Perspectives: Perfect Time To Relieve States Of Funding Burden For Expanded Medicaid; Lessons On Preventing Another Nursing Home Nightmare
Editorial pages focus on these health care issues and others.
The New York Times:
A Deal To Save Medicaid, The Unemployed And State Budgets
Covid-19’s economic devastation has revealed gaping holes in our safety net, as decades-old structures for Medicaid and unemployment insurance are compounding the pain caused by disease and job loss. Let’s be honest, we would not today design them as they were created. The CARES Act took steps to fix these programs, but they need permanent institutional reform and modernization. As the next stimulus package focuses on state and local aid, nothing would give greater assistance to state and local budgets than to be relieved of their share of funding for Medicaid and unemployment insurance. They should then be required to use that savings to boost their investment in infrastructure and education, invigorating states’ fiscal health and their economies. (Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Rahm Emanuel, 6/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Covid Age Penalty
By now it’s clear that people older than 65 are the most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, and the age penalty is especially severe for the elderly with underlying health conditions. This is a tragedy in lives cut short, but it also means that states and cities should be able to lift their lockdowns safely if they focus on protecting vulnerable Americans. About 80% of Americans who have died of Covid-19 are older than 65, and the median age is 80. A review by Stanford medical professor John Ioannidis last month found that individuals under age 65 accounted for 4.8% to 9.3% of all Covid-19 deaths in 10 European countries and 7.8% to 23.9% in 12 U.S. locations. (6/12)
Covid-19 And Remdesivir: Rethinking How We Measure Drug "Value"
As pharmaceutical and biotech companies scramble to identify treatments for Covid-19, a new disease that initially had none, we must begin to figure out what is an appropriate pricing approach — and price — for emerging therapies. Remdesivir, Gilead Sciences’ repurposed antiviral drug, offers the first opportunity to do this. (Patricia Deverka, Louis Garrison and Samuel Nussbaum, 6/15)
A Mutation Shows Why The Coronavirus Is Such A Formidable Foe
All living organisms mutate and adapt to maximize survival in their ecologic niche. For months, scientists have been looking into whether the novel coronavirus -- known as SARS-CoV-2 -- is mutating and becoming more transmissible or more lethal. Recent evidence points to a preliminary answer to half the question: yes, a study has found that the virus has mutated and the dominant strain today is now capable of infecting more human cells. But the scientists say more research is needed to show whether this changed the course of the pandemic, and it remains unclear whether this mutation is more lethal. (William A. Haseltine, 6/12)
The New York Times:
As A Black Doctor, Should I Choose My Skin Color Or My Health?
As a black emergency medicine physician, concern about the spread of Covid-19 at protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd is not top of my mind. And yet many continue to seize on this concern. The risk of spread of Covid-19 is clearly elevated at demonstrations: People are yelling, stirring up respiratory droplets and projecting them into the air; people are marching long distances, exerting themselves and taking gulps of air in the process; people are standing and kneeling much less than six feet from one another; and mask use is, over all, abundant but admittedly inconsistent. And yet — the tension between Covid-19 and the protests did not even occur to me until a journalist asked. And why not? Because as a black physician, I understand that the protests are the necessary medicine for both ills. (Steven McDonald, 6/14)
COVID-19 Vaccine In Warp Speed
As COVID-19 rages to its highest level in more than a dozen states, it is still killing as many as 1,000 Americans every single day. This isn’t going to stop until we have a vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine would save tens of thousands of American lives and help rescue the economy, but the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed plan is underfunded and inadequate. (Kaitlin Hunter and David Kendall, 6/14)
The Washington Post:
Forgive Tucker Carlson For His Panicky Desperation. His World Is Collapsing.
Credit Carlson for honesty: He wants riot footage, and that’s about it. As for the footage that touched off the protests, well, the Erik Wemple Blog reviewed transcripts and could find no record that Carlson showed the video of Floyd’s death. Media Matters for America, an organization that scours Fox News coverage, told us it found nothing. We’ve asked Fox News about editorial decisions on the Floyd footage and will update with any response. (Erik Wemple , 6/13)
Los Angeles Times:
Sheltering From Coronavirus And Loneliness In A Halfway House
We often pack the living room to watch a movie. We sit shoulder to shoulder for morning meditation. Most of us sleep two to a room. Some us worry about it all, but most of us don’t. We might make a nervous joke when someone coughs. But no one really wants to make it an issue. We even went to get tested for COVID-19 together. This is communal living in the time of coronavirus. (Chris Vognar, 6/15)
Trump Is Kicking The LGBTQ Community While We're Down
The Trump administration yanked the rug out from under more than a million Americans on Friday by removing protections that prohibit discrimination in health care against transgender patients. This move -- announced on the four-year anniversary of a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people died -- is cruel and unusual punishment from an administration that chooses to represent a small and extreme fringe pushing to further marginalize the already disadvantaged. (Allison Hope, 6/13)