Viewpoints: Research Into Long Covid Can Benefit Other Conditions; Health Insurance Needs Post-Covid Overhaul
Opinion writers examine these covid topics, as well as health insurance matters.
Long Covid Could Reveal Clues To Alzheimer's, Lyme Disease
Last week, the U.S. Congress failed to approve $15 billion needed to continue Covid-19 precautions, even though today’s low case counts are likely to rise, as they are in Europe, with the sub-variant called BA.2. We’ve learned that some expensive mitigation measures, such as deep cleaning, are a waste of money, and could be scrapped, but funding for studying Covid should increase — not just for prevention measures and vaccines, but for research into the long-term consequences of infection. (Faye Flam, 3/16)
Hong Kong Omicron Surge: People Are Still Terrified Of Covid In China
China has been practically Covid-free for two years. Most people there do not know of any family and friends who got the disease. So when I caught the contagious omicron variant two weeks ago, I immediately broadcast the development to my friends there — if nothing else, it was an exciting break from the monotony of lockdown in Hong Kong. (Shuli Ren, 3/16)
The Washington Post:
Two Years Into Covid-19, Has Congress Learned Nothing?
Two years into the pandemic, Congress is poised to repeat what will almost certainly be a deadly mistake: waiting until it’s too late before investing in prevention. The United States is experiencing a relative lull in covid-19 infections. This is the ideal time to prepare for the next surge, which is what the Biden administration is trying to do. It has asked Congress for a reasonable $22.5 billion to purchase treatments, secure boosters and ensure that there is sufficient testing in case of new variants. This is a tiny fraction of the nearly $6 trillion allocated thus far on pandemic relief and will surely pay for itself many times over. (Leana S. Wen, 3/16)
Blame The Virus, Not Nursing Homes For Residents' Deaths In A Pandemic
The USA TODAY series “Dying for Care” does not help potential residents and their family members identify appropriate long-term care settings as intended. The series focuses on a narrow time period of the pandemic during the U.S. COVID surge in the fall of 2020 – a time when cases were rampant throughout the general population, deaths were at their height, and widespread availability of vaccines and treatments did not yet exist. Perhaps most important in regard to nursing homes during this time, providers were pleading with public health officials for resources to help protect their residents and staff, such as testing, personal protective equipment and staffing support, but little aid was provided. (Dr. David Gifford, 3/16)
A 'New Normal' Can't Mean The Same Old Health Insurance
President Joe Biden, in his first State of the Union, laid out a sweeping plan for the 'new normal' under the pandemic, with health care affordability as one of its centerpieces. As health care providers, we know the president's plan to close the Medicaid coverage gap and make health care premium subsidies more available would make a huge difference for our patients, especially amid an unpredictable pandemic and rising inflation. (Marisa K. Dowling, Jesper Ke and David Velasquz, 3/16)
The CT Mirror:
A Doc's Advice On Navigating Your Health Insurance
I am a medical doctor, chairman of a medical school department and faculty in a family medicine residency. I have a blood disorder that requires periodic visits to a specialist in New York City and I recently experienced a kidney stone attack, a surgical procedure and a brief hospitalization locally in Connecticut. I am employed in Connecticut and I receive my employer-based health insurance from an Insurance carrier located in California. The insurance company partners with a “third party administrator” (TPA) -a business that processes insurance claims for the Insurance company. The insurance company is part of a much larger Insurance organization with separate branches located in many states. Enough said. (Howard A. Selinger M.D., 3/17)
The Baltimore Sun:
Helping Small Businesses Help Their Employees: A Maryland Bill Aims To Subsidize Health Insurance Costs; Will It Survive?
A problem with having a big influx of funds, in this case hundreds of millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, is that it’s often accompanied by a long line of organizations with their hands out, advocating for one worthy cause after the other. The needs are almost always greater than the windfall, no matter how large, and many will leave empty-handed, despite the meaningful benefit their projects could offer individuals. (3/16)