Viewpoints: Gingrich Fallout; Sebelius, Matsui On Medicare Reform; Physicians On Their Rights
The Wall Street Journal: Gingrich To House GOP: Drop Dead
The Republican Presidential campaign is off to a slow start, but judging by the last week not slow enough. First Mitt Romney defends his ObamaCare prototype in Massachusetts, and now Newt Gingrich has decided to run against House Republicans on Medicare. They must be loving this at the White House (5/17).
Los Angeles Times: A Sharper GOP Field
And then there's Newt Gingrich. On NBC's "Meet the Press," the former House speaker - a man who has spent much of the last decade declaring the need for radical transformation of this, that and the other thing - denounced Paul Ryan's Medicare proposals as too "radical" and nothing less than "right-wing social engineering." ... By midday Monday, however, Gingrich was reversing himself again. But the damage was done (Jonah Goldberg, 5/17).
Kaiser Health News: Guest Opinion: Sit Down, Mitt, You're Not Helping
If anything, Romneycare may be making the free-rider problem worse. The Wall Street Journal reports that uncompensated care and misuse of emergency rooms are on the rise in Massachusetts. ... Nor is Romneycare a one-state experiment. The federal government is covering half the cost of the law's Medicaid expansion and letting Massachusetts keep billions of Medicaid dollars that Washington should have revoked. We are all paying for Romneycare (Michael Cannon, 5/16).
Statesman-Journal: Health-Coverage Mandate Isn't New Or Extreme
In 1993, Sen. John Chaffee, R-R.I., with 18 other Republican co-sponsors introduced the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act, which required each citizen to be covered under a qualified health plan by 2005. The mandate that has become such a fractious issue is an idea with long-standing backing in some Republican circles. When Republicans were pursuing it, Democrats didn't like it. When Democrats passed it, no Republican voted yes (Ron Eachus, 5/17).
The Sacramento Bee: Strengthen Medicare In A Responsible Way
[It's] clear that there is a right way to reform Medicare and a wrong way. Now is not the time to turn Medicare into a private insurance company voucher program. Instead, we should continue with our plan to strengthen the Medicare that seniors depend on with better benefits and better, more effective care (Kathleen Sebelius and Rep. Doris Matsui, 5/17).
The New York Times: The Value Of Comparison
That is the idea behind so-called comparative effective research that is part of the health care reform law. Unfortunately, in the effort to win Republican support (support that never materialized), the bill's sponsors agreed to bar Medicare from using comparative studies to determine which treatments to pay for. ... The shortsightedness of that thinking was made clear last month when results were released of a government-sponsored study comparing two drug treatments for macular degeneration (5/16).
Archives of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery: A Physicians' Bill Of Rights
At an elementary level, a physicians' bill of rights should include the right to be accorded respect as a professional, some provision for the right to practice unencumbered, and the right to be left alone. ... In health care, the desire for excellence is contoured by societal needs for cost containment. Nevertheless, an individual physician should be permitted to practice in the best interest of the individual patient, not an insurance company. Third-party payers, some of whom answer to stockholders, should not block proper care (Dr. Elliot Abemayor, 5/17).
Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery: Ethical Behavior And The Practice of Medicine
I believe that physicians who have exhibited questionable or downright poor judgment over the years have contributed to the intrusion of regulatory agencies into the practice of medicine. Our profession has not been as effective at self-regulation as it should have been, and we must acknowledge our complicity in what is happening. Even so, for the vast majority of physicians, excessive external regulation is unwarranted (Dr. G. Richard Holt, 5/17).
The Miami Herald: Just What The Doctor Ordered
Focused on how to ensure Jackson Health System's survival, a blue-ribbon task force of CEOs at South Florida hospitals, university leaders and healthcare experts arrived at the only conclusion a sane person could have: Take Miami-Dade County politics out of Jackson. ... A group of 41 civic and business leaders - led by former Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Executive Bob Dickinson - also pushed for a not-for-profit model free of political interference. That was more than a year ago. It fell on deaf ears (5/16).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Confronting HIV
Confronting the HIV/AIDS crisis in Milwaukee will take both short-term and long-term approaches. Short term, there needs to be a continued emphasis on knowing one's status and on making sure people engage in safe sex practices. Long term, city leaders must focus on creating jobs and addressing the issue of race. The long-term issue will take a communitywide effort to address. In Milwaukee, more than 40% of young black men who have sex with men are HIV positive (5/16).