Viewpoints: Analyzing Texas’ Health Insurance Record; Advice For ‘Super’ Committee; One Doc’s Cancer Experience
The Washington Post: Three Essentials For The Deficit Panel’s Proposal
Targeting waste, fraud and abuse; eliminating unnecessary and duplicative spending; and ending military adventurism need not be accompanied by slashing essential services such as education and shredding our social safety nets — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (Rep. James E. Clyburn, 9/5).
The Washington Post: The Fall Political Season: Theater Or Substance?
A supercommittee of 12 legislators will begin meeting this month. The good news, thanks to past work by Bowles-Simpson, Rivlin-Domenici and other bipartisan commissions, is that the path to solvency is well marked. There have to be serious changes to Medicare and Social Security, so that those entitlement programs don’t bankrupt an aging nation (9/2).
The New York Times: Lessons On Health Care
Perhaps the biggest lesson to be drawn from the starkly different experiences of Texas and Massachusetts is that health care reform works and repeal would be a huge setback. Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney will never admit it. But Americans can see for themselves (9/4).
The Wall Street Journal: Texas And Health Care
A large part of the Texas insurance problem is a byproduct of its economic choices. Only about 50% of Texans have coverage through their jobs, compared to the national rate of 59% ... The Texas health-care record is not perfect, and in particular its low Medicaid payment rates are straining providers. But the point will soon be moot as Washington moves to run everything via ObamaCare. The chance to increase coverage in Texas and everywhere else through market-based reforms would be a good problem to have (9/6).
The Washington Post: Targeting Abortions
If something about anti-abortion advocates pressing for "safer" abortion clinics rings false to you, trust your instincts. ... Regulatory shenanigans and legal sleight of hand should not be used to undermine Virginia women’s constitutionally protected rights by shuttering facilities that have been safely providing such services for decades (9/4).
San Francisco Chronicle: A Drug Shortage No One Is Answering
For a variety of poorly understood reasons, a swath of prescription medications is in short supply. ... Drugmakers blame a shortage of raw materials and the need for high levels of safety and purity in production facilities. The industry has also undergone a wave of mergers that has concentrated manufacturing and led to hard choices that cut output of less-profitable generics that are on the shortage list (9/4).
Los Angeles Times: Insurers' Rate Quote Practice Is Unfair To Consumers
Shoppers are routinely asked to disclose their current provider's rate, which all but guarantees that no one will provide coverage for much less (David Lazarus, 9/6).
Boston Globe: Partners-Neighborhood Health: An Odd Couple That Could Click
Attorney General Martha Coakley should carefully review the proposed acquisition by Partners Healthcare Systems Inc. - owner of Mass. General and Brigham and Women’s, among other hospitals - of the aptly named Neighborhood Health Plan. It’s an intriguing combination: The state’s largest and most prestigious hospital and physician network joining forces with an insurer and managed-care organization with some 240,000 members, most of them low-income Medicaid recipients (9/3).
The New York Times: When Doctors Become Patients
This spring, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a much-discussed study that showed that doctors might recommend different treatments for their patients than they would for themselves. They were far more likely to prescribe for patients a potentially life-saving treatment with severe side effects than they were to pick that treatment for themselves. ... Even having lived through this illness, I’m not sure that I would be any better prepared if I had to relive it again (Dr. Eric D. Manheimer, 9/2).