Daily Rounds: Personal Polio Battle; Waiting For Nurses; Utah's UnObamacare; Patrick's Tricky Position

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Battle against polio epidemic: A personal story (WBUR - Bob Oakes) "It seems like such a distant memory today for those who remember at all polio as an epidemic in America. It was at its height in 1952 here — there were 58,000 cases that year alone — 3,000 people were killed and 21,000 suffered often debilitating illnesses as polio atrophied muscles and bones, leaving limbs and sometimes lungs useless. I know the story well because as a 9-month-old baby in 1955, I woke one morning unable to move in my crib, or so my parents told me. I too had polio."

Need a nurse? You may have to wait (NPR) - "Nurses are the backbone of the hospital — just ask pretty much any doctor or patient. But a new poll conducted NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds 34 percent of patients hospitalized for at least one night in the past year said 'nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help.'"

UnObamacare: A conservative state believe it has a better answer to the health care question (The Economist) - "The history of the Utah Health Exchange is a reminder of the bizarre, tangled genealogies of America’s various health-care reforms. Utah’s was nursed into being in the past decade when Jon Huntsman, a Mormon Republican, was governor. At that time the main alternative reform was being cooked up in Massachusetts by its then-governor, Mitt Romney, also a Mormon Republican. Both men advocated a “mandate” that required everybody to buy insurance, an idea that originated in a conservative think-tank. But Mr Huntsman and Utah subsequently dropped that idea, whereas Mr Romney held on to it. Since then, and unexpectedly, the notion of mandates has become toxic in conservative circles."

Health care will test Gov. Patrick's skills (The Boston Globe) - "The governor’s position is tricky. By rejecting a range of insurer premium increases and asking for more regulatory authority, he (cattle)-prodded the health care sector to focus on costs. The question now is where to draw the line. No matter how deftly done, price caps and rate regulation always have unintended consequences; a complicated, time-and-resource-consuming regulatory regime could do serious harm to the crucial health care sector."

This program aired on May 25, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.