Daily Rounds: Vermont Single-Payer & Its 'Backbone'; Boston Near-Tops In Health; Brain 'Moon Shot'
Vermont Steps Closer To Single-Payer Health Care : NPR (npr.org) Vermont is about to accomplish something the federal government couldn't. Once Gov. Peter Shumlin signs a bill on May 26, the state will be on track to having a single-payer health care system. "We're actually trying to design the first single-payer health care system for America," Shumlin told Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "Basically what our system will do is treat health care as a right and not a privilege," he says. "We want to design a system where health care will follow the individual, and not be a requirement of the employer, which we think will be a huge jobs creator." Most importantly, Shumlin says, it'll be a publicly financed system. Everyone pays, and the state uses those "health care dollars to make us healthier, not to enrich insurance companies, inefficiency, waste, and the current fee-for-service system, which bills providers based on how much service they do." But don't break out the Canada comparisons just yet.
And the Massachusetts refugee who helped make it happen: Vermont’s Single-Payer Health Care Bill Moves Ahead - NYTimes.com Since moving with her husband and two sons to a rambling old house within view of the State House, Dr. Richter has given about 400 talks on the single-payer concept, tutored lawmakers in the State House cafeteria and testified before the Legislature more times than she can remember. Once, she presented a printout of all the insurance companies her small practice in Cambridge had billed over five years. “It was like 190 pages long,” she said. “Here we were, this tiny rural clinic having to bill all these different addresses. And all of them have different rules and reimbursements; I mean, it’s ridiculous.” (nytimes.com)
Twin Cities deemed healthiest in USA - USATODAY.com The Twin Cities Minneapolis-St. Paul are the healthiest, fittest cities in the USA, followed by Washington, D.C., and Boston, according to a new analysis of the 50 most populous metro areas. The annual American Fitness Index, out today from the American College of Sports Medicine, is based on a number of health factors, including percentage of residents who smoke, obesity rates, percentage of people who exercise and availability of parks, walking trails and farmers' markets. For the past three years, several cities have made the top 10, including Washington, Boston, Portland and Seattle, she says. "These are cities that are vibrant, active and very forward-thinking." (yourlife.usatoday.com)
Patrick Kennedy Launches One Mind for Research Campaign - The Daily Beast As the younger Kennedy seeks to rebrand his famous uncle’s space challenge as a “moonshot for the mind,” he’s hoping the campaign will help personalize brain disorders so people are motivated to find treatments. One Mind for Research has also set a hugely ambitious fundraising goal, hoping to secure $5 billion in private donations and steer $10 billion in government funding to neuroscience research over the next decade. They have a long way to go. Since January, Kennedy has collected about $1 million. (The Daily Beast)
Pols aim to ban money for nonprofits’ boards - BostonHerald.com Attorney General Martha Coakley and her Beacon Hill allies are stepping up their crackdown on nonprofit health insurers and other public charities that pay their boards of directors, with a fast-tracked budgetary amendment that could ban the controversial practice as soon as July 1. “We are not going to let this drop,” a fired-up Coakley told the Herald yesterday. “We feel very strongly that not-for-profit boards should be voluntary and not paid,” Coakley said. “The issue goes to the root of what a not-for-profit is. . . . The board’s loyalty is to the mission of the organization. Getting paid creates an appearance of a conflict of interest.” (Boston Herald)
This program aired on May 23, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.