Viewpoints: Drug Shortages = Rationing; Changing Forces In Health Marketplace; Birth Control Mandate
The New York Times: The Shortage Of Vital Drugs
A widespread shortage of prescription drugs is hampering the treatment of patients who have cancer, severe infections and other serious illnesses. While some Republican politicians have railed against the imaginary threat of rationing under health care reform, Congress has done nothing to alleviate the all-too-real rationing of lifesaving drugs caused by this crisis (8/25).
Health Affairs: Risk-Shifting In Health Care And Its Implications: Part Two
The incentives of fee for service have finally broken the federal bank – on that point there is bipartisan agreement — and the limits of employers' ability to pay will mean that cross-subsidies cannot save the day. ... changes in insurance will likely move us toward the accountable care organization concept. ... The movements in this direction are incipient, but there are powerful forces in reform, and in the market, which are impelling us toward a world where providers hold much more risk (Troyen Brennan and Thomas Lee, 8/26).
Des Moines Register: Individual Responsibility Is a Key Part Of New Health Reform Law
If we tell insurance companies that they can no longer discriminate against pre-existing conditions, but we allow patients to buy insurance at whim, then we create an incentive for patients to only buy insurance once they need medical care — a surefire strategy for bankrupting the system. What we need is the sort of common sense free market policy that Mitt Romney instituted in Massachusetts and Barack Obama and a bipartisan Congress passed nationally (Mark Kende, 8/25).
(Minneapolis-St. Paul) Star Tribune: Birth-Control Mandate Puts Religion In A Bind
Under the guidelines issued by the Obama administration, only a very narrow exemption from the contraceptive mandate would be permitted for "religious employers." ... Thus, organizations such as Catholic universities and hospitals, social-services agencies and Catholic Charities, because they serve people without regard to religious affiliation, would be forced to provide contraceptive and sterilization services. In other words, we would have to stop being Catholic if we wanted to serve all men and women (Rev. Peter A. Laird, 8/25).
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Celebrate Preventive Health Care Guidelines
The ongoing struggle for equal rights for women includes equality in health care. … Today, we can celebrate a major step forward for women's health equality thanks to the new preventive guidelines, released on Aug. 1, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a supporting measure of the Affordable Care Act, women in Wisconsin and throughout the country will have access to the critical preventive health care they need and deserve without the financial barriers that often have prevented women in Wisconsin from accessing the necessary health services (Sara Finger, 8/25).
(Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) Star Tribune: Minnesota Nurses Honor Fired Hospital Lawyer
The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) this week announced that David Feinwachs, who was fired by the [Minnesota Hospital Association] trade group last year, is the recipient of its 2011 Paul and Sheila Wellstone Social Justice Award. Feinwachs ... was fired after he made a 31-minute Internet video questioning how much the state pays its nonprofit health plans for managing medical assistance enrollees — a $3 billion a year business in Minnesota (Jill Burcum, 8/25.)
The Baltimore Sun: Aging With AIDS: An Epidemic's Changing Face
AIDS, once associated primarily with people in their 20s and 30s, is now a disease in which more than a third of victims are in their 50s, 60s and even 70s. ... the Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council released the results of a survey that found two-thirds of the region's HIV victims were age 45 to 64. ... The new drug therapies have allowed people with HIV to live much longer, healthier and more productive lives, but the corollary to that is that everyone must also be much more vigilant (8/25).