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Robert Field

POSTED: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 9:30 PM
Filed Under: Robert Field

by Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Here’s some good news about health care for a change. Fewer Americans lacked health insurance in 2011 than in 2010 - almost a million-and-a-half of them.

The Census Bureau reported last week that that the number of people without coverage fell from 49.9 million to 48.6 million. That brought the percentage of uninsured down from 16.3% to 15.7%. 

POSTED: Friday, September 14, 2012, 11:05 AM
Filed Under: Robert Field

Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Who could be a better guide for helping people to lose weight than their physicians? No one sees the dangers of excess weight more clearly, and no one is better positioned to spread the word.

But what if the physician giving the advice could stand to lose a few pounds, himself? Does that dilute the message?

POSTED: Friday, September 7, 2012, 9:41 AM
Filed Under: Robert Field

by Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. 

Will we ever finish reforming health care?

Obamacare made a good start. It will save about 30 million Americans from being shut out of the system for lack of insurance. But much more needs to be done.

POSTED: Friday, August 31, 2012, 10:11 AM
Filed Under: Robert Field
Mitt Romney says his Massachusetts health reform plan is much better than Obama’s. He claims it’s different in important ways. If there are big differences, it’s difficult to find them. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

by Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Mitt Romney says his Massachusetts health reform plan is much better than Obama’s. He claims it’s different in important ways.

If there are big differences, it’s difficult to find them.

POSTED: Friday, August 24, 2012, 11:07 AM
Filed Under: Robert Field

For the third straight year, Medicare spending will grow more slowly than expected. That’s the conclusion of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in a report issued this week. (See page 53 of the Report, available here.)

CBO found that Medicare spending was lower than predicted during the first half of 2012 for all types of expenses – hospitals, physicians, and prescription drugs. Based on that finding, it believes Medicare will spend $19 billion less in 2012 than it had originally thought and a total of $169 billion less over the next 10 years.

Why is the program getting cheaper? Mostly because Americans have been using less health care since the recession began in 2007. The slowdown isn’t limited to Medicare. Spending under private insurance is down, as well.

POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012, 11:50 AM
Filed Under: Robert Field

by Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H.

What’s the biggest change Paul Ryan wants to make to American health care?

It isn’t his privatization plan for Medicare, as significant as that is. Ryan wants to make even bigger changes to Medicaid, the program that covers health care for the poor.

POSTED: Friday, August 10, 2012, 4:59 PM
Filed Under: Robert Field

by Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Will they ever give up? House Republicans have devised yet another plan to try to undermine the health reform law. This one is an attempt at an end-run around the Supreme Court ruling that upheld it.

The Court found that the law’s individual mandate to maintain health insurance is constitutional. It reasoned that the penalty for failure to comply with it functions in the same way as a tax. As such, Congress has broad power under the Constitution to impose it.

POSTED: Friday, August 3, 2012, 11:47 AM
Filed Under: Robert Field

by Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H.

What health insurance plan has the most satisfied customers? Is it run by a company that is large or small, for-profit or nonprofit, local or national?

According to a recent study published in the prestigious journal Health Affairs, the best plan is run by no company at all. The most satisfied patients in the United States are insured by the government. They are elderly beneficiaries under Medicare. (Click here to see the study.)

About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael Cohen id the president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham.

Daniel Hoffman is the president of Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates (PBRA) in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, a healthcare research and consulting company specializing in key account positioning and messaging.

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