Longer Looks: Tea Party Efforts To Move Health Programs To States
Every week, reporter Jessica Marcy selects interesting reading from around the web.
Mother Jones: The Tea Party's Latest Scheme To Kill Health Reform
The tea party has a new plan to attack health care reform. While some conservative activists are still fighting to get the law defunded and eventually repealed, others are organizing behind a radical, states'-rights proposal that would go beyond merely derailing health reform. Egged on by tea partiers, at least a dozen states are now contemplating legislation that supporters believe would allow them to seize control of and administer virtually all federal health care programs operating in their states and exempt them from the requirements of the health care law (Stephanie Mencimer, 3/29).
Kiplinger: 30 Ways To Cut Health Care Costs
If you're like most Americans, you're shouldering a larger portion of your health care costs. But as more insurers raise deductibles and switch from fixed-dollar co-payments to coinsurance -- which bases out-of-pocket expenses on a percentage of the total costs -- you have an incentive to take more control over how much you spend. Therein lies a problem, however: Most people have no idea how much medical care actually costs (Kimberly Lankford, April 2011).
Weekly Standard: Cash For Doctors Revisited
[Dr. Brian Forrest's] practice, Access Healthcare outside Raleigh, doesn't accept insurance. Instead, Forrest takes payment from patients on the spot, and he lists prices in his waiting room in an effort to be transparent, "like a Jiffy Lube." At the time, he said he figured his approach would become more popular as people opted to circumvent the hassles and cost of regulations from government and insurance companies. Now, nearly a year later, Forrest says he's more sure than ever that his business model makes sense. He's planning to franchise his practice (Tony Mecia, 4/4).
The Nation: Women Under the Budget Knife
Remember "shared sacrifice"? Like the rain, the budget cuts were supposed to fall on all alike. But somehow men seem to be ending up with more than their share of umbrellas, and women are getting soaked. Attacks on reproductive healthcare are openly aimed at women and have gotten a lot of attention-like the House vote to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Title X family planning program, which has fortunately been blocked in the Senate. Less visible are the ways federal, state and local government cutbacks, touted as neutral and necessary belt-tightening, will fall disproportionately on women (Katha Pollitt, 3/30).
Time: Mothers Abused in Childhood More Likely to Have At-Risk Babies
Increasingly, a whole body of research indicates what happens early in childhood - even in utero - affects the rest of your life. Now, a new study reinforces that perspective, finding that women who were abused as children stand a greater chance of delivering low-birthweight babies. Amelia Gavin, an assistant professor in the University of Washington's School of Social Work ... was able to observe [the] correlation ... "You can't separate a woman from her life experiences even though she's pregnant," says Gavin. "Prenatal care is just an extension of care she has received throughout her whole life. We have to start in a girl's life when she's very young, providing her with comprehensive health care so we're not trying to fix everything during the nine-month period she's pregnant" (Bonnie Rochman, 3/30).
The National Law Journal: Health Insurance Is Not 'Commerce'
Although the federal district courts have split on whether people can be forced to purchase government-designed health insurance, they have assumed that Congress may constitutionally regulate health insurance in general. But that assumption is wrong: In fact, the congressional power to regulate "Commerce among the several States" does not include authority to regulate health insurance. Under the Constitution, health insurance is a matter of state, not federal, jurisdiction (Rob Natelson and David Koppel, 3/28).
American Medical News: Patients' Social Media Use Raises Practical Issues For Doctors
Patients using social media to check in on what their friends and family are doing are starting to use the sites as sources of information for something else -- health care. National Research Corp., a health care research company based in Lincoln, Neb., recently surveyed more than 22,000 Americans and found that nearly 16% use social media sites as a source of health care information. Of those, 94% said Facebook was their preferred source, followed by YouTube with 32% and Twitter with 18%. analysts say that because people are spending more time on social media sites, they have begun to include questions and research about health care as a part of that experience (Pamela Lewis Dolan, 3/28).