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BREAKING NEWS: Health Wonk Review offers new insights

This past weekend, I went to Washington, D.C. for a conference. I was able to slip away for a few hours to spend some time at the Newseum, a very interesting museum about News. Thus, this week I will present the Health Wonk Review in newspaper format.


Health Affairs Blog: Health Reform In The 2008 Election. A conversation with a Harvard health policy professor, the president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates Inc, and a health policy correspondent for NPR.


Colorado Health Insurance Insider: Two former HHS secretaries discuss ways to cut the cost of Medicare. Donna Shalala advocates eliminating waste and streamline the process in an effort to provide universal health care while Tommy Thompson who advocates increasing Medicare premiums, increasing the age for Medicare eligibility, and cutting benefits.

Health Care Renewal: “Punching primary care in the face.” How the RBRVS Update Committee’s advice rebarding Medicare’s physician reimbursement system will affect compensation for primary and preventive care.

Healthcare Economist: Medicare Part D decreases average overall pharmaceutical price by 12%. Drug formularies and negotiation with pharmaceutical companies are the cause.

Toxic World Blog: Why is the Bush administration trying to loosen the regulations to reduce pollution recently? EPA figures state that “we would go from a cost of $20 billion to a savings of $23 billion if we tightened smog rules…”

Home of the Brave: “Over 50% of all inpatient psychiatric care is delivered in prisons in the US.”


Code Blue Now: French doctors make twice the average French wage, but American doctors earn five times the average American wage. Why is this? It can partially be explained by looking at differences in malpractice laws and the fact that medical school is nearly free for most French physicians.

Disease Management Care Blog: Coordinated Delivery Systems vs. Integrated Delivery Systems. Can an “outsourced and modular approach to health care” improve quality?

InsureBlog: What the hell is a “Doctor Nurse?”

Workers Comp Insider: Why aren’t more insurers focusing on wellness in workers comp programs?

The Health Care Blog: The pro and cons of one Health 2.0 website. And why iMedix creeps out Craig Stoltz.

REGIONAL (Revealing my West Coast Bias)

Health Access California: John McCain’s health care reform plans including creating high-risk pools. California, already has a high risk pool: MRMIP. How is it working? While MRMIP is a lifeline for individuals with pre-existing conditions, it is expensive, has an annual benefit cap of $75,000, and has a waiting list of 500 people.

Health Business Blog: Interview with Richard Noffsinger, CEO of SafeMed. SafeMed is based in San Diego.


Freedom and Individual Right in Medicine: FAQ on Free Market Health Insurance. In a free market, insurers should be able to exclude individuals based on a pre-existing condition and one should realize that it is not one’s social obligation to subsidize the health care of those who can’t afford it.

Systems Thinker reminds us that May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.


  1. I would say everyone who has been denied coverage several times, knows about the high risk pool, and yes there is a waiting list from 6 months to a year, that you didn’t mention.

    Also you didn’t mention the cost, it is up to 6 times more expensive then regular health insurance. I know I have asked. To the people who think Cobra is expensive, they have no idea. If more people could afford a fair monthly payment, more would sign up, but of course the list would be longer. I was told my rate would be between $900 to 1,200 a month, even though I haven’t seen a doctor in a year and a half. I had major neck surgery a few years ago. Also I should mention that they will not accept a rejection letter from an online application.

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