The tide is finally rising under the idea of health care for all in America. It is no longer possible to tar this simple and ubiquitously implemented idea as a bid to “take away our freedom” or “destroy the free market.” Hearteningly, the debate is shifting towards the harder questions of when, and how. One popular idea is to expand Medicare to cover all Americans — essentially turning the government into ...

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In 1729, a prescient Jonathan Swift wrote an essay that has a place in the health care debates of 2017. “A modest proposal for preventing the children of poor people from being a burthen to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick” reads almost like the title of a modern academic manuscript. Then, as now, it was important to look past the title before re-tweeting, ...

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The Office of the Surgeon General existed since 1871 when Dr. John Woodworth was appointed the first supervising surgeon of the national hospital system. In the previous year, the Marine Hospital was reorganized into the national hospital system. On January 4, 1889, Congress formally recognized the new personnel system as the Commissioned Corps. The Corps was established along military lines and initially consisted of only ...

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From the CMS website, October 30, 2017, “Today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma discussed the agency’s efforts to streamline quality measures, reduce regulatory burden, and promote innovation … We need to move from fee-for-service to a system that pays for value and quality -- but how we define value and quality today is a problem. We all know it: Clinicians and hospitals have to report ...

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A friend recently asked me, “Where do we go from here?” The friend was referring to our impasse with health care in America. The Democrats have failed to repair the Affordable Care Act, and the Republicans have failed to repeal or replace it. With the status quo, I can understand our health care system providing lower quality care compared to its counterpart industrialized nations. I can even tolerate lack of access to ...

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As physicians, our patients generally look up to us as people who make a great impact on their lives and sometimes even save them. But over the last year, I’d have to say that it’s my patients who have repeatedly saved me, starting with a four-month-old baby girl on November 9th, 2016. The morning after election day, I walked into my first patient’s room at 9 a.m. Like most of the ...

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Years ago, our government had a problem with health care. Medicare and other health care costs were spiraling out of control. It was clear that the problem was rapidly advancing technology and pressure to provide that technology to everyone who was demanding it. But the government, as usual, choose a politically motivated solution. They went after the one group involved who was the most disorganized, least clear on its desires and ...

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The United States of America, home of the free and land of the great. So many have died attempting to flee from war, dictatorships, and poverty to gain access. Once a country with such strong influence, it's now divided by bipartisan views and gridlocked actions. As a nation, we struggle to find solutions for our poor outcomes. Why does such a great country rank so poorly in education and health ...

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It may be hard to believe, but there is a bigger problem than repealing or saving the Affordable Care Act. And that problem is: Why are we so sick to need it in the first place? Health insurance has become the sine qua non for life in America. Without it, the Fates sever the thread of life with ease. For those escaping the scissors of death, you might be beleaguered with ...

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Over the past seven seasons, Game of Thrones fans have demonstrated the ability to spot an emerging threat early on -- a quality more leaders in health care need to possess. If you've tuned into the popular HBO series from the beginning, you likely recall Ned Stark (Lord of Winterfell) forecasting doom and gloom in the show's opening episode, appropriately titled “Winter Is Coming.” Right then, you knew something bad was ...

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