Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Health Reform: A Bandit, Not a Pundit

The essayist…can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter – philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil’s advocate, enthusiast.

E. B. White (1899-1965), Essays of E.B. White (1977)

June 8, 2010 - I have a confession to make. I am a health reform news bandit, not a news pundit.

Truth be told, I don’t know where health reform is headed. So I steal from news sources I respect. I list these sources on my web site –, as favorite links.

The Physicians Foundation
– What physicians in state medical societies think.

KevinMD - What a primary care physician thinks.

The Health Care Blog – What pundits think.

WSJ Health Blog – What the WSJ thinks is business news.

Health Leaders Media – What hospital executives think.

Kaiser Health News
– What Kaiser thinks is news of day.

Fierce Health Care – What the health care business world thinks.

Health Affairs Blog – What self-appointed policy makers think.

DJP Update – What former AMA President, Don Palimisano, thinks.

Center for Studying Health System Change – What a D.C. think tank thinks.

ACP Advocate – What the American College of Physicians thinks.

Galen Institute – What a conservative think tank thinks.

New England Journal of Medicine
– What medical academics and government policy-makers think.

Politico – What an overnight political think tank thinks.

Real Clear Politics – What a daily website that publishes both sides of political aisle along with current polls of the day thinks.

A Feel for What I Steal

To give you a feel for what I steal, here are the daily offering of news Kaiser Health News, which considers itself editorially independent.

A Big Day For The Multi-State Challenge To The Health Law (Comment: An Atlanta federal court of appeals will hear oral arguments today on whether to reverse an earlier decision by a Florida judge to overturn the law. It may not matter. Supreme Court will ultimately decide)

• Blue Shield Of California Will Cap Earnings
(Comment: Health plans are getting sensitive to Kathleen Sibelius’s criticism of them as predatory profiteers)

Study: Many Employers Will Cut Back On Health Plans When Overhaul Kicks In (Comment; WSJ reports that as many as 30% of employer covering 78 million people may drop coverage in 2014 as result of Obamacare. Moral: Obamacare has negative consequences,)

• Republican Demands, Democrats' Strategies Emerge In Debt-Ceiling Talks
(Comment: If you’re on Medicare, hold onto your wallets)

• HHS Rule For Health Exchanges Takes Shape
(Comment: legislation in Oregon to create a health insurance exchange was passed by the state House of Representatives and will now go to the governor. This seems to be happening mostly in Blue States)

• Health Law's Independent Payment Board Draws New Opposition
(Comment: Politico reports on the Independent Payment Advisory Board's growing unpopularity. Conservatives and most physician don’t trust an Obama-appointed board dictating their pay.)

• Ryan Medicare Revamp Continues To Be Political Flashpoint
(Comment: This is about demagoguery and cheap shots, although both sides know Medicare “ as we know it” is destined for change. Something must be done. Ryan's plan is a starting point: no plan is not plan at all.)

• Hospitals Want Race, Ethnic Issues Factored Into Readmissions Program
(Comment: This features interview with Donald Berwick, who insists he only has best interests of 100 million covered by Medicare and Medicaid in mind and reducing their costs.)

• Costs, Insurance Company Regulations Can Make Physical Therapy A Pain
(Comment – Physical therapy scams a big source of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse.)

• State Roundup: N.J. Plan Would Cut Medicaid By $500 Million
(Comment: Huge costs of Obama plan on state Medicaid costs are a central part of health reform debate. States insist they should be allowed to develop their own innovative approaches)

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