Alchemical Thoughts

Some items on health care reform for possible work post

Posted on: July 1, 2009

I have been trying to create relevant posts on timely topics for the library's blog. It was something that the boss liked when I made one a while back on Judge Sotomayor. The idea behind stuff like this is to keep your eyes open, and then put together a small and quick list of links of information so patrons can find some good information. It sounds easy enough, but sometimes it can get a little complicated. Health care reform is back in the news, and it is certainly a very timely topic. I have been saving some clippings in preparation for a post at the library's blog, but some are a bit substantial. They are substantial in the sense that I have to go through them and evaluate them. Given a lot of other stuff I have to do at the moment, I am going to throw them here, so I can come back and get them once I review them. If anyone finds the links useful, feel free to use.

  • From the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, an investigative staff report on "Underpayments to Consumers by the Health Insurance Industry" (link to the press release here. You can get the report and additional materials on that link). I think it is important for people to be aware when resources like these are released and available. They are a way to keep tabs on the government, not to mention that very often government reports like this are an excellent research tool for students and interested public. The catch is that you do have to take the time to look through the materia. Found via Docuticker
  • Link to a nonprofit organization, Patient Privacy Rights, that claims to be "dedicated to ensuring Americans control all access to their health records." It was highlighted in the LII Newsletter recently, which is why it caught my eye. Privacy is an important concern when it comes to patients and their health records.
  • From AARP's Policy and Research, "State Health Care Briefs for 2009." From the description, "this set of State Health Care Briefs provides a one-page overview of facts on health care data for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Information is provided about each state’s older population, the uninsured, Medicare beneficiaries including those who fall into the “doughnut hole,” hospital re-admissions among Medicare beneficiaries, the distribution of Medicaid long-term care funds, and prescription drug spending." Documents are provided in PDF format. Found via Docuticker
  • From Pew Internet, "The Social Life of Health Information" (link to overview. You can get the summary and full report from that link). This deals with how people go online to look for health information, and how they then talk to someone about it offline.  Found via Resource Shelf.
  • From the American Journal of Medicine, an article on "Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study." Last I looked, you could get the PDF to read the article there. This is a very important topic given that most bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to medical catastrophe. If that is not a reason to get universal health care and reform the system, I am not sure what is. Found via Docuticker
  • From the Congressional Research Service (via OpenCRS), a report on "Health Care Reform: An Introduction." CRS is such a great resource, but given it's lack of transparency,  you have to know how to find them with tools like OpenCRS. One of these days I would also like to write a small post for the library blog on finding CRS items. Found via Docuticker.
  • Though this one does have citations for the facts it presents, I was not sure if I could post these "20 Disturbing Facts About U.S. Health Care that Everyone Should Know." It could work to get some discussion rolling. 
  • The PCLS Senior Services Blog has a post on "Online Health and Wellness Information." It is highlighting the website I have actually used the Health Finder site in demos to parents of students. They have a very good Spanish component, which I found useful for my audience at the time.

I may add to this list, but this is clearly plenty at the moment. The bankruptcy one is something I have been wanting to write about in my own blog for a while.

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