March 9, 2013
The statistic was so attention-grabbing that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stopped and repeated it: Nearly half of Baltimore's municipal employees and retirees have a "critical or chronic" illness Rawlings-Blake emphasized the statistic as part of last month's speech at the Walters Art Museum , during which she released a consultants' report about the city's long-term finances. The unhealthy state of Baltimore's workforce contributes to the high cost of municipal health care, the mayor said.
February 25, 2013
The home medical equipment industry has been growing ever since it became clear that getting patients out of the hospital sooner would reduce overall health care costs. Home medical equipment companies provide the products that disabled, elderly and infirm people need in order to live independently. They deliver the equipment, train patients and caregivers in its use and repair or replace it when needed. But in Maryland, a conflagration of regulatory events threatens to dismantle the industry.
January 2, 2013
Friday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 155,000 jobs in December - substantially less than is needed to pull unemployment down to acceptable levels. The tax and spending package passed by the Senate and House provides little prospect of improvement, as the U.S. economy continues to suffer from insufficient demand and will continue growing at a subpar 2 percent a year. Factors contributing to weak demand and slow jobs creation are the huge trade deficits with China and other Asian exporters, as well as on oil. However, on the supply side, increased business regulations, rising health care costs and mandates imposed by Obamacare - and now higher taxes on small businesses - discourage investments that raise productivity and competitiveness and create jobs.
December 26, 2012
Bob Duggan frequently refers to "our national disease-care system" when he talks about his new book, employing a term he has used across his 40-plus years as a healing-arts clinician and educator. As co-founder and former president of Tai Sophia Institute, a North Laurel graduate school of complementary medicine, wellness-based education and research, he believes that labeling our current system "health care" is a gigantic misnomer — and a point of national disgrace. In "Breaking the Iron Triangle: Reducing Health-Care Costs in Corporate America," Duggan offers a vision of a sustainable, wellness-based future in which corporations and entrepreneurs are able to slash rising health-care costs by investing in programs that focus on wellness instead of disease.
November 4, 2012
There's a good chance during open enrollment this fall that you will be offered a high-deductible insurance plan with a savings account - if you haven't already been nudged into one. Increasingly, employers are offering this as a way to rein in their health insurance costs. The high deductible means lower premiums, benefits experts say. And employees - confronted with the prospect of potentially paying thousands of dollars before insurance kicks in - are less likely to run to the emergency room for minor problems, which also keeps costs down.
November 2, 2012
I was flabbergasted by Stanley Glinka's recent letter criticizing President Obama's performance in office ("Obama made U.S. weaker, more vulnerable," Oct. 31). He obviously lives in a different country than the rest of us. Let me point out that over the last 32 years the White House has been occupied for 20 years by Republicans and 12 years by Democrats, counting President Obama's first term. So I marvel during this campaign season at how, according to the Republicans, all the nation's problems supposedly begin and end with President Obama.