Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

And so it's Tuesday once again. Let's check on the news:

I'm putting this first, before the budget, before Medicare, before health reform, because nothing is more important to those of us who are patients. Here's an article written by a doctor about how difficult it is to show compassion towards patients. Really? Yeah, really. This is a careful article about a subject that's obviously difficult for the author. And it explains a lot about what, as patients, we are missing in our relationships with our doctors.

The federal government hit the debt limit yesterday, although Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has found "extraordinary measures" to keep us out of default until August, while the parties continue to butt heads over raising the limit. Congress is in recess this week, so there's not even anybody in Washington dealing with this. Shameful.

And on the day we hit the debt limit, Rep Ryan -- the architect of the plan to dismantle Medicare -- defends his plan as one that will save Medicare and the budget. His remarks come on the heels of Newt Gingrich's statement that it's "right wing social engineering." Ryan also blames health reform for the poor economy -- something that is contrary to fact. It's true that health care costs have doubled in the past decade. But health reform wasn't around for most of that.

Not that this is remotely surprising, but here's proof that the budget cuts hit the poor the hardest.

The states -- and particularly, those dominated by Republicans -- grapple with how to set up the health insurance exchange or marketplace mandated by federal health reform.

A study of Medicare beneficiaries shows that patients in rural areas are more likely to have surgery than those in urban and suburban areas.

Are you an organ donor? Here's a great story that shows you why you ought to be.

A new device may give first-responders longer to revive victims of heart attacks.

Telling doctors what things cost causes them to order less unnecessary tests.

Amazing advances in medicine are right on the verge of becoming reality. Being operated on by a doctor who's not even in the same room? Hmmm. Is this good?

Connecticut's Governor agrees to study the public option, create a cabinet-level office of Health Reform and Innovation.

Ob-gyns turn away obese women because they can have more complications.

Autopsies are becoming increasingly rare, which may be a missed opportunity to learn.

A plan to vaccinate 90 percent of children -- let's hope it's more than a plan.

Hernias in women can go undiagnosed and can be debilitating.

More disagreement on how much salt you should eat.

And that's today's news. Have a great day! Jennifer

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