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Dec 02, 2013 As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500

QUOTE: A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries...Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains — like Partners in Boston, or Banner in Phoenix — dominating many parts of the country...

New York Times
Mar 20, 2012 Generic Drugs Proving Resistant to Damage Suits

QUOTE: Across the country, dozens of lawsuits against generic pharmaceutical companies are being dismissed because of a Supreme Court decision last year that said the companies did not have control over what their labels said and therefore could not be sued for failing to alert patients about the risks of taking their drugs. Now, what once seemed like a trivial detail — whether to take a generic or brand-name drug — has become the deciding factor in whether a patient can seek legal recourse from a drug company.

New York Times
Nov 29, 2011 Gingrich Gave Push to Clients, Not Just Ideas

QUOTE: in the eight years since [Gingrich] started his health care consultancy, he has made millions of dollars while helping companies promote their services and gain access to state and federal officials. In a variety of instances, documents and interviews show, Mr. Gingrich arranged meetings between executives and officials, and salted his presentations to lawmakers with pitches for his clients

New York Times
Aug 05, 2011 Ex-Lawmaker Still a Friend of Hospitals

QUOTE: House members are banned from lobbying on Capitol Hill for a year after leaving office (Mr. Pomeroy’s term ended in January), but Mr. Pomeroy, a Democrat, has teamed up with his former chief of staff, who is not subject to the restriction, as a lobbying partner.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2011 In Medicine, New Isn’t Always Improved

QUOTE: the promise of innovation can also prove a trap, a situation now playing out with dire consequences for possibly tens of thousands of people who received artificial hips intended to let them remain active. The implants, known as metal-on-metal hips, were regarded by device makers and surgeons as a major advance over previous designs that used both metal and plastic. Now federal regulators and medical researchers are scrambling to determine how many implant recipients have been injured by the devices, which can shed dangerous metallic debris through wear.

New York Times
Jun 22, 2011 Medicare: Facts and Convictions (The Stone)

QUOTE: The moral of my story is that understanding and effectively taking part in a debate requires awareness of the level at which we and our opponents are operating at any given point...Once we’ve pushed the debate on Medicare or any other policy matter to the point where convictions become the sole basis of disagreement, it is time to vote.

New York Times
Jan 07, 2011 In Battle Over Health Law, Math Cuts Both Ways

QUOTE: Much of the health care debate will center on cost — to the government and to employers. On Thursday, Republicans issued their own report, called “Obamacare: A Budget-Busting Job-Killing Law,” which concluded, “The health care law will cost the nation $2.6 trillion when fully implemented, and add $701 billion to the deficit in the first 10 years.” The Republicans’ projections were in contrast to the budget office’s analysis of the health care law, and a related budget reconciliation measure, after they were adopted last March.

New York Times
Jun 10, 2010 Bringing Comparison Shopping to the Doctor’s Office

QUOTE: there has been no easy way for consumers to shop for the best deal on a colonoscopy or blood test. A start-up financed by prominent venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, Castlight Health, aims to change that by building a search engine for health care prices.

New York Times
Sep 02, 2009 The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices.

QUOTE: Fundamentally, the entire payment model of American health care drives medical centers, doctors, and hospital managers to push for more fancy procedures at the expense of primary care doctors.

Aug 24, 2009 Journalists, Left Out of Debate: Few Americans Seem to Hear Health Care Facts (Media Notes)

QUOTE: The crackling, often angry debate over health-care reform has severely tested the media's ability to untangle a story of immense complexity.

Washington Post
Aug 21, 2009 The Deadly Cost of Swooping In to Save a Life (Fatal Flights A Perilous Rush to Profit

QUOTE: Yet as crashes and deaths have mounted [in medical helicopter accidents], top executives at the Federal Aviation Administration and its parent agency, the U.S. Transportation Department, have acted as partners with the industry, issuing reams of voluntary safety advisories with little follow-up. The FAA has sent poorly trained inspectors to monitor operators and used fines and penalties as only a last resort.

Washington Post
Aug 08, 2009 Where Have You Gone, Joe the Citizen?

QUOTE: The traditional town hall meeting, a staple of Congressional constituent relations, had been hijacked, overrun by sophisticated social-networking campaigns [to protest healthcare reform]...

New York Times
Jul 22, 2009 White House declines to disclose visits by health industry executives

QUOTE: Invoking an argument used by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House...

Los Angeles Times
Jul 21, 2009 Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform: Key Senator Baucus Is a Leading Recipient

QUOTE: Top health executives and lobbyists have continued to flock to the senator's[Max Baucus] often extravagant fundraising events in recent months. During a Senate break in late June, for example, Baucus held his 10th annual fly-fishing and golfing weekend in Big Sky, Mont., for a minimum donation of $2,500.

Washington Post
Jul 15, 2009 Why We Must Ration Health Care

QUOTE: Health care is a scarce resource, and all scarce resources are rationed in one way or another.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2009 Heading for the emergency room (Reforming American health care)

QUOTE: The American health-care system, which gobbles up about 16% of the country’s economic output, is by far the most expensive in the world...

Jun 22, 2009 A Transplant That Is Raising Many Questions

QUOTE: Waiting times for a liver vary in different parts of the country, and people who can afford to travel are free to go to a city or state with the shortest wait and bide their time until they have reached the top of the list.... It is even conceivable that someone could go to the time and expense of registering for the waiting lists of several transplant centers around the country.

