An excerpt from Are We There Yet?: The Road to Universal Health Care. Getting your business matters. Much of what’s happening now in health care and retail markets concerns pleasing you, health care consumers and patients, and getting your business. The internet matters. You’re almost all wired now. The internet is ...

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We are living in times of extreme political polarization in the United States. In fact, it’s a trend sweeping the Western world right now. I’ve always considered myself somewhat middle-of-the-road, and I vote much more for the candidate than the political party. Of course, I have my own strong views on certain issues, but I’m probably the type of swing voter that parties want to target because admittedly my voting ...

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Proponents of universal health care believe that health care is a universal human right, but is it a constitutionally-protected right, and if so, how does the U.S. Constitution compel the government to protect that right? We can make the argument that the right to health care is indeed protected under the Ninth Amendment, which states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage ...

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She said her insurance wouldn’t cover her oxygen. I didn’t believe her. She needed it. She had an irreversible lung disease that made walking a block feel like a hundred-yard sprint. It was no trouble showing she needed it-- her blood oxygen levels would drop below 85 percent with any activity (normal levels are between 95 to 100 percent). Surely this was a minor administrative hurdle. I told her I was ...

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About 30 miles east of LA, on the quiet tree-lined campus of Claremont Graduate University, sunlight pierces the ornately covered windows of a lower-level classroom in Harper Hall. A glow is cast upon the 25 students of Dr. Debbie Freund’s health policy course; PhD candidates and practicing physicians among them. Many of these bright young scholars will go on to take leadership roles in health policy, public health, IT and medical research. I ...

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Why is U.S. health care so costly compared to other developed countries? A recently published report provides some insights. In a study of 11 countries, Harvard researchers found that while the United States has the highest health costs relative to its GDP, its use of services is average. More specifically, the U.S. ranks lower than nearly every other country in doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, hospital days, and consultative services. The difference is ...

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The short white coat, breast pocket full of colorful pens, side pockets bulging with gauze pads and suture kits, a simultaneous look of bewilderment, excitement and fear. Pathognomonic signs of the third-year medical student on wards. Third year of medical school is a period of learning how to diagnose disease, treat patients and understand what it means to be a doctor in this health care landscape. There is not enough ...

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It is wildly popular to say that the chief culprit in the U.S. health care system is the traditional fee-for-service payment system, which rewards physicians for volume but not quality, leading to high-cost, low-quality health care. It supposedly follows that the fix is a system of “value-based” payments. Despite the popularity of these arguments, both aspects have been shown to be wrong. Studies show that the rising cost of American health ...

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I was behind schedule (again). My next patient was Helen, a non-compliant diabetic that hadn’t been into my office in over two years. Her blood sugars weren’t controlled at her last visit when I’d tried to impress on her the serious health problems that could develop if she didn’t take better care of herself. Clearly, I’d failed. Maybe I’d even chased her away? No pill I prescribed would help her diabetes ...

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All eyes are on interest rates as investors look for more signs of trouble ahead. If their concerns over higher-than-expected inflation prove accurate, many players in the U.S. economy will suffer the burden of higher costs. But perhaps no sector would feel the strain more than health care. Higher costs would be just the start of many problems to come for providers, insurers and, eventually, patients. Surging inflation would create a vicious ...

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