It’s another sign of the media’s attempts to capitalize on Americans’ interest in the current health care debate: Yesterday, MSNBC premiered a new show on health issues, “Dr. Nancy“. hosted by Nancy Snyderman, a physician and veteran television reporter. If the debut show was any indication, it will offer standard cable-news fare. For the first segment, Snyderman had a long piece examining Michael Jackson’s death and the role of his personal physician. For the second, she interviewed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg:
(Via Sarah Lovenheim at the Washington Post.)
Elsewhere, Heritage’s The Foundry has an overview of Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., new health overhaul proposal. DeMint wants to “reclaim the money left in [the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)] and use it to pay for this over the next 10 years.” The plan would provide vouchers for buying insurance, expand health savings accounts and address the medical malpractice issue by “[reducing] predatory and frivolous malpractice lawsuits.” DeMint is not a member of either the Finance or HELP committees, which have jurisdiction over health reform.
Over on the other side of the aisle, the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn argues for more focus on issues besides a public plan. He says, “Yes, the public plan is a key element of reform. But it is not the only one… to put it another way, reform without a public insurance plan would be a major disappointment. But reform without adequate subsidies, good benefits, and cost control would also be a major disappointment, too.”
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein unintentionally illustrates Cohn’s point in a post about health insurance exchanges, writing: “It’s been hard to get people to care about the exchanges. So maybe this will help: The Health Insurance Exchange is where the public plan will live. And if the exchange doesn’t survive, or thrive, then neither will the public plan.”
For research wonks: the National Library of Medicine has released a new tool with specialized searches that the agency says is “meant to inform comparative effectiveness research.” It’s the first public government resource like this that I’ve seen.
Also for the wonks, a major event in health policy circles, AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting, is underway in Chicago. The best way to follow the action online is through Twitter, as a variety of participants are “tweeting” different panels. You don’t need an account to view.