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THCB Reader: Abortion in Texas; CareGiving Interview with Alex Drane; #HTD & more


THCB Reader

July 2 · Issue #149 · View online

Everything you always wanted to know about the health care system. But were afraid to ask.

This week, THCB Reader is back with Mike Magee talking about the medical-industrial complex and crippling medical debt, and Kim Bellard writing about how to think about the future. Of course the SCOTUS’ decision on abortion dominated the week. Kim also discusses the right to privacy in the context of Dobbs, I weigh in on how American health care leaders are not blameless in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and Mike has some advice for the AMA about how it could actually make a difference about abortion and reproductive care.
On WTF Health, Jess DaMassa interviews ARCHANGELS CEO Alexandra Drane about quantifying caregiving with the Caregiver Intensity Index. We also two episodes of #HealthTechDeals. One straight from AHIP, in which Jess DaMassa and I cover funding for Proximie, Abacus Insights, AiVF, Florence Health, and Cara Care — plus a special appearance from our friend Lara Dodo at Newtopia. And the other where we cover VSee, Picnic Health, Swing Therapeutics, Socially Determined, Nomad Health & Tomorrow Health.
Be sure to check out Episode 97 of #THCBGang this week with Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard); Brian Klepper (@bklepper1); Ian Morrison (@seccurve); and Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey). Plenty of chat about Dobbs but also about the CAA legislation regarding health benefit fiduciaries which has flown under the radar but might have a big impact.
Health Tech Deals and also #THCBGang are also available as podcasts with an easy click on Apple or Spotify.

In this edition’s tidbits, I have to return to the stunning impact of the Dobbs ruling. We know will happen because it is already happening in Texas where the 6 week law was already being enforced in contravention of Roe v Wade.
Taxpayer money is going to “pregnancy crisis centers” that flat out lie to vulnerable patients about the impact of abortions on their health. Doctors are questioning women who have miscarried–at a moment that is already terrible for them, and women who have miscarried are being denied basic D&Cs–which can kill them.
Don’t get me started on the absolute nonsense being talked–and passed into law about ectopic pregnancies, of which there are over 130,000 each year in the US, being carried to term. How unlikely is it that an ectopic pregnancy makes it to term with no ill effects? Let me tell you a story. My dad was an OBGYN. He and his anesthetist saved the life of a woman and her baby who somehow had made it to term while being ectopic. During the surgery she needed 12 pints of blood (a normal woman has 7-8 pints in her body) and he considered it the greatest piece of surgery he did in his entire career. He thought that he and the patients were very lucky. So I demand that crazy legislation saying ectopic pregnancies have to be carried to term also mandates that my dad is around to do every single C-Section. Unlikely, as he’s dead, but no crazier than the legislation in Indiana.
Then there’s the impact on telehealth. Most abortions are done using drugs but more and more of the pandemic-era exemptions to prescribing drugs and seeing patients over telehealth across state lines are being withdrawn. Clearly the state-based licensing of doctors is itself ridiculous in an age of online commerce, but despite the DOJ statements the legality of prescribing abortifacients across state lines is very unclear and, as Deven McGraw explained in this harrowing piece on THCB Gang, HIPAA doesn’t protect patient privacy from local law enforcement. So what happens to someone in a state where abortion is banned if they have to go to hospital because of a complication from taking an abortifacient? Trump thinks they should go to jail.
What is clear is that bans on abortion don’t stop abortions. But they do endanger women. And if the pregnancy crisis center stops a woman from getting an abortion, do they help afterwards? Why yes, if you mean by “helping”, they have a celebratory dinner and light a fricking candle.
Follow me on Twitter @boltyboy and THCB at @thcbstaff for more similar insights/nonsense (and even the occasional sensible idea)! Enjoy! – Matthew Holt
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#HealthTechDeals, Episode 37 | Proximie, Abacus Insights, AI VF, Florence, Cara Care & Newtopia
#HealthTechDeals Episode 38: Picnic, Swing Therapeutics, Socially Determined, Nomad & Tomorrow
WTF Health
Quantifying Caregiving: ARCHANGELS CEO Alexandra Drane on The Caregiver Intensity Index
Follow @THCB on Twitter, Linkedin
Subscribe to THCB Reader
Listen to THCB’s Podcasts on iTunes or Spotify
Subscribe to Health Tech Deals on Youtube
Subscribe to WTF Health on Youtube
Hope you enjoyed the newsletter. As ever let me know if you have any comments or want to sponsor/advertise–this newsletter doesn’t write itself but about 16,000 people get it and 80K+ visit the blog every month!
Matthew Holt, Publisher THCB
Matthew Holt, Publisher THCB
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