Daily Rounds: Mass. Exports Experts; Abortion Restrictions; Weakened Gift Ban; Anxiety Rules

Mass. health architects in demand (The Boston Globe) - "Counihan was addressing the Governor’s Health Care Cabinet in Connecticut, which like many states is scrambling to build from scratch the insurance apparatus called for in President Obama’s new health care law. Nowhere is there more experienced talent for the job than in Massachusetts, which developed the nation’s first and only universal health coverage system six years ago. That means there is a gold rush on to hire people who helped implement the Massachusetts plan."

Related: Massachusetts health coverage experts to advise local Latinos on ACA (The Sacramento Bee)

State legislatures stay busy on abortion laws (NPR) - "2011 was a banner year for state laws restricting abortion. And 2012 looks like runner-up. That's the central finding of the midyear report from the Guttmacher Institute, the reproductive policy research group that keeps track of such things. There were 39 laws restricting abortion enacted in the first half of 2012. While that's less than half the 80 put in place during the first half of last year, the number of laws already on the books for 2012 is higher than any other year before 2011."

Our opinion: Governor was wrong to weaken health cost law (The Patriot-Ledger, editorial) - "Gov. Deval Patrick made a mistake this week when he signed off on a rider attached to the new state budget. The language he approved weakens a 2008 state law that limited gifts and other inducements drug and medical device companies could offer doctors. The change will allow these med-tech companies to offer “modest meals and refreshments” to doctors as part of educational presentations made in restaurants, hotels and other sites outside hospitals and offices."

In the age of anxiety, are we all mentally ill? (Reuters) - "Her doctor referred her to an anxiety clinic, where a nurse asked Craig dozens of yes-or-no questions - are you afraid of snakes? do you hear voices? do you vomit from anxiety? - and made a diagnosis. "She said, 'Let's call it Generalized Anxiety Disorder with a touch of social phobia,'" Craig said. That didn't feel right to her, but the clinic's psychiatrist agreed with the nurse and said Craig's concerns about motherhood constituted an anxiety disorder, a form of mental illness, and prescribed Pfizer's Effexor and then GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil. Craig says the drugs exacerbated the very anxiety that she doubted required medication. Craig's case is one of millions that constitute an extraordinary trend in mental illness: an increase in the prevalence of reported anxiety disorders of more than 1,200 percent since 1980."

This program aired on July 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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