Today’s OpEds: Public Opinion And Health Reform; Hospitals And Cost Cuts; Medicare Fraud ‘Gusher’
Reform Moves Ahead The New York Times
Less than four months after Congress approved historic health care reform legislation, the Obama administration has been making good progress in bringing some early benefits to fruition and issuing rules to guide the reform process. Despite all of the critics' hype and scare tactics, some polls suggest that the public perception of reform is slowly improving (7/18).
When Bad News About Health Reform Isn't Bad Kaiser Health News
Taking the blame for anything and everything that goes wrong in health care has always been the biggest political danger to reform, at least in the short term. The Obama administration and the Democrats now "own" health care just as surely as they own General Motors. But before Sean Hannity or the Wall Street Journal editorial page get their hands on these stories, let's be clear about something: Those headlines don't highlight reform's problems. They actually highlight its virtues (Jonathan Cohn, 7/19).
As Massachusetts Health 'Reform' Goes, So Could Go Obamacare The Washington Post
If you want a preview of President Obama's health-care 'reform,' take a look at Massachusetts. In 2006, it enacted a 'reform' that became a model for Obama. What's happened since isn't encouraging. The state did the easy part: expanding state-subsidized insurance coverage. It evaded the hard part: controlling costs and ensuring that spending improves people's health. Unfortunately, Obama has done the same (Robert Samuelson, 7/19).
How To Care For 30 Million More Patients The Wall Street Journal
With an aging population and millions of expected new patients, chronic disease rates are expected to rise. What we need is a new health-care delivery model in which the primary-care physician is complemented by a team of professionals and providers. Congress should enable pharmacists to become part of that team (R. Pete Vanderveen, 7/19).
Hospitals Seem To Think Cost-Cutting Is For Everybody But Them The Baltimore Sun
Ladies and gents, see the Eighth Wonder of the World: An industry that wants immunity from cost-cutting. The miserable economy puts pressure on everybody's ability to pay for everything, including health care. But medicine, the business that's eating larger and larger pieces of the American economy, doesn't want to slow down for somebody else's recession (Jay Hancock, 7/18).
Looking To The Future Of Children's Health Care The Daytona Beach News-Journal
To appreciate the many advantages for children's health coverage under the recently passed national health reform legislation and the existing child health insurance program for low-income children, Florida KidCare, it is necessary to understand the disadvantages of children without health care coverage and how the community can make a difference (Linda Merrell, 7/19).
US Taxpayers Soon To Taste The Bitter Fruit Of Obamacare The San Francisco Examiner
Get ready for your life to change. The so-called benefits of Obamacare don't start until 2014, but the tax increases, misallocated resources and federal regulations start now (Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, 7/19).
Shaping Health Care Reform In Colorado The Summit Daily News
As national health care reform comes to Colorado, emotionally charged opinions, political maneuvering and a constitutional challenge will greet its arrival. The one thing on which we can all agree is these reforms will affect what, how and to whom health care is delivered - and at what cost - for generations to come (Anne Warhover, 7/19).
End The 'Doc Fix' The Chicago Tribune
Lawmakers need to fix the doc fix ... or watch more physicians walk away from Medicare. So here's our prescription: Scrap the broken formula. Create one that pays doctors to provide high quality, efficient care, not just to provide more care. For instance, reward doctors who eliminate unnecessary tests and treatments (7/19).
Medicare Corruption Gusher Worsens The Miami Harold
Medicare is the biggest drain on the federal budget, and epidemic fraud is the biggest drain on Medicare. Most older Americans depend on the program to cover many health-care expenses, but the system is sagging and bloated. Experts say Medicare fraud in South Florida costs U.S. taxpayers between $3 billion and $4 billion annually (Carl Hiassen, 7/17).
Fighting AIDS On Limited Budgets The New York Times
With the AIDS epidemic still spreading rapidly around the globe, public health programs have to use their resources a lot more effectively. The need for greater efficiency in a time of limited resources is an important theme of President Obama's new national AIDS strategy. The same argument is being made by the United Nations agency that battles the epidemic and by Bill Gates, whose foundation plays an influential role in financing a global response (7/16).