I'm sick of talking about healthcare. Maybe you are, too. It's in the news nonstop, and it's in that stack of bills and insurance company denials on your desk. At least income taxes are only a head-splitting problem once a year. Healthcare has become a chronic, 12-month ache.
But we both know that we've got no choice. It's too important to ignore. Not like the old days when you just put yourself and your family in the hands of an all-knowing doctor and thought you had done everything you could. Of course, it was never that simple, and some of those docs were better off being second-guessed. Today there is certainly more of a burden on the consumer to help find the best experts and the best outcome, but there is also more information to guide you. Smarter patients can make doctors better. A few doctors are even willing to admit that.
In our December print issue—on newsstands now—and here online, we take an in-depth look at both the personal and the policy aspects of healthcare at a crucial moment in our history. Managing your health starts with staying well, and the common-sense values of exercise, diet, and disease prevention are things our writers are constantly evaluating and updating. What to do when you or a family member becomes ill is a problem at the other end of the spectrum, and we have long provided reporting and resources to guide you through difficult times. We look at new thinking regarding cancer, heart disease, and ADHD, among other topics. Then there's managing your insurance. To help with that happy task, our annual ranking of the country's best health plans allows you to see where yours ranks and whether there might be better choices.
Looming reform. We also look at Washington, where a 2,000-page, trillion-dollar (give or take a few hundred billion dollars) piece of legislation is moving through the system. Do not underestimate the size of this undertaking or its importance to everything from the nation's economic well-being to your own disposable income. Will it work? At what cost? What will it mean to you? We look at some of the key trends and offer prescriptions from our experts. But we also know that legislation this massive is a moving target with many twists to come before it finally takes effect. We'll be keeping you up to date on developments at both usnews.com and in our digital U.S. News Weekly (sign up at www.usnews.com/subscribe).
Online you'll also find literally thousands of pages of information designed to help you manage your health. You'll find our searchable rankings of hospitals and nursing homes, the most up-to-date information on major diseases provided by the best medical sources, and analysis of the latest health news.
Share with us your experiences with the healthcare system. Have you been satisfied with your hospitals, doctors, and other health professionals? Unhappy? Anxious about the future? Please send me your thoughts below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.