Monday, May 31, 2010
Very interesting quote on how the new Prime Minister in England changed his views on universal health care access.
"Did his child’s illness affect his politics?
Yes. Cameron was a very traditional Conservative in his youth, supporting Thatcher’s staunch free-market policies, including fierce opposition to the National Health Service, Britain’s single-payer medical system. But Cameron says his conversations with the families he met in waiting rooms during his son’s many hospitalizations changed his thinking. “My family is so often in the hands of the NHS, and I want them to be safe there,” Cameron told his party conference in 2006. “Tony Blair once explained his priority in three words: Education, education, education. I can do it in three letters—NHS.” No rising Conservative politician had ever dared make such a statement, and it quickly established him as a new kind of Tory."
Saturday, May 8, 2010
"In a health care system that spends $2.5 trillion a year, less than one-tenth of 1% is spent on research to determine what treatment options work best - and, in some cases, whether they work at all.
"We spend billions of dollars on developing new treatments and technologies, but we don't go back through and say, 'OK, how do they work?' " said Murray Ross, director of research at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy.
The result is tens of billions of dollars - and maybe much more - spent each year on treatments that are of marginal or questionable value.
In recent years, doctors, economists, health plans, business groups and others have called for increased research on comparative effectiveness - research that compares different treatment options.
That's about to happen."