Parsing Policy: Stop Ignoring Impending Funding Shortfalls For Medicare; New Birth Control Rules Defy Majority Of Women’s Needs
Editorial pages look at these and other health policies.
Los Angeles Times:
Social Security And Medicare Are In Danger? Nothing To See Here, Says Trump's Treasury Secretary
Trustees overseeing Social Security and Medicare issued yet more warnings this week about the worsening financial health of the programs. In response, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin told Americans not to worry — the rip-roaring economic growth the Trump administration is whipping up will take care of everything! Except that it won’t, and pretending that the looming funding shortfalls will magically fix themselves is irresponsible and cowardly. (6/8)
Medicare's Chronic Prognosis Is Dire
One fact is indisputable: Going forward, Medicare and Social Security taxes will not be sufficient — not even close — to pay for the benefits Americans have been promised for decades. It’s time for politicians to act like statesmen and address the looming entitlement catastrophe that they and their predecessors have so blithely created and ignored. (6/7)
New Title X Birth Control Rules Heed Conservatives, Ignore Women
The Trump administration's emphasis on natural family planning methods guts the core mission of Title X — to help women (and men) plan their families by providing the full range of birth control methods. Title X funds should not be used to further religious or ideological objections to certain types of birth control, but instead should be used to help all women get the effective methods of birth control that they want. (Katherine Strandberg and Kristine Hopkins, 6/7)
The Washington Post:
Arkansas Has Made Access To Safe, Legal Abortion Even More Difficult
The Supreme Court's refusal to hear a challenge of an Arkansas law governing medication abortion had immediate effects. Women en route to appointments to receive the pills used in the procedure were forced to go home with no backup plan. Two clinics offering only medication abortions had to tell women they could no longer provide this service, leaving the state with just one health center that performed surgical abortions. No doubt the law’s framers were pleased with having accomplished their goal of limiting access to abortion. But, for the sake of the health needs of Arkansas women, their victory ought to be short-lived. (6/6)
Is This The Year The AMA Finally Joins The Single-Payer Movement?
Today, in the midst of a revived Poor People’s Campaign, physicians and medical students are again pressuring the AMA to be more responsive to the needs of the nation’s uninsured and underinsured. At the AMA’s House of Our wildly inefficient system is currently dominated by private insurance companies, a health care model spearheaded by the AMA. It produces some of the worst health outcomes in the industrialized world — the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate and the highest number of avoidable deaths — and devours an ever-increasing share of our economy, with health spending accounting for a whopping 17.9 percent of our gross domestic product. (Jonathan Michels, Robertha Barnes and Sydney Russell Leed, 6/8)
Des Moines Register:
Returning Medicaid To State Management Will Not Take 'Years'
During a recent gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidates all said they supported repealing the privatization of Iowa’s Medicaid program. They also advocated exercising caution in bringing it back under state control. One called it a “process” that should involve lawmakers. Another suggested it could take as long as three years.“I’m not going to do what the Republican governors have done and do something behind closed doors and do it instantaneously and without a plan," said candidate Ross Wilburn. While such prudence seems reasonable, overthinking a transition back to state-controlled Medicaid could cause unnecessary delays. It will not take years unless a new governor hems and haws. Iowa already has a clear “plan” to provide health insurance to 600,000 low-income and disabled Iowans. (6/7)
Matt Bevin's Medicaid Work Requirements: Costly, Intrusive and Doomed
Aside from the obvious moral implications of adopting an approach certain to significantly reduce the number of insured Kentuckians, Gov. Matt Bevin’s work requirements for Medicaid recipients will produce a new bureaucracy that is costly, intrusive and doomed to fail. (Adam Edelen, 6/7)