Viewpoints: Effects Of Health Law; Conquering Ebola
The Washington Post: Deficit Anxiety Is Not The Answer. Here's What America Needs To Do
In case you don't follow me on Twitter, here it is: The Affordable Care Act has already helped slow the rate of growth in health-care costs across the board, putting more money in Americans' pockets and bringing down projected deficits even as millions more people sign up for health insurance and receive access to Medicaid. The improving economic picture, coupled with concerted measures by the Obama administration to reduce spending and increase revenue from the wealthiest Americans, mean the deficit has been more than halved and is expected to come in under 3 percent of gross domestic product this year — down from nearly 10 percent in early 2009 (John Podesta, 10/9).
The Washington Post: The Insiders: It Is A Myth That Obamacare Is 'Working'
As Election Day approaches, President Obama and his allies have been repeating a common refrain on the campaign trail and in the mainstream media that the Affordable Care Act is "working." ... There is a big difference between "working" and "having some effect." Of course Obamacare is having some effect – how could it not? Millions have lost the insurance plan they had and liked, millions have lost access to the doctor they had and liked, millions aren’t covered at their most convenient hospital, and millions have had to scramble to recover from the damage done by Obamacare. The law is having an effect, but in the real world, the effect is not positive (Ed Rogers, 10/9).
The Washington Post: America's Stake In The Ebola Fight
Ebola is a nightmare disease that travel restrictions cannot keep out. The correct response should be urgent concern — not panic — and an all-out crusade to extinguish the West Africa outbreak of the deadly virus at its source. This is essentially the Obama administration's strategy. But it needs to be explained more effectively to the public, and it needs to be part of a much bigger, coordinated effort by developed nations. Everyone has a stake in this. As far as Ebola is concerned, we are all Liberians (Eugene Robinson, 10/9).
USA Today: Ebola Panic Won't Contain It: Column
Even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new Ebola screening at key airports, the chorus of voices calling for much broader action got louder. Though reports of potential new infections were quickly knocked down, they fed growing public concern anyway. But overreacting might just be the way to spread the disease instead of contain it. It is a lesson we learned long ago. During the 14th century Black Death, Venice and other cities introduced a quarantine, shutting off their waters to ships suspected of carrying the disease, to no effect. Thousands of Venetians died. The city of Milan, well ahead of its time, avoided a major outbreak by isolating sick people and sealing off their houses (Marc Siegel, 10/9).
Bloomberg: Is There a Cure for Ebola Panic?
Should people in developed countries worry about Ebola? In a word, no. But that doesn't mean they won't. So government officials are justified in responding to the anxiety -- so long as dealing with the panic doesn't get in the way of fighting the epidemic (10/10).
Bloomberg: Enterovirus D68: The Stealthy Child-Killer
Americans are primed to fear the flu, and concerns about Ebola have consumers snapping up hand gels and face masks. U.S. health officials, however, are no less worried about a different virus, a stealthy, erratic child-killer that is poorly understood and can’t be reliably prevented or cured. Known as enterovirus D68, it has been found in five children who died suddenly, and researchers think it is responsible for leaving dozens of others paralyzed or gasping for breath as it rapidly spreads. Infectious disease experts are grappling with how to counsel frightened parents worried that every cold will turn deadly, while neurologists are looking for a way to identify and treat those most likely to develop severe complications (Michelle Fay Cortez, 10/10).