Health Medicine comes with a smile

When Employers Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid.

Mike Magee I recently sat down to lunch with a retired veteran health insurance exec and asked her, “Are there still large corporation CEO’s who want to be the providers of health insurance for their employees – and if so, why?” She replied that there were a few and the primary reason was “ego.” She […]

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Medical Device FDA Regulation: The Basic Problem.

Mike Magee A global investigative report has shone an unwelcome light on a largely unregulated industry we exposed in detail almost one year ago – the medical-device industry. The report documented that the 190,000 devices currently on the market have been responsible for 1.7 million injuries and some 83,000 FDA reported deaths over the past decade. […]

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Giving Thanks: Medicine v. the NRA

Mike Magee This Thanksgiving, I send a special “thank you” to physicians nationwide who refused to buckle to the NRA’s demand that they “stay in their lane”, and stood up for kids across America. There can be little debate that gun violence is a serious health risk, and that the NRA is enabler in chief. […]

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Words Matter in Health Reform: Part III – Voters And Health Reform.

Mike Magee Republican’s decade long attempt to torpedo the Affordable Care Act has largely failed, except in serving as a teaching tool for the American public which in majorities now supports universal access to health care and greater government oversight and planning. But to advance to the next step as a nation, we need to […]

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Words Matter in Health Reform: Part II – “Single Payer” or “Single Oversight”

Mike Magee In Part I of this 3 part series, “Words Matter”, we learned that the Canadian system is not technically a “single payer” system, in that provision of insurance (set to national standards) and the delivery of the care is the responsibility of individual provinces, not the national government. A more accurate label for […]

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Words Matter When It Comes To Health Reform: Part I.

Mike Magee Americans views on healthcare reform are evolving. The decade long battle by Republicans to “repeal and replace” Obamacare is fading slowly into the background. Now those same  voices who worked so diligently to destroy the plan pledge undying support to prevent denials based on prior conditions, even as they pick away with “skinny […]

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Why We Must Vote on November 6, 2018.

Mike Magee The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal calls recent anti-ACA moves by Trump “a bleak example of American exceptionalism – no other nation fails people who are ill so spectacularly as we do.” What has him so riled up is twofold: 1) the erosion of private health insurance with Trump’s executive order with HHS follow […]

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Optum-izing Paul Ellwood’s HMOs.

    Paul Ellwood and Richard Burke Mike Magee According to Paul Ellwood, often labeled “The Father of the HMO”, the seeds of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) were buried in a report that he delivered to the 34-year-old Assistant Secretary of Health, Phil Lee, in 1969.  As Ellwood recalled in 2010, […]

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Fall Asian Chicken Salad

The leaves are beginning to change colors and so are the seasonal foods that are being harvested across Southeastern Wisconsin. There’s a plethora of locally grown garden goodness that can still be enjoyed during September and early October in our area. Sharing one of my favorite fall salads that incorporates napa cabbage, purple cabbage, bok […]

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A Disturbing Pattern: From OxyContin to Vitamin D

Mike Magee Winter is fast approaching, a time to bundle up and a grim reminder for many to load up on Vitamin D. Osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, fragile fractures – there’s no end to the misery awaiting you if you fail to take this supplement. Or so we’ve been told, by many every-day doctors with the […]

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NEJM Weighs in on Preventing Gun Violence

In an article this week on prevention of gun violence , Garen Wintemute offers this list of solutions: ACTIONS TO PREVENT FIREARM VIOLENCE Improve background-check policies Require background checks for private-party transfers Require state and local agencies to report prohibiting events Fully implement the existing federal background-check requirement Clarify definitions of prohibiting events Strengthen enforcement […]

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“The Commitment to Mutuality is Fragile in the U.S.”, Says Berwick.

Mike Magee Earlier this month Donald Berwick published a thoughtful article in JAMA titled “Politics and Health.”  It touched on a range of themes that I addressed in a speech in 2005 at the Library of Congress. In that speech, I said, “There is a growing political disconnect between those who make health policy and those […]

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Back to School Lunch Tips and Ideas

It’s back to school time for children all over Southeastern Wisconsin. Many parents are looking forward to the return of structured days, but some are panicking about packing healthy school lunches for the next 9 months.  Here are a few of my thoughts on packing nutritious, delicious and easy healthy school lunches. Heather’s Tips for […]

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Are Wars on Cancer and Alzheimers a Good Substitute for a National Health Plan?

Lipitor Revenue Mike Magee Arguably, the pharmaceutical “age of the blockbusters” ended nearly 20 years ago with Pfizer’s hostile takeover of Warner-Lambert which rewarded them richly with the nation’s 5th statin, Lipitor. In 2006, it delivered almost $13 billion in revenue, and yet the company was in a full blown panic, as reflected in the […]

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Cardinal Bernardin to Trump on Health and the Lost Children.

