Daily Rounds: Single Payer in MA?; Measles Scare; No New Taxes In Health Law; Oatmeal Abuse

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Ezra Klein - 'It’s got to be better than this devil-may-be marketplace'"A senior Patrick administration health care official said Friday that a single payer system may work more effectively and efficiently than Massachusetts’s existing insurance market, a high-profile endorsement that raised eyebrows at a legislative hearing. “I like the market, but the more and more I stay in it, the more and more I think that maybe a single payer would be better,” said Terry Dougherty, director of MassHealth – the state-run Medicaid plan that insures nearly 1.3 million Massachusetts residents – when lawmakers asked for his “personal view” on a single payer system." (Ezra Klein)

Measles case in Back Bay office sparks concern - White Coat Notes - "Nurses vaccinated office workers in a Back Bay building this afternoon as Boston disease trackers worked to contain the potential spread of measles after an employee at the French consulate fell ill with the highly infectious germ. So far, the consulate worker, a woman in her 20s, is the only person who has developed symptoms of the respiratory illness, said Dr. Anita Barry, top disease specialist at the Boston Public Health Commission. The arrival of the infection is heralded by a cough, runny nose, conjuctivitis, and fever, followed a few days later by a signature rash." (

Judges Reviewing Health Law Say Penalty Is Not A Tax : Shots - Health Blog : NPR "That may make things tough for the Justice Department, because arguing that the penalty IS a tax has been Plan B. It's the argument Justice will pull out of its pocket if it doesn't prevail on its main argument, which is that the requirement for most people to have health insurance falls under the "Commerce Clause" of the Constitution." (

How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong - "Like so many other venerable foods, oatmeal has been roundly abused by food marketers for more than 40 years. Take, for example, Quaker Strawberries and Cream Instant Oatmeal, which contains no strawberries, no cream, 12 times the sugars of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and only half of the fiber. Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)" (

This program aired on February 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.