Monday, February 4, 2013

Health News

For anyone who thought Obamacare meant an end to something, no way.  It did break a logjam in health policy, but there will be so much more to come.  Obamacare started out with an announced vision that it was health care costs that were hog tying American business - the old observation that 10% or so of the cost of a car went for health insurance.  But Obamacare then veered almost completely into universal coverage as the concern, and paid off the various constituencies that would have to have their ox gored in any significant cost savings reform -- hospitals, pharma, insurance companies, etc.

But we are now reaping the whirlwind.  We can't get universal coverage because costs are too high.  The fight will go on, and won't reach a significant conclusion until reorganization and cost control is accomplished.  I think it will take 20 years, with the next 10 being the biggest grind.

Also from the news - nurses against mandatory flu shots.  Ah, the nurses!  Our jobs first!  Health second!  True to form.  Even USA Today takes a better position!

The New York Times: A Cruel Blow To American Families
The Internal Revenue Service has issued a hugely disappointing ruling on how to calculate the affordability of health insurance offered by employers. Its needlessly strict interpretation of the Affordable Care Act could leave millions of Americans with modest incomes unable to afford family coverage under their employers’ health insurance but ineligible for subsidies to buy coverage elsewhere (2/2).
USA Today: Flu Vaccine Mandate Protects Patients' Rights: Our View
Because so many of the most susceptible people are in hospitals and long-term care facilities, it's imperative that health care workers not spread the infection. In too many places, however, too many workers are balking at flu shot requirements, with potentially tragic consequences (2/3).
USA Today: Forced Flu Shots Provide No Cure: Opposing View
America's nurses strongly encourage health care workers and patients to get vaccinated. But nurses, joined by many physician organizations and researchers, reject the notion that vaccination is a fail-safe solution to prevent the spread of the flu virus. We oppose forced vaccinations or the related mandate that those who decline the shots must wear masks or risk losing their jobs (Karen Higgins, 2/3).

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