Man with maskThe world watched warily on April 27, as cases of swine flu that first emerged in Mexico in recent weeks in near-epidemic proportions started surfacing in other nations. Mexican officials said the flu strain may have sickened 1,614 people since April 13. Officials were awaiting the results of laboratory tests to confirm how many of 149 suspected flu-related deaths were in fact caused by the illness. So far, at least 22 deaths in the nation of 111 million people have been attributed to swine flu.

Obama at podiumITEM: The Financial Times (London) reported on March 5:

Korean War veteran David Conrad listened to the changes that were being made at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Marion, Illinois. AP ImagesIn early March, veterans’ groups got wind of a plan by the Obama administration to charge veterans’ private health insurance companies for service-related injuries. “Currently,” according to, “veterans’ private insurance is only charged when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like the flu.” Veterans are worried that the proposed plan would cause their private insurance rates to skyrocket and quickly max out their private insurance.

Detail of Obama signing SCHIPPresident Obama and most of the press cheered the passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, but can SCHIP (pronounced "ship") stay afloat long-term?

X-ray illustration of a running manIf they had been designing a health system from scratch, the change agents assuming power in January would have done things differently. Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy would have given us a Single Payer for medical care, as in Canada and Britain (and Cuba and North Korea) and (according to national healthcare promoters) "the rest of the industrialized world."

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