Oscars 2011 without healthcare (again). When did a medical movie rule? (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news: medical films at the Oscars, how the governors would manage Medicaid, a non-political solution to tort reform, and no healthcare tax.

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When the Oscars loved healthcare? It seems odd that healthcare — with all the political and social debate roiling the country — doesn’t see a bigger role in film. It showed in the 2011 Oscars.

In fact, “doctors” are often robbed during the Academy Awards (Doctor Zhivago and Dr. Strangelove both lost out, though in 2008 Michael Moore’s Sicko was nominated for Best Documentary). So what’s the most decorated film with a medical theme? For my money it’s The Story of Louis Pasteur, which in 1936 won awards for Best Actor, Best Original Story and Best Screenplay.

What will be the next Louis?

Greater state control of Medicaid. What would giving states more leeway around Medicaid look like? It depends on the party running the statehouse, of course. Republican governors want Medicaid turned into a block grant, which means governors could spend the money how they wished. Democrats, meanwhile, may seek change in case-by-case experiments that don’t overhaul Medicaid completely.

True tort reform. A change of attitude could go along way in medical malpractice.

Doctors need to be more open, for sure. But patients need to acknowledge the risks inherent in their care and accept that things may not always turn out as well as they’d hope. They need to realize that when things go wrong, there’s not always someone to blame.

No healthcare reform tax. The one thing all federal judges who have ruled on the President Obama’s healthcare reform have agreed upon is that the “fine for failing to obtain health coverage is a penalty, not a tax.”