ACP Internist continues its daily wrap-up of current events affecting internal medicine.
Health care reform
Citing the Children's Health Insurance Program and COBRA unemployment health coverage as examples, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass health care reform using reconciliation. Those two health programs used the legislative tactic to secure passage. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said health care reform was bigger legislation, and "Big legislation always requires big majorities." (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal)
Haitian earthquake relief
The overwhelming wave of trauma victims has dwindled to a trickle aboard the USNS Comfort, the military hospital ship anchored in the harbor of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Civilian doctors want the ship to stay to handle what they describe as a second wave of treatment--resetting poorly healed fractures and remaining public health issues. The Navy has not decided what the Comfort's future mission might be, if any. Read reports of the challenges internists faced while aboard the ship. (Baltimore Sun, U.S. Navy, Annals of Internal Medicine)
Lt. Yonnette Thomas, Officer in Charge of the Center for Information Dominance Learning Site in Norfolk, translates between Haitian patients and a delegation of visiting physicians from Colombia aboard the USNS Comfort.