Fact checking the death panel scare

One thing I have learned in the culture wars is to check the specifics of breathless claims from both left and right. So here is a claim from the Liberty Counsel that is making its way around the echo chamber:Medicare Regulations Revive “Death Panels” of ObamaCare BillIs this true? Is Medicare about to unleash a panel of Dr. Deaths on the nation's elderly? Not at all. This Wall Street Journal article has it about right, describing what Medicare is about to implement via their rule making proc … [Read more...]

Health care reform: Who must buy insurance?

The Christian Science Monitor takes a simple stab at this question here.But here’s a key thing to remember: There is a simple concept at the center of this rambling, Rube Goldbergian machine. Democratic healthcare reform would expand insurance coverage in America by requiring people to obtain it.That’s right. The healthcare reform bill would mandate that most US citizens and legal residents purchase “minimal essential coverage” for themselves and their dependents. They can get this either t … [Read more...]

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: Is CNSNews trying to change the subject?

This morning the conservative CNSNews reported on Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee Hearing on Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. As I read the piece, I wondered if the reporter was trying to change the subject of the bill. The article seems quite focused on the following section of the Anti-Homosexuality bill pertaining to HIV positive persons:3. Aggravated homosexuality.(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the(b) offender is a person living with … [Read more...]

Abortion language troubles both sides: Nelson clears way for vote on health care

I've not been following this because I believe the health care bill will be decided by a conference committee meeting in a smoke filled room. But today Senator Ben Nelson became the 60th vote to move the ball down the court.Did Nelson use abortion? I don't know but I found this statement in the Washington Post troubling:Nelson also secured favors for his home state and to benefit different factions of the health-insurance industry.The health bill is pretty unpopular and may lead to a … [Read more...]

Not-for-profit co-ops may replace public option in health care reform

The Associated Press has a good summary of the political landscape on healthcare reform today.During the 1993 Clinton Health Care debates, co-ops were floated as an option. While this may seem like a compromise, such co-ops are not a panacea. I might support them if the amount of administrative costs were capped and they were not allowed to lobby legislators (think about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).Such an option could get us closer to public health clinics where health care would be … [Read more...]

APA sexual orientation task force report: Analysis

Earlier today, the American Psychological Association governing board received the report of the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation. The report and press release were embargoed until now. With this post, I want to comment on the paper and recommendations made by the Task Force.Generally, I believe the paper to be a high quality report of the evidence regarding sexual orientation and therapy. The authors of the paper (see this post for the new release which … [Read more...]

Cutting Medicare Advantage is not the change we need

I have a family member with a Medicare Advantage plan and am very well aware of how it works. Compared to what I know about basic Medicare, I think advantage is an accurate description. When I read that President Obama believes these plans are helpful only to the insurance companies, I have to disagree.Disagreed so much I wrote an article about it which has been published several places, including here. … [Read more...]

PANDAS, Part 2 – A paradigm shift in the treatment of mental disorders

Consider this case:Jonny, (not his real name), is a third grader with a new problem - he cannot stay in class. After starting the year well the first week, he missed the almost the whole second week of school with a sore throat and a cold. When he came back to school, he was a different kid. He told his teacher he had to go home because he missed his mom. In fact, he wouldn't stay in class. His parents would bring him to school, he went in the school but refused to go in the class room. He … [Read more...]


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