Limbaugh, Stewart, Maher and the like have come to symbolize lazy journalism . . . so why do we listen?
What’s amazing about the Limbaugh comments – in fact the discussion in general, regarding Ms. Fluke is that the state of the health care system overall has major problems that few seem to be addressing.
For example, the prescription of anti-psychotic drugs accounted for the single largest expenditure put through Medicaid in 2006 (the last year for which I have data), with many of those who received prescriptions being under the age of 16 (Antipsychotic Prescriptions . . . for Children: Is the Medicaid Story Today’s Version of Go Ask Alice? (UPDATE for 2011)).
How about the fact that in some states it can take up to 2 years for hospitals to be paid after services have been rendered?
And let’s not forget the illegal activities of the pharmaceutical companies in terms of off-label marketing and withholding critical data regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of drugs such as Avandia (Avandia Scandal Could Almost Turn a Republican Into a Democrat).
Why aren’t these as well as similar type issues reflecting a system that is more focused on throughput than treatment occupying center stage?
The Limbaughs, Stewarts and Mahers all seem intent on discussing empty calorie issues that inflame rather than inform . . . perhaps they are just too lazy to do their homework or pandering to an audience that doesn’t have the patience or inclination to understand the real issues beyond sound bites.
What would be interesting is to see how many of their audience members actually vote?