Daily Rounds: Doctors Vs. Dishwashers; Mass. Health Reform Poll; 'Free The FDA'; 'Get Thin' Billboards

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Doctors vs. Dishwashers (The Washington Post — WonkBlog) - "The Altarum Institute Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care posts this new survey comparing how much effort we devote to shopping for doctors versus shopping for appliances or cars. The appliances and cars, it turns out, get a lot more attention." (The Washington Post - WonkBlog)

Poll: Mass. residents unimpressed by health care reform (Boston Business Journal) - "While most Massachusetts adults do not find an improvement in their own health care since 2006, 39 percent report that health care reform has improved health care overall in the state. Meanwhile, 30 percent said it has made health care in Massachusetts worse. The groups that are most likely to say that their own health care has improved as a result of the legislation are those who are younger and have lower incomes, according to a news release from UMass Amherst." (Boston Business Journal)

Op-Ed: Free The FDA (The New York Times) - "The unilateral decision last week by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, to block the Plan B One-Step contraceptive pill from being sold to adolescents without a prescription is shocking in more ways than one. Not only was it unexpected, but for the first time in American history, a cabinet secretary — and by extension, a president — has overruled a drug-approval decision by the Food and Drug Administration. The precedent risks placing the real power for drug approval not just with a cabinet secretary, but with the White House itself. The only solution, then, is to make the F.D.A. truly independent. Americans have already done this, through the Federal Reserve, to protect our money supply from political meddling; it’s time to do it for drugs." (The New York Times)

It's about time that FDA takes action against LA lap-band billboards (LA Times) - "Yet the billboards promoting 1-800-GET-THIN, which have been hard to miss on Southland freeways for a couple of years, seem to have proliferated explosively in recent months, like a recrudescent, metastasizing cancer. The FDA's action appears to be the first taken by a government agency against 1-800-GET-THIN over its feverish advertising, which seems to promote Lap-Band implantation as if it's a simple, short cosmetic procedure. It's not; it's major surgery." (The Los Angeles Times)

Summit focuses on children's mental health (The Boston Globe — White Coat Notes) - "It was billed as the Children’s Mental Health Summit, the second in a decade, and its organizers hoped it would inspire as much passion for reform as the debut gathering did in 2001.

Among the issues addressed by top officials in Boston yesterday were the high rate of psychotropic drugs consumed by the state’s foster children, poor insurance coverage of family-based services, and the relatively high percentage of substance abuse among Massachusetts teens. The keynote speaker, Pamela Hyde, an Obama appointee who heads the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also spoke about the growing awareness that trauma — including domestic strife, neighborhood violence, and bullying — undermines children’s mental well-being. “It’s not so much what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you,” she said before the gathering of about 150 people in downtown Boston." (The Boston Globe)

This program aired on December 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.