Blog | Monday, November 2, 2009

QD: News Every Day--the public option as a Straw Man

ACP Internist's daily digest of news and events catches up with newly appointed Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, fears about adverse reactions to H1N1 vaccinations, and why one ACP member says hope for recovery isn't always the best for a patient.

Surgeon General confirmed
Newly confirmed Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said preventive medicine will be her priority, following her confirmation by a unanimous Senate vote late last week. Month before, during a press conference announcing her nomination, she had spoken about losing relatives to lung cancer, diabetes and other lifestyle-related illnesses. (

Health care reform
For all the fuss over the public option, the Congressional Budget office estimates that 2% of the nation, 6 million in all, would enroll in it. (AP/The Washington Post)

Barry Izenstein, FACP, Governor of ACP's Massachusetts Chapter, writes that health care reform should cover all Americans, create more primary care doctors and reform medical liability. (The Springfield Republican)

Meanwhile, Peter Boling, ACP Member, is undertaking his own effort at health care reform by falling back on the old-fashioned house call. The House and Senate are considering such measures as part of the "Independence at Home" provision of current legislation. (AP)

H1N1 influenza
Independent experts started today tracking adverse events from the H1N1 vaccine to spot any real problems quickly, explain false alarms and separate normal disease rates from potential yet real risks. (AP/Boston Globe) There's a basis to the fear of H1N1 vaccination, and it's generational, says one psychologist. (Psychology Today)

In case you missed it ...
Sometimes, it's better to lose hope for recovery, University of Michigan researchers said.

Peter Ubel, ACP Member, teamed up on a study that noted while it's important not to lose hope, it's also important to realize that hope might make some people unhappier because they fall into a holding pattern of sorts, waiting for their condition or chronic pain to wane before moving on with their lives. They compared outlook among patients who'd just had colostomies. Some were told the procedure would be reversible, and some were told the procedures were permanent. He explains more about hope's "dark side."