Viewpoints: Abortion Law Debates; Medicare Cost Examinations; State Reform Building Blocks
Politico: Anti-Abortion Hopefuls Should Sign Pledge
The Susan B. Anthony List's Pro-Life Leadership Pledge has garnered praise from a number of Republican presidential candidates, including Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Tim Pawlenty, each of whom has signed the pledge. It has also faced some misinformed criticism, however, not only from the media but from other presidential candidates who refuse to sign on to the pledge's four basic principles. The most notable of these candidates is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has penned his own anti-abortion pledge as a way to set forth to voters exactly where he stands on the issue (Marjorie Dannenfelser, 6/29).
Los Angeles Times: US Military's Abortion Policy Is Out Of Date
Under current law, the government's military healthcare program denies coverage of abortion care for servicewomen unless their lives are endangered by the pregnancy. The current ban even denies coverage to women who have been raped. In the case of rape, a woman may obtain an abortion at a military medical facility if she is willing to pay with private funds. ... Other federal employees and civilian women who obtain their healthcare through federal programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Indian Health Services and the federal prisons all receive abortion coverage in cases of rape (Lawrence J. Korb, 6/30).
Fox News: Planned Parenthood Is Not Essential To Women's Health Care In Indiana
Planned Parenthood claims that defunding their group in Indiana will "take away health care from thousands of women in Indiana, leaving them at greater risk for undetected cancers, untreated infections and unintended pregnancies." But Planned Parenthood employees tell a different story. Today, on June 29, Live Action is releasing videos where our group's undercover investigators called 16 of the 28 Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics posing as women who use Medicaid to pay for medical bills. They asked questions about where to obtain care and voiced concerns that the medical facilities be close by and must accept Medicaid. In direct contrast to what Planned Parenthood has claimed, every single one of its own employees were quick to refer women to an abundance of other facilities, admitting they easily could access care elsewhere at another facility where Medicaid was accepted (Lila Rose, 6/29).
Kansas City Star: End Arrogant Attack On Abortion Clinics
The latest political attack on abortion providers in Kansas is misguided, arrogant and dishonest, and opens up a state struggling to pay for schools to a long list of clearly indefensible lawsuits. This attack came in the form of what is known as a TRAP law, a "targeted regulation of abortion providers." Under the guise of ensuring the safety of patients, Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature this year created a new regulation category for abortion providers, and gave the Kansas Department of Health and Environment broad authority to write the rules (6/29).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: On Abortion, Wisconsin Fights Back
In a June 22 op-ed in the Journal Sentinel, Maria Peeples, a member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Young Leaders Advisory Council, lamented Wisconsin's decreasing tolerance of abortion. Wisconsin politicians are "pushing pet legislation written by political groups to make abortion care impossible to get," Peeples wrote. "They don't care that for a Wisconsin woman in need of abortion care, there are only a handful of places to go, not to mention numerous legal hurdles once she gets there." But women "need" abortion care about as much as an unborn fetus needs a vacuum to the brain(Dan Kenitz, 6/29).
The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare Doesn't Add Up
Remember the much ballyhooed ObamaCare promise to "bend the health care cost curve down"? Well, a new Congressional Budget Office report on the long-term trend in the federal budget finds that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid will drive federal spending and debt to all-time highs in coming decades. In one scenario, federal health-care spending doubles over the next 25 years, to 11 percent of GDP in 2035 from 5.6 percent this year. In another scenario, the debt eclipses 100 percent of GDP by 2021 and 190 percent of GDP by 2035. That's higher than where Greece is right now, and we see what the bond vigilantes are doing there (Stephen Moore, 6/29).
Houston Chronicle: Children Will Get The Tab For Our Medicare Coverage
Medicare beneficiaries sometimes tell me that they are entitled to Medicare benefits because they earned them by contributing to the system for their entire careers. In a purely legal sense that is true, since the law provides that a person qualifies for Medicare if that person has paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. However, very few people actually put enough into the Medicare system to pay for their own benefits (Bill King, 6/29).
Houston Chronicle: Texas Health Bill Provides Building Blocks For Reform
The few remaining health care visionaries in the Texas Legislature shared a common dream this session - that our fractured, inefficient and expensive health care delivery system could be redesigned into a clinically integrated, collaborative, high-performing structure to ensure patients receive the right care, at the right time, in the right setting in order to lower or at least slow the growth in the cost of care. More than ever before, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seemed to get it. Unsustainable health care costs, a symptom of poor quality and inadequate management of chronic disease, had pushed government, employers and individuals alike to the brink (Tom Banning, 6/29).
McClatchy: Rep. Giffords' Health Care Should Be For Everyone
We all should be as lucky as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. After taking a bullet to the head, she not only survived but she's now been released from the rehabilitation hospital where she has lived since Jan. 26. She's been very fortunate to be getting high-quality, extensive rehabilitation and support. Many Americans with brain injuries and other disabilities who need a similar level of assistance are simply out of luck (Mike Ervin, 6/29).
Kansas City Star: Healthy Victory At City Hall
Kansas City's health insurance plan is saving millions of dollars for taxpayers while avoiding rate increases for city employees. It's a success story worth emulating. Most immediately, Mayor Sly James needs to lead the effort to create a unified health insurance system with the Police Department, which has long refused to participate with the city (6/29).
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Here's Why Health Care "Rationing" Is Old News
Last week, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), an obstetrician, trotted out a well-worn canard about the Affordable Care Act: It will kill old people. Gingrey had trained his overheated rhetoric on one portion of the new law - the Independent Payment Advisory Board. ... Gingrey's gambit was a bit desperate. He managed to remind voters that the plan he favors - a proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program - has its own considerable political liabilities. He also put the spotlight on what is arguably the smartest innovation in the new health care law - an independent panel of experts who will make decisions about cutting Medicare costs (Cynthia Tucker, 6/30).
(San Jose) Mercury News: California Mental Health Programs, Funding Need An Overhaul
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg had the best of intentions in 2004 when he championed Proposition 63 as the remedy for California's failure to make mental health a legislative priority. He believed a lack of resources was the problem, and a tax on wealthy Californians would be the antidote. But as the Mercury News' Karen de Sá reported Sunday, too much of the $7.4 billion generated since 2004 by the mental health tax has gone to programs only loosely linked to prevention, treatment and recovery. So we are back where we were before Proposition 63: California still needs a major overhaul of the way it provides services for the mentally ill (6/29).
Forbes: What Health Care Program Should Replace ObamaCare?
It will take nothing less than a new president (or the much longer odds of the election of a filibuster-proof Republican Senate majority) to repeal Obamacare and start over. Or maybe the Supreme Court will throw it out. Then what? Republicans still have to offer a way out of the deeply flawed employer-provided system that undergirds Obama. The idea of untaxed out-of-pocket dollars covering routine expenses and subsidized catastrophic insurance covering large expenditures is the most efficient and equitable model. What it really does, as [Bill] Thomas pointed out, is redistribute health care buying power (Rich Danker, 6/29).