Parsing Policy: Lessons On Doctors’ Rights To Refuse To Treat Patients; Be Wary Of Testing Immigrants At The Border For Kinship
Editorial pages focus on these health care topics and others.
The New York Times:
Can Doctors Refuse To Treat A Patient?
President Trump recently announced a new rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, that allows doctors, hospitals, insurers and other providers of health care to refuse to deliver or fund services like abortion, assisted suicide or procedures for transgender patients that they say violate their religious views. The action has been criticized by Democrats and civil liberties groups, with some arguing that it serves as a pretext for discrimination against marginalized groups and threatens to substitute religious views for sound medical advice. (Sandeep Jauhar, 5/13)
The Washington Post:
‘Rapid DNA’ Promises To Identify Fake Families At The Border. It Won’t.
The portable contraption is not much bigger than a toaster oven. Pop in the cheek swabs, and in just 90 minutes it can determine whether two people are related. Originally developed in collaboration with the departments of Justice and Defense, the technology, called Rapid DNA, is already in use in police departments for forensic purposes. This month, the Department of Homeland Security announced the technology’s latest application: a pilot program to test asylum-seeking families at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Nara Milanich, 5/13)
Uwe Reinhardt's 'Priced Out' Offers Lessons In Health Care Costs
I had the pleasure — and the misfortune — of publishing several articles with Uwe Reinhardt, the legendary Princeton economist who died in 2017 as a very young 80-year-old.The pleasure was that Uwe was a great co-author with amazing insights. His ability to present complex ideas in an accessible way will be clear if you read his just-published final book, “Priced Out,” which explores the economic and ethical costs of health care in the U.S. (Gerard Anderson, 5/14)
Mental Health Coverage Needs To Include Eating Disorders
Second to deaths spurred by the opioid crisis, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric diagnosis. Yet insurance companies resist covering life-saving treatment. (Chevese Turner, 5/13)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A Doctor’s Take On Why We Need Medicare For All
The massive administrative savings, bargaining power and increased efficiency of a single-payer system such as an improved Medicare for All can save enough money to provide everyone in the U.S. with comprehensive benefits, protect us from medical bankruptcy and allow us to visit the doctor or hospital of our choice. We can seek care when needed, not just when we can afford the copays and deductibles. (Johnathan Ross, 5/12)
San Jose Mercury News:
State Should Pounce On Chance To Reduce Uninsured
While President Trump and Republicans continue their assault on the Affordable Care Act and the 21 Democratic candidates for president talk about their health care proposals, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature are working to reduce the number of uninsured Californians — without raising taxes. The two-prong approach provides a model for how states can get closer to universal coverage despite the complexities of the current health care system. (5/10)
Tampa Bay Times:
The Florida Legislature Embraces The Wild West Of Health Care.
Three dozen states have expanded Medicaid, and more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians could be covered if Republican legislators would embrace expansion. Yet they refuse to touch it even though the federal government would cover 90 percent of the cost and the uninsured rate in Florida is rising while it is falling in other states. (5/10)
The CT Mirror:
High-Deductible Health Plans Bad For Patients, Doctors
Physician practices are struggling with debt incurred by patients with high deductible health plans. When patients cannot afford their care, independent physician practices -– which are often small, locally owned offices –- may not be able to afford to keep their doors open. (David Emmel, 5/10)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Title X Gag Rule Hurts Families In Pa. And Beyond
All people deserve affordable, reliable, and accurate reproductive health care. Yet with unethical and illegal policies like the Title X gag rule, the Trump-Pence administration is committed to eroding access to care. (Chrissy Houlahan, Madeleine Dean, Mary Gay Scanlon, 5/13)
The CT Mirror:
The 'Public Option' Will Be Devastating For Connecticut
Those supporting the current public option bills claim they would help small businesses by reducing costs. In fact, the opposite is true. Expanding government-run coverage would destabilize the private market risk pools and lead to higher premium costs for small business owners struggling to stay in business. (Julie Chubet, 5/14)