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Obamacare Saved By The Health Insurance Industry

Why Big Health Insurance Supported Obamacare, Part IV

In the past few posts (in particular, here and here), DrRich has shown why the health insurance industry embraced Obamacare, and indeed, took extraordinary steps to assure that Obamacare became the law of the land. This, of course, is especially interesting in light of the common perception that Obamacare constitutes a major defeat for the greedy health insurance industry.

But the fact that big health insurance gave critical support to Obamacare is far more than merely interesting. It has major implications both to supporters of Obamacare, especially the ones who hope for an eventual single-payer outcome, and to opponents of Obamacare, many of whom hope to repeal it after the 2010 mid-term elections.

For the health insurance industry to have supported Obamacare, especially in the manner that it did, leads us to three conclusions. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

Medical Ethics, ACP Smack Down Part 2: Medical Ethics the Right Way

In his last post, and not without some little trepidation over the propriety of doing so, DrRich offered to enter into a “constructive dialogue” with Bob Doherty of the ACP Advocate Blog, regarding the important topic of medical ethics. What occasioned this offer was the fortuitous selection of each of us as finalists in the 2009 Medical Weblog Award Competition, in the category of Best Health Policy/Ethics Blog.

Ever since the inception of the Covert Rationing Blog (and even before that, in his book) DrRich has taken strong exception to the new code of “medical ethics for a new millennium,” formally promulgated in 2002 by the American College of Physicians and several of its equally respected sister organizations (a grouping DrRich has termed the Millennialists). And when he saw that the ACP Advocate Blog (an official publication of a principle component of the Millennialists) had become a co-finalist for a Weblog Award in the category of medical ethics, DrRich could not resist offering to engage in a discussion over same. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

DrRich Initiates A Medical Ethics Smack Down With The ACP

Yesterday, DrRich noted (with his usual affecting humility, modesty, self-deprecation, &c.) that the Covert Rationing Blog has been named a Finalist in the 2009 Medical Weblog Award Competition, in the category of Best Health Policy/Ethics Blog. He now calls to his readers’ attention the fact that, among the other two finalists – both of which are of very high quality and undoubtedly are more deserving of this award than DrRich – is none other than the ACP Advocate Blog.

The ACP Advocate Blog, written by Bob Doherty, is a publication of the American College of Physicians, and its purpose is to explain, elaborate on and advocate for the ACP’s positions on important matters related to health policy and medical ethics that affect its members, namely, internal medicine specialists.  Doherty – who DrRich does not know, but of whom he has heard many very complimentary things – is an insightful analyst of matters related to healthcare policy, and to boot he is an excellent writer. DrRich is a loyal reader of the ACP Advocate Blog, which in fact has habitually led off DrRich’s blogroll.

Here’s why this is interesting. While both the ACP Advocate Blog and DrRich’s blog are finalists in the medical ethics category, it so happens that DrRich and the ACP are far apart on that very issue. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

Healthcare Reform – A Guide For the Perplexed

As the great campaign to reform the American healthcare system heats up and enters an important new phase – the phase in which key legislative leaders take the five bills that have been passed, here and there, by sundry Congressional committees, and, behind closed doors, attempt to cobble together a compromise bill which they believe they can threaten and/or bribe a majority of Congresspersons into supporting – many Americans find themselves confused about what it all means. What, after all, are we attempting to accomplish here? How much will it cost, and who will pay for it?  Why does the whole process seem so darned difficult and confusing?

Fear not. As a public service, DrRich will now explain healthcare reform in a very simple way, so that – whether you study the issue closely on a day-to-day basis, or just accidentally come across some relevant headlines now and again as you look for the sports page – you will always know what’s going on. For, once you understand a few key concepts, this thing is really pretty easy to follow. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

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