Archive for the ‘Medical Controversies’ Category

Is there a “death panel” in Obama’s health-care bill?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Of course not, you say.  Ridiculous.  But could a report by about 64-year-old Oregon woman Barbara Wagner suggests otherwise?  When she was dying of lung cancer, the state insurance refused to pay for her cancer treatment because the drug didn’t give her a “5 percent survival after five years.”

Sarah Palin recently stirred up some controversy when she wrote she thought the congressional universal-health overhaul would lead to a “death panel,” a central group of chosen ”experts” in charge of making life-or-death decisions for everyday people.  She thought those disabled or elderly would fare the worst.  While many claim her assertions are ridiculous, the conservative online publication American Thinker suggests Wagner’s story is an example of just such death panels.


H1N1: What are your questions about swine flu? We’re going to ask the experts.

Monday, August 10th, 2009

by Leigh Ann Otte, managing editor

We’re tired of wondering.

As the world’s governments prepare for a potentially huge outbreak of H1N1 this fall, we regular people are left to wonder, what’s the big deal?  Are we supposed to be worrying?  Running around in mass panic?  Moving to caves in the hills?  Or is this all just a bunch of sensationalism?

So we’re going straight to the experts—to ask them our questions, and yours.


Universal Health Care: Is Medicare really a single-payer success? One doctor’s opinion.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

“If you want an example of a successful single-payer system, just look at Medicare,” many say.

I say, not really.

A single-payer system is the form of universal health-care Canada and Great Britain use.  Several groups are advocating for it.  People on the right tend to view it as socialized medicine at its worst. Many on the left think it’s ideal. President Obama has tried to distance himself–and his plan–from it, frustrating some Democrats.

With Medicare, the government is the single payer.  And it’s worked so well, some say, why not just extend it to all?

The problem is, Medicare is not working well. The reason it’s been somewhat successful is it has been subsidized, in an indirect way, by private insurers.


New surgeon general is overweight. Does it matter?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

President Obama’s pick for the new surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, M.D., is drawing a little controversy.  She appears overweight.

Here at My Family Doctor we have a little argument going on whether this should matter.


CSPI Sues Denny’s Over Sodium: What’s your opinion of the lawsuit?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

by Leigh Ann Otte, managing editor

For Baby Boomers and more, it’s just plain dangerous to eat at Denny’s! So says the activist group Center for Science in the Public Interest, often called “the food police.” They’re suing Denny’s because, they say, its food has too much sodium. Some of the meals have more than the recommended daily limit for salt, CSPI says.

What do you think: Is this lawsuit necessary or ridiculous? Please vote in the poll at the end of this post. Here’s the background.


DEVELOPING: Questions about Boniva, Tamiflu and the Medicare donut-hole discount

Friday, June 26th, 2009

by Leigh Ann Otte, managing editor

My Family Doctor has learned that Boniva and Tamiflu are no longer covered by the recently announced Medicare-discount agreement.  Whether their manufacturer Roche Pharmaceuticals will instate its own discount is unclear.

On June 20, the powerful trade group Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America made big news, announcing their members would offer a 50-percent discount to most people in the dreaded Medicare Part D doughnut hole. But today, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest reported Roche is leaving PhRMA.

My Family Doctor asked Roche whether they would still offer the discount. (more…)

Medicare Part D news: Drug companies to discount some medicines 50 percent (plus: what they won’t cover)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

by Leigh Ann Hubbard, managing editor

In an interesting turn of events, relief is coming for seniors. Drug manufacturers are going to help pay for some medicines!

This sounds great, definitely, but we want to know from you: How much will it really help?

The News
Today, President Obama and industry trade group Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America announced a big deal, part of which involves the dreaded Medicare Part D doughnut hole.


AMA Resolution Awards: The most interesting and entertaining from the annual meeting

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

by Leigh Ann Otte, managing editor

On Friday, I blogged about some interesting resolutions from the American Medical Association’s annual meeting.  Today, as promised, it’s time for the My Family Doctor first annual Resolutions Awards (tongue firmly in cheek)!

Drum roll, please …


AMA Resolutions: Doctors’ opinions on insurance companies, electronic cigarettes and more

Friday, June 19th, 2009

by Leigh Ann Otte, managing editor

The American Medical Association held their annual meeting this week.  Obama’s speech there grabbed the headlines, but AMA members also voted on some interesting resolutions.  You may be surprised at some of the topics.  But first, some …



The FDA and Tobacco: Questions about the landmark regulation bill

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Last week Congress passed a bill that gave the FDA regulating authority over tobacco.The president is sure to sign it.It is supposed to be a blow to the tobacco industry and their advertising efforts.No more flavored tobacco or “light cigarette” claims.

But I have a few questions: (more…)

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