Alchemical Thoughts

A fifth link dump of health care reform items

Posted on: November 4, 2009

Here we go again. This time around, the inspiration for me to do this is that a couple of my colleagues are suggesting that the library make an actual research guide on the topic of "health care management" using the LibGuides system we have in place. I personally have been thinking about making some kind of post on the topic for the library blog, but I think by now the topic is a bit big for just a blog post. In the case of the blog post, I was thinking of providing some general resources and some advice on how to evaluate the resources. Because I think it is easy to find information on the issue. It is also very easy to find a lot of misinformation based on FUD tactics, so people need to not only be informed, but they need to be able to evaluate the claims they find. So, what it may be worth, here is the latest stuff I have found.

  • From the American Academy of Actuaries (these are the folks whose job it is to calculate risks and then assess value. For instance, when it comes to insurance, these are the folks who decide who gets rejected, like that baby that was too fat in recent news. If you want a less snarky definition of what is an actuary, you can look here). The report basically suggests costs necessary for starting up a public health option or a health coops option. Links to news release and to the full study. Title of the report is "Federal Health Care Reform 2009: Start-up Capital Costs for Health Care Co-ops and a Public Plan." 
  • The Commonwealth Fund, a think tank with an interest in health care issues, has released results of their survey of health care leaders asking them about health care (link to news release; you can get a link to the full survey report at the site).Those surveyed are discussing Medicare and how it can be expanded. One of the reasons to look at Medicare is because it is a U.S. Government program. Yes, it is run by the government, so when certain people gripe about not wanting the government to run their health care insurance, I ask them if they want to give up their Medicare. You can insert the silence and sound of crickets now.
  • (Update note: 11/5/09): Just found this. This is the take of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the lobbyists for small businesses, on "The Top 15 Reasons Small Business Oppose H.R. 3962." Before folks buy too deeply into this, may I suggest they go do some reading over at FactCheck
  • (Update note: 11/9/09): From the Employment Benefit Research Institute, an issue brief on "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Insured: Analysis of the 2009 Current Population Survey" (link to executive summary. You can also get the full document on that link). Worth a look.

As before, in case the random reader that finds this blog is interested, you can find my previous posts on this topic here, here, here, and here.

In addition, I saved this video on my feed reader's clippings folder. Naturally, this is not something I would give to my students as part of their research, though I would probably still urge them to watch it as an example of how the message is being transmitted. I think we need to be sharing it more because the message is an important


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