New York Times
May 06, 2009 Government Reports Criticize Health Care System

QUOTE: Two annual government reports released Wednesday show that progress in improving the quality of health care and narrowing health disparities among ethnic groups remains agonizingly slow, and that patient safety may actually be declining.

New York Times
Mar 23, 2009 In hard times, illegal immigrants lose healthcare: In California, some counties consider screening them out from nonemergency services.

QUOTE: The recession – and a big state deficit ­– is leading some California counties to cut back on nonemergency health services to illegal immigrants. In others, cutbacks in services for the uninsured are hitting illegal immigrants especially hard.

Christian Science Monitor
Aug 28, 2008 Medical Bills You Shouldn't Pay: In a controversial practice known as "balance billing," health-care providers are going after patients for money they don't owe

QUOTE: As health-care costs continue to soar, millions of confused consumers are paying medical bills they don't actually owe. Typically this occurs when an insurance plan covers less than what a doctor, hospital, or lab service wants to be paid. The health-care provider demands the balance from the patient....this common practice, known as balance billing, often is illegal.

Nov 15, 2007 How the World Thinks About AIDS

QUOTE: The [MAC AIDS Fund] survey also suggests an enduring stigma surrounding HIV. Nearly half of the people surveyed reported being uncomfortable working with those who are HIV positive, while slightly more than half of the respondents did not want to live in the same home as someone infected with HIV.

Time Magazine
Jun 13, 2007 Moore Lobbies Sacramento For Healing: Filmmaker, Health Care Activists Promote ‘Sicko’ While Demanding Reforms in Industry

QUOTE: In the days before Moore’s film “Sicko” opens...the director will be the centerpiece of a campaign that melds activism, policy, politics and Hollywood into a media force like no other widely released film. .... both filmmaker and activists believe, the public could ultimately receive better, less expensive health care if they’re successful.

San Francisco Chronicle
May 22, 2007 Film Offers New Talking Points in Health Care Debate

QUOTE: Few of them may become Michael Moore fans. But some insurance industry officials and health policy experts acknowledged yesterday that the film documentary “Sicko,” Mr. Moore’s indictment of health care in this country, taps into widespread public concern that the system does not work for millions of Americans.

New York Times
May 10, 2007 Medicare's $869 Air Mattress Bill: Government Arrests 38 As It Cracks Down On Health-Care Fraud

QUOTE: The schemes center on what prosecutors call the nation's largest hot spot for health-care malfeasance: the southern district of Florida. Over the past several weeks, federal agents visited dozens of companies there that charged Medicare for prosthetic limbs, costly AIDS drugs, air mattresses and urinary collection bags. Few if any of the products were purchased or delivered to patients in need.

Washington Post
Jan 05, 2007 Medical identity theft can kill you

QUOTE: Medical identity theft occurs when criminals obtain information such as a health insurance identification or Social Security number and use it to get health care or to obtain reimbursement from insurers and others for false claims. That means your medical history and health care records can include someone else's information. This can be life threatening: for example, causing a transfusion of the wrong blood type.
Aug 01, 2006 A 10-Year Checkup: A Decade Into the E-Health Era, Online Medical Resources Pass a Real-Life Test

QUOTE: This is about the quality of health information on the Internet, all that stuff buzzing around between Web servers and computer screens intended to help people manage their health.

Washington Post
Jan 24, 2006 Whistle-Blower Suit Says Device Maker Generously Rewards Doctors

QUOTE: These doctors work in a growing field, complex back surgery, and this makes them particularly valuable to the spinal-implant division of Medtronic. In recent years, the company has spent tens of millions of dollars on consulting contracts and other types of payments to them and numerous other prominent surgeons, according to papers filed as part of a whistle-blower lawsuit. The suit contends that some of these payments were made to attract or retain the doctors' business.

New York Times
May 05, 2004 Study Finds Widespread Problem of Inadequate Health Care

QUOTE: Americans get substandard care for their ailments about half the time, even if they live near a major teaching hospital..."Quality in most areas of care was uniformly poor"...

New York Times
Jun 17, 2003 Medical Concern Will Halt Sales of Artery Device Linked to Deaths

QUOTE: Guidant of the country's largest makes of medical devices...pleaded guilty to 10 felonies and admitted it had concealed thousands of problems linked to the product, including 12 deaths.

New York Times
Jan 27, 2003 Drug Sales Bring Huge Profits, and Scrutiny, to Cancer Doctors

QUOTE: The cancer specialists can make huge sums...from the difference between what they pay for the drugs and what they charge insurers and government programs.

New York Times
Dec 03, 2002 No End to Errors: Three Years After a Landmark Report Found Pervasive Medical Mistakes in American Hospitals, Little has Been Done to Reduce Death and Injury

QUOTE: There's a lot of talk [about medical errors--Ed.], but no significant progress. The reasons, observers say, include fierce resistance by doctors and hospitals to mandatory reporting and other IOM recommendations, a lack of oversight by the federal government and the absence of an effective consumer lobby.

Washington Post
Mar 23, 2001 Protecting Patient Data: Health-Care Bloc Attacks Privacy Rules

QUOTE: The Bush administration, already under pressure from the health-care industry, heard new weaken Clinton privacy regulations aimed at sharply restricting how hospitals, doctors and other providers use personal information in patients' medical files.

Washington Post