Mar 11, Adrian Gropper
How should we react to 1,718 pages of new regulation, theoretically empowering patients with control over their health care choices? Adrian draws on 15 patient stories assembled by the Society for Participatory Medicine and points out that all but one or two of these patient stories has a doctor, hospital, or staff as the target and the real goal of the patient-directed access. The Cures regulations are clearly a step in the right direction but they seem to be missing essential components. Simply put, the regulations mandate access by patients but not by the patient’s doctors which is not nearly enough to improve outcomes.
Mar 10, Matthew Holt
There has been a ton of analysis about COVID-19 and how bad it will get. But a likely scenario is that many regions in the US will become like Northern Italy. And the stories coming from there show what happens when the hospital system gets overwhelmed. The big question in my mind is, can the US system organize itself? The US is not China. We’re not going to be able to build new hospitals in a few days. But can we “pull an Italy”? If we end up in that red zone where Italy is now and need to allocate all our resources in a similar way, who is in charge of the American health care system who can make that happen?
Mar 6, Bob Hertz
The recent proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders to cancel $81 billion of medical debt is a very good start—but it is only a start. Unfortunately, over $88 billion in new medical debt is created each year. Many forms of medical debt can be reduced or cancelled by stronger enforcement of consumer protection laws. These debts are not inevitable and are not due to poverty. It would not require trillions of federal dollars to cancel them, either – just the willingness to go against lobbyists.