . . .

. . . In proposing …

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Gawande on health reform: "It is not single-payer"

His most recent op-ed talks about the health reform possibilities:

This is what that road looks like. It is not single-payer. It instead follows the lead of European countries ranging from the Netherlands to Switzerland to Germany that provide universal coverage (and more doctors, hospitals and access to primary care) through multiple private insurers while spending less money than we do. The proposals all define basic benefits that insurers …

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Obama’s health plan

It’s not single-payer and doesn’t have a “doctor tax”, so label me cautiously optimistic on Mr. Obama’s proposal right now.

Kate Phillips, John McCormick, and Ezra Klein with the requisite analysis.

Campaigning for President is tiring

Barack Obama gives fatigue as a reason for his “10,000 deaths” slip-up. Volokh says campaigning for President is indeed tiring. But it should be, as Glenn Reynolds points out:

Of course, being president is tiring too, and one of the arguments for a grueling campaign season is that it weeds out people who don’t function well when tired.

Makes me wonder what kind of surgeons we’re going to …

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Obama: Does he know what he’s talking about when it comes to health care?

John Dickerson in Slate has his doubts. (via Health Care BS)

The Democrats’ solution to malpractice

“Now Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., have introduced the ‘Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act,’ which would provide funding to doctors, hospitals, and health systems that put in place mechanisms to promptly disclose medical mistakes or other mishaps to patients, offer compensation if the health provider is at fault, and ensure that those mistakes are reported to experts who can analyze …

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Barack Obama answers questions on health care

“Q. Doctors are leaving southern Illinois to practice elsewhere because of high medical malpractice insurance costs. When do you think this will be resolved and what do you think will do it?

A. There is a crisis in Illinois. Malpractice insurance premiums are going up and making it too expensive for doctors to provide the care our citizens need in crucial areas. …

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