February 6, 2016 |
In our "read my lips/over my dead body" political culture, the threat of tax increases usually shuts down proposals for single-payer national health insurance. Lately, conservative pundits - and even liberals like Hillary Clinton - have been repeating the mantra that single-payer insurance would break the bank. Never mind that Canadians, Australians, and Western Europeans spend about half what we do on health care, enjoy universal coverage, and are healthier. Their health-care taxes are higher.
February 4, 2016 |
Two announcements Tuesday illustrate the apparently inexorable trend in health care toward payment for results rather than payment for the quantity of care provided. Aetna Inc. announced a contract with the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization that will give hundreds of primary-care physicians the chance to earn extra money if they meet certain targets. Independence Blue Cross, the region's largest health insurer, ahead of Aetna, announced a new job for a top executive, Anthony Coletta, who now heads an IBC joint venture, Tandigm Health L.L.C., a network of primary-care physicians.
February 3, 2016
By David N. Taylor and Jay Timmons If you feel like the health-care debate has grown stale, know you're not alone. Despite the many presidential candidates vying to lead this nation, we are hearing little new on the topic. Vitriol and political discord continue to bar us from identifying solutions to control costs, fuel innovation, preserve the employer-based health-care system, and take care of workers and their families. This matters to Pennsylvania, where health care is an issue not just for families but also for manufacturing.
February 2, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - The three Democrats running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania emphasized the foundations of their views Sunday in the first joint appearance of a critical race. In a forum hosted by a Pittsburgh-based Democratic group, former admiral and congressman Joe Sestak laced his answers with Navy anecdotes. Katie McGinty, former chief of staff to Gov. Wolf, talked up her middle-class upbringing as the daughter of a Philadelphia policeman and a restaurant hostess. And Braddock, Pa., Mayor John Fetterman explained that he has seen vast inequality, growing up in a prosperous family and now leading a borough hit by economic decline.
January 29, 2016 |
CLIVE, Iowa - Ted Cruz on Wednesday ratcheted up his criticism of GOP presidential rival Donald Trump, belittling the celebrity real estate mogul as a "fragile soul" for refusing to participate in Thursday's debate and likening him to an "imperial dictator. " Cruz, a first-term senator from Texas, and Trump are locked in a dead heat before the Iowa caucuses begin the presidential nominating contest on Monday. The two candidates in recent weeks have dropped all pretense of the mutual non-aggression pact they once held as outsiders attacking the Washington establishment.
January 18, 2016 |
When President Obama announced his "precision medicine" initiative a year ago, the White House spotlighted Emily Whitehead as an example of patients who have already benefited from an approach most people have never heard of. The central Pennsylvania girl, now 10, was near death in 2012 when researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia engineered her own immune system's T cells to recognize and attack her leukemia cells. Though Emily's therapy was custom made, it didn't take into account individual differences in her genetic makeup, lifestyle, or environment - which is how the president's initiative and the National Institutes of Health define precision medicine.
January 16, 2016
By Donald Smith and John Alviti In 1736, Benjamin Franklin's 4-year-old son, Francis Folger Franklin, died of smallpox. It was one of the great tragedies of Franklin's life. Francis, or "Frankie," was clearly an exceptional child for whom Franklin built great hopes in a short time. In the 1730s, the English-speaking world was just learning about a practice called "variolation," an early kind of vaccination against smallpox that involved deliberately giving people the active virus.
January 12, 2016 |
Mayor Kenney used plain language to describe his vision for Philadelphia's government during his inauguration last week: City services will be effective and efficient. One tangible element of his strategy is to use existing school buildings to deliver social services - such as adult English-language instruction, health care, and homeless assistance - to neighborhoods, making them available to people where they live and sparing those who don't have the time or ability to trek to Center City for help.
January 12, 2016
By Perry Farmer and Barbara Ebling It's January, and families are facing some serious decisions about quality of life. For some, it may mean something as simple as a new gym membership. For others, the decision is far more serious. Many are looking for ways to ease the pain of a terminally ill family member through a regimen of palliative care. This year, more physicians will be doing advanced care planning. If you have Medicare, your doctor will now be reimbursed for an appointment to discuss the type of life you want when ill. Palliative care may be part of that conversation.
January 4, 2016
More than 900 people packed the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Dec. 8 for the 13th annual Jefferson Gala. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus and his wife, Billi, were honored with the Award for Merit for their leadership and philanthropy and their contributions to health care, health education, and research. Dr. Leonard G. Gomella was presented the Achievement in Medicine Award, which honors a Jefferson physician who has provided exemplary care to patients as well as been a leader in the field.