Rashi Fein, an influential economist who strove to bring ethical and humanitarian perspectives to the nation’s health care system and helped lay the intellectual groundwork for Medicare in the 1960s, died on Monday in Boston. He was 88.
. . .
When Dr. Fein began working on health issues as a young aide in the administration of Harry S. Truman, health care accounted for about 3 percent of the American economy. By the time he weighed in as a respected elder in the field during the debate over President Obama’s health care proposals, the expenditures had risen to 18 percent, an amount roughly equal to the economy of France.
Dr. Fein regarded both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act as important steps toward the overriding goal of helping “the people who have the least,” Dr. Emanuel said. In his 1986 book, “Medical Care, Medical Costs: The Search for a Health Insurance Policy,” Dr. Fein wrote, “Decent people — and we are decent people — are offended by unnecessary pain and suffering; that is, by pain and suffering for which there is a treatment and for which some (who are affluent) are treated.”
Five years after it exploded into a political conflagration over “death panels,” the issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 50 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year.
This article offers balanced information on the question of whether doctors should be reimbursed for discussing end-of-life directives with patients. These discussions not only help doctors fulfill patients’ wishes but also relieve families of having to make crucial medical decisions in emotional, stressful situations.
Some private insurers already cover the cost of end-of-life discussions, so it’s important to check your coverage if you have supplemental insurance.
To be sure, “millennials are on the radar,” said Robyn Motley, senior vice president and general manager of AARP Media, “but we make a strong argument” to marketers “that you need to focus on the boomers because that’s where the money is.”
It’s a beautiful day here in Tacoma, so hubby and I ventured into the outskirts of downtown for lunch.
After eating, we visited Fireman’s Park, which we entered at the corner of Pacific Avenue and S. 7th Street. From Pacific Avenue, this park looks about the size of a postage stamp, but in fact the park extends along the bluff behind the buildings on Pacific Avenue.
Fireman’s Park offers expansive views of the working area of the Port of Tacoma, including the entrance of the greenish-gray water of the Puyallup River into the bluer water of Commencement Bay.
A statue called “Clearing the Way” commemorates logging as the foundation of the Pacific Northwest:
And logs are still ubiquitous around here:
A vertical drawbridge provides an unusual frame for Mount Rainier:
Just across Pacific Avenue from where we entered Fireman’s Park stands Tacoma’s Old City Hall:
We live next to Tacoma’s big Point Defiance Park, and we get a lot of deer who come into our neighborhood to eat. They’ve become very tame. I had heard that one of the females had a fawn, but we hadn’t seen the little guy—until today. His mom parked him next to someone’s house while she was off grazing.
Most people here don’t like the deer because they eat their plants, but I think they’re cute. And who wouldn’t love this little guy. Hubby got this great photo:
Then at dusk the mother and fawn walked across our back yard. This is the best shot I could get with my phone in the low light, but you can clearly see what’s happening:
Charges for some of the most common inpatient procedures surged at hospitals across the country in 2012 from a year earlier, some at more than four times the national rate of inflation, according to data released by Medicare officials on Monday.
While it has long been known that hospitals bill Medicare widely varying amounts — sometimes many multiples of what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure, an analysis of the data by The New York Times shows how much the price of some procedures rose in just one year’s time.