Hot Topics: Health Policy & Insurance

Blog Posts (39)

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 They point to the number of insurance companies that have withdrawn from the marketplaces including Ohio, where there are 20 counties with no plans available.…

March 29, 2017

The ACA Survived, Do We Have the Political Will to Make It Better?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Republican-backed American Health Care Act was withdrawn before a vote on Friday when it appeared to lack the support needed to pass.…

March 17, 2017

Ethics of the Trump Budget: The Social Contract is Dead

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

President Trump released his blueprint for a 2018 federal budget. From an ethical standpoint, the President seems to operates from a Hobbesian standpoint—life is nasty, brutish and short.…

March 7, 2017

The Ethics of the New GOP Health Plan – Violating Justice & Solidarity

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Whatever one may think of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it began with noble intentions. The ACA was built on a philosophy of providing more people not only with access to health insurance but also with assistance to pay for it.…

January 24, 2017

Can Science Survive in a Communications Blackout: Restricting Speech Violates Scientific Ethics

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

That good ethics begins with good facts is an oft-heard mantra and was my first lesson when I began conducting clinical ethics consults 20 years ago.…

January 17, 2017

The Future of Health Insurance May Look A Lot Like Our Past

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week marks the transition of power from President Obama to President-elect Trump. One issue that has been high on Trump’s list of policy changes is a repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a.…

January 11, 2017

The Cost of Being Whole: Double-Standards and Discrimination in Trans Healthcare

by Jenji C. Learn, BA

How much are your genitals worth to you? Your beard? Your breasts?

What’s a reasonable price for them?…

January 4, 2017

Last Days of the ACA

by Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D.

Politicians are notorious for making campaign promises and then not carrying them out. With the beginning of the 115th Congress, the GOP has doubled-down on its promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).…

January 2, 2017

The Year in Bioethics That Was - 2016

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Happy New Year. As has become a tradition at the bioethics.net blogs, the ending of one year and beginning of another is a time for reflection, for reviewing the year that has passed and planning for the year to come.…

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Published Articles (10)

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

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 12 - Dec 2016

Does Lack of “Genetic-Relative Family Health History” Represent a Potentially Avoidable Health Disparity for Adoptees? Thomas May, Kimberly A. Strong, Kaija L. Zusevics, Jessica Jeruzal, Michael H. Farrell, Alison LaPean Kirschner, Arthur R. Derse, James P. Evans & Harold D. Grotevant

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 7 - Jul 2016

Withdrawing Versus Withholding Freedoms: Nudging and the Case of Tobacco Control Andreas T. Schmidt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 7 - Jul 2016

Reducing Tobacco Use Through Withdrawal Policies: When Should We Ban the Use of a Harmful Product? Kayhan Parsi

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 4 - Apr 2015

Kaci Hickox: Public Health and the Politics of Fear Steven H. Miles

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 3 - Mar 2015

The Social Determinants of Health: Why Should We Care? Adina Preda & Kristin Voigt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 3 - Mar 2015

When Ideology Trumps: A Case for Evidence-Based Health Policies Bela Fishbeyn

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 9 - Sep 2013

An Ethical Analysis of Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Personnel: Implementing Fairly and Balancing Benefits and Burdens Armand H. Matheny Antommaria

News (103)

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.

January 24, 2017 9:00 am

With executive order, Trump tosses a ‘bomb’ into fragile health insurance markets (Washington Post)

The practical implications of Trump’s action on Friday are harder to decipher. Its language instructs all federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant ­exemptions from or delay” any part of the law that imposes a financial or regulatory burden on those affected by it. That would cover consumers, doctors, hospitals and other providers, as well as insurers and drug companies.

December 20, 2016 9:00 am

OxyContin goes global — “We’re only just getting started” (LA Times)

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner David A. Kessler has called the failure to recognize the dangers of painkillers one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine.

November 10, 2016 10:52 am

U.S. watchdog told Medicare, Medicaid that EpiPen was misclassified in 2009: senator (Reuters)

The internal watchdog at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned the office tasked with administering federal health insurance programs that Mylan NV’s EpiPen was improperly classified as a generic drug in 2009, Senator Charles Grassley said on Tuesday.

November 9, 2016 8:00 am

Why the FDA wants to know how much Nutella you scoop out of the jar (Washington Post)

October 28, 2016 8:00 am

Big pharma is gearing up to defend drug prices (Washington Post)

The skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs has been noticeably absent from discussion in the presidential debates — even as bipartisan anger about price gouging has united Congress. But the trade group for the pharmaceutical industry, PhRMA, is gearing up to defend drug prices after the election, seeking an additional $100 million in annual dues from its members, according to a report from Politico.

October 3, 2016 8:00 am

Furor Over Drug Prices Puts Patient Advocacy Groups in Bind (NY Times)

Public anger over the cost of drugs has burned hot for a year, coursing through social media, popping up on the presidential campaign, and erupting in a series of congressional hearings, including one last week over the rising price of the allergy treatment EpiPen.

September 16, 2016 8:00 am

Employees Are Paying A Bigger Chunk Of Health Insurance Costs (NPR)

High deductible health plans are the new normal.  Just over half of employees this year have a health insurance policy with a deductible of at least $1,000, according to a survey of employers from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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