Perspectives: Have Problems With Warren’s Health Care Ideas? Then Propose Something Better; Give States Funds To Launch Single-Payer Programs
Opinion writers weigh in on how to reduce rising health care costs and improve quality of care.
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
On Medicare For All And Other Health Plans, Candidates Should Put Up Or Shut Up
The figure is mind-boggling: $20.5 trillion over 10 years. That’s how much presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says her plan will cost above what the federal government currently spends for health care. Cue the attacks.So here we go again. Another election in which the question of how best to reform the U.S. health care system will be front and center. Sadly, relying on the media to understand the features of various proposals is like reading a newspaper in a lightning storm—mostly opaque with occasional flashes of illumination. (Drew A. Harris, 11/11)
San Diego Union-Times:
Single-Payer? Let The States Experiment With Health Care
The U.S. health-care system is a paradox. While most Americans are satisfied with their care, international studies consistently show that — but for cancer — U.S. health outcomes are generally worse than in other large industrial democracies. That’s despite the fact the U.S. spends more per capita on government-funded health care than any such nation, including those with single-payer systems like Canada and Great Britain — a little-appreciated fact that lays bare Republican grousing against “socialist medicine” as insincere or uninformed. This backdrop is what makes a proposal from Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont, so intriguing. He wants to allow states to receive a bulk payment from Washington equivalent to all federal health care funds that would otherwise be spent on state residents through Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and other programs. States could use this money to launch a single-payer system. (11/11)
Should Employers Take A Chance On Embarc To Pay For Gene Therapy?
The promise of curing deadly diseases by administering a one-time therapy that rewrites a patient’s genetic code is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Yet this innovation comes with a steep price tag.Zolgensma, approved for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), has a list price of approximately $2.1 million. Other gene- and cell-based therapies coming to the market have launched at prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.With dozens of gene therapy products in the pipeline, employers and health plans are rightfully concerned about how the evolution of gene therapy will affect their ability to keep health benefits affordable. Enter Express Scripts and Cigna: The companies have announced Embarc, a program that aims to provide employers and health plans with a predictable cost for gene therapy. (Jeremy Schafer, 11/12)
Des Moines Register:
Requiring Medicaid Recipients To Work Would Have Many Benefits For Iowa
The Register’s Nov. 3 editorial, "Iowa should learn a lesson from Arkansas, reject Medicaid work requirements," which denounced requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work in return for receiving Medicaid, was misguided, short-sighted and disrespectful toward taxpayers. This policy isn’t unfair to elderly or physically disabled recipients, and won’t require children to work in exchange for benefits. In most cases, it won’t impact recipients who already work full-time. Nonetheless, most Democrats in both houses of Iowa’s Legislature oppose this Trump administration-inspired proposal. Why do leftists ignore the reality that taxpayers have a right to set the conditions and terms for those who want such benefits? (Todd Blodgett, 11/10)
Replacing TennCare With Medicaid Block Grant Could Repeat Past Mistakes
The controversial TennCare proposal has drawn overwhelming opposition because it removes federal patient safeguards and restructures the program’s federal funding. The nation’s most respected patient advocacy organizations have explicitly warned that Medicaid block grants threaten the health of people with serious illnesses and undermine the health care infrastructure on which all Tennesseans rely. (Tom Jedlowski,11/12)