tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN March 4, 2012 7:30am-8:00am EST
his health care law in massachusetts. how did that law really change the way people get health care or pay for it? some answers as sanjay gupta m.d. starts right now. good morning. with super tuesday coming up, mitt romney obviously would like to secure his lead in the republican presidential race. there is a flash point that we're going to be looking at throughout this year on the show, and that's his record as massachusetts governor. especially with regard to the signing of the law that's brought health care to nearly everyone in his state of massachusetts. we know that it ebbs up and downed the government's safety net and put new requirements on businesses and individuals. if that sounds familiar, it's because many call it the model for obama care. although romney himself said he would repeal that law and let each state find its solution. the supreme court is going to hear a case this month on whether the federal law is, in fact, constitutional. if it takes full effect as scheduled in 2014, it might get
a sense of how the law might change things if you look at massachusetts. you could do a lot worse if you look at how things have gone there. in her mid 20s jacquelin was working in her parents' restaurants, and like a lot of people her age, she really didn't think she needed health insurance, and it was too expensive anyway. >> it was almost $700 a month, and i couldn't apoured that, so then i said, you know, i'm going to have to go woit it. >> reporter: in 2006 governor mitt romney put his name on a new health care law and faced with a new state requirement to carry insurance or face a fine. jacquelin signed up. >> how much did that cost you? >> no money. >> you didn't have to pay anything? >> no. she had been worried about a lump in her breast, and now she could afford the doctor. she could afford testing. so she went. and they found something pretty frightening. invasive breast cancer. >> i was clearly devastated, you know, because 27 years old, doesn't run in your family or anything, and, you know, you just -- your whole life feels
look it's just crumbling on you. >> you cry? >> you cry. you say why me, and then you get over it and you try to move forward in a positive outlook. >> fwut she was fortunate, and with her new insurance, she could afford treatment. she believes it saved her life. >> how are you? >> since the law passed, the state says magazines mass went from having 90% of its population covered by insurance to around 98%. a big success. it also brought some big headaches. all told, the new law for insurance coverage of 400,000 people. people like jack. for her to do that, the money had to come from somewhere. that somewhere was big hospitals that for years and years had been taking care of the poorest patients with some of the biggest problems. >> nobody is turned away? >> nobody is turned away. >> in 2009 boston medical center sued the state saying the cut in direct state funding could push them out of business. but the state has since restored some of that money and for now
there's a truce. >> this state made a comeback, as you know, five years ago to provide access for all, so we figured out how to provide the services and now we're working on ways to pay for them and to reform the system and transform it in a way that we can continue to honor that deal. >> that hasn't been the only bump in the road. by getting almost everyone covered sounds great, but believe it or not, there's a down side. when you get insurance, you want to go see a doctor. the problem is here in massachusetts, as with many states, simply not enough doctors to go around. dr. stout works with a network of 15 clinics and three hospitals. with the flood of new patients, she says they had to get creative. >> so that it's not a doctor alone trying to take carry of patients. there's a medical assistant, a nurse, a care manager, sometimes a patient navigator, a pharmacist. her people, a receptionist. all of whom see themselves not as staff people, but as care gifrz for patients. >> but for all the growing pains, nearly two-thirds of the
people in massachusetts support the law. as for the cost of medical care, it's gone up, but no faster than in the rest of the country. >> this is a post from a recent talk i give wrash. >> m.i.t. economist jonathan gruber helped design the plan, and he went on to help design the national health care law as well. >> i think that people wish health insurance was cheaper, and i think a misnabbeding of our reform is that it wasn't about lowering the cost of health insurance. that wasn't really the goal for people with employer insurance, which is most people. it was about fixing the insurance market for people without employer insurance. for those people prices have fallen by about 50%. >> of course, it's hard to put a price on some things. >> it will be five years this july. >> jacquelin beat cancer, and she's healthy now, back at work, and she's in love with this guy, craig. they're getting married next month. and joining me now from boston, massachusetts, is governor duvall patrick. he came into office when mitt romney left, as you know, and he
