Viewpoints: Blocking An Abortion Option For Military Women; Plan B Pushback; Solving Wis. Doc Shortage
The New York Times: An Injustice For Women In Uniform
Republican Senate leaders have an odd way of showing gratitude for the dedication and sacrifices of the more than 200,000 women on active duty in the military. Late last month, they blocked consideration of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have lifted the statutory ban that denies female service members coverage for abortion care in cases of rape and incest (12/11).
The Washington Post: With The Plan B Decision, The Obama Administration Broke Its Promise
I resigned from the FDA in 2005 after serving for five years as assistant commissioner for women’s health. I left because of my frustration that this safe and effective emergency contraceptive pill, Plan B, had been repeatedly blocked from going on sale over the counter (Susan F. Wood, 12/9).
Des Moines Register: Feds' Pill Decision Lacks Common Sense
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has enough to do overseeing her huge federal agency. She's responsible for everything from implementing the new health reform law to overseeing Medicare and Medicaid. She should leave decisions about the safety of individual drugs to the experts charged with that task: those at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately, Sebelius didn't (12/9).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Spurning Science On Morning-After Pill
The agency's recommendation to make it available over-the-counter was consistent with positions taken by the nation's most prestigious medical, scientific and public health organizations. The secretary and president say their decision was based on the health and safety of younger girls. But the risks, consequences and long-term effects of pregnancy for 11- to 16-year-olds far outweigh the dangers of using Plan B (12/11).
The New York Times: Expanding the Fight Against AIDS
We welcome the Obama administration’s announcement of a farsighted effort to treat millions more infected people abroad, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. ... We also welcome a new campaign by New York City to provide prompt and sustained treatment to anyone diagnosed with the virus (12/9).
The Dallas Morning News: 'Preventive' Health Panel Takes On Ominous New Meaning
Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. That seems to be the motto now of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force as it seeks to cut costs by eliminating screening tests that could result in false positives and, perhaps, lead to biopsies and other procedures that might spend money unnecessarily (Lee Cullum, 12/11).
The Baltimore Sun: Bring Back The 'Public Option'
Thanks to the anti-"public option" hysteria of a very loud few that gravely wounded a great attempt at revolutionary health care reform, we are left with a huge increase, in the coming years, of public funds directed to the same profiteering, investor-owned companies. Maybe the anti-Obama forces have it exactly right by seeking to repeal "Obamacare" — so that it may be rewritten to finally include a public insurance alternative (Scott Carroll, 12/12).
Boston Globe: Steward's Moves Unsettle Others, But More Competition Is Helpful
After gulping up community hospitals around the state this past year, the for-profit Steward [Health Care System] has started poaching doctors from its rivals — first from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s physician group last month, and now last week from Partners HealthCare. ... As competition between hospital chains increases, so too should the level of transparency about the state of the health care industry (12/12).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Older Minnesotans Need A New Way To Afford Care
Whenever Minnesotans fume about chronic government deficits and pinched public services in the face of rising demand, there's an elephant in the room that's seldom explicitly acknowledged. It's long-term care for the impoverished frail elderly…. "Government will provide" isn't a sensible long-term care plan. But neither is "You're on your own." Minnesota ought to be a leader in finding a third way (Lori Sturdevant, 12/10).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Coordinated Approach Needed To Fill Shortage
One of Wisconsin's premier health care groups is warning in a new report that the state faces a serious shortage of physicians in the coming years .... Ensuring that the state has enough of the right kind of physicians also will require additional residency slots, persuading more Wisconsin-trained physicians to stay here once they are trained, loan forgiveness for grads who remain here and other measures (12/10).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In Rural Wisconsin, A Third School Is Needed
Establishing a third medical school will not solve Wisconsin's growing physician shortage, but it would be a big step in the right direction (Duane Erwin, 12/10).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Fixing State Medical Assistance
Wisconsin has treated our poor to better health care than what federal law requires, the number of beneficiaries has skyrocketed since 1998 and the current program is on an unsustainable path that needs to be corrected if we hope to preserve this safety net for Wisconsin's neediest (Brett Healy, 12/10).