Viewpoints: Election Victory Could Bring Difficult Decisions For GOP; Burwell ‘Presses Reset’
Los Angeles Times: What Happens If Republicans Win The Senate?
But if the GOP controls both the Senate and the House, its members will be under pressure to govern. At least in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to move major legislation, they'll even have an incentive to compromise .… But that won't be easy. For one thing, the Senate GOP is deeply divided. On one side are pragmatic conservatives such as [Tennessee Sen. Lamar] Alexander and Ohio's Rob Portman, who want to pass a budget, rein in federal regulations and maybe even tackle tax reform -- and are willing to work with Democrats to do it. … Opposing them from within the party, however, is the take-no-prisoners caucus of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), conservatives who want to send uncompromising bills to the White House (beginning with the repeal of Obamacare) and force President Obama to veto them (Doyle McManus, 9/16).
The Wall Street Journal: Obamacare And American Resurgence
The non-surprise revealed here is that Obamacare turns out to be just another subsidy program, throwing money at health care. In economics, you can't subsidize everybody but we're trying: 50 million Americans get help from Medicare, 65 million from Medicaid, nine million from the Department of Veterans Affairs, seven million (and counting) from Obamacare, and a whopping 149 million from the giant tax handout for employer-provided health insurance (Holman W. Jenkins Jr., 9/16).
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: New HHS Chief Presses Reset On Health Law, Plugs Savings And Quality
A bit more than three months into her tenure as secretary of health and human services, Sylvia Mathews Burwell is moving to polish the image and improve implementation of the Affordable Care Act, an effort likely to determine whether she is seen as a success in the post. … Ms. Burwell increasingly will be calling attention to the other two: affordability and quality. In part, she’ll be highlighting favorable metrics, such as tallying savings recorded by Accountable Care Organizations (groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health-care providers join together to coordinate care to Medicare patients). In part, she’ll be publicly trying to strengthen cooperation with private-sector groups, such as the Business Roundtable and the Bipartisan Policy Center, to "engage people to make change," as she puts it (David Wessel, 9/16).
Bloomberg: Health Care Is Still For The Rich Or Lucky
Today's Census Bureau report on health insurance in 2013 shows that on the eve of Obamacare, whether you had coverage was largely a question of how much money you made .... even with the existence of Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other assistance, health coverage in the U.S. remains a luxury good -- one that the rich can afford but others struggle, in proportion to their income, to obtain (Christopher Flavelle, 9/16).
The Washington Post: The Ramped-Up U.S. Effort Against Ebola Is Late But Welcome
With people dying in the streets of the Liberian capital, President Obama has at last ramped up the U.S. response to the worst outbreak ever of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The fresh surge of support announced Tuesday represents a welcome change of course. No one knows if the package outlined by Mr. Obama at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be sufficient, but at least the United States has started to act like the world’s indispensable nation (9/16).
Bangor Daily News: A Long-Term Payoff For A Medicaid Expansion In Maine: Significantly Better Health
Gov. Paul LePage's vetoes of the Affordable Care Act’s federal subsidies for Medicaid expansion have already cost Maine thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet partisan critics of Obamacare continue to argue that expanded Medicaid coverage will have no effect on health and may actually harm the poor (Joe Feinglass, 9/16).
Deseret News: Medicaid Will Sting Beehive State's Economy
You don't need a Ph.D. in economics to recognize that tradeoffs exist in any economic decision. ... A new report published by the Federalism in Acton Project (FIA) definitively shows that Medicaid expansion will reverse the recent post-recession growth in Utah’s private sector. This means two things for Utah families: they will bring home less income and will suffer from the loss of private sector jobs (J. Scott Moody, 9/16).
Journal of the American Medical Association: The Historic Role Of Boards Of Health In Local Innovation
Childhood and adult obesity pose major risks for cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, with poor individuals affected disproportionately. ... With current policies failing, new ideas are needed. Cities and states—in their historic role as public health "laboratories"—have demonstrated creativity. Boards of health, with their unique mandates, represent an engine of innovation, with the New York City Board of Health (NYCBH) soda portion limit offering a salient illustration. Yet on June 26, 2014, New York State’s highest court struck down the Board's rule, holding the Board lacked authority (Lawrence O. Gostin, Belinda H. Reeve and Marice Ashe, 9/15).