Over the past few days, the rescue of the Chilean miners has captivated the world. The men had been locked underground since August 5, 2010, when the San José copper-gold mine, near Copiapó, Chile, collapsed, leaving 33 men trapped deep below ground. After so much waiting, the look of unadulterated joy on the miners’ family members’ faces produced heart-warming pictures such as these.
Voice in my head: But Jason, you are supposed to be hosting the health wonk review today. What do the Chilean miners have to do with health policy blogs?
There are two connections. First, I am shamelessly attempting to tie this edition of the HWR review to current events. Second, on a smaller scale, this edition of the Health Work Review will try to rescue readers from boring, unintelligent, naive blog posts (groan!).
And with this long-winded introduction complete, let’s get to the best health policy writing on the web!
- If you only read one blog post (or series of posts) from this HWR, go to The Incidental Economist to find out the real reasons why the US health care system so expensive. Aaron Carroll’s analysis is truly excellent work.
- Anthony Wright of Health Access California writes a post titled So no child can be denied or priced out of coverage. The post can be summarized as follows.
- Obama: Private insurers cannot deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions.
- Insurers: That’s fine…then we just won’t offer insurance products for any children.
- California: That’s fine, but starting in January, if you do that you won’t be able to sell to any adults in the individual market, either.
- Insurers: Oh.
- Joanne Kenen of The New Health Dialogue believes that so-called “Death Panels” aren’t so bad.
- John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog notes that although PPACA contains three key cost cutting measures, “None of the three, however, are likely to achieve their objective.”
- Brad Wright of Wright on Health discusses a recent court decision which upholds health reform’s individual mandate as constitutional.
- Is the so-called “Public Option” really, truly dead? InsureBlog‘s Bob Vineyard presents some evidence suggests otherwise.
- David Williams of the Health Business Blog astutely observes that “Because health care premiums cost more than the annual salary of a minimum wage worker, there needs to be room for mini-meds in a PPACA world.”
- Avik S. A. Roy of the The Apothecary agrees. However, he advocates an alternative to mini-meds: high-deductible health plans linked to HSAs. Whole Foods currently finances health insurance for their employees this way.
- The government has gotten in the business of taxing vices. Sin taxes make consumers pay more for cigarettes and alcohol, and health reform has even instituted a tanning tax. With all the recent policy initiatives at the federal level have focused on reducing obesity and improving health by getting people to eat better, The Notwithstanding Blog wonders why the government is subsidizing high fructose corn syrup and taxing vegetables.
- Jaan Sidorov of the Disease Management Care Blog foresees positive changes to health care that as Generation Y (a.k.a. the Millenials) enter the workforkforce since “the coming generation of docs will be far less worried about issues of rank, credentialing or licensure and far more flexible over relationships, skill sets and outcomes.” Is this wishful thinking?
- Can concierge medicine reduce costs? Jamie Raucher of Beside Manner gives a compelling argument that the answer is ‘yes.’
- Roy Poses of Poses of Health Care Renewal notes that Wall Street executives aren’t the only ones receiving fat paychecks as the firms they lead fail; health care executives are getting into the act as well.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS (ACOs)
- Hospitals should not run ACOs according to Ken Terry of BNET.com.
- Healthcare Economist Jason Shafrin (that’s me) believes that gaining market power–rather than improving patient outcomes–may be the real reason providers are ACO proponents.
- Julie Ferguson of Workers Comp Insider highlights a public health issue of great importance to any of us who ever use the highways: the medical competence and certification of commercial drivers.
- Gary Schwitzer’s of HealthNewsReview Blog wonder whether Illinois really needs to bring online more proton beam therapy treatment centers.
- Nature Network Boston maps science hotspots in Boston (as well as for my home, San Francisco).
- Should health care bloggers accept advertising? If so, how can these be done to prevent a conflict of interest? Michelle R. Wood of Occam Practice Management investigates.