Monday, January 08, 2007

More Emphasis on States Leading in Health Care Reform

Today USA Today published a front page story on the evolving role of the states in Health Care Reform stating that 43 out of 50 states have made expanded medical coverage a priority for their state legislatures in 2007. For full article go to

Our own blog here has been writing since February of 06 that, for good or for bad, the states would take the lead in Health Care Reform since in this writers opinion the Feds-

- Have other very real and very important pressing priorities even under Pelosi/Reid for 2007

- Still view health care as a potential third rail of politics since witnessing the debacle of the dethroned queen of major US Health Care reform (then First Lady -now Presidential Candidate) Sen. Hillary Clinton mismanage this issue beginning in 1993

- Are busy either announcing or posturing on both sides of the aisle for Presidential runs coming sooner than usual (like warm weather in January)

Below are a few URLS that will help you determine why our Nations' Governors, both Pubs and Dems, are marching down this path now and how they are doing it. One is a brief blurb is from The Kaiser Family Foundation

As usual The Commonweath Fund has good research and sound advice for the states in this recent piece

Never shy, former Speaker of the House Newt ("Contract with America") Gingrich had launched The Center for Health Transformation in 2003 as a project of the Gingrich Group, a consulting firm founded in 1999 by Gingrich and specializing in "transformational change". The Center is "a collaboration of transformational leaders dedicated to the creation of a 21st century intelligent health system in which knowledge saves lives and saves money for all Americans". The Art of Transformation a book by Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond promotes their agenda as does their website

Many of the states seem to focusing first on covering all children/citizens- hard to argue with that! Except OUCH!- where is the money for 85 year old grandpa's quadruple coronary bypass surgery? Or even worse where is the money for the immoral prolongation of death and dying in many of our nations' hospitals and nursing homes?

But the fundamental dilemma with most of these state plans is that they still are mostly focusing on health care financing and are not getting at what former two term Oregon Governor Dr. John Kitzhaber calls transforming US Medicine from "disease care" to true "health care" See

As part of their week-long series on health care, "Prescription for Change," in October of last year ABC News came to Portland to speak with John Kitzhaber. You can read the story In my opinion he's got it right!

Kizthaber correctly says we have to have the courage to change our entire construct of thinking about medicine and emphasize prevention -working medicine from the front (much less expensive) end. He says almost in disbelief "It's really mind-boggling to think that we continue to cling to this thing, in spite of the fact that it's not working for any of us."

As I have done before I encourage you to visit the website of my friend Dr. Michael P. O'Donnell who has advocated for Health Promotion programs and Health Promotion research for over 30 years! Talk about persistence paying off! O'Donnell now has very well crafted legislation at the federal level which the states would do well to explore for incorporation into their ambitious plans for 2007

(As the DGA =Democratic Governors Association said last year-"WE CAN'T WAIT FOR 2008"

Dr. Rick Lippin


Anonymous Anonymous said...

New 64 slice CT scan makes invasive angiogram obsolete. Check out today's post at

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Rick Lippin said...

Hey Jeff- What is cost of the scan?. What is sensitivity/specificity and predictive value. What are the recommended interventions if the test is positive?


Dr. Rick Lippin

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Roman Kozlowski said...

Hi Rick

Here in the UK we have a National Health System that was once the envey of the world once totally financed by National Insurance contributions government deducted from peoples wages.

Medicine prescriptions were once free to all, but all today have to contribute towards ever rising costs.
The NHS has become a sinking ship
with many now going over to added
private health care insurance.

So I can imagine the head-spin situation over there.
Anyway, all the best in your efforts.


11:51 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Rick Lippin said...

Re- NHS-Sorry to hear that Roman - No country on the planet has figured this all out. But nations look toward Western developed nations as models- God help us if they adopt the current mess in US.

Dr. Rick Lippin

11:55 AM  

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