Daily Rounds: Rally Against Fed Cuts; Internet Alters Memory; 'Death And The Budget'

Health advocates: Fed spending cuts could cost Massachusetts $3B - "As debt and deficit reduction talks reached a boiling point in Washington, a coalition of Bay State health advocates, sometimes at odds over health care system reforms, united Thursday to protest Medicare and Medicaid spending cuts under consideration by Congress and the White House. The cuts, which advocates said could total between $1 billion and $3 billion a year to state government, hospitals and other care organizations, would not only impact patient care and access to doctors but cost thousands of jobs, according to the groups that rallied outside the State House." (Boston Herald)

Internet changing how people recall facts, study suggests - The Boston Globe "Access to a wealth of information on the Internet is altering what people remember, prompting us to retain fewer facts but more information about how to find those facts, new research conducted at Harvard and Columbia universities suggests...“Our memories are changing,’’ said Daniel Wegner, a psychology professor at Harvard and the senior author of the study. “So we remember fewer facts and we remember more sources, which website you saw it on or whose e-mail to look in to find that. . . . It’s like having information at our fingertips makes us always go to our fingertips.’’ (

Death and Budgets - "This fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death — our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months. The fiscal crisis is driven largely by health care costs. We have the illusion that in spending so much on health care we are radically improving the quality of our lives. We have the illusion that through advances in medical research we are in the process of eradicating deadly diseases. We have the barely suppressed hope that someday all this spending and innovation will produce something close to immortality. But that’s not actually what we are buying. As Daniel Callahan and Sherwin B. Nuland point out in an essay in The New Republic called 'The Quagmire,' our health care spending and innovation are not leading us toward a limitless extension of a good life." (

" In California, Anthem, Blue Shield to cover therapy for autistic children - "Two of California's largest health insurers have agreed to pay for costly behavioral therapy for thousands of autistic children — services the companies have long resisted covering. Under pressure from regulators, Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross said they would pick up the initial cost of a treatment known as applied behavior analysis." Insurers, worried about rising demand for expensive services as the number of autism cases grows, have argued that the therapy is not a medical treatment but an educational or social service exempt from coverage. (Los Angeles Times)

This program aired on July 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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