The Compromise of the Compromise

compromise1Late last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that a breakthrough deal had been reached on the contentious healthcare reform bill the President has been asking for.  But have they compromised away the core of the reform in this bill?  Did they deal away the part that really would have put some competition into the market to bring down the absurdly high rates people are faced with to maintain their coverage?  Will it make an insurance option available to those for whom today’s coverage is already priced beyond reach? Continue reading…

Senate HCR Bill Moves Forward Over Weekend

senate-shieldLate Saturday night, the US Senate voted to allow debate over their draft of healthcare reform legislation to begin on the floor.  This is another big hurdle that proponents of reform have overcome.  The Senate version of the bill still contains some version of a public option.  It will be interesting to see what amendments are added during the committee process.  For supporters of reform who may be feeling that the reform has been too compromised and watered down, follow me over the fold for a great breakdown of what the current draft of the Senate bill includes for all Americans. Continue reading…

HHS Dept Commissioned Study Says Regular Mammograms Only Needed After 50

mammogramSweeping new U.S. breast cancer screening guidelines are calling for an end to routine mammograms for women in their 40s and for women 50 to 74 they suggest a mammogram every other year.  This controversial new guideline was handed down by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF),  a group of nongovernmental experts convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review published literature and develop recommendations for the use of clinical preventive services.   Coming on the heels of the controversial Stupak Amendment limiting coverage for abortions that was inserted into the House healthcare bill in the eleventh hour at the behest of Catholic Cardinals, this new guideline seems to many to be a part of a broader campaign to hack away at hard won womens’ rights. Continue reading…

House Passes HCR Bill – Women’s Reproductive Rights Take Hit

us-houseThis past Saturday night, the  US House of Representatives worked all day and into the evening (it felt good to watch these people work on a weekend for once) and narrowly passed a bill aimed at reforming the broken healthcare system.  In the process though, they were forced to insert an amendment (the Stupak amendment) which disallows women who would be enrolled in the public option plan from getting abortions.  I am fed up with people inserting their religious preferences into legislation that effects all Americans, religious or otherwise. Continue reading…

Hospital Worker? Direct Media Inquiries to Public Affairs

guest-blogger2Guest Blogger Zipporah Dvash – Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs and Development, Long Island College Hospital

Do you work in a hospital?  It seems like they’re are always in the news.  Remember that reporters don’t just speak to doctors and nurses – sometimes they wait for staff as they’re coming and going and aggressively demand answers to questions.  When, if ever, should you speak to a reporter?  Would you be violating patient confidentiality?  Can you be fired for speaking to the media without permission?  You’ll never go wrong if follow these Media Do’s and Don’ts below the fold. Continue reading…


Latest Neat-o Advance from the Field of Medicine

vscan-stethoscopeI have always been amazed by how far medical science and technology has advanced in the space of the last decades and wrote a piece back in August illustrating how far medical technologies have progressed since the turn of the last century.  Training for a career serving the healthcare field is really exciting because it is a field that will definitely be home to continuing innovation and technological breakthroughs.   Take for instance the latest device dreamed up by the engineers at General Electric. Continue reading…

Following the Money Part Deux

follow-the-moneyBack in July, before the screaming town hall silliness of Congress’s August recess and before the slow as molasses delivery of Max Baucus’s Senate Finance Committee health care bill, I wrote a piece about how to gauge the progress of health insurance reform legislation.  I pointed out that insiders on Wall Street, who have paid for unfair access to our legislators, would know ahead of the curve which way the reform would go.  This way they could nearly guarantee that they would not lose money from their investments into the healthcare sector whether reform passed or was defeated.  If it looked like reform was imminent, Wall Street would sell their holdings in healthcare companies driving stock prices of insurers down.  If the “Street” figured reform would go down in defeat, they’d buy more of the insurers’ stocks as it would be a safe bet that the gravy train would continue for the highly profitable insurance companies.  Back in July, the prices of insurance company stocks were surging.  The bankers on Wall Street seemed convinced that the public option – the only serious reform device being considered – was all but dead.  What does the insurance sector look like today three months later and weeks from the bill’s eventual passage?  Follow me over the jump to see. Continue reading…

Why Job Training Is Essential

unemployment_officeIt may surprise you to learn that even as layoffs mount and unemployment has passed the 10% mark, there are employers who are having a hard time filling positions that pay $50,000 to $60,000 plus benefits!  How is this possible?  Join me after the jump to find out. Continue reading…

Seeger Plays Health Care Reform Rally in Nyack, NY

img_65171Last night, I attended a pro-reform rally at Memorial park in Nyack, New York along the banks of the Hudson in the shadow of the picturesque Tappan Zee Bridge.  Nearly 1000 people turned out to support reform of the broken healthcare system and several musical acts donated their performance to rally the crowd.  The top act was none other than the legendary proponent of social justice, Pete Seeger.  Follow me over the fold for more details about the evening’s events and photos taken by yours truly. Continue reading…

FactCheck.org:Another Great Resource

factchecklogoWith passions running so high in the healthcare debate, and with so many powerful forces trying to manipulate the process to suit their own agendas, it gets really hard to believe anything we hear.  How does one separate the truth from the lies, the policy positions from the propaganda, the facts from the noise?  Let me tell you of an excellent resource for cutting through the static and getting some answers from reputable sources.Continue reading…