Check out Health Wonk Review, a round-up of some of the best health posts of the past two weeks. The current edition is hosted by David Harlow of the Health Care Law Blog http://healthblawg.typepad.com/healthblawg/2009/03/health-wonk-review.html
And he highlights a number of intriguing and provocative blogs that are not widely known– a measure of how many very good blogs are out there now–along with excellent posts from favorites.
Among the featured posts:
On Living the Scientific Life, “GirlScientist” offers an engaging and eye-opening description of what it is like to find yourself in an ER in Finland. I hadn’t heard of this blog before, but I definitely recommend it. “GirlScientist” (a molecular biologist who studies evolution in birds) is a good writer, with a reporter’s eye for detail. I think you’ll enjoy her post.
Over at GoozNews, the always excellent Merrill Goozner suggests that we need an Annals of Negative Results—- more news about drugs that failed in clinical trials, so that other researchers can learn from the failures.
At Health Access Weblog Beth Capell questions the idea of taxing “gold-plated” health benefits that employees receive from their employers. She points out that the most valuable benefits tend to
offer insurance plans with relatively low-deductibles and co-pays—in other words, insurance plans that employees can actually afford to use. Do we really want to discourage employers from offering good insurance by taxing their employees’ “gold-plated” benefits ?
Probably not. I would prefer taxing employer-based health benefits based, not on the value of the benefits, but on the employee’s income. If a median-income family earning $55,000 is lucky enough to have good health benefits, I wouldn’t want to tax them, not in this recession.
On the other hand, if a family earning $175,000 receives benefits worth $14,000—and if, like 15 percent of all “better paid workers” in the U.S.– the employee pays nothing toward the premium ( while the employer lays out the full $14,0000) it seems fair to tax the $14,000 as part of the employees’ total compensation. The taxes paid could be used to subsidize healthcare for workers whose employers do not offer health insurance.
At BNET Healthcare David Hamilton throws a spotlight on Massachusetts, where many patients are finding it very difficult to make an appointment with a primary care doctor. Ironically, this is in part because the state’s heroic effort to provide universal access has sent more patients into the marketplace, looking for care. Meanwhile, the number of medical students training for primary care has been shrinking nation-wide, and thanks to low pay and poor working conditions, primary care physicians have been retiring early.
Hamilton points out that the Obama administration is doing what it can, “rushing out new federal funds to rescue Medicaid programs and public clinics across the U.S.”
Finally, at the Disease Management Care Blog Jaan Sidorov points to the high cost of out-patient care—all of those one-day surgeries that may not be necessary. . .
To find these outstanding posts, and others, go to http://healthblawg.typepad.com/healthblawg/2009/03/health-wonk-review.html