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From our president: All of you

Consumer Reports magazine: February 2013

If getting or staying healthy were as easy as a few energetic matches of tennis a week, I’d be all set. It’s been my sport of choice for decades, and I like to think I have the backhand (sadly, also the torn rotator cuff) to show for it.

Good health, however, takes a lot more than that. Our review of diet plans can help your waist and your well-being, the Ratings of ellipticals and treadmills can help your heart, and our tests of infomercial products can help your wallet.

But we also know that you’re confounded by some of the toughest health-care challenges, such as understanding health-care reform, choosing a hospital, and finding straightforward assessments of drugs. Glad you asked.

Health-care reform: Our experts have been living and breathing the new health-care law for years, so we’re well aware of how mind-boggling it can be. We figure that everyone can use a short and sweet distillation of the major changes and when they go into effect. So we’ve put together a series of brochures, including Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know Now (PDF).

CR Best Buy Drugs: Our free reports on dozens of the most common drugs ignore the glowing ads and go straight to the facts about the efficacy, safety, and cost of a host of meds. Each report presents expert medical review of the scientific evidence so that you can talk with your doctor about the best choices for you. Check out

Hospitals, heart surgeons, and health insurance: The wrong health-care decision could cost you your life savings—or your life. So we’ve posted hospital safety Ratings, insurance rankings, and top heart-surgery groups. (Some of the information is available to subscribers only.)

Need more? We also have Ratings of fish-oil supplements or blood glucose meters, the dirt on what’s in pork, and the dangers of overtreatment. A wicked serve? I’m afraid you’re on your own.

Jim Guest

Editor's Note:

This monthly letter to subscribers from Consumer Reports President Jim Guest highlights the critical consumer issues behind our current reports. See archived letters.

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