has overseen this whole process for the past five years. thanks for joining us, governor. really appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> there's so many questions about this, and people from around the entire country now sort of digging many. let me start off by asking this. you know jacquelin who people just met in that piece there. >> i do. >> how many people got covered like her because of the individual mandate? are you able to put a number on that? >> well, we have -- we've had a 43% increase in the number of people with insurance today, sanjay, because of health care reform in massachusetts. we're up to over 98% of our residents with health insurance. 99.8% of children. i don't think any other state can touch that, and i love that you bring up jacquelin's story because really policy only matters at the touch -- at the point where it touches people, and you can see that it's had a very profound touch in her life and in the lives of so many other of our residents. that's one of the reasons why i think it's so popular here. >> four out of the five newly insured, roughly, are getting
government health coverage. they're either subsidyized or paid in entirety. you made the safety net bigger or the plan made the safety net bigger, which is great, but expensive. are you able to continue down that path in massachusetts without, you know, breaking the bank? >> sure. in fact, you know, our system here, like the system at the national level under the affordable care act, is a hybrid system. it mostly emphasizes private insurance purchased in the private sector. the expansion has added 1% to state spending. the fact that premiums go up as fast as they do year after year, and that's the next big chapter, and we're going to crack that code and, in fact, it made a lot of progress. we had premium increases averaging nearly 17% or 18% two years ago. they are less than 2% today. and they're going down.
they hear you talk and they look at their own bills and see how their premiums have gone up over the last year. you made the point earlier, and we checked into this about how popular this plan is in massachusetts. it does appear to be very popular, but you also know that it's controversial in many other places around the country. usa today had the story this week which said that they think it's hurting the president politically in key states. if that is true, why is there a disconnect? how could it be so popular in massachusetts and sort of the national version of it so unpopular? >> well, i think there's been a concerted effort by one side to distort what the affordable care act is about, and, frankly, a weak effort on our side to talk about the many, many benefits. i mean, there are millions of young people who are younger than 26 who get to stay on they are parens' health insurance today and have that security. you can't be thrown off your insurance when you need it most, when you become very sick.
people aren't going to go bankrupt anymore if they have a serious illness, which was a serious issue here in this country before the affordable care act. and, in fact, the expense of expanding health care for those that need the subsidy is picked up by the federal government for most of the early years, so -- >> you've heard former governor romney speak quite a bit on the campaign trail. one of the things is repeal obama care. that's what you hear from him. massachusetts and the affordable care act have similar laws. what do you think of what he's saying? >> well, it amazes me that the governor who has always been a gentleman to me, by the way, would run away from something that's done so much good for so many people. what happened in massachusetts is happening across the country in a very, very positive way. >> governor, thanks so much for
speaking with us. i have a feeling this is going to come up again this year. hopefully we can talk again. >> that would be great. thank you. take care. up next, under the microscope, baby quest. help for couples who may have trouble conceiving. they agreed. [ facilitator ] take a deep breath. what do you smell? there's a freshness. actually it takes me outdoors. apples and pears. sort of a crisp, fresh feeling. it's a friendly environment. [ facilitator ] go ahead and take your blindfold off. [ laughs ] no... [ male announcer ] the febreze set & refresh with scented oils that eliminate odors for 30 days so you can breathe happy, guaranteed. 8% every 10 years.age 40, we can start losing muscle -- wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time.
