Different Takes: Is Single Payer A Bad Idea For California?; Wellness-Focused Health Care Is The Future
Opinion writers weigh in on mental health, vaccine inequity and more.
San Francisco Chronicle:
California Should Wake Up From Its Single-Payer Dreams
Single-payer health care has new life in California. State lawmakers just introduced AB1400, legislation that would launch a government takeover of the state’s health insurance system, effectively banning private coverage and enrolling every Californian in the same plan. One of the bill’s co-authors, Assembly member Miguel Santiago, says that putting the state in charge of Californians’ care will deliver a “health care model that is affordable and accessible to all.” Assembly Member Ash Kalra agrees, saying that single-payer would “save lives” and “improve public health.” (Sally C. Pipes, 3/19)
Los Angeles Times:
Getting Past Disease To The Science Of Wellness
America was sick before COVID-19 struck. The pandemic has made our national sickness more acute and illustrated the critical importance of “wellness” in preventing disease and optimizing health. We know this because COVID disproportionately affected people with chronic illness and unhealthful lifestyles. As a scientist who has worked at the leading edge of medicine, engineering and genetics for decades, I’m on a quest to give mind and body wellness the scientific rigor and urgency it deserves. No doctor, policy or breakthrough drug is as effective as “wellness” at minimizing disease and enhancing the length and quality of life. (Leroy Hood, 3/21)
4 Tips For Secretary Becerra From A Veteran HHS Partner
Secretary Xavier Beccera, congratulations on your confirmation to lead the Health and Human Services Department! Your tenure in Congress and experience serving the large and diverse citizenry of California make you an ideal steward of America’s health care system. What I offer here is not a road map for navigating politics and bureaucracy, but some practical advice from a former governor who has partnered with presidents and Cabinet secretaries to turn health policy into real-world assistance for sick and endangered Americans. (Steve Beshear, 3/22)
Dallas Morning News:
The Pandemic Has Crushed Young People’s Spirits
If there has been a common experience of this current age of pandemic, it is the unsettling feeling of dislocation — temporal, sensory, social. It’s a troubling human problem that appears to manifest in the young especially, and most acutely in teenagers and young adults who are in the most important stage of their lives for developing, understanding and exploring those very parts of life. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey showed that during the pandemic, some 63% of 18- to-24-year olds have experienced anxiety or depression, with roughly a quarter also contemplating suicide. One public health expert, Boston University’s Dr. Sarah Lipson, was involved in a separate survey revealing that the pandemic has adversely affected the mental health of 80% of college students. (Thomas S. Hibbs, 3/21)
Accepting The Possibility Of Death Is Becoming More Common
It was well past midnight, but I couldn't see the time because a steady stream of tears blurred my vision. I sat in a slumped zombie posture at the computer, too exhausted from months of lockdown to be productive, but too anxious to sleep. I spent nights like these ferociously typing poorly-crafted love notes to my toddler, who I woefully reflected was too young to remember me if I wound up another victim to this once-in-a-century plague. (Allison Hope, 3/21)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
I Don’t Mistrust Vaccines. I Mistrust Government Distribution.
I don’t lack trust in any of the available vaccines. I do, however, mistrust their distribution. Most commentary on the disparities in vaccination rates among white, Black, and Latino populations has focused on vaccine hesitancy and mistrust as driving poor immunization rates for people of color. The narratives attempt to explain a crisis by saying: People of color don’t choose vaccination. I disagree. What we really have is a crisis of biased distribution that overlooks communities of color. (Shedra Amy Snipes, 3/19)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Why Are Black People Being Treated Like America’s Vaccine Hesitancy Problem?
Never mistake hesitancy for rejection. Just because the average person might say she’s hesitant about going to the dentist or being admitted for surgery doesn’t mean she ends up not doing either, especially if they’re critical procedures. It just means that person is being human and weighing conflicted feelings. Some of us are private about that skepticism and some of us are public. Harboring doubt, in that sense, is healthy because it keeps us alert. That’s exactly what most Black people who have been wrongfully accustomed to years of medical neglect, racism, and violence are doing right now: staying alert. We should be. (Ivan Walks and Charles Ellison, 3/19)