Every week, reporter Jessica Marcy selects interesting reading from around the Web.
Mother Jones: Santorum In ’93: More Government Needed in Health Care
If elected president, Santorum vows, he will end the “tyranny” of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Yet as an up-and-coming congressman in the early 1990s, Santorum took a much different line. Then—like now—health care was one of the nation’s most divisive issues. In 1993, Republicans were up in arms about a health care reform bill spearheaded by Hillary Clinton and pushed by President Bill Clinton. … During that fiery debate, Santorum said it would be a mistake to allow the delivery of health care services to be determined only by the market. He asserted that Republicans were “wrong” to let the marketplace decide how health care works. He instead argued that government should play a “proactive” role in shaping the health care marketplace “to make it work better” (Andy Kroll and Tim Murphy, 3/5).
The Atlantic: Making The Best Of What Is Often The Very Worst Time Of Our Lives (Book Excerpt)
As difficult as things are now, these may turn out to be the good old days. How we die is already a public health crisis, and care for people through the end of life is poised to become a generation-long social catastrophe. … Very soon, for the first time in human history, older people will outnumber younger people on our planet. In the United States, one in five adults is 65 or older. … Those of us who are concerned about long-term care have good reasons to worry. The nursing homes of the future — our future! — may make today’s nursing homes look like luxury hotels. It doesn’t have to turn out that way (Ira Byock, 3/7).
American Medical News: Legal Risks Of Going Paperless
System breaches. Modification allegations. E-discovery demands. These issues are becoming common courtroom themes as physicians transition from paper to EMRs, legal experts say. Not only are EMRs becoming part of medical negligence lawsuits, they are creating additional liability. … Studies are mixed about how EMRs will impact liability for physicians. … Whatever the future holds for EMRs, it’s important that doctors reduce their liability risks during system implementation, legal experts say. Being aware of potential legal pitfalls prevents doctors from falling victim to technology intended to do good — not cause hardship (Alicia Gallegos, 3/5).
The Daily Beast: Talking About Sex Is the Only Way To Stop HIV
[The United States has] been stuck at about 50,000 new infections each year for more than a decade. Compared with the challenges facing places like sub-Saharan Africa, our failure is particularly galling: we have plenty of drugs that work, the money and systems to administer them, and effective, if not particularly popular, ways to interrupt the spread (condoms, clean needles, abstinence). So why aren’t we doing better? The answer is blindingly simple: sex. Almost all HIV in the U.S. is spread by sexual intercourse, yet when faced with this fact, we act like a bumbling junior-high-school kid hearing about the birds and the bees for the first time. As a result, we have before us an unabated 30-year epidemic of a sexually transmitted disease (Kent Sepkowitz, 3/5).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.