Welcome to Comment on Health

This site is devoted to helping understand all the changes happening in our nation’s health care and insurance system. It is open to thoughtful, serious, sometimes comical and, hopefully, always engaging commentary. Opinions are welcome. Made up stuff isn’t. Nor is re-posting unverified and/or demonstrably false “facts” about health care reform.  Don’t be bringing that crap here. Do your homework. If you want to spew unchallenged, non-factually based opinions, take them back to your respective campfires and discuss it among yourselves. They won’t be posted here. (Yeah, yeah, I’m elitist and old school about this.) Having said that, all informed opinions that challenge conventional wisdom and common narratives about the subject of health care are otherwise welcomed. Still, part of what we want to do here is some helpful myth-busting. That means, from time to time, I will dissect some of the misinformation that makes its way into the mainstream, on Facebook, Twitter and other venues. I apologize in advance for even referencing some of these whoppers — putting anything on them World Wide Internets nowadays, even the blatantly false stuff — can sometimes result in extending the very life of the lie itself, despite the best effort to lay it to rest. (Think “death panels,” and “government takeover of health care.”) So I promise to do this with only  the most despicable of these claims, and only then with the aim of explaining who created it and why they want to mislead you.


Here’s what you need to know about me. I spent nearly 40 years in the daily newspaper business, much of it covering science, health and health care policy. I still write a lot about it, mostly as a freelance journalist. I don’t consider myself an expert on policy, but I know something about how the system works for real people and how to help people understand the issues connected to it. I am unabashed proponent of expanding both government and private programs so that all Americans are covered by an affordable, quality health insurance plan. It is not only good for the nation’s economy, it is — bottom line — the right thing to do. I consider it a sad commentary on our nation’s standing in the world that we have yet to come to grips with this basic societal need. One day we will. Until then, let’s talk about how best to get there. See you around the blog. — mike king


15 thoughts on “Welcome to Comment on Health”

    1. Doug, the Obama administration has conceded to my demand for a one-year extension to create an RSS link. That will come as soon as I figure out how to do it. Look for it in late 2014, or maybe not at all if the Republicans can get super majorities in both the House and Senate and repeal Obamacare.

    1. Charlie, Professor Goodman’s book is worth a read, I agree. It provides an alternative to the current system, what I guess could be considered Libertarian approach to a market-based system. As you might expect, I have a lot of problems with it — mostly that the only true way to test it is to scrap the system now in place and introduce this whole new way of doing things. To my mind, that’s not any more practical now — politically — than scrapping what we have and setting up a national health insurance program like Medicare in Canada. I also think he puts too much emphasis on malpractice reform as a major cause of rising health care costs (the data shows it’s pretty tiny and states like Georgia and Texas that cap awards now are showing no real signs that tort reform has mitigated costs) and health savings accounts as a way to induce wiser consumer spending. Still, Goodman articulates exactly the kind of alternatives that make for a better discussion about health care reform, which is better than the blind anti-Obamacare political crew feels the need to do. Thanks for alerting readers to Goodman’s book.

  1. I will admit to not knowing how the new system will affect me and haven’t found many answers.

    I thank you Mike, for taking on this project which I know will be time consuming. It’s about time someone with experience and intelligence did so.–Charlie Whitt

  2. Looking forward to your blog, Mike,and its growth. I plan to aggressively broadcast and promote it in this bastion of BS for all-and-anything the president advocates. Ignorance is abundant in the Ozarks.

    Give us the facts, man.

  3. John Shaughnessy tells me you are meticulously honest and that’s good enough for me! Looking forward to your insights and commentaries. John has probably told you we here in SW MO are trying hard to educate ourselves and get valid and useful information about the ACA. It’s not easy to come by but we plod along. It’s a little bit frightening that even people in doctor’s offices are misinformed. But it is the law and I’m all about letting it unfold without the distortions and downright lies of those who want to kill it.

    1. Beverley, welcome. John is a biased observer. But he is also a lifelong friend and I love him. As a journalist I was meticulously honest and fair. As a blogger I’m only fairly meticulous. But I will honestly tell you what I think is important and try to help you understand so you can make your own judgment.

  4. I have heard of both John and Mike from Beverly and love and trust her judgment on many things. I am soon to be 85 years of age. I am still interested in understanding about our new health insurance/coverage . What ever it is called. Will be looking forward to your info.

    1. Dorothy, welcome! Feel free to ask any questions any time. If I don’t know the answer we’ll find someone who does. As a Medicare beneficiary you should not be feeling at all threatened or worried about the new reforms. Not much will change for you. But stay tuned. It’s going to be interesting.

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