Hot Topics: Health Policy & Insurance

Blog Posts (47)

October 9, 2018

A Little Dab Will Do Ya: Fact and Fiction of the Radiation Debate

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

My father tells the story of how when he was a child, shoe stores had boxes into which you could slide your feet, shod in potential new shoes.…

August 7, 2018

Popular Insurance Pre-Existing Conditions Ban Under Threat

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Do you have pre-existing health conditions? Approximately 23 percent of Americans do.

According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a pre-existing condition is “a medical condition that occurred before a program of health benefits went into effect.

April 4, 2018

Rise of Neopaternalism

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week I was teaching autonomy and paternalism to my Introduction to Bioethics class. We talked about how one of the founding myths of bioethics is that we saved patients from paternalistic medicine by forcing a turn to autonomy: Instead of being objects on which doctors did medicine, we became subjects with whom doctors worked to heal.…

March 22, 2018

BioethicsTV (March 19-23): The Good Doctor, The Resident, Chicago Med

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 17): Cost of healthcare, stealing identities, dating patients; The Resident (Season 1; Episode 8): Patient Dumping; Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 12): Pedophilia; Cherry-picking; ECMO; teenage pregnancy

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 17): Cost of healthcare, stealing identities, dating patients

In the first storyline,  a patient, “Lucy,” comes to the ER with a post-op infection: She never filled her antibiotic prescription.…

January 20, 2018

45 Administration Provides New HCP Protections|Permits HCPs to Discriminate

by Lori Bruce, MA

News broke this week that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is creating a new “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” (CRFD) in the Office for Civil Rights.…

January 9, 2018

Blindness Cure Is Out of Sight

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The FDA has approved the world’s first gene therapy: Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec; AAV2-hRPE65v2) is a one-time intervention that can treat an inherited retinal disease (RPE65-mediated inherited retinal dystrophy).…

December 12, 2017

Tax Acts of 2017: Big Changes to Health Care and Education May Be Coming

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

As you may be aware, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in conference over a major tax bill.…

October 24, 2017

When the Government Prevents a Teen from Receiving an Abortion

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Update: The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. full panel ordered the government to arrange for Doe to receive her abortion.

June 20, 2017

Ethics of Transparent Pharmaceutical Pricing Laws: The Harms Do Not Outweigh the Risks

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Despite campaign promises that drug prices would be lowered, the current administration and Congress seem on target for giving pharmaceutical companies more power over pricing, over keeping out competition and over expanding their monopolies.…

June 7, 2017

In Calls for Repeal Comes Opportunity for Universal Coverage

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

According to the conservative press, the Affordable Care Act is failing. They point to the number of insurance companies that have withdrawn from the marketplaces including Ohio, where there are 20 counties with no plans available.…

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Published Articles (17)

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 18 Issue 3 - Sep 2018

Punishing Intentions and Neurointerventions David Birks & Alena Buyx

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 8 - Aug 2018

Ethical Considerations in the Manufacture, Sale, and Distribution of Genome Editing Technologies Jeremy Sugarman, Supriya Shivakumar, Martha Rook, Jeanne F. Loring, Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Jochen Taupitz, Jutta Reinhard-Rupp & Steven Hildemann

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 7 - Jul 2018

On Gender and Reproductive Decision-Making in Uterine Transplantation Hilary Mabel, Ruth M. Farrell & Andreas G. Tzakis

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

Same behavior, different provider: American medical students' attitudes toward reporting risky behaviors committed by doctors, nurses, and classmates Sahil Aggarwal & Aaron Kheriaty

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 3 - Sep 2017

Consent for organ donation after circulatory death at U.S. transplant centers George E. Hardart, Matthew K. Labriola, Kenneth Prager & Marilyn C. Morris

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 3 - Sep 2017

Physician understanding and application of surrogate decision-making laws in clinical practice Amber Rose Comer, Margaret Gaffney, Cynthia L. Stone & Alexia Torke

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 9 - Sep 2017

Now is the Time for a Postracial Medicine: Biomedical Research, the National Institutes of Health, and the Perpetuation of Scientific Racism Javier Perez-Rodriguez & Alejandro de la Fuente

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Feb 2017

Morals or markets? Regulating assisted reproductive technologies as morality or economic policies in the states Erin Heidt-Forsythe

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Feb 2017

Problematic protocols: An overview of medical research protocols not approved by the LUMC medical ethics review committee Derek Gideon Tersmette & Dirk Peter Engberts

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 2 - Feb 2017

Irrational Exuberance: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation as Fetish Philip M. Rosoff & Lawrence J. Schneiderman

News (110)

November 8, 2018 9:00 am

F.D.A. Approves Powerful New Opioid Despite Warnings of Likely Abuse (The New York Times)

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new form of an extremely potent opioid to manage acute pain in adults, weeks after the chairman of the advisory committee that reviewed it asked the agency to reject it on grounds that it would likely be abused.

