Thursday, January 07, 2010
Can a checklist save a life? Dr. Atul Gawande thinks so. He talks with us about his new book, “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right,” and about how the simple act of checking items off a well-designed list can transform healthcare, workplaces, and our response to life’s disasters.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
- Washington Takeout: Todd Zwillich "wonks out" as he goes behind the report showing that Americans spent $2.3 trillion on health care in 2008: 17 percent of our economy.
- Mobile Tech Takeout: Will Google's new phone change the way cell phone providers do business? Wired.com's John Abell tells us why Google's as yet unreleased Nexus One smart phone is already affecting the mobile marketplace.
- Sports Takeout: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin looks back at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and previews the FedEx Orange Bowl between No. 10 Iowa and No. 9 Georgia Tech.
Monday, December 28, 2009
We look ahead to this week's agenda with the help of Reihan Salam, fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of, "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream," along with the BBC's Rob Watson. We discuss Iran, where a deadline for the government to comply with a U.N. mandate to send its uranium away for processing is fast approaching. They'll also look at what's next for U.S. security (and politics) after a Nigerian man unsuccessfully tried to detonate a home-made bomb on a passenger plane, and what's next in health care reform.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Teaching hospitals are pushing hard for an amendment in the health care legislation that would increase the number of medical residencies by 15,000 from the already 100,000 that already exist, financed by the federal government. More doctors sounds like a great idea to cure those long waits to make an appointment... would they work out in practice? Shannon Brownlee, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer," says in her latest column in The New York Times, that simply adding more doctors might actually do more harm than good. Dr. Moitri Savard is a family physician with a private practice in Long Island City, N.Y.; she believes the biggest problem are young doctors choosing higher paying specialist jobs instead of going into primary care.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The Senate has voted on its version of health care reform just hours before the start of the Christmas holiday. But even after months of tense negotiating, Senate Republicans are still not pleased with the legislation. We check in with Mary Agnes Carey, senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, to get the latest before the vote.
We also look back at the road to this Senate vote, and just how much this bill has been shaped by the threat of a filibuster. Once a rare form of running down the clock and making it harder to let the majority party run the show, the filibuster is now used so frequently that some wonder whether or not the U.S. Senate is being held hostage by members who delay, delay, delay. We talked with Julian Zelizer, a congressional historian and author of "Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism." Former Senate Republican Whip Alan Simpson also joins us to talk about the filibuster's undeniable hold on our lawmakers.
Monday, December 21, 2009
- Finance Takeout: New York Times business and finance reporter Louise Story tells us about a new program from the United Health Group that lets patients "visit" doctors online for about $45 a pop.
- Sports Takeout: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin previews the Monday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. The Giants need to win this game in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. We also discuss Kobe Bryant, who has also been on an incredible scoring streak despite playing with a broken finger.
- Listener Takeouts: Listeners called in and wrote us to share their student loan stories and also to share the stipulations they found lurking in their fine print.
Monday, December 14, 2009
We've uncovered our crystal ball and are peeking into the week ahead with our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, and Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent. They'll discuss what's next for health care reform in the Senate as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) throws a wrench into the works ... again; President Obama's meeting with some of the heads of the largest American banks; the continuing climate talks in Copenhagen; and continuing nuclear troubles with Iran. All that and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi getting socked in the face with a statuette.
Monday, December 07, 2009
- Washington: Jay Newton-Small, of Time Magazine, discusses the week's health care reform negotiations in the Senate a day after President Obama huddled his party for a "pep talk."
- Sports Takeouts: Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin questions if Texas belongs in the BCS Championship; and he previews the Ravens vs. the Packers on Monday Night Football.
- Listeners' Takeouts: Listeners have written and called in to tell us how the better-than-expected unemployment numbers are affecting their towns and neighborhoods. Some are wondering what worse than expected might look like.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Reihan Salam, fellow at the New America Foundation; and Adam Mynott, BBC world affairs correspondent, look at the week's agenda: what to look for from Copenhagen as international climate talks kicks off; what's ahead for health care in the Senate; what President Obama could say in his new-jobs speech on Tuesday, and what's in store for an overhaul of America's financial system.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Last month the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation saying that women should hold off on breast cancer screenings until they turn 50, not the previously recommended 40. The task force comprises doctors from across the country, and their recommendation is based on firm science; despite this, the finding has sparked a firestorm of controversy, with many women saying they are not willing to give up the screenings.
