health care

The Fiscal Cliff Myth

As President Obama gets closer to making his deal with the Republicans on the budget, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the fiscal cliff is an artificially contrived trap. Were it not for the two Bush wars and the two Bush tax cuts and the House Republican games of brinkmanship with the routine extension of the debt ceiling, there would be no “fiscal cliff.”
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Proposed Anthem Blue Cross Rate Hike Could Mean Future Refund Checks for Consumers

Anthem Blue Cross could owe big refund checks to 730,000 Californians if its proposed rate hikes of up to 25 percent are deemed excessive thanks to an initiative voters will consider on the 2014 ballot.
The ballot measure requires health insurance companies to get approval before raising rates and allows that refunds be ordered on rates that are considered excessive after November 6, 2012. When voters approve the measure, the insurance commissioner will have the power to retroactively order refunds for excessive rates.
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Beau Biden: Leading the March in North Carolina

Last Saturday, beneath a clear blue sunny sky, Delaware’s Attorney General Beau Biden—who is also a commissioned officer in his home state’s National Guard—spoke in support of the Democratic ticket to a gathering of former warriors and their families at Fayetteville, North Carolina’s Veterans Park.
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VA Health Commissioner Resigns Over Abortion Clinic Rules


Virginia’s health commissioner resigned Thursday, citing recent legal interpretations regarding abortion clinic regulations that she said prevented her from doing her job.
Karen Remley, who was appointed health commissioner by Gov. Tim Kaine in 2008, oversaw the state Board of Health while it considered strict new regulations for Virginia’s abortion provide...
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Pharmaceutical Companies Pay $6.6 Billion To Settle Fraud Claims

Pharmaceutical companies paid $6.6 billion so far this year to settle claims that they defrauded federal and state government health programs. That's more than double the amount of all settlements in 2011, the Washington-based watchdog group Public Citizen said in a report issued on Thursday. The report noted that the penalties are only a small fraction of drug makers' profits. "The consensus seems to be that this is a business model, and unless the federal government moves first to increase these penalties, that's likely to remain the case," Sammy Almashat, the author of the report, told Bloomberg News
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Anti-Abortion Scholar: Raise Costs As Restrictions

Political science professor Michael J. New, adjunct scholar for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, talks about effective abortion restrictions at the Values Voter Summit, Sept. 15, 2012.
New reiterated his comments in an interview with The American Independent following the panel discussion, specifically noting that abortion laws that require two separate trips to the clinic drive up the costs for women trying to get an abortion, “especially for women in rural areas.”
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President Bill Clinton Is Right: Medicaid Matters

The Democrats threw down the gauntlet at their convention in Charlotte this week, putting health care front and center and warning the Republicans that they won’t get away with more of the health care fear-mongering they’ve been stirring up for years. This strategy was solidified on the second night of the convention when President Bill Clinton, in the words of former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, “detonated the H-bomb of the 2012 campaign: the Medicaid issue.”
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Means Testing for Social Security Won't Guarantee Solvency

The issue of sustainably of Social Security and Medicare — I fear that the word “entitlement” feeds into the frenzy — actually has little to do with greed and is largely a function of our uniquely inefficient system of health care delivery, as that’s from where our real long-term fiscal problems derive. And this goes well beyond the public sector — private sector health spending is also unsustainable and, unless we slow it down to a rate closer to overall economic growth, will eventually crowd out too much of the other things we want and need.
We can and should achieve solvency in Social Security, but sacrifices by baby boomers don’t get you very far, as I’ll show in a moment.
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Study: Criminalization of HIV Nondisclosure May Discourage Testing

A team of researchers has published findings that they say indicate criminalization of HIV nondisclosure may discourage testing and hinder efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
The study, from Canada, found that a significant minority of men who have sex with men said that a series of high-profile criminal prosecutions related to HIV nondisclosure had impacted their willingness to get tested for the virus or to discuss risk factors with medical professionals. The researchers further reported that these individuals were more likely to engage in higher-risk sexual practices.
“Our results indicate that, although it is a minority of individuals (17.0 percent and 13.8 percent respectively) who reported that nondisclosure criminal prosecutions either (a) affected their willingness to get tested for HIV, or (b) made them afraid to speak with nurses and physicians about their sexual practices, this small group reported higher rates of unprotected penetrative anal intercourse and internal ejaculation with, on average, a higher number of different sexual partners within the previous 2 months,” wrote the study’s authors.
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B: Health Insurance Industry Moves to Block Information to Consumers

Just when consumers are finally getting a look at how health insurance companies conduct their business, the industry is racing to shut and lock the door.
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