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Food & Health

At This Year’s Conventions, I’ll Be Watching the Doctors

Lately, when the topic of elections comes up, and someone casually asks, “When do the conventions start?” I find myself rattling off dates — “The Republican Convention starts this Monday, August 27th, in Tampa.” To the surprise of friends and acquaintances I could go on, like I was rattling off my kids’ birthdays. I’m not […]

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No turning back on R.I. health reform

It has been two years since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and almost half of its provisions are already in effect. For example, two years has been enough time to establish protective measures that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, to let young people remain on their parents’ plans through […]

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The Contraception Controversy as Seen Through a Doctor’s Lens

Your doctor’s exam room is getting overcrowded. Modern U.S. health care means that, like it or not, you and your physician are sharing that once private space with an insurance executive constantly hissing in your doctor’s ears to move it along. You are also sharing it with pharmaceutical marketers, lobbyists from the food industry… special […]

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Modern Pediatrics Needs Health Care to Evolve

Why can’t the United States have a smarter health care system? That was the frustrating question that kept poking through my train of thought as I read a study from the most recent issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The study, out of UCLA, examined the association between […]

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Why Medicaid Cuts Harm Us All

I usually write about health care reform from a pediatrician’s viewpoint, but what grabbed my attention recently was a story my husband, Randy, told me about an adult in his practice — a patient on Medicaid. Randy is a neurologist in a private practice and Medicaid patients come from every corner of Rhode Island to […]

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Rethinking Health Care Spending

Recent attempts to fundamentally alter Medicare — and the public outcry that followed — provide a working template for how to view broader health care reform. Everyone agrees that our healthcare system — and Medicare in particular — is financially unsustainable. Any step we take to address this requires a choice to either cut services […]

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Healthcare Reform: Doctors Shaping the Narrative

With the roll out of the Affordable Care Act and perhaps more significantly the approach of the 2012 elections, public discussions of healthcare reform has been drowning in an alphabet soup of ACOs (not to be confused with the above ACA), CMS, SCHIP, and RUVs, just to name a few. The challenge is twofold. Most […]

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Healthcare Reform: We Need to Reframe the Questions

One year after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the debate roars on, in Congress and everywhere else. And these debates often revolve around a big question, even when it is left unspoken or implied: Is health care a basic human right? In 1990 I made a quantum leap from practicing in […]

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Little Pharma: The Medication of U.S. Children

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a study of prescription patterns in 2009, conducted by IMS Health, showed that 25% of children in the US were on regular medication. IMS Health is a firm that provides “marketing intelligence” to pharmaceutical companies. The firm’s job is to keep the $800 billion per year global […]

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Finger-Wagging Doesn’t Work for Societal Ills

The following is my response to the Huffington blog post: Bravo for your clarity on the preventable causes of chronic disease, and the economic toll it takes on our society. Its a good starting point. I applaud the concept of a health coach, rather than a health “provider.­” In fact I believe that should […]

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