We talk with author Barbara Ehrenreich, whose most recent book is "Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America." She wrote a controversial op-ed for the Los Angeles Times in which she argues that the feminist movement has been hijacked by what she calls "pink ribbon brigades." She says the debate over breast cancer screenings has stolen the limelight from much more important issues, like abortion rights.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Marcus Mabry, international business editor for The New York Times, and Nick Childs, defense and security correspondent for the BBC, take a look at what's ahead once President Obama announces his decision on troop levels for Afghanistan. They'll also examine what's ahead for health care as the Senate starts debate on their hotly contested reform bill; what Dubai's financial situation means for the rest of the world; and whether a "jobs summit" could cure our rising unemployment.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
It seems the American people are playing the “wait-and-see” game on whether health care reform passes before the year’s end or not. Right now the bill stands on the Senate floor where Harry Reid and other Democrats are fighting for every last vote that they can muster up. One of those Democrats is our guest, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who also talks about the prospects for jobs in a slow economy.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Business Takeout: Louise Story of The New York Times says the FDIC insurance fund that protects your bank deposits has fallen a smidge below zero: $8.2 billion, in round numbers. Take heart, though -- there's a plan.
- Dinner Takeout: Vishakha Desai, president of the Asia Society, was a guest at President Obama's first state dinner. She joins us to talk about the event.
- Listener Takeout: Listeners tell us their stories of dealing with TMI in the workplace and long term care for family members.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Marcus Mabry, international business editor for The New York Times, and Nazes Afroz, executive editor for the Asia-Pacific region for the BBC, take a look at what's ahead for Indian prime minister Mahmohan Singh's first visit to the White House this week. They'll also take a look at what's ahead in Afghanistan; what's next in health care reform; what retailers can expect on Black Friday; and another week for Sarah Palin's book tour.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
A government-backed physicians' group, the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, recommended this week that women delay their yearly breast exams until age 50. (Previously, 40 was the suggested age to begin screening.) The recommendation has quickly sparked a national debate. People intuitively feel that more tests are always better, but health economists and doctors practicing "evidence-based medicine" say that some screenings aren't worth doing as often: They don't actually help many patients, they expose millions to risks from radiation, and they can lead to expensive, unnecessary treatments for patients who wouldn't otherwise get sick.
Mary Elizabeth Williams is The Takeaway's culture critic and a writer for Salon.com. She's been getting mammograms for years even though she's noticeably younger than the new recommended cutoff age...but she has no plans to stop. We also talk to Michael Chernew, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Economists like Chernew run the numbers that lead to some of these controversial suggestions. And Dr. Gerald Andriole, professor and chief of urology at Washington University in St. Louis, does prostate screenings – yet another preventive-care practice now under scrutiny for its evidence-based results.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Uninsured Highland Hospital patient Andrew McGinness talks about health care reform and the dental surgery he needs in "The Waiting Room."
As health care reform debates move from the House floor to the back rooms of the Senate, we move our debate to a hospital in Oakland, Calif. Peter Nicks tells us about his project "The Waiting Room," which follows the life and times of patients and staff at a county hospital there, where many patients are uninsured and seek care with no way to pay their bills.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Here's a preview of the coming week with Marcus Mabry, international business editor for The New York Times, and Chris Hogg, BBC correspondent in Shanghai. This week: a look at how the Army moves forward after the Fort Hood shootings, President Obama's upcoming trip to Asia on Thursday, and what's next for health care reform now that House Demorats' House bill has passed.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives aren't satisfied with the health care reform bill drafted by the Democrats, so they have written a health care bill of their own. There are significant aspects of the Republican bill that aren't yet clear, chief among them how much the plan would cost. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office said the GOP plan would insure only 3 million of those currently without health insurance. By comparison, the Democratic plan would insure 36 million currently uninsured Americans. (Both estimates look ahead to the year 2019.) While the Democrats' bill would cover 96 percent of eligible Americans, the Republican alternative would cover 83 percent — roughly comparable to current levels. House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) joins us with a look inside the Republican bill and his take on the nation's priorities for health care reform. (Click through for a full interview transcript.)
Join us tomorrow when Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House Majority Whip, talks with us about the Democrats' health care reform ideas.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
November is the time of year when most workers can elect to change their participation in the health care coverage offered by their employer. As health care costs continue to rise, it's a decision that's more important than ever before.
We talk with two small business owners, Marva Allen, co-owner of Hue Man Bookstore in Harlem; and Walt Rowen, owner of Susquehanna Glass in Columbia, Pa., about how their employees are getting squeezed by changes beyond their control in the plans that they offer. We also talk with Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner for advice on what people should consider when getting a plan at work.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The National Women's Law Center released a sobering analysis of private insurance companies this month called "Still Nowhere to Turn: Insurance Companies Treat Women Like a Pre-Existing Condition." The report includes data that show that even without childbirth coverage, women pay from 10 to 50 percent more than men for the same insurance. We're joined by Judy Waxman, vice president of the National Women's Law Center.
“We don’t charge different premiums for people of different races anymore, and it’s time that we didn’t charge different rates for gender."
—Judy Waxman, vice president of the National Women's Law Center, on health insurance companies and gender inequality in premiums