Hits & Misses – 2009/7/8

Greg Mankiw on the public health plan option. Best I've seen other than thoughts penned by yours truly.

More than 47,000 elderly Americans end up in emergency rooms each year from falls involving walkers and canes. Guess what Medicare doesn't pay for? – Doctors taking more time to better fit patients with walking aids and teaching them how to use them safely.

39% of doctors communicate with patients online. But it's mainly not about medical care.

Comments (8)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    Your are right. Mankiw’s editorial is very good.

  2. Ken says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion that under Obama Care we are going to see a lot less end-of-life care.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    I thought the figures cited in the Wall Street Journal article, claiming nearly 4-in-10 doctors communicate with patients online, sounded higher than past surveys. Then I saw the caveat… “So far, the most common digital doctor services are the simplest ones, like paying bills, sending lab results and scheduling appointments.” These are mostly things that physician offices were already doing over the phone.

    However, as more patients begin to control more of their own health care dollars, more physicians will conduct actual medical consultations online rather than requiring patients to schedule office visits for consultations that could have been done by email.

  4. Bart Ingles says:

    Kaiser makes good use of e-mail between doctors and patients. But I’m fairly sure the doctors aren’t paid per office visit.

  5. John R. Graham says:

    Professor Mankiw’s article is, of course, fine. It’s very surprising that the NY Times ran it! However, he gave up ground unnecessarily by surrendering that Medicare’s administrative costs are lower than private plans’. It’s simply not true, as demonstrated by Ben Zycher and Robert A. Book, among others.

  6. Leslie Katzenmeier says:

    I think the point is being missed here. This dialog should never equate cost with the value of human life, regardless of anyones best guess of time left or societal usefullness.
    This is not a new theory and was tried before by the Nazi doctors.
    It was said in the trial at Nuremburg by the senior Nazi doctor and chief policy maker for Hitler, anyone examining how these horendous “Crimes Against Humanity ” could have possibly happened out in front of the Democratic, Christian, Conservative Germans”, said it all began with a slight shift in public thinking:
    This was rhat there was such a thing as “A Life Not Worth Living”.
    First came the mercy killings otherwise known as “”doctor assisted suicide” or “euthanasia”, then the handicapped, then anyone non-arian.
    It is striking to me that in the face of such atrochious current century historical records, we could even utter in our arguments now, that we can not afford to spend money to keep alive those we deem “at the end of their life and consumers of 80% of this nations healthcare resources.
    Which of you will volunteer your parent or grandparent. At what price are your own family members not worth any expense in the interest of getting “available” technology if it means adding quality to their last days of life or even extra time?
    If we don’t change our terminology and focus, “Never Again” will end up being “Never say never”.
    Leslie Katzenmeier

  7. hoads says:

    The propaganda masters are out in force priming the public for “cost effective health care”. I have read more articles in the last month in mainstream press with “cost effective” in the headline than I have in the last year. It’s the “desensitization” phase of getting the public to accept health care rationing.

  8. Bart Ingles says:

    I think the Democrats have a tiger by the tail, in that having won the Washington sweepstakes they are now responsible for telling everyone how they intend to keep their campaign promises. Hence the shift from “covering everyone” to “cost savings, even if it means rationing.” Which partially explains the current obsession with the public option, and why a wild-eyed Paul Krugman is suddenly lashing out at moderate Democrats who are unenthusiastic about the idea.

    I think it’s a mistake to become too fixated on things like the public option. Now should be the time to work with moderates of both parties toward a more practical solution, while the far-left is busy painting itself into a corner.