Los Angeles Times Reports, Obamacare Subsidies On Track To Cost Billions This Year

(via Los Angeles Times)

So, about all those subsidies for health insurance that fueled approximately 8 million sign-ups for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. They are on track to cost us billions of dollars this year, a new federal report indicates.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans who bought healthcare coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.

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Posted by: AtlasMD

January 9, 2014

CDC Study Finds Lung Cancer On The Decline

Finally, some good news in healthcare! The CDC writes on their weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “Lung cancer incidence decreased to a statistically significant extent from 2005 to 2009 among men in all U.S. Census regions and 23 states, and among women in the South and West U.S. Census regions and seven states. By state and age group, lung cancer incidence rates decreased or were stable in most states.”

But bittersweet already seems to be the theme of 2014. Two statements to look at:

“CDC has declared reducing tobacco use a ‘winnable battle’ and supports comprehensive efforts to prevent the initiation of tobacco use, promote quitting, and ensure smoke–free environments.”

“Although many factors might have contributed to this decline, a study of 44 states showed that strong tobacco control indicators were correlated with lower lung cancer incidence rates among adults age 20–44 years.”

From a doctor’s perspective, and a health perspective, this news is worth celebrating. However, the cause of the celebration is debatable. How much of this reduction in smoking was the result of strong patient-doctor relationships, versus decades of anti-tobacco PSAs? Again, we don’t have a problem with public service announcements or even people freely electing to smoke (although we’d never advise it). It’s just worth pointing out that there’s still room for family physicians to make an impact on our nation’s health — by getting to know our patients, earning their trust, and helping them make their own healthy lifestyle choices.


National Commission on Physician Payment Reform Recommends Fee-for-Service Payment be Phased Out in Five Years

Here’s a huge announcement from the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. They recently issued a report outlining 12 sweeping recommendations designed to rein in rampant health spending and improve our nation’s quality of care.

How will they accomplish this? By fundamentally restructuring the way doctors are paid.

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