Longer Looks: Jonathan Gruber; An Ebola Survivor; Living With Medicaid
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Will Jonathan Gruber Topple Obamacare?
Why the hell did Jonathan Gruber say that? And that? And that? And (sigh) the other thing? Those are the questions on the minds of virtually everyone in the health care world—especially the people who worked the hardest on Obamacare. (David Nather, 12/7)
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
The Next Mayo: Remaking A Medical Giant
Mayo has been lauded by President Obama and influential health economists as an example of superb care and medical efficiency. Yet Mayo also has a reputation in Minnesota — confirmed by publicly available health data — for high prices. How Mayo resolves that paradox will determine the future of a clinic that has become a signature Minnesota brand. Part one of a three-part series. (Jeremy Olson, 12/7-12/9)
The New York Times:
An Ebola Doctor’s Return From the Edge of Death
The medical record, from an Ebola case, made for grim reading, but Dr. Ian Crozier could not put it down. Within days of the first symptom, a headache, the patient was fighting for his life. He became delirious, his heartbeat grew ragged, his blood teemed with the virus, and his lungs, liver and kidneys began to fail. (Denise Grady, 12/7)
The Wall Street Journal:
It is hard to know how many patients whose cancers have metastasized, or spread, have enjoyed sustained survival following immunotherapy treatment. An analysis of 4,846 advanced melanoma patients treated with one checkpoint inhibitor— Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. ’s Yervoy—found that 21% were still alive three years later. That amounts to more than 1,000 people, most of whom experts say almost certainly would have died otherwise. Especially striking is how good the long-term prospects were for people who survived at least three years. (Ron Winslow, 12/4)
Drug hunters face failure after failure, almost never followed by success. Decades of work flame out. Promising ideas turn into dead ends. For every 10,000 compounds they explore, scientists wind up with just one drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Even when medical science moves as fast as it can—and today, it's moving faster than ever before—it's still an agonizingly slow process. (Sam Baker, 12/6)
How Medicaid Forces Families Like Mine To Stay Poor
Between ages 25 and 65, two-thirds of Americans will live in a household receiving means-tested benefits, according to sociologists Mark Rank and Thomas Hirschl. And even if we avoid these programs during our working years, most of us will be disabled at some point in old age, and Medicaid — a means-tested, social assistance program — is the most likely source of the help we'll need. This is an American story, the product of the uncertain and incomplete system of social protections in the United States. (Andrea Louise Campbell, 12/9)