Viewpoints: Abortion Fight Intensifies; Michelle Obama’s Anti-Obesity Crusade; Milken On Research Investment
The Hill: Republicans' Vicious Assault On A Woman's Right To Choose
For our servicewomen around the world, H.R. 3 reminds them that they must roll the dice with whatever local, non-U.S.-affiliated medical facility they can find. For our federal employees, H.R. 3 reinforces the requirement that a family pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for an abortion, even when recommended by a doctor in the face of a severe fetal abnormality. ... And for incest survivors, as soon as a young girl turns 18, she must pay on her own even if she still lives in the same home as her abuser. As if all of this were not bad enough, H.R. 3 goes one step further. Under this callous proposal, hospitals and doctors could refuse to perform an emergency abortion even in an instance where a woman's life is at stake (Rep. Jerrold Nadler, 2/8).
Los Angeles Times: Chipping Away Abortion Rights
Abortion-rights supporters breathed a sigh of relief last week when a troubling word was removed from a controversial antiabortion bill. They shouldn't have. This piece of congressional legislation and a related bill are still loaded with harmful provisions that would turn back the clock on women's rights to make their own medical decisions (2/9).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The Route Toward More Abortions
I direct this appeal mostly to those who object to abortion -- on whatever grounds -- but who might realize this is not a zero-sum game. They know that restricting comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control is counterproductive to the goal of making abortion rare. These good people have much in common in this regard with those Rush Limbaugh vilifies as Feminazis (O. Ricardo Pimentel, 2/8).
The Hill: Senate Dems Walk Plank
Last week's Senate vote to reject the repeal of ObamaCare offered stark evidence that the so-called moderate Democrats in the Senate will be forced to walk the plank and vote for Obama's liberal positions in the 2011-2012 legislative session, guaranteeing that many won't return. Harry Reid and Obama might well have let them off the hook. They could easily have let the likes of Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) save their seats and vote for repeal (Dick Morris, 2/8).
Kaiser Health News: Insurance Reform Is Not Cost Control
In each of the past 50 years payment to health care providers has accounted for more than 85 percent of health insurance premiums. Thus, only a small fraction of spending on health insurance premiums is consumed as a cost of insurance. I have no doubt that there are ways to squeeze some efficiency out of the insurance system. But doing so is not likely to make a substantial, long-term impact on the inflation of health care costs (Austin Frakt, 2/9).
The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Investment The Hidden Crisis
It would be logical to assume that companies whose products make us healthier would be among the most valued enterprises on the planet, but this assumption is wrong. ... We can remove some of the barriers to growth in medical research through several public-policy steps (Michael Milken, 2/8).
Houston Chronicle: The Fat Factor
Nationally, first lady Michelle Obama's interest in the subject has given it a much higher public profile. Curiously, some have ridiculed Mrs. Obama's interest for being aimed at a subject without sufficient gravitas. Not serious enough? Surely these critics can't be serious. ... Worries about a "nanny state" intruding into traditionally private decisions seem to us to be far outweighed by the risks to our children's lives posed by all those extra pounds. The nominally libertarian view that this is people's own business is trumped by the costs of these poor choices just over the horizon for our already overburdened health care system (2/8).
USA Today: 'Watson' Could Transform Medicine
Starting Monday, Jeopardy will air three episodes in which "Watson," a supercomputer developed by IBM, is a contestant. ... What viewers might not realize when they watch the quiz show's first man vs. machine competition is that they might be catching a glimpse of technology that could radically transform health care delivery within the next decade. ... Watson has the potential of addressing two pressing problems in health care today: deaths due to medical errors and shortage of physicians. (Yong Suh, 2/8).