COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

If you got the COVID-19 shot, you likely received a little paper card that shows you’ve been vaccinated. Make sure you keep that card in a safe place. There is no coordinated way to share information about who has been vaccinated and who has not. That is just one of the glaring flaws that COVID-19 has revealed about the U.S. health care system: It does not share health information well. Coordination between public health agencies and medical providers is lacking. Technical and regulatory restrictions impede use of digital technologies. To put it bluntly, our health…

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A Strong Parallel Between Health Care And Housing For “All”

My colleague Alex Berezow at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has a skill for writing efficiently about complex issues like COVID-19 and health care. In one of his latest posts at ACSH he points out the deep flaw in the notion of “universal health care” in a way that, with some minor edits, could be repurposed to criticize the notion of “housing as a human right.” Simply put, when anything is made universal it almost certainly isn’t unless there is an absolute equilibrium between supply and demand,…

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BANKS PRESSURE HEALTH CARE FIRMS TO RAISE PRICES ON CRITICAL DRUGS, MEDICAL SUPPLIES FOR CORONAVIRUS

IN RECENT WEEKS, investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The media has mostly focused on individuals who have taken advantage of the market for now-scarce medical and hygiene supplies to hoard masks and hand sanitizer and resell them at higher prices. But the largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do…

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Panic buying of masks puts health care workers’ ‘lives at risk,’ WHO says

A doctor wearing a mask while working at El Alto International Airport in Bolivia. Photo by AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images A shortage of masks, gloves, and other protective gear “is putting lives at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases” warned the World Health Organization (WHO) in a statement on Tuesday. A frightened public has been buying up masks and other equipment, leaving limited supplies for health care workers who need the gear the most. Masks can be useful for people who are sick with a respiratory virus to keep…

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Warren Says Swift Change in Health Care Could Make People Uneasy

Elizabeth Warren said Saturday that a big change in the U.S. health-care system would make a lot of people “uneasy,” emphasizing she wouldn’t immediately push a full Medicare for All plan until people have three years to try it. At a town hall in Manchester, Iowa, one voter asked Warren why her Medicare for All plan would take three years to implement rather than putting it in place right away. She said the phase in would give her administration enough time to secure the congressional votes she would need to…

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Americans now spend twice as much on health care as they did in the 1980s

The average American household spent almost $5,000 per person on health care last year. That’s a 101% increase from the roughly $2,500 per person that Americans spent about 34 years ago in 1984, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditures Survey by data company Clever. To make accurate comparisons, Clever adjusted all dollar amounts for inflation. It’s perhaps not surprising that health care expenses have risen over the past three decades. But the main driver of the increase is not drug costs or medical services. In…

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