Friday Opinions: Uwe Reinhardt, Reps. Ron Paul And John Sarbanes, Minnesota Nurses’ Strike
Pitfalls Of The Health Mandate The New York Times
Alas, the penalties baked into the bill for disregarding the mandate, though not trivial, are low enough that many younger and healthier individuals are likely to find paying the penalty cheaper than owning up to the mandate. If that happens in significant numbers, as well it might, the premiums that private insurers will have to charge for the mandated coverage in the small-group market will be driven correspondingly higher (Uwe Reinhardt, 6/18).
Collectivizing Healthcare Costs Won't Make Health Better American Free Press
Congress should seize the opportunity to repeal the very worst aspect of this new legislation, namely the mandate that forces every American either to purchase health insurance or face an IRS penalty (Rep. Ron Paul, 6/18).
The Budget Uncertainties of Health Reform The Christian Science Monitor
The health care reform law could allow policymakers to back down from scheduled spending cuts or tax increases, or it could open new ways to rein in federal health spending (Donald Marron, 6/17).
Stopping the Medicare Fraud Gusher The Tampa Tribune
Since 1965, when Medicare was enacted, the federal Treasury has been hemorrhaging dollars. Previously, "10 percent" was quoted and re-quoted as the amount of fraud. More recently, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) alleged it to be 20 percent. ... Despite hundreds of millions of dollars shoveled into the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program ... federal prosecutors say they need still more "resources" and "tools" (Dr. Jane Orient, 6/18).
Why Employers Should Not Pay For Health Care The Denver Post
Until the consumer of health care is the person bearing the responsibility for costs of both insurance and health care, we will [have] a system that is unworkable. So, let's change the health care reform debate from whether government should be involved in health care and focus on the right question: Why should employers be involved in health care? (Gay Burke, 6/18).
Justify Rates The Philadelphia Inquirer
With the affordability of potentially lifesaving medical care at stake, officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are taking the right step in focusing renewed scrutiny on health insurers' exorbitant rate hikes and lavish spending on company executives (6/18).
Forget A Pay Raise; Just Help Us Care For Patients Safely Minnesota Public Radio
The huge effort by the Twin Cities hospitals to turn public opinion against us [nurses] is working. This is not about money. It is about ensuring that language is written into the new contract that protects us from having more patients than we can safely care for (Lisa Letourneau, 6/18).
Don't Let Funding Crisis Mutate Into AIDS Crisis The (Fort Lauderdale) Sun Sentinel
I know funding is scarce. However, ADAP [AIDS Drug Assistance Program] brings people infected with HIV, or living with AIDS, affordable, lifesaving options we believed impossible just 15 years ago. Fully funding this program cannot be deemed unaffordable (Tony Plakas, 6/16).
More Needed to Expand Primary Care The Baltimore Sun
Even though health reform is now law, our work is still far from done. We can find innovative solutions that will bring more physicians into primary care by reducing barriers for retired physicians to serve on a temporary or part-time basis, providing incentives for specialists to take on primary care patients, and training our returning military medics to work in health care (Rep. John Sarbanes, 6/17).