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Aaron E. Carroll
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Blog Entries by Aaron E. Carroll

What a Difference a Year Makes

Posted September 16, 2010 | 22:13:30 (EST)

Every year about this time, the census releases its yearly numbers on the uninsured. Every year, I write an op-ed or a blog post. Every year, I get a little more depressed.

It's hard to find good news in these numbers. It's even harder because there's just nothing...

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It's the 'Life' in End-of-Life That Matters

Posted July 29, 2010 | 17:17:17 (EST)

Go back through nearly a year of posts, and I bet you won't find many that talk about my experiences with patients. You might not even know I am a doctor. You'd never know that I am actually a pediatrician, and that I do still see patients now and then....

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Yes, the Bill is Imperfect. Pass it Now.

Posted March 15, 2010 | 23:04:22 (EST)

Pass the bill. There -- I said it.

Before you start screaming at me from the Left, take a deep breath. My bonafides on robust reform are pretty solid. I've published research, more than once, on how physicians are pretty receptive to national health insurance. I've...

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How Much Slower Would Be Acceptable?

Posted January 25, 2010 | 22:52:58 (EST)

When the Democrats started the health care reform process a year ago, they held the White House, The House of Representatives by a 78 vote majority, and the Senate by a 58-41 majority.

After the loss in the special election last week in Massachusetts, they hold the White House, the...

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This Is Not a Game

Posted January 19, 2010 | 23:28:48 (EST)

Know what I plan to do if health care reform fails? What I've been doing for the last year. I'll spend my time pointing out the problems in the US health care system, talking about the options for reform, and encouraging others to act on them.

Know what I plan...

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Debate the Solution, But Don't Deny the Problem

Posted January 13, 2010 | 21:09:16 (EST)

I am so very tired of arguing.

Many of you have been listening to the noise for the last year or so. Some of you have been watching the fight for a bit longer. And then there are those of us who've been slugging it out for years, or even...

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Do You Want To Be Right, or Do You Want To Be Healthy?

Posted January 5, 2010 | 08:51:46 (EST)

I read a book back in residency that changed my life. I know that's cliched, but there's no other way to put it. People tell me all the time that it's hard to argue with me; that book is why. It's Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.

...
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Wishing Won't Make it 60

Posted December 21, 2009 | 22:46:18 (EST)

I've always wished for more comprehensive reform than we seem to be getting. I think there's pretty good evidence that other countries achieve universal coverage with at least comparable outcomes while still managing to spend less than us. I've always been willing to talk about the sacrifices necessary...

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A Public Option Tree in the Health Care Reform Forest

Posted December 14, 2009 | 22:29:25 (EST)

Let's start with what I'm not going to do here. I'm not going to tell you to support the health care reform bills; I'm also not going to tell you to oppose them. What I am going to do is ask you to focus.

Here's what the bills do:

...
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News Flash: Medicare Didn't End Freedom in America!

Posted December 8, 2009 | 09:29:59 (EST)

I caught a piece two days ago showing that just over one quarter of Americans know what the public option is. It seems like everyone loves it or hates it, so finding out that so few actually know why they feel that way is incredibly depressing. I'll take a...

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The Problem Isn't the Recommendation, It's How We React to It.

Posted December 1, 2009 | 08:57:50 (EST)

In case you’ve been under a rock, last week the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released their updated recommendations on screening for breast cancer.  The USPSTF is not a political organization.  They aren’t an advocacy organization, or even a policy making organization.  They are, “[a]n independent panel of...

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Turkey Doesn't Make You Sleepy. It Really Doesn't!

Posted November 26, 2009 | 13:34:51 (EST)

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm going to take a break from health care reform - much like Congress.  Instead, please enjoy this chapter from my book:

Myth: Eating Turkey Makes You Sleepy

While not everyone stoops to the level of Seinfeld’s Jerry and George, who used...

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I Am a Scorpion. It Is My Nature.

Posted November 17, 2009 | 09:35:06 (EST)

The fable, as it is told, involves a scorpion and a frog.  The scorpion needs to cross a river, so he asks the frog to carry him on his back.  The frog is skeptical; after all, scorpions kill.  The scorpion calms the frog, explaining that if he stung him on...

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It's Amazing What's Considered Radical These Days

Posted November 9, 2009 | 09:29:18 (EST)

The House passed health care reform on Saturday night.  I know it’s a big deal.  I know it’s the furthest we’ve gotten in, well, ever.  I suppose we should celebrate.

I don’t want to be a downer – I really don’t.  But I can’t believe it’s been this hard.  I...

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A Little Perspective on the Cost of Health Care Reform

Posted November 3, 2009 | 08:58:58 (EST)

There are lots of legitimate reasons to dislike the current bills being considered as health care reform.  For instance, the best of them considers universal coverage to mean that more than 12 million people are still left without health insurance.  None of the bills do much to contain costs, meaning...

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Meet the New Health Care Reform, Same as the Old Health Care Reform

Posted October 27, 2009 | 00:05:32 (EST)

We’re so close to health care reform!  Even Paul Krugman is starting to talk about what comes next.  Me?  I’ve been thinking about what comes next for a long time.  I think this bill will pass.  We will get the incremental reforms we were promised.  Things will likely get...

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The Public Option Is Not Where You Draw the Line

Posted October 20, 2009 | 10:21:29 (EST)

It’s rare that people arguing about health care reform come at me from the left.  But more and more these days, that’s what’s happening.  Today I was on the phone with a friend who was threatening to be done with the Democrats once and for all if they didn’t pass...

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Shuffling the Deck Chairs on Reform

Posted October 14, 2009 | 08:45:09 (EST)

It’s not often I’m completely blindsided by developments in health care reform. And then Olympia Snowe goes and votes for the Senate Finance Committee bill.

I was wrong to think that no Republican would possibly vote for reform.  I was wrong to think that Max Baucus had...

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Uniquely American? Or Uniquely Bad?

Posted October 9, 2009 | 00:54:48 (EST)

So there I was listening to one of the docs who attended the White House photo-op to show their support for the President’s health care reform efforts.  Full disclosure - I wasn’t invited.  I was half paying attention to the radio until I heard her proclaim proudly that the...

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Other health care systems are not all the same

Posted October 5, 2009 | 11:22:27 (EST)

One of the most frustrating aspects of the health care reform debate is how often everyone pretends that we have no good options.  We let people tell us that really, our only choice is what we have or “European-style socialism”.  A free market capitalist system, or a “government run system”. ...

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