Friday Blog Roundup

This week Senator Max Baucus, chair of the powerful Finance Committee, released a policy paper on healthcare reform. Ezra Klein notes that it’s not a reform proposal, but “the beginning of Max Baucus’s attempt to create a health care reform process” – and he explains the plan and the politics surrounding it in two separate posts. Maggie Mahar at Health Beat delves into the costs of Baucus’s ideas and considers how different stakeholders will react to them.

Meanwhile, people are struggling under our current system (or lack thereof). Adam Hughes at Reg Watch alerts us to a new regulation likely to result in Medicaid recipients receiving fewer health services, while Sarah Rubenstein at WSJ’s Health Blog warns about the effects of the credit crunch on hospitals and insurers.

Elsewhere:

Kate Sheppard at Gristmill reports on an EPA Environmental Appeals Board decision that essentially freezes the construction of as many as 100 new US coal-fired power plants.

Merrill Goozner at GoozNews uses the Jupiter study, which found that adults with high levels of biomarker for inflammation may be able to reduce their heart attack risk by taking the statin Crestor, as an example of what’s wrong with profit-driven medical research.

DrRich at The Covert Rationing Blog reminds us why we should respect nurses, and also states his support for their refusal to take on healthcare bureaucracy burdens associated with primary care.

Christine Gorman at Global Health Report highlights social networking efforts to advance global health.

Andrew Hyde at the PLoS blog checks out an e-card notification system for people who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease to inform their sexual partners that they may also be at risk.

Olga Naidenko at Enviroblog searches for safe plastics and finds that it’s not an easy task.

Robert McClure at Dateline Earth reports on a forthcoming system to independently verify that old electronics are safely recycled rather than getting shipped to countries like China where they’ll be broken down under unsafe conditions.