Viewpoints: ‘Medicare For All’ Is Doomed, But Harris Has Other Health Care Ideas That Make Sense; Congress Needs To Protect Safety Of Everyday Drugs
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
Kamala Harris Has A Good Health-Care Idea
As Democratic presidential candidates veer left to satisfy the party’s radical base, it’s easy to dismiss their ideas as “a fantasy world,” to quote Joe Biden. Even so, they occasionally have an idea worth considering. Consider Sen. Kamala Harris’s health-care plan. She starts where Bernie Sanders does, with the goal of ending both employer-based insurance and private coverage in the ObamaCare exchanges. And she corrals everyone into Medicare. So far, so radical. But unlike Mr. Sanders, she retains the Medicare Advantage program, under which more than a third of seniors enroll in private insurance. That’s a big difference. (John C. Goodman, 8/7)
Congress Should Not Compromise Prescription Drug Safety
America is getting older. More than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. This demographic shift highlights the need for affordable medicines that will help older Americans stay healthy, active, and productive lives. Biologics, new treatments made from living organisms, offer relief to seniors with chronic conditions such as arthritis. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate the number of adults in the U.S. living with arthritis to be about 54 million. The number may be even larger, with younger patients not seeking treatment. (Richard Fiesta, 8/5)
The Washington Post:
Trump And Sanders Look To Canada For Affordable Drugs. But We’re Not A Good Model To Follow — Yet.
Presidential hopefuls in the United States don’t typically campaign abroad. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), however, made an exception recently when he traveled across the Michigan-Ontario border on a chartered bus with diabetes patients who were headed to Windsor to purchase affordable insulin in Canada. Sanders’s foreign visit directed a message home: Prescription drug prices in America are too high and must come down. (David Moscrop, 8/7)
If We Don't Act Fast, Hepatitis A Will Become A National Epidemic
As a physician who is concerned about public health, I am glad that President Trump has been shining a spotlight on homelessness and associated squalor in many of our major cities. One associated public health concern is Hepatitis A, a virus that spreads through contaminated food and water. (Marc Siegel, 8/7)
Mail-Order DNA Tests Can Be Fun, But They Aren’t Medical Advice
Theodora Ross, a cancer geneticist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, says that to Silicon Valley types, she is like a taxi driver competing against the more convenient, Uber-like direct-to-consumer companies such as 23andMe. “They think we don’t need to exist,” she said. The techy approach invites consumers to swab a cheek and mail in the sample, and promises to reveal a broad swath of genetic information. But unbeknownst to many seekers, direct-to-consumer services don’t deliver what a cancer geneticist like Ross does. Some people, after submitting DNA to such companies, end up in her office, panicked over what turn out to be a false results. (Faye Flam, 8/7)
El Paso Times:
Why Does Texas Allow 730 People A Year To Die Needlessly?
If you could save 730 Texans' lives each year, would you? If you could, but didn't, are you a murderer? You decide. Here are the pertinent facts: Texas is the nation's most medically uninsured state, with 4.5 million uninsured, 623,000 of them children. The Affordable Care Act provided a Medicaid expansion designed to cover the working poor whose incomes were too big to qualify for Medicaid, but way too small to afford health insurance. Texas alone would have received $10 billion a year. In 2012, Texas and other Republican-run states went all the way to the Supreme Court to win the right to refuse this money. Texas' attorney general at the time, current Gov. Greg Abbott, took the lead for the plaintiff states, with the full support of then-Gov. Rick Perry. (8/7)
The Wall Street Journal:
California Goes To The Rats
Rising homelessness in California has spurred a rodent boom and resurgence of medieval disease. So naturally Democrats in the state Legislature want to ban rat poison. ...Low-income folks who live near homeless populations as usual will suffer the greatest harm from the rat-poison ban. If only there were an antidote to California’s toxic progressive politics.(8/7)