Kevin MD is one of the most popular, prolific and comprehensive MedBlogs out there. Multiple posts per day cover just about every piece of medical news out there.
So, I read with interest his list of his Top 13 most popular blog posts of 2009.
So, six of thirteen about celebrity death and another three about swine flue, admittedly a hot topic. Given that, I'm guessing a whole lot of hits come from Google search.
I find it somewhat sad that there was only one post about health care reform out of the whole Top 13.
In general I think the Internet has made us smarter, more connected, more informed, more able to express ourselves. But it's also made us more able to pursue every last morsel of information about inconsequential things.
And I don't mean anyone's death or birth is inconsequential, but neither the Octomom nor Michael Jackson have impact on our individual lives...not the way health care does.
I wish the traffic reflected it.
Was relatively surprised to see Kevin MD state that, in the end, he would vote for the health care reform bill before the Senate. [Note, the post was written on 12/21, and it didn't pass until 12/24, so I'm not exactly clear on what changes may have been made between the 21st and 24th, and if that would impact his opinion. Only surprised because Kevin strikes me as a basically conservative guy. His post is long, thoughtful, takes a look at both sides and brings some different perspectives to the table. Like how about this one:
And, as I wrote earlier this year in the USA Today, medical malpracticeneeds to be reformed for the patient’s sake, not the doctors’.Of course, he's getting mostly slammed in his comments. By people who'd rather be condescending and dismissive than actually address points with data or citations of any kind.
Read his post. And read the comments too, so you can know what the latest talking points are on the side of the divide.
And my second link is another example of all hat no cattle, or whatever that phrase is.
In the post Warning: Graphic Health Politics, GetBetterHealth examines a graph originally published on the National Geographic blog. Some are using the graph to draw the conclusion that countries with public health or universal care or single-payer get more bang for their health care buck than we do. And the author of the post disagrees that this conclusion can be drawn.
It's a really interesting post, yes, and certainly brings up some outliers. Or exceptions to the rule. And then questions whether there are more outliers than not. More exceptions than rules.
But I kind of wish he'd offer some answers...or draw some alternative conclusions.
What DOES the graph tell us? That's my question, and it goes unanswered for now.
Mid-last year, we learned that Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, would be attending BlogHer '09 for a brief amount of time. She was hoping to meet bloggers with health care stories to tell because the health care reform debate was really heating up.
She had such a meeting with about 20 bloggers. Some of them blogged about ongoing health issues, like diabetes and cancer, every day...it was part of what their blogs were all about. Some of them weren't really health bloggers at all, but had a story to tell...about the time they were denied coverage, or the time their coverage was dropped, about the time they lost nearly everything because of health care costs.
Ever since that meeting at BlogHer '09 we have been working on a way to bring more information about women who blog and their passionate interest in all things political - even if many of them would never self-identify as political bloggers - to both sides of the aisle.
First we launched a joint community journalism initiative with the Sunlight Foundation and OpenCongress.org to hold conference calls between Congresspeople from both sides of the aisle and women who blog...again, women from both sides of the aisle. We held seven such conference calls. The archive of every call (including both written and audio transcripts) can be found here. You can hear what such folks as Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rodgers (R-WA) have to say in response to direct questions from women who blog.
Yesterday, BlogHer Political Director Erin Kotecki Vest and I did make that trek to Washington DC and presented the following data on women and social media to, first, Republican staffers on Capitol Hill, and then to Ms. Jarrett and other members of the team at the White House. Erin tells the story here, while I added a bit of color commentary here.
It all started with a conversation about Health. And that conversation is far from over...
Did you know that in nine states it is legal to consider domestic violence as a "pre-existing condition" and to therefore deny medical coverage of treatments related to said violence?
For a personal take on the meaning of that, read PunditMom's story.
I thought, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, you all should know.
Not that I feel good about knowing. I'm pretty sure I wish I didn't know that. Because I certainly wish it weren't true.
Especially when domestic violence stats still look like this:
Nearly one in every four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood.1
␣ 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.2
␣ Three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in America, on average.3
␣ Over 22 percent of women and 7.4 percent of men surveyed, reported being physically assaulted by a current or former partner in their lifetime.4
␣ Approximately 2.3 million people each year in the United States are raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. Women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner averaged 6.9 physical assaults per year by the same partner.5
␣ Approximately 37% of women seeking injury-related treatment in hospital emergency rooms were there because of injuries inflicted by a current or former spouse/partner.6
␣ Women are at an increased risk of harm shortly after separation from an abusive partner.7
Check that last stat: Women are at increased risk after leaving the abuser. So if they try to extricate themselves from this "pre-existing condition", they are actually at more risk of "developing" that "condition" and needing treatment...which can be denied.
Bah! And Feh!
While I agree that anecdotal evidence is not sufficient to know everything there is about the health care debate, Strawberry from Potential and Expectations has gone to great lengths to make a rational comparison of her experience of the US and UK health care systems, and to share a little of her observations of the UK attitude towards healthcare, as an American expat who lived there for years. The post is entitled "This American's Experience of Britain's Healthcare System", and that title is indicative of her approach. No ideology or inflammatory rhetoric to be found.
If you're looking for a blog where some active health care debates are ongoing, and where both sides of the debate seem to be engaging in (mostly) intelligent and (mostly) civil discussion, I recommend Joe Paduda's Managed Care Matters blog.
When you blog, your friends send you links. Links to stories similar to what you've been writing about. Sometimes stories they simply think you should be writing about.