Health Wonk Review: In Like a Lion


by David Harlow

Source: HealthBlawg

Welcome to Health Wonk Review's In Like a Lion edition, wherein we consider the big questions of the moment.

It seems clear that March is coming in like a lion in most parts of the country. That much is not up for debate.

Our always incisive health wonks have raised numerous important questions over the past fortnight and have attempted to answer them, for their own satisfaction and yours, gentle reader. As they say, reasonable minds may differ -- and you'll see a range of opinions on some of the issues of the day.

So let's take a walk on the wild side and see if we can come up with some answers. Questions on the table include the following:

  • What's new in the world of Obamacare implementation, HITECH Act implementation, and our 50 laboratories, the states?
  • Is there a law of physics that can limit the fiction quotient in Obamacare press coverage
  • What's the best way for the U.S. to pay for health care expenses?
  • What's the connection between Irish-American heritage and the Massachusetts gubernatorial race?
  • Why does February only have 28 days (usually)?
  • Why promote teamwork and collaboration?
  • Is there deep meaning in synchronicity, or is Roy Poses just messing with me?

Follow the Money

Some of the Brookings Institution brain trust write this week about Paying For A Permanent, Or Semi-Permanent, Medicare Physician Payment Fix at the Health Affairs Blog, emphasizing that a plan including "off-sets for physician payment reform that support improvements in care as well as lower costs . . . could assure beneficiaries and other health care providers that these savings are not just payment cuts that must be absorbed, but steps to help reduce spending through reforms that improve care."

John Goodman has his own plan for getting affordable access to care to the folks who need it most. See The Vision Thing on his Health Policy Blog.

Across the pond, Healthcare Economist Jason Shafrin tells us, some nations' health policies with respect to addictions are leading to the distribution of free heroin. (Given the rate of progress in the realm of medical marijuana in this country, it seems safe to assume that free heroin distribution will not begin anytime soon on these shores.)