Americans’ Views on Healthcare

At the root, healthcare is a pocketbook issue. An increasing share of insured Americans report difficulty affording healthcare. Deductibles are rising – growing more than four times faster than wages – and causing worry, especially over unexpected medical bills that ripple families and their budgets.

Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, provides an analysis of the public’s priorities and opinions in healthcare as the new congress takes shape and the 2020 presidential campaign begins.

Using polling data, he shows that in the midterms, healthcare was a top issue for Democrats and Independents but not for Republicans. The Democrats perceived that the ACA was under threat and rallied behind that issue. That helped propel them to large gains in the House.

Altman predicts that with that new Democratic-majority some of the big moves proposed in the last two years will not happen. These include repeal and replace of the ACA, changing Medicaid to include caps or block grants, and changing Medicare to a voucher system. He further predicts that no major health legislation will be passed at all except perhaps some bipartisan legislation on drugs.

With the huge partisan divide on the ACA – 81% of Democrats approve versus only 17% of Republicans – there are obvious limits to passing any national health care reform, even though generally the public highly values many of the key benefits of the ACA. Simultaneously, public knowledge about what the ACA does is actually spotty. For example, Altman cites polls that show that 41% wrongly believe that the ACA established “death panels.”

As the 2020 presidential election heats up, Altman shows that healthcare will continue to be a big issue with Medicare-for-all perhaps out in front of the others. There are many misconceptions about this kind of plan including the costs and benefits of a single-payer system.

When it comes to Medicaid, sweeping change proposed by the Republicans is unlikely. Polls show that it is generally more well-liked than some people acknowledge, almost as popular as other big programs like Medicare and Social Security, in part because it covers almost 75 million people. There are lurking issues such as work requirements but most Americas want to keep it as it is, affordable insurance for low income people.

Watch The Pulse of the Public on Health Policy and Politics – The Chancellor’s Health Policy Lecture Series

Evolving Medical Training

Dr. Rebecca Berman was recently recruited to UCSF to direct the internal medicine residency program, generally considered to be one of the nation’s finest. Dr. Berman comes to UCSF from Harvard, where she directed the primary care residency program at Brigham & Womens Hospital.

She sits down with Dr. Bob Wachter, Chair, Department of Medicine, UCSF, to discuss her upbringing, her surprising undergraduate pursuits and her longstanding commitment to social justice and health equity. She discusses her approach to mentoring and career development, and her view of how medical training needs to evolve to meet the needs of trainees and patients. She also talks about how her work-life balance and describes being a doctor as a great Mom job.

Watch Dr. Rebecca Berman – A Life in Medicine: People Shaping Healthcare Today

A Life in Medicine

8232Healthcare has never been as important to peoples’ lives as it is today. Staggering advances in technology and science stand alongside major changes — and controversies — in policy and payment. In this new series, Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of UCSF’s Department of Medicine, bestselling author, and rated in 2015 by Modern Healthcare magazine as the most influential physician-executive in the U.S., interviews leading lights in medicine and healthcare.

In addition to finding out what’s happening now and where medicine is going, these individuals talk about the experiences that shaped their careers.

The first two programs are available now with more coming monthly to UCTV.

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo
From self-described army brat to a renowned physician and scientist, Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is the immediate past-chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force. Find out how she balances the various demands on her time, including being a mom.

Dr. Lloyd “Holly” Smith
Dr. Smith came to San Francisco in 1964 and transformed UCSF into a world leader. His ability to steer that change is as much about management as medicine.

Make Room on the Award Shelves!

It’s time to make some room on our award shelves!

We’re happy to report that a whopping five UCSD-TV programs have been honored with awards for excellence.

Gold is the metal of honor when it comes to our haul at the Aurora Awards. That’s because four very different UCSD-TV programs took home Gold Aurora statues.

The winners are:

Building it Better: Earthquake-Resilient Hospitals for the Future (Documentary/Project category), produced by Rich Wargo

Tan Dun’s Water Passion – La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2012 (Music/Live Concert category) produced by John Menier

Colon Cancer Screening: Health Matters (Educational/Fitness, Health), produced by Jennifer Ford

San Diego Opera Spotlight : Moby Dick (Documentary/Cultural category), produced by John Menier

We also rose to the top at the Telly Awards, where The Skinny on Obesity: Sickeningly Sweet, produced by UCSD-TV’s Rich Wargo and Jennifer Ford for the YouTube original channel UCTV Prime, won the Silver Telly for Internet/Online Programs in the Health and Wellness category.

The Aurora Awards are an annual independent film and video competition that honors excellence in commercials, cable programming, documentaries, industrial, instructional and corporate videos.

The Telly Awards honor the very best film and video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs.

Congratulations to everyone on the UCSD-TV team!