Review: "States Deny Pricey Hepatitis C Drugs to Most Medicaid Patients" – NPR
Here's yet another opportunity to see just how ridiculous our health system is. This was an article written by Jake Harper, published a couple days ago. Quick summary: a private company uses its money to make a new medication. They get it through a government process to sell to the public. They charge whatever amount they want, which is within their right. The main buyers (insurance companies, Medicaid managed care companies, and the government) then have to figure out how mu
Review: "Judge: Texas foster kids leave worse than when they enter" – KXAN
This was an story written by Phil Prazan addressing the ruling by U.S. District Judge Janis Jack that Texas is doing a terrible job of helping foster kids. Not to be a complete jerk, but I'd go one step further and say that what we Texans do to our foster kids is criminal because we knowingly set them up for failure. We're not simply negligent; we've known for a really long time how to help foster kids be successful. Here's a short list (from a psychiatrist's perspective): St
Q: Can I get a copy of my disability report?
"Can I get a copy of my disability report?" This was from a veteran. My response: no, you can't. At some point – maybe after the public shaming by folks like Jon Stewart – the government decided to allow veterans who were underserved by the Veterans Administration (VA) to see providers in their local areas. The setup goes something like this: The VA gives a wad of cash to a private business that sets up a streamlined process to get records to private medical providers. The pr
Review: "Obamacare Deploys New Apps, Allies to Persuade the Uninsured" – NPR
This interview was posted on NPR's Morning Edition by Alison Kodjak. The push to obtain insurance is a red herring because insurance does not guarantee access to health care. So for the government to spend millions of dollar to market apps and run a Web page – well, it all seems incredibly wasteful. "[HHS] plans to use email, text messages, Facebook and online ads to convince the holdouts to get insurance." Doesn't this all seem a bit of a government overreach for an outcome
Q: If you cause the cost of drugs to plummet, pharma won't spend money on R&D, right?
"If you cause the cost of drugs to plummet, pharma won't spend money on R&D, right?" This was a question from another anonymous post, but at least they were friendly this time. Before I answer this question fully (since I think I've alluded to it in other blog posts), I want you to take a step back and ask yourself a question: Why do drug companies make drugs? The first and feel-good answer is because they want to help people. I think this is the case for bench research. Havi
Review: "Bipartisan Effort Fights Health Law Rule that Could Raise Premiums" – The New Yor
Read The New York Times article by Robert Pear. I love reading articles from established news sources that state the obvious. Of course premiums are going to go up because that is what they are designed to do. You don't ask water to stop being wet. Here's my two cents on the idea that lawmakers are now trying to fight the very thing that they created. In my world, I sometimes fall into the trap of treating side effects of medicines with another medicine. One striking example