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under the microscope this morning, infertility can be an emotional experience for men and women alike. sperm donation has been around for a long time, egg donation is relatively new. secondary infertility. that means the inability to carry a pregnant nan nancy to term. >> michelle and mike have a family they always wanted. it wasn't easy. at 30 she needed hormone therapy to get pregnant. the result was their son leon. again, they had a hard time conreceiving a second child, so they tried hormone therapy and ivf, indiscreeto fertilization. >> by the first time, i knew it was becoming -- it was
stressful. >> after rounds of treatment, she learned she had premature ovarian failure. she chose to use an egg donor. may was born. it was an emotionally taxing journey. i knew that one day i would look back and forget the struggle, and i did. i mean, it's hard for me to think about it now. but, you know, i mean, we have a wonderful family. i can't imagine it being any other way. >> the decision to use sperm or egg donation is a personal one. dr. peter says it's often the best solution since donor egg and special can offer higher success rates. >> those women are typically somewhere around 212028, 29 years old. >> so a 40-year-old woman says, you know, i'm want making eggs,
good quality eggs anymore, so i'll take a donor egg from a 25-year-old. has that 25-year-old woman's genetic material, and you combine it with sperm from -- >> her husband. >> from that person's partner. is this something that happens a lot, or -- >> oh, yes, absolutely. here in the united states about 10% to 15% of all ivf is involving egg donation. >> 10% to 15%? >> yes. >> reproductive specialist dr. michelle leaf says more and more people are choosing this route. >> they have a baby picture they can choose from, and they also know most of their background history, what their genetic make-up is, their interests, maybe their education. >> they get to choose their eggs. >> they get to choose them, yes. >> how much does that process cost? >> it is $16,500, and that includes everything. >> if a woman in her mid 40s is pregnant, has a baby, is it
almost assumed that woman had an egg donor? >> i think i had five women overall in 30 years that got a pregnancy at 45 with their own eggs. that's not a lot. >> michelle and mike say they plan to share their conception stories with both of their children. >> it needs to be okay to it not be looked at as some weird thing to use alternate methods. you know, nontraditional ways to have a family. >> if we're describing it in ten years, hopefully it's like describing, you know, a visit to the doctor that it's become so prevalent that the stigma is gone, so that will help too. it's nothing we've worried about. >> now, i'll tell you, doctors we met with say they've been able to achieve about a 66% pregnancy rate from frozen eggs. that's right around the same percentage they've had with fresh cycles they were doing before. >> something else i want to point out as well.
with fertility issues, we seem to hear mostly about women, but consider this reality. in half of all couple that is are having trouble conreceiving, the problem is, many of the, traced to the man. i want to share you a story of one man that was told he would never father a child, but he simply refused to take no for an answer. steven and lindsay averette always dreamed of becoming parents. >> we both knew we wanted to have kids right from the get go. it was important to us. >> they got married and bought a house in a good school district and eventually started trying for a family. lindsay was in her 20s and totally healthy. yet, after nearly a year, they hadn't gotten pregnant. >> it honestly didn't really cross my mind for i would say 11 of those 12 months that it would be a male issue, but finally, you know, i said, well, maybe you should go to the doctor. >> dr. michael wit says male infertility is a more common problem than couples may realize. >> one of the first things is
figuring out how big a problem male infertility is. how big is it? >> it probably affects about 12% of men in general, though all couples who struggle with infertility probably in half of those there's probably male contribution. >> it could be caused by a myriad of factors. genetics, irregular chrome seasonals, obesity, drug use, even smoking. for some men infertility is something as an undetected cluster of veins. >> when someone has a varicose seal, a cluster of veins, how is that making a man infertile? >> it's just like a varicose vein you can get in your leg, except it's around the testicle. you can fix it, and it's a simple occlusion technique. in about 80% of the patients you get improved production, and you can enhance fertility rates about 60%, 70%. >> a lot of people probably don't know that, but if that's the problem, pretty high likelihood that it can be treated and restore fertility. >> like a varicose seal, infertility caused by obesity, in drug use, and smoking, can
also be reversed in many men, and even more complicated cases like steven's, a diagnosis of male infertility is not necessarily the final word. when he went to see his doctor, steven was given devastating news. >> he walked in the office, and he said he definitely have cancer in the left testicle. you may have it in the right testicle, and you will almost certainly never father children. >> he fought to save his life and his fertility. he froze sperm, had surgery to remove a testicle, underwent chemotherapy, and went through an additional sperm extraction on the hopes of someday becoming a dad. >> you try to visualize it and you try to -- you just -- you try to will it to happen, and at some point it just feels out of your control. >> using steven's extracted sperm and lindsay's eggs, embreeologists were able to create embryos that the couple uz used during an ivf cycle. today steven is cancer-free, and he and his wife are 33 weeks
