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Should Massachusetts Pay For Mississippi’s Healthcare?

As I have been predicting for a long time, state insurance regulators were unlikely to remain silent for long in the face of efforts to federalize major parts of state insurance regulation.  They’re talking now, and they’re  mad.

Last week, Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan testified in Congress on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  He said that federal regulation must not displace the current system of state regulation. Calling the proposed legislation a “regime change,” he said it would result in “redundant, overlapping responsibilities will result in policyholder confusion, market uncertainty, regulatory arbitrage and a host of other unintended consequences.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

The Most Overlooked Factor In Healthcare Reform: State versus Federal Regulation of Insurance

For months, Congress has been debating health care reform proposals that would have the effect of dealing a heavy blow to the system of state-by-state insurance regulation.  State governments have stood by, silently.  I’ve been wondering (here, here and here) when the states would start to raise objections.

Slowly, it’s starting to happen.  What has been a mostly overlooked factor in the health care reform debate may end up being one of the most important.

In fourteen states, legislators are trying to pass constitutional amendments that would ban health insurance mandates.  Meanwhile, a bi-partisan group of governors are objecting to provisions of the Baucus plan that would leave the cost of expanding Medicaid to the states (by contrast, the House bill provides federal money for this).  It’s an emerging trend that may reflect growing unease in state governments. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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