30 Sep 2009

Do violent death and accidents in the US explain its poor population health performance? Probably not.

The US mortality rate due to assault, traffic accidents and falls is small compared to the difference in total and non-violent mortality between the US and leading countries in population health.

21 Aug 2009

Fragmented healthcare: does insurer compeition itself increase healthcare costs and reduce welfare in the US?

Fragmented healthcare: does high patient turnover increase healthcare costs and reduce welfare in the US? New evidence suggests that it does. The process of competion between insurers and health plans may increase long term health care costs.

20 Aug 2009

Health insurance bigger sharks than casinos? Heavily protected from lawsuits, they ask the feds for a 35% copay policy for enrollees

Health insurance bigger sharks than casinos? Heavily protected from lawsuits, they ask the feds for a 35% copay policy for enrollees.

19 Aug 2009

Have the Swiss ‘death panels’ hurt their elderly?

Have the Swiss ‘death panels’ hurt their elderly? No, their elderly are living longer than ours.

16 Aug 2009

Those low UK breast cancer survival rates: Will conservative proposals for reform lead the US to the UK’s problems?

The scaremongering about the relatively low UK breat cancer survival rates in the health reform debate is irresponsible and dishonest cherry picking. Worse, the false impressions created thereby may lead the US to adopt unwise policies. The UK’s relatively low breast cancer survival rates are probably due to its late adoption of widespread, aggressive and early screening. But many of the conservatives’ market driven proposals may lead to a drop in screening rates and early detection in the US. Leading us to…. relatively low UK survival rates.

14 Aug 2009

What did Jefferson tell us to do if an opposing faction decides to “refresh the tree of liberty” with blood?

I wonder how many of the misguided wingnuts who intimidate and strive to thuggishly silence their fellow citizens have read the whole passage? They may be comforted by what seems to be stirring phrase, when torn out of context, but they shouldn’t. Jefferson told the rest of the citizenry what to do in the face of any such violent watering. Jefferson’s advice to the peaceful is much more arduous than striking out in ignorant violence, but we cannot shrink from his instructions. It is our duty as patriotic citizens to remember the words that surround that disturbing phrase, and act on them if necessary.

11 Aug 2009

Enough primary care docs in the US for health care reform? Little data; I trust reform more than corporations to solve any shortages

Data are hard to find that answer the question of whether reform would cause a preimary care doctor shortage in the short run. The US has a higher than average density of general practioners, but differences between countries make comparisons difficult. I personally trust a scientific approach to organization of primary care that would be more likely under reform than current efforts, that are too much controlled by corporations under pressure to cut costs and report profits every quarter.

09 Aug 2009

Our current US healthcare system has a better cost control method than killing old people: kill them off before they get old

If people are going to sling disgusting charges of euthanasia and eldercide around, then I propose the following response, backed up by data. The current US system has gone one step better than eldercide and has adopted a policy of saving money by killing off people before the get elderly.

04 Aug 2009

New health reform scare: univeral coverage will cause a doctor shortage (I don’t buy it)

A new health reform scare is that univeral coverage will cause a doctor shortage. But data show that Australia and New Zealand do well with a comparable health professional workforce.

02 Aug 2009

Older people in other high income countries have made more progress in life-expectancy than in the US

Healthcare in the US has consistently been one of the most unfriendly places for middle age and elderly people. Life expectancies for 40 and 65 years olds have has made very little progress in the US for 20 years from 1980 to 2000, and is only now beginning to catch up with the average rates of growth in other high income countries. Life expectancies for 80 year olds in the US are much better, but the US has been losing ground to other high income countries. Yet the opponents of health care reform have the nerve to say that reform will result in neglect of older people. The US long neglected middle age and older people to an extent that has not been tolerated in other high income countries.