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Volume 4, Number 5
February 2, 2007


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In the Spotlight

A Health-Care Bargain

David Gratzer, Wall Street Journal, 1-31-07

Three years ago this month, insurance companies began offering Americans a new type of medical coverage: health savings accounts, which marry low–cost, high–deductible health insurance policies with pre–tax accounts to pay for day–to–day health care. But the anniversary is muted. A slew of reports have been critical, dismissing consumer–driven health care as unpopular and harmful; and with the Democrats in control of Congress, Washington's enthusiasm for the concept has cooled. Nevertheless, the Republicans should take credit where due. The White House ought to build on the growing success of HSAs, which are integral to the president's vision of "affordable and available" health care.
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News

Drug Industry Faces Bitter Pill: Congress Proposes Tougher Regulation, Cheaper Medications
Wall Street Journal, 2-2-07

Editor's Notes:

In the next few months, Congress will hold hearings on the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA).
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F.D.A. widens safety reviews of new drugs
The New York Times, 1-31-07

FDA Reforms Seek Right Dose
Winston-Salem Journal, 1-28-07

Editor's Notes:

This article highlights a 1997 FDA reform that speeded patient access to important new treatments for serious and life–threatening diseases—a welcome reflection on the importance of drug access at a time when many critics have taken the FDA to task for approving products too quickly.
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Analysis: Prescription drug ads leave out risks, alternatives; Consumers urged to be skeptical
USA Today, 1-20-07

Editor's Notes:

Prescription drug advertising is increasingly seen as a necessary evil at best, and more often than not as downright deceptive and dishonest. USA Today picks up this theme from researchers who have conducted a study of direct–to–consumer drug advertising, and who are highly critical of the ads:
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Commentary

Doctoring Medicaid
Tarren Bragdon, New York Sun, 1-25-07

Tarren Bragdon, from the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center, reviews Governor Spitzer's plans for health care reform in New York State.
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Health and Taxes
Wall Street Journal, 1-24-07

In his State of the Union address, President Bush proposed to level the "paying" field between Americans who get health insurance through their employers (a benefit that is tax–free) and those who do not, and who must purchase insurance on the open market with after–tax dollars.
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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

A Health-Care Bargain

NEWS

Drug Industry Faces Bitter Pill: Congress Proposes Tougher Regulation, Cheaper Medications
F.D.A. widens safety reviews of new drugs
FDA Reforms Seek Right Dose
Analysis: Prescription drug ads leave out risks, alternatives; Consumers urged to be skeptical

COMMENTARY

Doctoring Medicaid
Health and Taxes
Center for Medical Progress 
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