Thursday, December 31, 2009

Health Care Reform - From a Doctor's Perspective

This guest post is by Dr. Phillip Duncan. Tomorrow I will publish a full interview.

Health Care Reform - From a Doctor's Perspective

By Phillip B Duncan, MD, FACC

I am a cardiologist practicing in the Richmond/Petersburg area. I established my cardiology practice in Richmond, VA in April 1984. My goal since the inception of my practice was to leverage technology with sound practice to produce the best outcomes for my diverse patient population.

As a minority physician and small business owner, I feel that I can offer some useful insights on the need for comprehensive healthcare reform.

Philly Not Foreign to Domestic Violence

This article in the Times highlights the need for proactive solutions for the reduction of domestic violence, or what many others appropriately label intimate partner violence (IPV). When looking at the issue of IPV I think there are two perspectives to be cognizant of - prevention and response.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Keeping an Eye on Care in Richmond

Yesterday in the articles of the day I highlighted this article in The New York Times by David Leonhardt which looked at health care cost control in Richmond, VA. The thesis was that Richmond has contained costs well by rationing care, or reducing the supply of medical care.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Day's Top Reads

Articles of the Day --

The NY Times went local and looked at health care cost control here in Richmond.

Ten things to watch as House and Senate merge reform bills.

Facebook friending Congress.

Fixing poor education by fixing the circumstances children are enduring in order to learn.

GOP focusing on repealing health reform in 2010....that has yet to be signed into law.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Throwing Salt into the Sugar Bowl

Not too long ago noted Kennedy School of Government professor and CNN analyst David Gergen wrote about the dearth of leadership that exists on many levels in America. From government to business to the nonprofit sector. A couple of recent announcements in sports point to a lack of leadership there as well. And, no, I'm not talking about Tiger Woods.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tom Friedman's Logic

I read Tom Friedman's column in The New York Times fairly often, and I am frequently amazed at the simplicity in which he views policy and political issues. It's not that his logic doesn't make sense, it's that his logic requires one to make so many leaps that I would suggest one stretch before reading.

On December 22 he penned an article entitled "The Copenhagen That Matters". It dealt with the "political courage" that the political leadership in Denmark has exhibited on green taxes, climate change, and looking toward the future on the environment. Friedman writes:
"How long are we Americans going to go on thinking that we can thrive in the 21st century when doing the optimal things — whether for energy, health care, education or the deficit — are “off the table.” They’ve been banished by an ad hoc coalition of lobbyists loaded with money, loud-mouth talk-show hosts who will flame anyone who crosses them, political consultants who warn that asking Americans to do anything important but hard makes one unelectable and a citizenry that doesn’t even ask for optimal anymore because it believes that optimal is impossible."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Voters Not Served by Party Bouncers

Parker Griffith (R-AL) used to be a democrat. And when I say used to be I mean the ink is still wet on the R that follows his surname. Griffith, a representative in the House, was elected in an open election in 2008. His reasoning for leaving the party? In a press statement released on Tuesday Griffith exclaimed:

“I have always considered myself to be an independent voice and I have tried to be that voice in Congress – but after watching this agenda firsthand I now believe that the differences in the two parties could not be more clear and that for me to be true to my core beliefs and values I must align myself with the Republican party and speak out clearly on these issues."


On Tuesday I was accepted into Maryland Law School. Pretty exciting stuff. I have a lot more law schools to hear from (22 in fact), but who's counting? Stay tuned.

Logo courtesy of University of Maryland, School of Law

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Did the Republicans Miss Out?

Health care reform is a done deal. Let's face it nothing can stop it now. Not GOP obstructing partywide, not Lieberman, not Nelson, and not even two feet of snow the weekend of the negotiations.

And while it's true that the democrats could have (and ultimately most likely will) pass this bill without a hint of republican support, is it possible that the GOP missed out on tweaking the bill along the way? I'm inclined to say yes. Evidence lies in the fact that so much negotiation - in fact basically all - was required to placate democrats. (Sure democrats compromised with Susan Collins during committee, but she quickly bailed on supporting once the public option was reinserted).

New Year, New Policy Diary

Change Makes Sense
In the coming weeks Policy Diary will be changing immensely. Small changes are already afoot. Instead of providing links to where publications have originally appeared, I will use Doc Stoc instead. It's cleaner and permanent (no more broken links). Now pdf versions of op-eds will appear within the blog itself - which means readers can spend more time here instead of being redirected elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

...About Those Health Bill Facts

This article appeared on

By John S. Wilson

What Flier Got Wrong -

Recently Dr. Jeffrey Flier, Dean of Harvard Medical School, weighed in on the health care reform bills circulating in Congress in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. I welcomed his perspective because I had yet to hear it and firmly believe all stakeholders in the business of health care should be heard from. However, I find some aspects of his argument puzzling and others downright disingenuous.