A reader pointed me out to this current food pyramid subsidy model showing what the daily recommended servings are for each category of food compared with how the federal farm subsidy programs actually work against the goal of a healthy nation. You can click on the image to enlarge it and take a close look at how powerful lobby groups have become.
There is no reason why dairy and meat farmers should be getting 50 billion dollars in farm subsidies. And if we are playing the subsidy game (which I think is a fraud), why are vegetables, one of the most healthy things we can put in our mouth, getting slaughtered at the table of entitlement handouts? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*
This past weekend, AHIP – the American Health Insurance Plan trade group – seemed to turn at last against healthcare reform. For nearly a year the AHIP stood silently by, and indeed often made noises in support of the administration’s reform efforts, despite being cast by reformers as the chief villains of American healthcare. Then suddenly, a few days ago AHIP released a study produced for them by Price Waterhouse Cooper which concluded that healthcare reform (at least as advanced by the Baucus Senate Finance Committee) would result in massive increases in insurance premiums for Americans.
Becoming an apostate has always been far worse than being a mere infidel, and the AHIP action (seen as a act of betrayal and not merely an expression of opposition) has invoked the wrath of the powers that be. Democrats and progressives everywhere have quickly responded. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*
In a surprise, President Obama has signaled a willingness to discuss medical liability as part of the health reform process.
Good for him for standing up to the trial lawyers, a core constituency of the left.
That’s a good sign, as the costs of defensive medicine brought on by the broken malpractice system, should be addressed if there is any hope of reducing health care spending.
Trial lawyers like to say that medical malpractice represents “less than one percent of the cost of health care,” but that fails to account for the substantial sum attributed to defensive medicine doctors practice to avoid the threat of malpractice, estimated to be $210 billion annually.
Furthermore, the argument that malpractice reform will harm patients “by limiting their ability to seek compensation through the courts” doesn’t hold water either.
That’s because the current system does a miserable job of compensating patients for medical errors, where more than 50 cents on every compensated dollar goes to pay lawyers and the courts. Not to mention that a typical malpractice trial may last years before an injured patient receives a single penny.
So, don’t believe the arguments of the trial lawyers, who prefer the financial security of the status quo.
Any alternative system, such as no-fault malpractice, mediation, or health courts, will go a long way both to reduce the cost of medical care, and fairly compensate more patients for medical errors at a significantly more expedient rate.
Lawyers are aware of these facts, and to their credit, are going on a preemptive offensive to head off tort reform. If I were the AMA, I would start pro-actively circulating some of the above talking points, rather than reacting to the trial lawyers.
**This post was originally published at KevinMD**