We live in a fractured country and opinions are becoming more polarized. It’s getting harder to find common ground as everyone slowly recedes further into their social media or cable news echo chambers. One of the best things about working in health care is that these opinions don’t matter. We take it as our duty to treat everyone equally, with the utmost respect, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or ...

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With the 2020 election cycle already moving into high gear, we are hearing a lot about Medicare for all. But is it a serious campaign promise, a catchy bumper sticker or a viable national program? Supporters suggest it will be a panacea for our nation’s health insurance needs. Others are less sure. And some are downright opposed. So where do we go? As a starting point, there are things we can ...

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One of the most popular topics in health care is the idea of universal health care coverage. You know the soundbites: “Medicare for all.” “Single-payer system.” While universal coverage sounds desirable to many, some factors must be considered. In this post, I’m going to provide an aerial view of this complicated topic. My goal is to translate this issue into patient-friendly language that all of us can understand. This topic isn’t ...

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Rudolf Virchow, a pioneering physician of the 1800s, once wrote that “politics is nothing but medicine on a large scale”. Over a century later, this nexus is as apparent as ever, and many doctors engage as practitioners of both. Twitter erupted this past fall with photos of soiled scrubs, resuscitation room floors and
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The evolving politics of single-payer health care conflate the concepts of universal coverage, health care on demand and free health care. To the indiscriminate progressive mind, all three are part of the holy grail. The fly in the ointment is that highly attractive and altruistic politics runs into the brick wall of reality. As Thomas Sowell — a noted Stanford economist — wrote: "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: ...

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Medicare for all is one of the leading campaign issues among the Democratic presidential candidates. Michigan Rep. John Conyers first introduced the idea in Congress in 2003. It went nowhere, but as the one-time party of JFK morphed into something much further left, Medicare for all rose from the dead. Medicare for all promises universal coverage, so that no one is without insurance. Unfortunately, it is cost prohibitive, costing as much as ...

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What is self-awareness? A quick Google search says that it is “conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” In other words, my worldview is different than yours. Hypothetically, I am a Republican, and you are a Democrat. You don’t believe in vaccinations, but I do. I believe in universal health care, but you disagree with my stance. You believe in stricter gun laws, and I don’t. That ...

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Thirteen years ago, as a student in New York City, I marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to implore my colleagues to fight for universal health care. That day, I enunciated what has become my personal mission by saying, "We need universal coverage that is portable. We need universal coverage that is comprehensive. We need universal coverage that ensures equal access to care. Most importantly, we need you — to lead ...

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Older surgeons are coming under increasing scrutiny as their competence and ability to practice medicine are called into question especially since many continue to work in their 60s and 70s. The New York Times addressed this in a recent article entitled, “When is the surgeon too old to operate?” They described an 80-year-old chief of vascular surgery at a New Jersey hospital who was the first doctor evaluated by a ...

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Medicine need not be confined to the role of cultural bellwether, a sheep with a bell on its neck that reveals where the whole flock is headed. Along with other professions such as law, clergy, and education, medicine can and should play the leadership role of a shepherd, helping our society to develop more thoughtful, balanced and generous approaches to the challenges that face us. After all, the word
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