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Please begin with an informative title:

  • Flu season is peaking.
    As many as three of four Colorado children who died of flu complications may not have been vaccinated, state health officials said Thursday.
    Note the implication. However, flu vaccine makes you "flu-resistant", not "flu-proof" (maybe 70% efficacy), but it's still a good thing to do. Flu trends in your state can be found here.
  • NY Times: be at the table, or be on the menu:
    Many of the parties, from big insurance companies to lobbyists for consumers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, are embracing the idea that comprehensive health care legislation should include a requirement that every American carry insurance.
  • Oh, Canada!

    Nancy Folbre:

    There’s no evidence that Canada’s public provision of health care and social benefits has reduced its economic growth, and the federal budget just presented is the first to show a deficit in 11 years.
    Fareed Zakaria:
    Canada has been remarkably responsible over the past decade or so. It has had 12 years of budget surpluses, and can now spend money to fuel a recovery from a strong position. The government has restructured the national pension system, placing it on a firm fiscal footing, unlike our own insolvent Social Security. Its health-care system is cheaper than America's by far (accounting for 9.7 percent of GDP, versus 15.2 percent here), and yet does better on all major indexes. Life expectancy in Canada is 81 years, versus 78 in the United States; "healthy life expectancy" is 72 years, versus 69. American car companies have moved so many jobs to Canada to take advantage of lower health-care costs that since 2004, Ontario and not Michigan has been North America's largest car-producing region.
  • Reuters:
    A prominent private U.S. health policy group on Thursday proposed creating a major new public health program and government-operated insurance exchange as part of a plan to expand coverage and rein in health care costs.

    The Commonwealth Fund, a leading private health policy research group, unveiled a comprehensive plan for changing a U.S. health care system that is the world's most expensive yet lags many other nations in important measures of quality.

    They hope the Obama administration and lawmakers consider the ideas as they move forward this year with plans for major changes in the health care system. This plan is one of many being advanced as U.S. policymakers move toward action.

    The proposal favors a mix of public and private insurance options over the idea of a fully government-run health system.

    More here.
  • Eat healthy, or else.
    According to a new study, people who live near fast food restaurants have a higher risk of stroke than those who do not live near these restaurants.

    The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan and focused on various areas of Nueces County, Texas.

  • The Thursday Night Health Series from Daily Kos features ramara on child and adolescent mental health care. In many states like mine, there just aren't enough services, including inpatient beds.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 06:30 AM PST.

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