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Newsletter, What's Going On, April 26, 2011

Paul Krugman on the Independent Payment Advisory Board:  The Republican alternative is that instead of having Medicare make choices based on expert advice, we should give seniors inadequate vouchers and let insurance company executives make those choices instead.

Alliance for Health Reform/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Health Care Workforce: Future Supply vs. Demand -- One-third of physicians and half of all nurses could retire in the next 10 years. 

Toronto Globe and Mail (on Canadian election campaign, now in progress): “Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party strongly support the Canada Health Act and its objective of a universally accessible, publicly funded health-care system in Canada. That is why he has increased funding for health care to record levels and why we will continue to increase funding for health care at 6 per cent a year to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-quality health care regardless of ability to pay.”  (more, including positions of competing parties.) 

Common Health: Federal budget cuts, intended to help control rising health care costs, have had catastrophic impact on some researchers who depend on funding from the National Institutes of Health.

TPMDC: Poll: 70% Of Tea Partiers Oppose Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid

Paul Krugman: Jonathan Cohn rightly slams a little-noticed feature of the Republican plan — a rise in the Medicare eligibility age.

Commonwealth Fund: Study of English and California primary care physicians:  Pay-for-performance programs can have unintended consequences, including: such incentives could encourage physicians to avoid sicker patients. 

Health Affairs: Studies demonstrate that the quality of health care in the United States is not improving, and some quality measures relating to cancer screening and diabetes management actually worsened.

The Vermont ‘single payer’ bill has passed Senate Health and Finance Committees and survived a vote in the full Vermont Senate this week

Two Democrats on the Health Committee of the California Senate have indicated they’ll oppose the single payer legislation now in that committee.  Their opposition may doom the bill.  Reasons unknown. 

MinnPost: Single-payer, universal health care in Minnesota has received support from St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth city councils.

The Facts About the Independent Payment Advisory Board The White House Blog by Nancy-Ann DeParle  (more.  Opinion.)

Health Business Blog: Socialized medicine brings more accountability.  Really.

The Supreme Court ruled that at least three federal appeals courts are to hear appeals of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act before it examines the issue.  

San Jose Mercury News: Don't Let Congress End Support For Pediatrician Training

New York Times Editorial: So Much for That Ounce of Prevention. Republicans passed a bill that would eliminate a program intended to help prevent diseases. The Senate should reject it. 

Pippa Abston’s Blog: In case you haven’t heard, the Alabama House has just sent HB516 out of committee.  This bill, prompted by the NRA’s national agenda, would put bizarre limits on physician freedom of speech.  There are three parts.  First, a statement that it is a violation of privacy for doctors to ask patients about gun ownership/ storage practices (like some of the other places we stick our fingers are not at all private).  Second, a rule against doctors basing their decision to accept a patient for treatment on the person’s willingness to answer such a question.  And finally, it will be illegal for doctors to record any history about guns in the medical record.  We will be heavily fined for any violations.  (more)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Please join NAHA (North Alabama Healthcare for All), for a fun lunch with no agenda, just some good discussion.
 Jamos Café, 413 Jordan Lane NW, Huntsville, AL..  Wednesday before each monthly meeting.

Thursday, April 28, 2011. 8 PM. CST   PNHP Leader/Activist Conference Call.  Call me for the number and access code. 

Sunday, May 1.  2011  7PM CDT. Healthcare-NOW monthly activist phone call. Please use this Dial-in Number 1-218-862-1300 and Conference Code 441086. To mute and unmute the line, please hit *4.

Monday, May 2, 2011  5:30 PM.  North Alabama Healthcare for All Monthly Meeting —Huntsville/Madison County Public Library, 901 Monroe Street  (downtown).  The meeting is in Room AB, on the first floor. After you enter the library’s front door, turn right towards the auditorium.

Sunday, May 15, 2011, 5:00 PM   Music For Meds - A Concert to Benefit The Community Free Clinic of Huntsville. @ Crossroads Music Hall, 115 E. Clinton St. Huntsville, AL. Scheduled to appear are Crossfire, Melody Guy, Sonny Edwards, Microwave Dave and the Nukes, Guy Gilchrist & the Comics, Zac Hacker, The Brakers, and the Kris Bell Band.

Thursday, May 19, 2011.  @5:30 PM.  Third Thursday happy hour (social gathering), at the Preve lounge, upstairs at Monaco, 370 The Bridge Street (6782 Old Madison Pike), Huntsville.  Rob Kilpatrick would appreciate knowing you’re coming.  rob2020@mac.com

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