Source: Wash Post 8/27/2018 For health professionals, committed to healing, providing health, and keeping families and communities whole, the many actions of President Trump are deeply offensive on multiple levels – but none more than the deliberate separation of immigrant children from their parents. According to the Washington Post, 528 children remain separated and 23 […]

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Why Is Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Confused?

Mike Magee The Medical-Industrial Complex in the United States is expert at feigning cross-sector competition while quietly signaling to members that there is plenty of graft and profit in the $4 trillion (20% of GDP) for all. The net output, more evident than it ever was in the days of ’90 era “Harry and Louise” […]

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Key Question For Catholic Hierarchy: “Is Celibacy The Problem?”

Mike Magee In the British Medical Journal in 1950, “expert” Dr. S.L. Simpson stated without evidence that “It is perhaps of clinical interest that for every one case of organic impotence that comes my way, I see at least 10 of psychological impotence.”  Three decades later I published a paper in the journal UROLOGY titled “Psychogenic […]

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When coders lose their jobs.

Mike Magee With health care now consuming close to 1 of every 5 dollars in America, it comes as no surprise that the sector is a major employer. No surprise either that many of those jobs deliver zero benefits when it comes to patient care. In fact, there are now 16 health care jobs for […]

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While You Were Sleeping – Majority of Physicians Now Support Single Payer.

Mike Magee During the dog days of summer, the Trump Administration has continued its attempts to dismantle the ACA, bit by bit. But in the process, they are inadvertently reinforcing  the foundations for more comprehensive reform supported not only by a majority of patients, but also now by a majority of their physicians. Consider last […]

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Will the Health Care Bubble Burst in 2019?

source Mike Magee In the dead heat of the summer of 2018, we’re experiencing an epic  “non-real fight” over “non-real work” with potential real consequences in 2019. The initial battle lines were drawn some months back when Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon recognized a unique opportunity to dip into the wasteful troughs of […]

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Number of Separated Children Now 4,100 and climbing!

As Health Commentary predicted this week, the number of missing children resulting from the Trump “zero-tolerance” policy would far exceed 2,300. New estimates by NBC News place the number at 4,100 and climbing. Will it be 5,000, 10,000, more? We don’t know. From NBC News: “Officials have said that at least 2,342 children were separated from […]

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ProPublica Has Mapped 97 Immigrant Children Retention Sites – Please Help!

1450 Children Here ProPublica has established an open source registry to identify and map all immigrant children retention sites. So far, 97 sites all over the US have been verified. The Trump administration says there are only 2,300 children out there. But the Walmart site in Texas has 1,450 alone. If you are caring for […]

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Doctors and Nurses – Called To “Bear Witness!”

Mike Magee Edmund Burke, a member of the British Parliament in 1787, stated “There are Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.” Even lacking formal recognition by the political system, Burke was acknowledging the “indirect but significant influence on society” of […]

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The Pharmacy Benefit Manger (PBM) Syndicate

Mike Magee “Syndicate: a self-organizing group of individuals, companies, corporations or entities formed to transact some specific business, to pursue or promote a shared interest. In most cases formed groups aim to scale up their profits.” Drug channel companies including Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) (like United Healthcare’s Optum, Express Scripts and CVS/Caremark) and distributors (like […]

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The House of Medicine Stands Tall – A Day of Reckoning.

 VIDEO   Mike Magee Last evening, the normally controlled Rachel Maddow could no longer contain her humanity when forced to report that the Trump administration has been placing innocent babies and and other young children in three  “tender age shelters” in south Texas. She broke down in tears and could not speak on camera. Long […]

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Does Maternal Health Care in America Deserve Its “Me-Too” Moment?

Mike Magee The U.S. birth rate dropped for the second year in a row, down 3% from the prior year, the largest decline since 2010. In 2017, there were nearly 4 million births, 500,000 fewer births than in 2007, even though there has been a 7% increase in women 20 to 39, prime childbearing years, […]

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Is it time for the “next” health care, or a total reboot?

Mike Magee This week’s big news is no big surprise. “Medicare’s Trust Fund Is Set to Run Out in 8 Years. Social Security, 16”, said the New York Times. We told you so, screamed the Republicans, anxious to fulfill Paul Ryan’s dream of taming endowments. We told you so, blared the Democrats, claiming this was […]

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Cutting Safety Net Sends Health Status Lower in U.S.

Mike Magee A Commonwealth Fund study in 2015 compared 13 nations on cost and quality. As most know by now, the U.S. finished near the bottom in quality measures and at the very top, by far, in cost. But the chart that drew my attention was the one above showing health expenditures vs. total spending […]

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How to gin up the Base: “Repeal and Replace” – again?

Mike Magee It’s been 11 months since Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) gave the thumbs down to repealing Obamacare. But get ready for another push at “Repeal and Replace!” That’s what’s circulating within the halls of Congress right now. This has little to do with over-riding the wishes of the majority of Americans, and more to […]

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