The high cost of failing artificial hips (The New York Times) - "Medical and legal experts estimate the hip failures may cost taxpayers, insurers, employers and others billions of dollars in coming years, contributing to the soaring cost of health care. The financial fallout is expected to be unusually large and complex because the episode involves a class of products, not a single device or just one company." (The New York Times)
Was the mandate a mistake? (The New Republic) - "Many conservatives are unhappy that the law will, in effect, use their tax dollars to subsidize medical care for other people. Many seniors are angry that the law reduces spending on Medicare, in order to finance the expansion of insurance coverage. And even many non-elderly, non-conservative Americans are upset that Obama and his allies spent so much time trying to pass health care reform, when, they believe, he could have been doing more to bolster the economy. Imagine, for a moment, that the Affordable Care Act did not include a mandate. Would any of these people be substantially more enthusiastic about health care reform today? I doubt it." (The New Republic)
Harvard stem cell paper retracted (The Boston Globe) - "A paper in the journal Blood, which was called into question last year after Harvard stem cell scientist Amy Wagers reviewed the work and discovered “serious concerns” with the data, has been retracted. The retraction was not signed by the lead author, Shane R. Mayack, a researcher who worked in Wagers’ laboratory and “who maintains that the results are valid,” according to the retraction." (The Boston Globe)
Open the discussion on dying (Los Angeles Times) - "One of the great tragedies and cruel ironies of American politics is that we stand no chance of hearing workable solutions or honest discussion from candidates in an election year. So a popular demand for policy changes may be the only hope, and I invite you to make yourself heard at The Times' Life and Death page. I'm sure my dad would appreciate your contribution, given his genetic, long-standing lack of faith in the ability of Congress or the White House to lead the way on matters of great importance." (The Los Angeles Times)
New fee coming for medical effectiveness research (AP via Boston Herald) - "Starting in 2012, the government will charge a new fee to your health insurance plan for research to find out which drugs, medical procedures, tests and treatments work best. But what will Americans do with the answers? The goal of the research, part of a little-known provision of President Barack Obama’s health care law, is to answer such basic questions as whether that new prescription drug advertised on TV really works better than an old generic costing much less. But in the politically charged environment surrounding health care, the idea of medical effectiveness research is eyed with suspicion. The insurance fee could be branded a tax and drawn into the vortex of election-year politics." (AP-Boston Herald)
This program aired on December 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.