FROM Shannon Brownlee
Would Less Testing Make for Better Medical Care? When it comes to cancer, the watchword has long been "early detection," routine testing for common forms of the disease. But the United States Preventative Services Task Force says testing for common cancers may do more harm than good , to men as well as to women. First it was mammograms for breast cancer ; now it's the PSA test for cancer of the prostate gland . In both cases, there's been a powerful blacklash. We focus on the prostate findings, which some specialists say they plan to ignore. Are they afraid of lawsuits? Will patients demand early detection? Will insurance companies deny reimbursement? Will the findings cut the cost of health care by establishing a form of rationing?
Healthcare Reform without Tom Daschle Today, as the producers of To the Point were putting together a show on healthcare reform, former Senator Tom Daschle withdrew his name as President Obama’s top healthcare advisor. Reforming the healthcare system is one of Obama’s major priorities, and Daschle was to be a major player. More than $2 trillion a year spent on healthcare, with 20% of it unnecessary or even counterproductive. Everybody knows it, but healthcare reform is still going to be very hard to achieve. That’s information every American needs to know as the latest debate on healthcare begins.
Healthcare Reform without Tom Daschle Tom Daschle was key to making good on the Obama campaign's major promise of better access to healthcare for all Americans. Today, the former Senate leader withdrew his nomination to avoid what he called “distraction,” apparently the flap over unpaid federal taxes. We hear more about the politics of the White House and Congress, and look at what this could mean for healthcare reform. If a single-payer system run by the government is off the table, what about extending Medicare or care for veterans? Is that what Republicans call “nationalization?” What about dealing with rising costs, especially for treatment that's not really needed?
Healthcare, Insurance Companies and the Presidential Campaign The cost of healthcare is rising all over the world, but nowhere faster than in the United States, even though more spending does not mean better health. In five years, the cost of health insurance premiums rose 87% in the US, four times faster than the growth in wages. Law enforcement officials in New York and California are investigating claims that insurance companies rig what they pay providers and dump patients after they get sick. But insurance, which is 25% of the cost, isn't the only thing that's driving up costs. Will the broader coverage promised by political candidates lead to better results? Are doctors and their patients helping to drive up costs by demanding more healthcare than they really need?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.