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Merrill Goozner
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Entries by Merrill Goozner

What Do Mass Voters Really Think About Health Care Reform?

(8) Comments | Posted January 22, 2010 | 12:02 PM

The Republican-leaning Rasmussen poll has been the most quoted exit polling data from Tuesday's election. It showed 56 percent of voters called health care their top issue -- an "astonishing" level, according to conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer in this morning's Washington Post.

What he forgot to tell readers is that...

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Beyond Massachusetts

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 8:01 AM

One in six Americans at some point during this year will go without health insurance. Most of them at any given point in time do not need it.

One in ten working Americans are without gainful employment right now. Every one of them wants a job ... right now.

That,...

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Gruber Was Against Higher Co-Pays Before He Was For Them

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2010 | 5:07 PM

MIT's Jonathan Gruber, one of the chief defenders of the 40% excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans, has come under fire from leftwing bloggers for failing to disclose a $297,000 contract from the Obama administration to analyze its implications while attacking opponents of the tax in print, such as...

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Myth-Making on the Misnamed Cadillac Tax

(6) Comments | Posted January 8, 2010 | 1:13 PM

The Senate bill taxes the old and sick stuck in high-cost plans to pay for health care reform. The House taxes the rich. Defenders of the Senate's excise tax appear incapable of absorbing counterfactual information, as health care analyst R.J. Eskow pointed out in a post on Huffigton Post yesterday....

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Big Pharma has Lured Dems Into a Faustian Bargain

(174) Comments | Posted August 11, 2009 | 7:41 PM

Big Pharma, whose lobbying winning streak shows no sign of ending, has lured Democrats into a Faustian bargain.

In exchange for a $150 million advertising campaign featuring a sadder and sicker Harry and Louise, drug industry lobbyists have quietly been handed almost everything they wanted out of health care...

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Join the Health Corps!

(3) Comments | Posted June 10, 2009 | 12:10 PM

The outline of the House version of the health care reform bill is now circulating on Capitol Hill, as is the Senate bill. You can read its "talking points," released by House Ways and Means staffers, here. Under its workforce development section, the legislation calls for expanding the...

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Need a Job? Health Care Is Hiring

(10) Comments | Posted December 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM

Looking for a bright spot in Friday's dismal job report? Think how bad it would have been had the health care sector not added 52,100 jobs last month.

That's right. While the rest of the economy was shedding nearly 600,000 jobs and the nation's once-proud automobile industry went begging for...

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FDA and Vouchers for Neglected Diseases: A Bad Idea Gone Bad

(2) Comments | Posted November 7, 2008 | 12:43 PM

Are economic incentives necessary to get the private sector to do the right thing? Cities and states offer corporations tax breaks to locate in impoverished areas. Companies get tax breaks to beef up their research and development portfolios. In health care, some physicians get extra pay if they adhere to...

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The McCain-Palin Health Care Plan: Half-Baked Alaska

(23) Comments | Posted October 3, 2008 | 8:15 AM

It must be disconcerting to health care economists to see one of their pet peeves about the inequities of the employer-based insurance system so poorly used by the Republicans, who would repeal it. I'm referring, of course, to the tax deductibility of health insurance premiums.

Gov. Sarah Palin repeated Sen....

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The Social Determinants of Health

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2008 | 3:58 PM

This morning, let's consider the case of Fay Derricote, an obese, 44-year-old former government contract worker confined to a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis. For the first time in her life, she has good health insurance -- provided by Medicare because she is disabled.

That's precisely what her former employer,...

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Answer: Send the Editor into Space

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2008 | 10:17 AM

This is a multiple-choice question pulled from the MCAT to get into the DeVry School of Newspaper Editing:

You're the page one editor of the world's leading financial newspaper. Your political editor comes to you with three story ideas to illustrate the ideas behind the candidacy of left-wing Cleveland...

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Smokers' Screen

(2) Comments | Posted November 28, 2007 | 3:37 PM

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution asking Medicare and the Veterans Administration to pay for expensive lung cancer screening tests using CT scans. Local hospitals near my home are already jumping on the bandwagon. I suspect that if you check your...

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Big Tobacco & An NIH-Funded Cancer Screening Study

(4) Comments | Posted October 8, 2007 | 5:37 PM

The National Institutes of Health is in the midst of a $200 million trial to determine if routine CT scans of smokers' and former smokers' chests can identify lung cancer in its earliest stages and save lives through early intervention. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning (subscription required)...

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Microsoft Jumps on the Health IT Bandwagon

(3) Comments | Posted October 5, 2007 | 10:05 AM

Microsoft launched a public relations offensive today as part of the unveiling of its new online health records service, HealthVault. Bill Gates, never one to shy away from a business opportunity, offered the conventional wisdom on The Wall Street Journal's editorial page:

By giving us comprehensive access to our...
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The Most Costly Earmark in S-CHIP

(3) Comments | Posted August 29, 2007 | 10:26 PM

Two weeks ago, a front page story in the New York Times revealed that House version of the children's health insurance bill had secretly funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to favored hospitals -- a violation of the Democrats' pledge to remove the shroud of secrecy surrounding earmarks. The story...

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What Happens When a Heavily-Advertised Drug Harms?

(20) Comments | Posted July 9, 2007 | 7:54 PM

This hasn't been a good year for Amgen or Johnson & Johnson, which make various forms of EPO, the biotech wonder drug that raises red blood cell counts (as every dope-taking Tour de France bicyclist knows). Clinical trials have shown that they can increase the risk of heart attacks and...

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Oil Price Sticker Shock

(8) Comments | Posted May 24, 2007 | 10:13 AM

Now that gasoline prices have soared beyond $3 a gallon, I'm reading the business stories on the subject a bit more closely. I'm even reading those full page ads from "the people of America's oil and natural gas industry," which claim it's all about the price of crude oil, which...

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The Empire, er, AMA Strikes Back

(9) Comments | Posted April 26, 2007 | 3:17 PM

Every once in a while, someone at a conference makes a statement that stands out from the usual platitudinous palaver. Earlier this week, that honor belonged to William Plested, the president of the American Medical Association. At the World Health Care Congress in Washington, DC, he was asked to comment...

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Where's Wolfowitz On World Malaria Day?

(6) Comments | Posted April 25, 2007 | 2:24 PM

While Al Kamen of the Washington Post is reporting the latest emails emanating from Paul Wolfowitz's bunker at the World Bank, the Financial Times has uncovered evidence that the architect of the Iraq War has also been busy censoring reports on global warming.

For those not following this...

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A Victory for Open Science

(12) Comments | Posted April 3, 2007 | 10:22 AM

Stem cell research, though promising as an approach to treating diseases ranging from Type I diabetes to Parkinson's disease, has a long way to go before something shows up on the Food and Drug Administration's doorstep claiming to be a cure for a disease. Most of the advances breathlessly reported...

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