Viewpoints: Government Can Stay Out Of Health Care For Millions Of Americans; GOP Won’t Go Along With Drug Price Controls
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
Why Should Government Get Involved In Health Care For People Who Don’t Need Assistance?
History shows that if government would get out of the way and allow the free market to do its thing, there is no telling what solutions would emerge for health care. New technologies utilizing the Internet, cell phones, Skype, and artificial intelligence would be fully exploited. Competition would bring down prices, as we have seen in areas of medical care not covered by the government or insurance companies. Sanders complains that America is "the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee health care to all people." America also is the richest country on Earth. Has he ever considered that the two may be related? It is precisely because America does not hand over control of large sectors of its economy to the government that we have had such economic success. (Jim Breslo, 9/21)
Elizabeth Warren's Choice: 'Medicare For All' Purity Or A Path To Beating Donald Trump?
Elizabeth Warren is increasingly less of a long shot to win the Democratic presidential nomination, as a new Iowa poll shows. She now has a window to either expand her appeal to millions of voters who are uncertain about her candidacy, or make sure they write her off. It all comes down to health care. (Jill Lawrence, 9/23)
Los Angeles Times:
Drug Price Controls Have Support, But Not Enough
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s long-awaited prescription drug legislation has drawn much attention for its relatively modest proposal to have Medicare negotiate with drugmakers over the price of no more than 250 high-cost drugs per year. What’s more interesting — because it has a better chance of becoming law — is the bill’s proposal to cap annual price increases for all drugs covered by Medicare at no more than the rate of inflation. (Jon Healey, 9/20)
The New York Times:
We’re Ignoring The Biggest Cause Of The Measles Crisis
The problem is that we are misdirecting our attention. Much of it is focused on the global anti-vaccine movement. But there is a much larger group: the “vaccine hesitant.” These people intentionally delay or deviate from the routine schedule, staggering vaccine administration according to their own timeline. This leaves children without adequate protection from preventable diseases and puts their community at risk for outbreaks. And it’s unscientific. (Jennifer Lighter, 9/22)
Cokie Roberts: A Beacon For Cancer Survivors Like Me
Cokie Roberts wore about as many hats as her full name, Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts: “Legendary journalist.” “Best-selling author. “Emmy award winner.” A “founding mother of NPR.” She was all these but there’s one more moniker that resonated with me and many, many others: “cancer survivor.” News of her death — from “complications from breast cancer,” as her family said in a statement — came unexpectedly this week. (Steven Petrow, 9/21)
The New York Times:
Emergency Medical Workers Deserve Pay Equity
Paramedics and E.M.T.s are just as professional as firefighters and should be compensated accordingly. (9/21)
Pastors Die By Suicide, Too: How Churches Can Address Mental Health
The death by apparent suicide of Pastor Jarrid Wilson stunned many of us, forcing us to try to answer the question: How do we deal with mental health in church? I don’t know Jarrid’s story intimately, but I do know what it’s like to long for death when I feel hopeless. I was a pastor when I nearly died by suicide. If you had to read that sentence a second time, I get it. It’s pretty jarring to read. At 29 years old, my life had reached a point where I felt there was no hope, so I tried to die in a hotel room, with a Bible in my lap, as I feverishly wrote my suicide notes. I prayed I would never wake up. That was seven years ago this month. (Steve Austin, 9/22)
The Two Most Important Mental Health Reforms The Trump Administration Should Consider
Mental health advocates were delighted to read recent media reports stating that the Trump administration is researching several initiatives designed to improve treatment of the seriously mentally ill. These initiatives include researching the ability of personal technology to help people with mental illness, moving the homeless in California to government housing, and keeping guns from a small group of people with serious mental illness who are potentially violent. But there are two much more important initiatives that should be on the table — and very well may be, if comments President Trump made in August are any indication. (DJ Jaffe, 9/20)
Genome Editing Needs A Dose Of Slow Science
The hubris of some scientists knows no bounds. Less than a year after He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysicist, drew scorn and censure for creating gene-edited twins, Denis Rebrikov, a Russian molecular biologist, boldly announced his plan to follow in He’s genome editing footsteps. Rebrikov’s initial stated goal for his proposed research was to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected women to their offspring, though he later suggested other targets, including dwarfism, deafness, and blindness. (Francoise Baylis, 9/23)
The Washington Post:
D.C.’s Assisted Suicide Law Is Going Unused. That’s Not Surprising.
It’s no surprise that the the District’s assisted suicide program isn’t popular. When it was legalized two years ago, health officials estimated as many as 10 people annually would elect to die this way. The reality? Two of four individuals who registered to die via assisted suicide went through with it, and only minimal information was made available on any of the four people involved. A single-page report released last month by the D.C. Health Department states, “In 2018 there were four prescriptions written for a covered medication, two qualified patients died.” Few other details are offered about the two female cancer patients who ingested lethal medications or about the two patients who died without taking the drugs. (G. Kevin Donovan, 9/21)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Trump Administration Food-Stamp Cuts Would Be Devastating To Ohio Seniors
The Trump administration’s proposal to end SNAP’s so-called “broad-based categorical eligibility” policy is both cruel and counterproductive. First, it would force 108,000 very low-income Ohioans — 7 percent of the state’s SNAP recipients — out of the program, according to the Mathematica policy research group. The proposal would disproportionately impact older adults in Ohio, with 16 percent of households with seniors losing SNAP, Mathematica found. (Rachel Cahill And Paul Bernier, 9/22)