Viewpoints: Sebelius On Medical Errors; Lieberman On Medicare; The Massachusetts Track Record
San Francisco Chronicle: We Can Provide Better Care At Less Cost
There is no doubt that America has the world's most skilled doctors and nurses and its finest hospitals. Every day, many Americans receive care that is as good as or better than any in the world. But far too often, we fall short of that high standard when good people get trapped in flawed systems (Kathleen Sebelius and Sue Currin, 6/10).
The Washington Post: How Medicare Can Be Saved
Instead of beginning nonpartisan discussions to fix Medicare, the health insurance program that millions of seniors depend on and that contributes enormously to our long-term debt, Congress has turned the Medicare funding crisis into another excuse for partisan pugilism. It is enough to make you want to become an independent (Joe Lieberman, 6/9).
National Journal: The Cook Report: Too Good To Last
Hardly a day goes by that a prominent Democratic member of Congress doesn't criticize Republicans on Medicare. From Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on down, Democrats are attacking House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans for trying to "end Medicare as we know it." Obviously, Democrats aren't doing it on a whim. Many in the party attribute their special-election win last month in New York's 26th Congressional District to their attacks on the Ryan plan (Charlie Cook, 6/9).
The New York Times: What They Think In Massachusetts
Discount most of what you hear from Republican critics about the alleged failures of health care reform in Massachusetts, the template for the national reform law. The people who should know best - residents of Massachusetts - have just given their state's reform law, which was enacted in 2006, a strong vote of confidence (6/9).
Baltimore Sun: Corporations Profit From Health Care Waste
The United States wastes about $3,000 per person annually in health care spending - nearly $1 trillion a year. That's bad enough. Even more disturbing is who gets that trillion. The fact is, we cannot understand politics in the U.S. by watching mainstream media or following the arguments of Democrats and Republicans. That's because neither side is honestly addressing the main problem. In the U. S., according to Rick Kronick, a political scientist at the University of California at San Diego, "health care costs [are] going up at 2.4 percent a year faster than GDP." ... In the next highest-spending nation, annual per-capital costs run about $5,000. Our health spending is remarkably above average and yet our health outcomes are below average for developed nations (Charlie Cooper, 6/9).
Denver Post: Don't Forget Obamacare
Democrats will often get irritable when some clingy philistine refers to Obamacare as "socialized medicine." It's simply not a precise phrase for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In any event, it's not socialized yet, you ignoramuses! Progress doesn't happen overnight. No worries, though. Recent signs portend that Obamacare will give us the state-run plan we proles deserve. A new study published in McKinsey Quarterly claims that in 2014, the provisions of Obamacare will induce three in 10 employers to "definitely or probably" stop offering health coverage to their employees. And we can only assume the companies have had the good sense not to read the legislation (David Harsanyi, 6/10).
Sacramento Bee: Blue Shield Grants A Welcome Break
By any measure, Blue Shield of California's announcement that it is capping its income and returning money to customers is welcome news (6/10).
Houston Chronicle: A Wake-Up Call, E. coli Outbreak Should Give Congress Pause About Cutting U.S. Food Safety Funding.
Our federal agencies are finally shoring up our defenses against food-borne illnesses that sicken about 50 million Americans and cost us about $150 billion a year. Congress needs to fully support, not undermine, those efforts (6/9).