pregnant with twin boys. >> just to see her belly growing and, you know, it's cliche, but seeing those heart beats on the ultra sonned is just -- it blows your mind. you're just like i can't believe they're in there. >> part of the reason they told us that story is because steve in particular hopes that other men will hear it and realize that for male infertility patients like him, there is some hope out there. good luck with the baby. >> up next, a tough but interesting question. do you, in fact, own your own dna? at least one court has ruled that you actually don't. now that case will go to the supreme court. i'm going to tell you what it all means. stay with us. dad, why are you getting that? is there a prize in there? oh, there's a prize, all right. [ male announcer ] inside every box of cheerios are those great-tasting little o's made from carefully selected oats that can help lower cholesterol. is it a superhero? kinda. ♪
you know, you may not realize this, and it's a stunning thing to think about, but of the nearly 28,000 genes in the human genome, nearly a third are patented by universities and pharmaceutical companies including those with an increased risk for cancer. it's controversial, to be sure, and many people believe that the supreme court is going to weigh in on this. but here is to discuss what it means for all of us, you, as
well, is dr. valley montgomery rice, dean of the morehouse school of medicine. good to see you back. >> nice to see you. >> thank you for coming. >> yeah. >> you know, it is interesting, and we talked about the brca, the breast cancer 1 and 2 genes the last time you were on the program. these genes can tell if you have an increased risk of breast cancer, but they have been patented by a pharmaceutical company. first of all, how does something like that happen? and what does it mean that it's patented? >> what it means that it's patented is that they have actually isolated what we call the dna sequence of that gene, and they have patented that because it was unique, based on the laws of the patent at that time. >> so it's genetic material, but it's essentially owned by this company now? >> well, it's not that they own our genes. what it is is that they own the sequence, the knowledge that goes with the sequence of what we described as the dna base payers. so they own the order of those sequences, the knowledge that goes with that. they don't actually own the
gene. >> they own the sequence. >> right. >> and the knowledge that went into creating that sequence. >> correct. >> what does it mean? so, you know, a lot of women say, i want to get that genetic testing. what does this patent mean for them? >> well, this patent means that pharmaceutical company is the one that has the exclusive rights to do the testing, and sometimes they also have the exclusive right for the methodology that goes with the testing. and so we really, in many cases, limit the ability of some women, if they can't afford to pay for that test, the ability to acquire that testing. >> if somebody has a patent, it probably means it will be more expensive for an individual woman. but what do you think of this? i mean this, is an area of expertise for you. is this a good idea? >> well, i think that patenting technology is a good idea because i know that is investment that went into patenting is what fueled innovation.
as a scientist, i know that research costs. when i'm doing my research, i look for investors, whether it's the nih, national institutes of health, for a pharmaceutical company, and i know they also expect a return on investment. but i also know when i'm sitting across from that patient and i am getting her history and i understand her risk profile for a certain disease, i want her to be able to have access to that test the it's available and i don't want anything standing in the way of that. what i think we got to do, sanjay, is have a balance between the innovation of discovery and then also a balance between making these tests available to people. at an affordable cost. >> and we're talking about this with respect to this particular issue, but what you just said, i think it could apply to science overall. fascinating stuff. thanks for being back. i always learn something when you're on the show. >> thanks for having me. i appreciate it. >> thank you so much, dr. rice. still ahead, chasing life to 100. i got a tip for you that i follow myself. it's called horahachi boo.
and we are back with sgmd. something i want you to remember, hara hachi bu. it's part of how you chase life to 100. and it's something i learned from the people on the japanese island of okinawa back in 1998. what it means is basically is don't overstuff yourself. you know, they push their plates away when they're only 80% full. it makes a lot of sense. i've been doing this for years now, especially when it comes to my own personal vice. ice cream. push that plate away. everything in moderation. that's going to wrap things up for "sgmd." you can follow me on twitter or facebook. you can get a sneak peek at next week's show. we're going to have a closer look at alzheimer's. it's the sixth leading cause of death in the united states and it's the only cause of death among the top ten that can't be prevented, cured or hardly even slowed down. make an appointment, come back and see us next saturday and sunday, 7:30 a.m