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NASA: California Out of Water in a Year

State's water supplies are running out, warns Jay Famiglietti

(Newser) - Water isn't just running low in California, a top NASA scientist warns—it's going to plum run out in about a year. "As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water—and the problem started before our... More »

Why Venezuelans Are Scanned Before Buying Milk

Oil-rich country has started rationing food, using fingerprint scanners

(Newser) - In Venezuela's western border state of Zulia, residents are restricted to buying no more than 2.2 pounds of "gold" a week—"gold" being a nickname for powdered milk. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the seemingly improbable rationing that was last month enacted in... More »

Doctors: 90+ Procedures Are Overkill, Drive Health Costs

New list outlines the overused, useless, and harmful

(Newser) - A group of doctors have assembled a list of more than 90 medical procedures that are overused, often useless, and even harmful, in a bid to drive Americans toward consuming less care. The report, from ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely program calls out everything from Pap tests (which it argues... More »

We Must Reduce Health Care Costs*

*But please don't touch mine, no matter how wasteful

(Newser) - The brouhaha over mammograms proves that we’ll never corral health care costs for one simple reason: no one wants to give up any care. Intellectually, women may understand that life-threatening breast cancer is pretty rare before age 50, but rare doesn’t mean non-existent. “Many women would rather... More »

Welcome to the Conspiracy to Ration Mammograms

Don't you dare deny us unnecessary tests!

(Newser) - Republicans are right: the new government guidelines urging women not to have mammograms in their 40s are definitely a nefarious conspiracy to start rationing care. “Whatever happens, we do not want the government conducting any studies on whether current health practices actually do any good,” writes Gail Collins... More »

Flu Plan Directs Docs to Take Sickest Off Life Support

Plan could grant legal exemption to extreme rationing in case of disaster pandemic

(Newser) - Authorities planning for a severe flu outbreak are drawing up rules for life-saving ventilators that instruct doctors to take severely ill patients off life support and give the equipment to those with a better chance of survival. The plan, to be used in an outbreak comparable to the pandemic that... More »

America Needs to Embrace Death

Lowering health care costs means cutting unnecessary end-of-life treatment

(Newser) - Nobody wants to talk about rationing health care, but “the need to spend less money on the elderly at the end of life is the elephant in the room in the health-reform debate,” Evan Thomas writes in Newsweek. To expand coverage and lower costs, Americans must overcome their... More »

Health Reform 'Gang of Six' at Death's Door

Bipartisan effort has devolved into sniping, members showboating

(Newser) - The bipartisan “Gang of Six” lawmakers working on health care reform looks like history, Ezra Klein reports in the Washington Post. Yesterday, the White House slammed one of the group’s members, Sen. Mike Enzi, after he trashed the Democratic plan for "making the economy sicker without saving... More »

Obama Wouldn't Cover Kennedy: Huckabee

Says under Dem plan he'd be told to 'take pain pills and die'

(Newser) - Passing health care reform in Ted Kennedy’s honor “not only defies good taste, it defies logic,” Mike Huckabee declared yesterday. Adding his own take on Sarah Palin's death panel meme, he said that under Democratic health care proposals, Kennedy would have been told to “go home... More »

Toilet Paper Shortage Gives Cuba a Pain in the . . .

(Newser) - Cuba is battling a toilet paper shortage, the Miami Herald reports. The country says the global financial crisis and recent hurricanes have forced it to shutter factories and cut down on electricity usage. The result: The cost of a four-pack of TP in Havana is the equivalent of 2 days'... More »

Jon Stewart Takes On Death Panel Lady

'I don't know how your brain works,' he tells McCaughey

(Newser) - Jon Stewart devoted most of his show yesterday to sparring with Betsy McCaughey, whose articles helped start the “death panel” rumor—and kill the Clinton health care plan in 1994. McCaughey strode onstage carrying a massive binder containing the first half of the House bill. “This bill is... More »

Obama Takes On Rationing, 'Death Panel' Rumors

(Newser) - Barack Obama took the stage in New Hampshire today to set the record straight about Democratic health care reform efforts. Though the crowd was all applause, Obama took on the raucous protests that have characterized recent town halls. “Let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations,... More »

British Health Care Would Kill Hawking...

...say foes of reform, forgetting that Brit physicist lives in UK

(Newser) - Opponents of health care reform should be careful how they use the terrifying example of Britain’s socialized system. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stumbled upon an editorial on Investors Business Daily that asserts that “people such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the... More »

Health Care Opponents Aren't (All) Crazy

They aren't 'delusional' for equating reform with fewer choices

(Newser) - There are definitely crazy black helicopter watchers amongst the screaming masses of health care foes, but most of the people filling town halls are “confused and concerned Americans,” writes Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. “And they have a point.” Robinson’s a self-proclaimed “true... More »

Guess What, Sarah? Those 'Death Panels' Already Exist ...

... they're being run by insurance companies

(Newser) - Sarah Palin thinks health care reform will bring with it “death panels,” collections of bureaucrats who will ration care, deciding whose life is and isn’t worth saving. The flaw in that logic? “That’s not the future of health care—it’s the present,” writes... More »

Ezekiel Emanuel No 'Doctor Death'

Reform opponents grossly distort bioethicist's record

(Newser) - To hear conservative bloggers tell it, Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, is a bean-counting euthanasia enthusiast who wants to deny care for the disabled. The New York Post dubbed him a “deadly doctor,” and Sarah Palin warned supporters to fear his “Orwellian thinking.” It’s pretty... More »

5 Lies Right Wing Uses to Kill Health Care Reform

(Newser) - Conservatives are pulling no punches as they attack health care reform, but their scare tactics rely “on a notably elastic approach to the truth,” writes Mike Madden of Salon. Here are the top myths circulating:
  • Obama wants to kill your grandma: The tiny kernel of truth here is
... More »

It's Time for 'The Talk' About Rationing Care

At end of life, openness reduces stress for all: Goodman

(Newser) - Two weeks before she died, Barack Obama’s terminally ill grandmother had a hip replacement. Obama said he’d have paid for the operation, but questioned whether society should have to. “I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said. But maybe morality and... More »

LA Moves to Ration Water

Statewide water shortage means LA may impose first water limits since 1991

(Newser) - Los Angeles is taking steps toward rationing water for the first time since 1991, reports Reuters. The LA Department of Water and Power has approved a plan to charge a penalty rate for water use over a set monthly limit that will take effect in May unless it is vetoed... More »

Calif. Town to Cut H2O to Water Hogs

Customers limited to 150-gallon-a-day ration

(Newser) - A California town is threatening to cut off water to any customer who fails to stick to a mandated 150-gallon-a-day ration, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "People don't understand how bad this is going to get," said an official from the oceanside town of Bolinas, who fears the... More »

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