November 6, 2018 9:00 am

Was I part British, part Dutch, a little bit Jewish? The oddness of DNA tests. (The Washington Post)

Companies such as Ancestry and National Geographic are taking a snapshot of various DNA markers, said Robert Green, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School who serves as an adviser for Helix. From that snapshot comes a statistical inference, he said. In other words, “Given this pattern, it’s likely that you came from this region,” Green said. “But it’s not a certainty, and shouldn’t be read as a certainty.”

October 31, 2018 9:00 am

FDA set to approve potent opioid for market despite adviser’s objections (The Washington Post)

The Food and Drug Administration is poised to approve a new form of a powerful opioid for use in hospitals and emergency rooms despite opposition from the head of the committee that reviewed the drug.

October 30, 2018 9:00 am

Amgen Slashes the Price of a Promising Cholesterol Drug (New York Times)

Insurers have been reluctant to broadly cover the drugs, instead requiring patients and their doctors to demonstrate why the patients could not instead take the cheaper alternative — statins. The drug companies have fought back, enlisting the help of patient advocacy groups that receive donations from the manufacturers to make the point that the insurers’ restrictions are unfair.

September 6, 2018 1:34 am

Insulin's High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing (NPR)

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a terrible way to die. It’s what happens when you don’t have enough insulin. Your blood sugar gets so high that your blood becomes highly acidic, your cells dehydrate, and your body stops functioning. Diabetic ketoacidosis is how Nicole Smith-Holt lost her son. Three days before his payday. Because he couldn’t afford his insulin.

August 1, 2018 3:00 am

Bill Of The Month: A Plan For Affordable Gender-Confirmation Surgery Goes Awry (NPR)

After mother and daughter complained about the last-minute surprise, a hospital representative offered a solution: If they paid out of pocket and in full before Vetens’ surgery — forgoing their use of insurance — the hospital would accept just $20,080, assuring them the hospital would charge nothing to Vetens’ insurer. But if they did not decide and pay up right away, the surgery would be canceled. “I certainly felt that I had no choice,” Vetens said.

October 5, 2017 9:00 am

Hepatitis C Drug’s Lower Cost Paves Way For Medicaid, Prisons To Expand Treatment (Kaiser Health News)

People who are incarcerated face an even tougher battle to get treatment for hepatitis C. Roughly 17 percent of prisoners are infected with hepatitis C, compared with about 1 percent of the general population. Lawyers in a handful of states are pursuing class action lawsuits to force prisons to provide hepatitis C treatment. Mavyret may make a difference, said David Rudovsky, a civil rights lawyer who’s litigating a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

April 19, 2017 9:00 am

Global coalition chips away at neglected tropical diseases (Nature)

Neglected tropical diseases affect roughly 1 billion people worldwide and kill about 534,000 each year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But drug companies and science agencies in rich countries tend to ignore these maladies because they almost exclusively afflict the world’s poorest people.

March 15, 2017 9:00 am

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Hit With Unprecedented Lawsuit by Washington City (NBC News)

In January, the city filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Purdue Pharma alleging the drug maker “supplied OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies,” ultimately failing “to prevent the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market.”

While other suits against the company by states and municipalities have accused Purdue Pharma of deceptive marketing — allegedly playing up OxyContin’s effectiveness while playing down its addictiveness — Everett’s lawsuit is the first to claim the company knew its drugs were being diverted and did nothing to stop it.

February 17, 2017 9:00 am

An old drug gets a new price to fight a rare disease: $89,000 a year (Washington Post)

An old steroid treatment, long available outside the United States, received approval this week for a rare disease that afflicts about 15,000 Americans. Though not previously approved in the United States, the drug, deflazacort, has for years been available to patients suffering from the devastating and fatal disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy; families can import it from abroad for about $1,200 per year on average. The new list price for the drug? $89,000 a year.

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