Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.

  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup


    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel

    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:


    Medpundit RSS

    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff

    Who is medpundit?

    Tech Central Station Columns

    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews


    Medical Blogs


    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc




    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It


    SOAP Notes


    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle



    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log



    Doctor Mental



    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House



    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day


    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline


    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station





    The Skeptic's Dictionary

    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams

    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn

    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard

    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer

    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo

    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info



    Thursday, September 30, 2004

    Pediatricians for Kerry: A "small but influential" (i.e. academic) group of pediatricians is working the ropes for Kerry:

    "'Our concerns about the condition of children -- millions in poverty, millions abused, millions without health care, and thousands killed each year in their own homes, their own streets, and the Bush administration's persistent indifference to these conditions -- prompted us to take action,' said Michael Petit, president and founder of Vote Kids.

    'We need to address the fact that it is simply unconscionable that the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the world under the Bush administration has millions of uninsured children. The words 'leave no child behind' ring hollow when so many children are left out,' said Dr. Joel Alpert, professor and chairman emeritus at Boston University School of Medicine and past president of the AAP.

    The letter, along with statements from various pediatricians at the news conference, bemoaned various aspects of White House policies, including cuts in state health programs.

    'In the president's home state of Texas alone, more than 150,000 children of working-class families have been dropped from the State Child Health Insurance Program, leaving them without any insurance,' said Dr. Stephen Berman, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and past president of the AAP.

    Reading this story made me think of a couple of older pediatricians I once knew. Once at a staff meeting they expressed some un-P.C. belief about some hot-button pediatric issue, (corporal punishment, infant formula, mandatory hepatitis B vaccines, I can't remember which), when one of the internists looked at them in disbelief and said, "But the AAP (Amercian Academy of Pediatrics) says just the opposite." One of the pediatricians said,"Oh, well, we don't listen to them. They're a socialist organization." And that was in Oberlin. Oberlin!

    But, getting back to the Pediatricians for Kerry, their criticisms are more than a little disingenous when it comes to the CHIP program that insures children who aren't poor enough to meet Medicaid standards but aren't covered by other insurance. It's true that in Texas this year there have been many disenrollments, largely due to the state increasing the premiums from $15 a year to $15 a month. (Is it fair to say that there may be people in Texas who don't think healthcare insurance is worth even a minimal premium?) That move was made by the Texas legislature and governor, who, by the way, is not Bush.

    CHIP is a good program, but it's a program run by each individual state using funds given to it by the federal government. The brouhaha about the program at the moment is that there's around $1 billion that have gone unused, partly because states haven't been able to round up enough enrollees, and partly because states have had trouble meeting their portion of the financial obligation for the program due to state, not federal budget cuts. Some people want to keep that $1 billion out there for the states to use anyway, Bush wants to let it revert back to the Treasury, as it's supposed to under the current program rules, but he wants to use the money then for national recruitment efforts for the program, rather than relying on the states who have had mixed success. Here's a non-partisan look at what's going on with CHIP.

    And "Vote Kids", which organized the pediatricians? It's the 527 arm of Every Child Matters, whose agenda and political strategy is outlined here, and whose founder is an early Kerry Supporter. Nothing wrong with that, but the media should have been forthcoming about that angle. And the pediatricians should be ashamed of themselves for manipulating the truth about CHIP the way they have.

    P.S. And here's a look at some of the reasons people give for not signing up for CHIP.

    P.P.S. Even the Associated Press gets the story straight.

    posted by Sydney on 9/30/2004 06:42:00 AM 0 comments


    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page


    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006