Health Medicine comes with a smile

“Where’s the Beef?” Water as Currency.

Mike Magee “They want to take your pickup truck. They want to rebuild your home. They want to take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved”, screeched former White House aide Sebastian Gorka at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week. His widely discredited remarks were called out by a […]

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The Road to Universal Coverage

Mike Magee New York Times columnists. Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll, provided a genuine public service this week in offering an interactive exploration of universal health care. Readers were asked to react to the same questions presented to a bevy of health gurus. Their 5 “Yes or No” questions were: 1. Do you support automatic […]

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Partnership to Sustain America’s Health Care Past

Mike Magee On the surface, there appears to be a fair amount of finger-pointing going on among and between members of the Medical Industrial Complex these days. But this circular firing squad has no bullets. Behind the scenes the founding MIC members are busy colluding,  sharing profits and defending the status quo. Case in point: […]

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The Planetary Patient

Mike Magee In 2005, I published a book called Healthy Waters in an attempt to raise environmental health and the deteriorating “planetary patient” as a pressing health care issue. My efforts were only modestly successful. Chapter 8 in the book was titled “Natural Water Disasters” and summarized the costs in human life and fortune as […]

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“blank”…. FOR ALL.

Mike Magee In a Washington Post interview this week, Rep. Donna Shalala, former head of HHS and now a member of Congress from Florida, suggested that democratic reformers focus on universal coverage by whatever means possible. In her view, this includes opening up voluntary access to Medicare (50+), Medicaid (more liberal entry standards), employer based insurance […]

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Is Big Change Coming? Jake and Kamala (& Michael and Howard)

Mike Magee The decade long battle by Republicans to “repeal and replace” Obamacare is fading slowly into the background. But as this week’s dust up, ignited by CNN’s Jake Tapper’s probing of Presidential candidate Kamala Harris’s views on Medicare expansion revealed, we still have a long ways to go. By the next morning, two of […]

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Public Opinion on Health Reform is Moving left for both R’s and D’s.

Mike Magee If there is a face for a “compassionate capitalist”, many would drop in the wise visage of Warren Buffett who famously declared “Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness.” Others have stated it differently while agreeing with results of the 2018 Bloomberg health efficiency index placing the U.S. dead last. The […]

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Dr. Ralph Northam and the Culture of Forgiveness

Mike Magee Within 24 hours of the airing of Governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 Yearbook page last week, commentators were discussing the implications of his history of racial bias on his performance as a physician. Second year psychiatry resident Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu asked in STAT this week,  “Why are we less forgiving of Ralph Northam as […]

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Our Coast Guard Families Deserve Better.

Mike Magee On January 15, 2019, Admiral Karl Schulz informed 42,000 members of the Coast Guard and their families they would not be receiving their January paychecks because of President Trump’s wall-induced government shutdown. “I recognize the anxiety and uncertainty this situation places on you and your family, and we are working closely with service […]

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Should U.S. Presidential Candidates be Drug Tested?

Mike Magee During a nationally televised speech last week on border security, the airwaves lit up. But the discussion was not limited to fact seekers by now well accustomed to counter-checking the President’s deliberate misrepresentations. Joining in were health professionals and addiction experts who literally counted the number of Trump sniffs that became prominent half […]

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American Health Care’s New Year’s Resolution: Confront The Lie.

Mike Magee On the last day of a rather disastrous 2018, the Washington Post ran the headline, “Our agents did everything they could.” The article captured the performance of Kevin McAleenan, head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection defending his agencies oversight of the death of a second migrant child in the week after […]

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Healthy Holiday Gifts for Family & Friends

We are often over committed and very busy during these fast paced holiday weeks. Most of us want to spend time decorating, shopping, and seeing family and friends. That leaves less time to take care for ourselves and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  No one wants that extra 7 pounds of holiday weight gain!  So help […]

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The Decoupling of Health from Health Care

Mike Magee “Our health care system’s focus, at every phase of its development, but especially since its expansion and increasing sophistication since World War II, has been on maximizing opportunities for profit and/or career advancement for the players within it.” Code Blue: Inside the Medical Industrial Complex (Grove Atlantic Press, coming in Spring, 2019) In […]

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AMA Tells Trump “No Way” on ACA

MEMORANDUM TO: Reporters, Editors, Producers and Interested Parties FROM: American Medical Association DATE: December 15, 2018 SUBJECT: Texas v. Azar Decision ______________________________________________________________________________ Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision is a stunning display of judicial activism. Judicial power does not extend to settling policy disputes or exercising general supervision over the other branches of the federal government. Congress […]

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“A” Rating from NRA – The New Scarlet Letter

Mike Magee “The NRA’s A-rating used to be a badge of honor. On Election Day, it was a scarlet letter.”  Those were the words of Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. And she had facts to back it up. More than 1000 candidates in the 2018 Mid-Term elections ran and won […]

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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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