Is the Texas Power Grid Failure a Metaphor for Blocked Healthcare Reform?

Here’s why the Texas power grid failed. This story sounds hauntingly similar to why healthcare reform has failed so far. It reminds us of what must be done to fix both. The system experienced rapid growth in the mid-20th-century. Investors used legal and political maneuvers to shield themselves from government oversight and to protect their … Continue reading Is the Texas Power Grid Failure a Metaphor for Blocked Healthcare Reform?

NEJM’s Fundamentals of U.S. Health Policy, Part 3: Do We Spend Too Much?

I admire Dr. Christensen’s posts, and thank him for featuring this series from New England Journal of Medicine! The NEJM authors claim — that some services have higher value than others — was the central thesis of Fixing U.S. Healthcare blog. My blog has highlighted the Oregon Health Plan of 1994, which used cost-benefit analysis to guide public policy in a tight-budget atmosphere. I will point out that Gov. John Kitzhaber (M.D.) began this plan as a purely economic project, but soon encountered the political reality that citizens assigned some values based on non-monetary (ethical, social) criteria! I invite you and your followers to check out “The Big Fix” and “The Problem of Diminishing Marginal Benefits in Healthcare.”

Clear Thinking on Healthcare

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This next part in The New England Journal of Medicine’s fundamentals of health policy series is written by my favorite health policy writing duo–Drs. Baicker and Chandra. They both do amazing research independently, but when they work together to write an article, it seems to be extra insightful and interesting.

Their task with this article is to help people think deeper than the simplistic sentiment, “The U.S. spends way more than every other country on healthcare; we need to cut back, and any increase in spending is wasteful!”

Key insight: Only looking at the aggregate number obscures many important facts about our healthcare spending; digging a little deeper totally changes the conversation.

Here are my favorite examples of this from their article:

  • As nations grow richer, they spend more on healthcare. So, based on that alone, the U.S. would be expected to spend more…

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Biden’s Pandemic Response Plan & Healthcare Reform

President Biden and his team did their homework leading up to the Inauguration.  They are hitting the ground running with their comprehensive plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, released January 21. They know that the American people fear for our health, our healthcare system, our very lives, and now (at least on cable and social … Continue reading Biden’s Pandemic Response Plan & Healthcare Reform

Biden’s most ambitious health policy: a public option plan — HENRY KOTULA

To readers of Fixing U.S. Healthcare blog:  The Public Option approach has been mentioned in previous posts as one strategy to mobilize the "full faith and clout" of we-the-people, acting through the federal government, to tackle relentless rises in healthcare spending. Here is a discussion of the policy and the politics. Spoiler alert: Public option … Continue reading Biden’s most ambitious health policy: a public option plan — HENRY KOTULA

Slow Vaccination Is a Tell-Tale Symptom of a Sick Healthcare System

Might the U.S. have improved its COVID-19 vaccination roll-out by having a Medicare-for-all single-payer system in place? The simple answer is, You betcha! The three main problems with the United States vaccination effort are lack of centralized control, fragmented delivery systems, and non-interoperable data systems for tracking. Local healthcare monopolies can be “free-lancers,” operating willy-nilly … Continue reading Slow Vaccination Is a Tell-Tale Symptom of a Sick Healthcare System