David A. Graham: One of the many things that is remarkable about the Trump administration is its devotion, even in its first days, to a particular variety of pointless falsehood. ... If the president and his aides will tell easily disproven falsehoods about crowd sizes and speeches, what else will they be willing to dissemble about? The Trump campaign made a winning wager that enough voters didn't care that they could get away with that, and the nascent Trump administration seems to be going double-or-nothing on the gamble. Perhaps that's a winning bet, and objective facts are a thing of the past. But that's a claim that's been advanced before, not that long ago, in American history, by a Republican administration whose top aides disdained the "reality-based community." That administration left office amid an enormous economic recession, and [Donald] Trump himself called George W. Bush's war in Iraq "a big fat mistake." It's a strange precedent for Trump to adopt at the start of his presidency. read more
Science Daily: Fewer veterans received prescriptions for risky dosages of opioid painkillers after a national initiative took aim at reducing high doses and potentially dangerous drug combinations, a new study finds.
Over a two-year period, high-dose opioid prescribing declined by 16 percent, and very-high-dose opioid prescribing dropped by 24 percent. The number of patients receiving both opioids and sedatives, which can be lethal when combined, dropped by 21 percent.
The study, published in the journal Pain, looks at the effect of the Opioid Safety Initiative rolled out by the Veterans Health Administration in late 2013 to promote safer opioid prescribing. The study examines implementation of the OSI across all of the nation's 141 VA hospitals. read more
While the mind reels imagining all the ways President Trump will yet change the world, he has already created one unlikely outcome: He's solidified craft beer as the protest commodity of choice.
Throughout Trump's campaign, a number of the more than 4,000 breweries in the U.S. sold beers -- "Dumb Donald" or "Chinga Tu Pelo," to name just two -- whose names reacted in some way to the reality TV star's candidacy. How did urban liberals take beer, long the patriotic beverage of choice for the red-blooded working man, and turn it into a drinkable form of protest?
In June of 2016 Chicago's Spiteful Brewing made headlines with their "Dumb Donald" double India pale ale.
After Trump was elected, female brewers in Denver joined forces to brew a protest beer. The result was "Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer," an imperial saison, brewed five different times at five different breweries. read more
20 January, 2017 | Bill and his guests Keith Olbermann, Heather McGhee, Tom Perez, and Jon Meacham answer viewer questions after the show. read more
Obamacare, at least in its original incarnation, is on its way out... attacks have focused mostly on sections of the Affordable Care Act that expanded access to health insurance.
At least as important, however, are the lesser-known parts of the law that have let Medicare use its financial clout to push for better, safer, and less expensive medical care.
Value-based care initiatives in the ACA include reducing payments for preventable hospitalizations, establishing mandatory reporting of physician quality, and payment arrangements that emphasize care coordination. Those kinds of initiatives have garnered widespread bipartisan support, albeit more vocally outside Washington.
Value-based purchasing saves lives and money... Most physician organizations now back value-based purchasing, understanding that accountability for quality and safety is the right path to controlling spending -- both morally and clinically. read more