Author Archive

Six Remarkable Facts about Mothers

woman-with-child1) Babies begin listening to their mothers’ speech in the womb.

2) A mother’s saliva might be good for a baby’s health.

3) Breast milk confers all sorts of immune system benefits — and may even protect against HIV.

4) For premature babies, skin-to-skin contact with a mother improves health.

5) A mother’s brain may contain cells from her children.

6) The word “mother” might date to the end of the Ice Age.


Hits and Misses

Does more welfare lead to better health?

Start-ups bring concierge care to the middle class

Health spending per child has increased one third faster than health spending per senior citizen.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Average co-pay for specialty drugs is $80 in employer-based plans, $159 in ObamaCare silver plans.

Massachusetts to seek an additional $121 million in federal funds for the state’s exchange; the total cost to implement ObamaCare in Massachusetts surpassed a half-billion dollars yesterday.

Hawaii’s ObamaCare exchange cost nearly $24,000 per enrollee.

Are Doctors Really Better Than Nurses?

Confident DoctorsSimply put: the preponderance of empirical evidence indicates that, compared to physicians, NPs provide as good — if not better — quality of care. As I’ve written previously, patients are often more satisfied with NP care — and sometimes even prefer it.

The Institute of Medicine is unambiguously clear about this:

No studies suggest that APRNs [Advanced Practice Registered Nurse] are less able than physicians to deliver care that is safe, effective, and efficient or that care is better in states with more restrictive scope of practice regulations for APRNs.


An Essay Worth Reading

Our Great and Eternal National Health Care Debate calls to mind H.L. Mencken’s description of the prose stylings of Warren G. Harding, America’s much-maligned 29th president: “It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash…But I grow lyrical.” (More from Bob Graboyes)

Hits and Misses

coins-ira-401kWorkers would rather save up for retirement than pay for health care.

How much do medical graduates earn?

Health Wonk Review is up.

Reducing smoking, drinking alcohol, salt and three other risk factors would save 37 million lives over 15 years.

Survey: 25% of exchange enrollees previously uninsured.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

male-studentLess than half of 12th-graders can read or do math proficiently.

Could our blog be regulated like a PAC?

Every country will have armed drones within ten years

It cost the federal health insurance exchange an average of $647 to sign up each enrollee; in the exchanges run by the states and Washington, D.C.,it cost an average of $1,503 per enrollee.

When earned income tax credit benefits go up, the recipients buy more cigarettes.

More on the Envy of the World

The latest on the British National Health Service:

At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to an NHS study.

The deaths from acute kidney injury could be prevented by simple steps such as nurses ensuring patients have enough to drink and doctors reviewing their medication, the researchers say.

Between 15,000 and 40,000 patients die annually because hospital staff fail to diagnose the treatable kidney problem, a figure that dwarfs the death toll from superbugs like MRSA.

The report comes less than a year after the NHS watchdog NICE was forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water after it found that 42,000 deaths a year could be avoided if staff ensured the sick were hydrated.

Hits and Misses

Smiling NurseIf California nurse practitioners had same scope of practice as NPs in 17 other states, California could save $1.8 billion in 10 years.

Lab mice respond differently to scents of men versus women. (This has implications for medical research).

Diane Furchtgott-Roth on Gary Becker’s contributions to economics.

Only 0.6 percent of the U.S. population will spend 10 consecutive years in the top 1 percent of the income distribution.


…11 state attorneys general recently signed a letter to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius protesting that the administration is violating the law by making changes without congressional approval.

“The Administration may not decide single-handedly which parts of the law it will enforce and which parts it will ignore. The only way to fix this problem-ridden law is through congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote.

James Blumstein and Alex Tolbert.