Pundit Wire

Hard to Split Cloud, Silver Lining

Signing healthcare reformTeasing out the link between moderation in health spending and subpar economic growth is a daunting but important task that could have a big and unpredictable impact on the American economy in the years and decades ahead.

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Encore for Proprietary Medical Schools?

Medical Schools Conventional wisdom holds that America faces a growing physician shortage and that one way of responding is by creating new medical schools.  Starting a new school is an expensive proposition which may explain the modest number that has opened in the past decade.  But now the private sector may be coming to the rescue by creating proprietary – or profit-making – schools to train physicians.

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So What’s the Problem?

healthcare If the good news we’ve been hearing about American health costs in the past few months turns out to be the new norm – it’s too early to tell – then much of today’s political debate is wildly misguided. Consultants predict 2014 will see abnormally low inflation, again. Medicare spending per beneficiary is dropping more than previously anticipated. And new tools provided by Obamacare to constrain costs could accelerate these trends.

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Once Upon A Climate Change

SONY DSC I wonder what would happen if the world’s storytellers and artists were to throw themselves into making the 2014 summit succeed. Invite the wizards of digital creation and distribution, the social media entrepreneurs and software geniuses, the networks and studios, to lend their talents to a communication campaign. Imagine if film-, video- and game-makers, musicians, photographers, screenwriters, graphic novelists, comedians, actors, essayists and fashionistas were inspired to tell the tale of climate change. Think of what designers, logo makers, branders and advertisers could contribute.

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Lobbying’s Hidden Persuaders

lobby There are two interesting additions to the annals of political influence which focus on quiet issue lobbying.

The quiet lobbying game works best when no one looks carefully at the sausage-making machinery. It offers a stark contrast to the money game where contributors present themselves as 800-lb gorillas who are willing to spend as much as it takes to make things happen their way.

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The Bang Of Your Medical Buck

doctor Is it wise policy to encourage Americans who already spend more than $8 billion annually on these tests to get more? And why does Obamacare, which generally favors evidence-based medicine, mandate this service despite new research suggesting mammograms don’t save lives.

Despite our discomfort with a public debate, our healthcare system is constantly asked what treatments are worth paying for.

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Obamacare: It’s Working

new york The relentless flow of good news about Obamacare may explain why a growing number of elected Republicans are walking away from the issue.  Two new bits of insurance news suggest progress that backers of reform find quite encouraging…

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Obamacare: A Guide for the Perplexed

healthcare Any serious effort to Obamacare must begin with a basic question:  compared to what? Once the early administrative glitches are resolved, the basic goal is to provide Americans with an improved relationship with the nation’s healthcare system. 

And there are many ways to do so.

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