Thursday, October 16, 2008

Health Train Express, Number Six on the List of Most Important Voter Issues


Graph from The Health Care Blog article by Chris Weaver.

Media coverage of two issues - health care and taxes - nearly doubled. Health care stories increased across all media from 256 stories to 439. Tax stories rose from just over 400 for the week to nearly 800 between the weeks ending Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, according to stories polled for the LexisNexis Analytics dashboard.    This spike in incidence is not unrelated. Tax stories are hot as voters stare at a growing deficit and watch their 401k's plunge, but tax talk has also become a predictable symptom of health care reform stories.  

An excerpt from a New York Times article states,  (link)

"It is health care, advisers said, that they believe resonates more than other issues for Americans who are worried about their economic condition," they wrote. "It is a less threatening way to talk about the economy - showing pictures of shuttered banks, for example, could create more worry - that aides said tested well across demographic groups, but particularly among older voters who have been slower to warm to Mr. Obama."

Of course, this construction fails to appreciate the other important issues under the umbrella of health policy - id est the health part.

Rising to the occasion, the conservative Washington Times reminded us Tuesday that millions of uninsured people have a tough time finding treatment, and in a worst case scenario, camp out for days, waiting to see doctors at a Wise County, Va., health fair. It's not all about the taxes after all.

No physician has to be told this observation by pundits of what is wrong about the American HealthCare non-system.image

The portions of the debate on health care seemed to be 'muddle' on both sides.  Mr Obama appears to have backed off on his plan for UNIVERSAL PAYOR.  Mr. McCain's proposals regarding tax advantages for his program at times seemed conflicting, confusing and very unclear...and it does nothing for helping the "uninsured"...He use "Joe, the plumber" at several points attempting to relate "spreading the wealth" as a for socialism. The he used Joe' s   plumbing business as an example for small business as an example for capital, loans, and his tax bracket.  Poor Joe is a busy guy..

Neither candidate demonstrated understanding the root causes of the problem for providers.....increasing costs and fixed overhead for delivering care.  The root causes are increasing baby boomer usage,  and the internal bureaucracy of evaluating, regulating, and paying for health care. 

Health IT and data mining are forecast to evaluate outcomes, and the efficiency and accuracy of treatment.  It will take many years to develop statistically valid data on preferred patterns, and evidence based medicine...By the time this occurs, it is likely that treatment paradigms will have shifted, due to technology, and drug advances.  Don't get me wrong I am all for studying our outcomes, but a billion or so dollars down the line I doubt if we will truly save one nickel. (image hearsay, and highly biased prospective prediction) (shoot the messenger)

On a more positive note, Elizabeth Edwards and HEALTH CARE NOW seem to be on 'our side' in regard to health insurers.

Other items in today's blogs

Wall Street Journal  Hospital closes in Chicago

Medinnovation blog  Geeks, formulas, and algorithms

Trusted MDTrusted MD  Health 2.0  busted??

Guarranteed Health Care  Treatment delayed for months, policy cancelled when payment one day late.

Fresh MD  New perspectives on American Health Care, why are we bitching  ??

That's it for's time for my medications.


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