Posts tagged ‘health’
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
Since the Obama Administration assumed office and coped with the economic meltdown, the President and his economic team have been working on legislation to eliminate the possibility that the American taxpayer will every again have to bail out a private company that was “too big to fail.” No sooner did the President make the proposed legislation public than the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (KY) announced. “the effort by President Obama and Democrats to reform the financial industry is actually a way to institute endless taxpayer funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks.” He claims that what the Treasury Department, the Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Reserve, and such non partisan economic luminaries as Paul Volker have been working on for over a year, will do just the opposite of what the Administration’s purpose is in drafting the bill. On the surface, McConnell’s statement appears absurd. Many accuse him of just another deliberate political lie, about as absurd as the Republican “Death Panels” accusation in the Health Care Reform debate. However, there is a logic to these Republican “lies”. One that enables McConnell and many other Republican leaders to make these public announcements with a straight face. One that allows their conscience and intellect to make these statements and not believe that they are lying to the public. This article will explain and analyze this logic which may well be more dangerous for our Democracy than political lies. (more…)
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
With all the histrionics over Health Care Reform, throughout the entire process, it was easy to miss some of the very important issues of the debate. One, in particular, got entirely lost for a very interesting set of reasons. It was the Bigness issue. But there was hardly a Republican who did not complain about Bigness. It was mentioned hundreds of times each day throughout the more than a year of debate. How could it be lost?
It was “lost in plain site”. There are few citizens who do not know that one of the criticisms of the Health Care Reform Bill was that there would be a large, centralized, system running American Health Care instead of the smaller decentralized status quo. But very few people indeed can recall any discussion of WHY bigness would be bad–for our health delivery system and for the nation. That is what was missed. And that is where the Republican political tacticians could have done a much better job.. In their choice of tactics to defeat Health Care Reform, they failed to communicate and explain the, admittedly complex, issue of Bigness in American history and public policy. Had they done so, Health Reform probably still would still have passed, but it might look quite different from the present law. This article is the first of a series that discusses what the debate missed: Why bigness in our nation’s health system might not be very good. (more…)
Insurance Companies have already won the Health Reform battle beating out the Doctors and the Government. Will they take the money and run?
With the Massachusetts Senatorial election going to the man who promised that he would be the 41st vote to make sure that the minority of the Senate could control the Health Reform legislation of the nation, most people believed that the battle was entering a new phase and the winners and losers were yet to be decided. However, over a decade earlier, the real battle had been decided. The American consumers lost; the Government lost; the hospitals lost; the doctors lost. The health insuracne companies won and for the past decade has already ammased the economic fruits of its victory. And while all the other forces, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, politicians and citizens all fight it out, the one group that has already locked in a winning position for the next decade is the same insurance companies. All the rest of us will fight it out to determine how terrible the health care system will have become before the insurance companies just take the money and run. This article explains some of how all this was allowed to happen.
A dialogue of two Tunisian senior government officials, both Western educated, regarding the problem of modernizing the rural, desert South of the country where religious Islamic fundamentalism and the desert cultural tradition are major obstacles. The modernity, and relatively successful development of the country, with no oil or other natural resources, compared to other Arab countries is historically, culturally and politically explained in this insightful dialogue.
Public Health Versus Private Health: The Coming Battle: 1. The Difference Has Little to do With Government and the Private Sector.
There are two groups of professionals in our nation’s health system. They are the medical providers who treat us advise us about our health. Then there are the public health professionals who develop the tools to prevent disease and create the protocols and recomendations for the treating professionals to use. On most issues, the two groups are in synch and each appreciates the other. But more and more, there are conflicts that result from each group looking at the same data and research, but doing so with a different perspective This article explains the differences between the two types of critical health professionals, and explains why they sometimes disagree and why they are BOTH RIGHT. The recent battle of the breast cancer screening recomendations is used to explain this critically imporant conflcit. Additional articles in this series will suggest ways we as health consumers can make sense of these conflicts, and how our political structure can cope with what often appear to be irreconcilable differences but are not really diametrically opposite.
One out of every 4 Americans has been brought up within a family where one or both parents had a drinking problem. Scientists have, in the last 30 years, learned that these “Children of Alcoholics” (COAs) are at risk for a number of different problems ranging from substance abuse to mental illness. However, when the COAs become adults, there are still a set of risk factors they carry and if they develop sufficient resiliancy, they can thrive. Dr. Tian Dayton, one of the world’s leading psychologists and experts on COAs, and herself a COA, has written this article which is one of the clearest explanations of the problem–an explantion light on jargon and heavy on communication and insight. These results of over 20 years of Dr. Dayton’s research, provide an intelligent layperson with a basic understanding of the problem in society and very often in our family or those of our friends.
This is a letter which was submitted to ICANN when the World Health Organization attempted to have a Top Level Domain .health created and they be given control over who can use the domain name. The purpose was to prevent the world from being flooded with inaccurate health information. The letter written by Dr. Lewis D, Eigen was part of what became a successful campaign to deny WHO the control of a Top Level Domain.