Daily Rounds: NH ObamaCare Indifference; Newt's Health-Care Cash; Mass. Reform Update; Why AA Works

Health care? New Hampshire residents not buying it (The Boston Globe) - "In this central New Hampshire working-class town, long a bellwether of Republican sentiment in the first-in-the-nation primary state, health care is an afterthought for many as they sort through their choices in the upcoming Republican primary. A growing number of independents, the bulk of voters here, who were supporters of or neutral about the Obama plan now say they view it as unlikely to help them with what they really need: a fix for the economy." (The Boston Globe)

Gingrich think tank collected millions from health-care industry (Associated Press) - "WASHINGTON — "A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews. The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them "access to Newt Gingrich" and "direct Newt interaction," according to promotional materials. The biggest funders, including firms such as AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk, were also eligible to receive discounts on "products and workshops" from other Gingrich groups." (AP)

Blue Cross Foundation report updates outlook on 2006 health law ( - White Coat Notes) - "A few highlights: Massachusetts has the lowest rate of uninsured people in the country, at 1.9 percent across all ages in 2010 compared with the US average of 16.1 percent. The number of people using the health safety net, which is free basic care for people who don’t have access to affordable coverage or who have large health bills they can’t pay, dropped dramatically in the two years that followed the law’s implementation, from 2.1 million inpatient discharges and outpatient visits in 2006 to 977,000 in 2008. That number has risen since, to 1.1 million in 2010...The amount of money the state collected in penalties from people who were required to buy health insurance and didn’t dropped significantly last year to $10.76 million from $17.1 million." (

What Makes AA Work? (Harvard Gazette) - "Among the many ways that participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) helps its members stay sober, two appear to be most important — spending more time with individuals who support efforts toward sobriety and increased confidence in the ability to maintain abstinence in social situations. In a paper that will appear in the journal Addiction and has been released online, researchers report the first study to examine the relative importance to successful recovery of the behavior changes associated with participation in AA." (Harvard Gazette)

Fixing Medicare (The New York Times) - "There is time to get this right. Since January 2010 the growth in Medicare spending has actually slowed to an annual rate of about 4 percent, less than half the annual rate for the previous decade. No one is quite sure why, but one theory holds that hospitals are scrambling to squeeze a lot of fat out of the system even before the health care reforms pressure them to do it."

Fake doctor arrested for allegedly injecting cement in woman's rear (Huffington Post) - MIAMI — A woman who wanted to work at a nightclub started searching for someone who could perform plastic surgery at a cheap price to give her a curvier body. Police say what she found was a woman posing as a doctor who filled her buttocks with cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant.

This program aired on November 21, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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