Exploding The Myths About American Health Care

New documentary takes ‘world’s best’ system to task.

I don’t agree with Romney and Obama health care advisor Jonathan Gruber that Americans are stupid, but there is abundant evidence that we’re incredibly gullible. And we’re paying a big price for it. For the latest evidence, check out the documentary Remote Area Medical, which opens in select theaters across the country this coming Friday.

We’ve been told over and over again by politicians and flacks—including me in my previous

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California Coverage Plan for Undocumented Echoes Earlier Call by Schwarzenegger

Poll says residents support allowing ‘illegals’ to buy insurance or enroll in Medicaid.

Unlike former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, Democrats in Congress decided as they worked on health care reform that providing coverage to the estimated 11.5 million undocumented residents in the U.S. would not be a good idea.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that many of them were unwilling to vote for a reform bill enabling undocumented residents to buy coverage on the state

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Washington’s Cynical Misinformation Game

Distortion now a standard part of political discourse on health care.

In most of our country’s major institutions, we have little tolerance for cheating and lying. Whether it’s the court system, schools, businesses, even our sports teams, we impose stiff sanctions against those who deceive us to gain some advantage.

If convicted of lying on the witness stand, you’ll pay a fine and possibly wind up in jail. If caught cheating on a test, you’ll probably fail the course or

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Message-Maven Culture Killing Compromise in Washington

Public relations techniques rule as dialogue gives way to talking points. 

Former congressional staffer Scott Lilly, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill last week that lawmakers might be able to reach a bipartisan consensus on how to improve the congressional budget process if Washington were not ruled by public relations people and message mavens.

Lilly, who served as clerk and staff director of the House Appropriations Committee before moving …

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Keeping an Eye on Insurance Companies That Refuse to Pay Claims

All-too-common Arizona case only got resolved following media attention.

After writing a couple weeks back that we need to keep an eye on profit-hungry health insurers to make sure they are not refusing to pay for medically necessary care, I got a flood of emails and tweets from people with stories to share.

That column was published just as Arizona media were reporting that the country’s third largest insurer had told a Phoenix man he would have to pay a

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Obamacare Subscribers: Beware of High Deductibles

Coverage ‘not as affordable as many people need it to be.’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last Thursday rejected the notion that Democrat Alex Sink’s narrow loss to Republican David Jolly in last week’s special election in Florida — in a congressional district that Republicans have held for half a century — was a referendum on Obamacare.

“I’m very proud of our House Democrats, not only how they’ve embraced the Affordable Care Act … but how proud they are of

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Resolving to Take Better Care of Our Teeth Could Save Our Lives–And Billions of Dollars

Author’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles examining America’s oral health care crisis. Be sure to read part two, “What Really Scares Middle-Income Americans Away From the Dentist.”

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As we inch closer to February, fewer and fewer of us are keeping those New Year’s resolutions we made. According to researchers at the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of us actually achieve the goals we set for ourselves at the first of the year. …

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Wendell Potter on ‘Obamacare: What’s in It for Me?’

Michael Moore has called Wendell Potter “the Daniel Ellsberg of corporate America.” In 2008 Potter walked away from a lucrative 20-year career at the top of public relations for CIGNA and other insurance companies to pull back the curtain on the large-scale, well-planned PR campaigns giant corporations use to prevent political change – including secret efforts to attack Sicko that would, if necessary, include …

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America’s Hidden Epidemic That Obamacare Barely Touches

I’ve spoken many times about the life-changing experience of seeing thousands of people standing in the rain for hours at a county fairground near where I grew up to get medical care in barns and animal stalls.

What may come as a surprise to many is the fact that most of those people were there to see a dentist, not a doctor. Yes, most also needed medical care, but their first priority was to get relief from toothaches that in …

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‘Limited Benefit’ Plans Are No Real Bargain

Insurers warn of premium hikes, but modest plans they’re pitching now don’t provide much coverage.

Among insurance executives, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has been among the most vocal in warning of “premium rate shock” when major provisions of Obamacare kick in on January 1.

“We’ve done all the math, we’ve shared it with all the regulators, we’ve shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it’s a big concern,” Bertolini told his

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