Daily Rounds: Romney's Secret Health Email; Moderation Rules; Gawande Urges Rescue; Dialing For Therapy

How Romney Pushed State Health Bill (Wall Street Journal) — "But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney's efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it....According to the emails, Mr. Romney personally drafted an op-ed article published in The Wall Street Journal the day before he signed the legislation. The draft, written on a Saturday, also defended the individual mandate, in different language from the final version of the piece as published. Using an argument deployed today by the Obama administration, Mr. Romney defended the mandate by noting that taxpayers generally foot the bill when the uninsured seek health care. "Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian," the published op-ed stated. In a line that didn't make the edited version, Mr. Romney added: "An uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under law, that is impossible—and inhumane."

Moderation As The Sweet Spot For Exercise (The New York Times) — "Notably, in closely parsing the participants’ self-reported activities, the researchers found that running in moderation provided the most benefits. Those who ran 1 to 20 miles per week at an average pace of about 10 or 11 minutes per mile — in other words, jogging — reduced their risk of dying during the study more effectively than those who didn’t run, those (admittedly few) who ran more than 20 miles a week, and those who typically ran at a pace swifter than seven miles an hour. “These data certainly support the idea that more running is not needed to produce extra health and mortality benefits,” said Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans and an author of the study. “If anything,” he continued, “it appears that less running is associated with the best protection from mortality risk. More is not better, and actually, more could be worse.”

Depressed? Treatment May Be A Phone Call Away (NPR) — "The promise of treating people over the phone is that it might overcome the demands of patients' busy lives. Only 4 percent of patients receiving phone therapy dropped out during the first five weeks of treatments, versus 13 percent in the face-to-face group. After that, the dropout rate was about the same in both groups. "We were able to keep people in treatment using the telephone who would have otherwise dropped out," he says, and that group included people with more severe symptoms, or other factors that might require continuing treatment. In the face-to-face group, many of those people never made it to week five, much less to the six-month follow-up session."

Failure And Rescue by Atul Gawande (The New Yorker) — "A young resident was the one who, looking at her, felt that something wasn’t right. In fact, this wasn’t constipation at all, but a disaster from a strange complication. Her stomach had twisted on itself, pulled up into her chest, and become trapped—a condition known as a gastric volvulus. Worse, an ulcer seemed to have formed in the lining of her stomach and ruptured into her chest. This is catastrophic for anyone, let alone an eighty-seven-year-old woman. The textbooks describe an up to eighty-per-cent fatality rate. Yet she did survive. In fact, she left the hospital with her son within a week. And the more I reflect on the story of how that was made possible, the more I think that the story is relevant to all of us, whatever our walks of life."

This program aired on June 6, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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