Health Medicine comes with a smile

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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Juul – Fun Facts!

Mike Magee Most everyone by now has heard about Juul, the leading brand name for e-cigarettes. But, for most of us, that’s where our knowledge begins and ends – except for a growing awareness that there’s a controversy brewing about risk, teenage use, school policy, and profiteering by Big Tobacco which is getting a piece […]

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You Are Your DNA – or Are You???

Source: U. of Utah Epigenetics Mike Magee Early in my career, embryology and physiology competed for my affection. What they had in common was functionality – one developmental with time dependent triggers and the other driven by feedback loops with humoral packets of information traveling through blood channels or along neurons. I viewed both processes […]

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Where will reform come next, and who will lead the way?

Mike Magee “On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées.”  – Victor Hugo. It’s useful for all health professionals  to reflect on the words of this 19th century French writer. The translation: “Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.” As the AEI […]

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DACA and the Health Benefits of a “Shot at Upward Mobility”.

Mike Magee A recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, reported out in The Atlantic, began with the health outcomes in DACA children but ended with thoughts on why a teenage girl in Mississippi is 15 times more likely to give birth than her counterpart in Switzerland. DACA is a favorite topic of […]

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How to Prep One Pan (Detox) Dinners

If I’m being honest, I hate all the clean up in my kitchen after prepping real, whole foods for my family.  We do a ton of clean food cooking at our house which means a lot of dishes.  This immense cleanup seems to occur at least five nights a week…if not more.  Thankfully, my hubby […]

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What Uwe Reinhardt (or Angus Deaton) Would Say About HC Costs.

Mike Magee A March 13, 2018 article written by scholars from the London School of Economics and published in JAMA focused on an all too familiar subject – comparative health care costs in America. That article was accompanied by a number of editorial reaction pieces including the one written by Zeke Emanuel who generated the […]

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How Trump May Help Us Liberalize American Health.

Mike Magee In this week’s The New Yorker, David Remnick reflects on “Trump’s illiberalism” and its’ test of the resilience of  “sturdy-seeming American values” and the endurance of  “institutions that the President has scorned and threatened.” He sees active turnout in the 2018 midterm elections as part of the test, but also suggests that any […]

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