Healthcare Policy

Ethical Responsbilities After GINA

October 25, 2008

Commentary by Antonella Surbone, MD PhD FACP, Ethics Section Editor

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), passed by the US Congress on May 1st 2008, protects individuals against discrimination by health insurers and employers on the basis of genetic information.(1-4) Genetic information refers to genetic tests of a person’s or a family member up to fourth-degree relatives. Genetic test is any analysis to detect genotypes, genetic mutations or chromosomal changes, not including analysis of proteins or metabolites directly related to a manifested disease. Genetic information…

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Plans for Healthcare Reform, by People Not Running for President

October 24, 2008
Plans for Healthcare Reform, by People Not Running for President

Commentary by Zackary Berger MD PhD, PGY-3, Health Care Policy Section Editor 

Even in the midst of the presidential campaign, we should remember that there are a number of health care plans other than those proposed by McCain or Obama. Given the vagaries of politics, any given plan is very unlikely to be passed. Thus we should become familiar with the details of a variety of them, since any compromise will look like a hybrid of them. What follows is a subjective summary.…

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Election ’08: Science Research and Biomedical Issues

October 15, 2008
Election ’08: Science Research and Biomedical Issues

Commentary by Andrew McKinstry MD PGY-1  

Reviewed by Albert B. Knapp MD, FACP, NYU Clinical Professor of Medicine 

Biomedical and basic science research are the undisputed driving forces that will shape the future of medicine in the United States.  Both presidential campaigns have weighed in regarding science policy and research funding.  What follows is a quick comparison of the candidates’ stated policies on science research and biomedical issues, as well as any relevant votes they may have cast in the senate.

Senator

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Healthcare and the US Presidential campaign: a defining moment

October 2, 2008
Healthcare and the US Presidential campaign: a defining moment

Commentary by Albert B. Knapp MD, FACP, PC, NYU Clinical Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology)

The American people are facing a transformational election this November 4th. Many important issues including the focus of our Foreign Policy, the balance of the Supreme Court, and the future direction of our economy are at stake. Healthcare, comprising 15% of our national economy and affecting every American life is perhaps the most significant domestic issue and the most contentious policy debate in the election. While two decades of sophisticated…

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More Health Care Is Not Better

July 16, 2008
More Health Care Is Not Better

Surprising results from the Datmouth Atlas of Health Care

Commentary by Zackary Berger MD PhD, PGY-3, Health Care Policy Section Editor

What explains the large variation in health care costs across the country? You would expect that the regions with the highest health care expenditures have the sickest patients, or have the highest prevalence of chronic health conditions.

But you would be wrong. Health care expenditures are highest where health care supply is the highest. As the number of hospital beds,…

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Pharmaceutical industry marketing to physicians: what’s the big deal?

June 4, 2008
Pharmaceutical industry marketing to physicians: what’s the big deal?

Commentary by Jatin Roper, MD, PGY3, NYU Internal Medicine and Nitin Roper, MSIII, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Pharmaceutical companies play a vital role in improving the public health through drug discovery. These for-profit entities are in the business of selling their products to physicians and patients. If you’re a physician, the images of drug marketing are ubiquitous: the attractive, vivacious sales representative who always seems happy to see you; the sea of purple tote bags at the last national gastroenterology meeting…

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Riegel v. Medtronic: Vaccination Against Medical Device Liability?

May 24, 2008
Riegel v. Medtronic: Vaccination Against  Medical Device Liability?

Commentary by Sandeep Mangalmurti MD, JD PGY-2

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Riegel v. Medtronic the first of a series of cases that may fundamentally alter medical liability lawsuits for decades to come.

The case involves Charles Riegel, who in 1996 suffered complications secondary to coronary angioplasty. During the procedure, the angioplasty balloon burst, and the patient required emergent coronary artery bypass graft to save his life. He later sued Medtronic, the…

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The ABCDs of Medicare

April 23, 2008
The ABCDs of Medicare

Commentary by Vlad Fridman MD, PGY-3

On July 30, 1965, then president Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law an amendment to the Social Security legislation establishing a national health care program for the elderly called Medicare. In fact, at the signing, former president Harry S. Truman was enrolled as the first Medicare beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Then it was simple. Currently, Medicare is a complicated health insurance program that is comprised of multiple parts, various co-payment and deductible schedules, and…

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The Thirty-six Million Dollar Rectal Exam

April 2, 2008
The Thirty-six Million Dollar Rectal Exam

Commentary by Zackary Berger MD PhD, PGY-2, Health Care Policy Section Editor

Medical protocol and consent on trial in the New York Supreme Court.

In 2004, while working at a construction site, Brian Persaud was hit in the head by a large wooden plank, lost consciousness, and was taken to the emergency room at New York Presbyterian Hospital. There he received what he says was an unjustified digital rectal exam. Persaud brought suit against the hospital, and soon, four years later, the…

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Health Care 2008: Where the Candidates Stand- Part 3 Edwards, McCain and Romney

January 18, 2008
Health Care 2008: Where the Candidates Stand- Part 3 Edwards, McCain and Romney

In this series, we are trying to cut through some of the media hype in order to summarize the health care proposals put forward by the leading candidates for President.

Commentary by Aaron Lord MD, PGY-1

Our third post presents the plans of one Democrat and two Republicans.

John Edwards (D)

The “Edwards Plan for Universal Health Care” would create a system of regional, non-profit “Health Care Markets” — collectives of discount insurance plans. Individuals could choose from any one…

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Health Care 2008: Where Do the Candidates Stand? Part 2-Obama and Thompson

January 8, 2008
Health Care 2008: Where Do the Candidates Stand? Part 2-Obama and Thompson

In this series, we try to cut through some of the media hype and summarize the health care proposals put forward by the leading candidates for President.

Commentary by Aaron Lord MD, PGY-1

With the New Hampshire primaries upon us, there’s no time to lose! Here’s a summary of the health plans of two more candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Fred Thompson.

Barack Obama (D)

Like Hillary Clinton’s plan (see the first post in this series), as well as…

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Health Care 2008: Where Do the Candidates Stand? Part 1-Clinton and Guliani

January 2, 2008
Health Care 2008: Where Do the Candidates Stand? Part 1-Clinton and Guliani

Welcome to the first post of our newest series. In this series, we’ll try to cut through some of the media hype and summarize the health care proposals put forward by the leading candidates for President.

Commentary by Aaron Lord MD, PGY-1, and Zackary Berger MD PhD, PGY-2, Health Care Policy Section Editor

Post # 1: A Subway Series

First up in this series are New York’s Hillary Clinton (D) and Rudy Guliani (R). We’ll devote more space to Clinton’s plan…

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