Perspectives: Red States Digging In Heels Over Medicaid Expansion Caused Nearly 16,000 Deaths; Biden, Sanders Are Having A Bad Faith Health Care Debate
Opinion writers share their views on the health law and coverage issues.
Los Angeles Times:
New Data Show That Failing To Expand Medicaid Has Led To 16,000 Unnecessary Deaths
Adversaries of Medicaid expansion have always pointed to the lack of evidence that enrollment in Medicaid improves health and saves lives, and therefore the expansion is a waste. A new study should put that argument to rest, permanently. The researchers found not only that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act brought appreciable improvements in health to enrollees, but also that full expansion nationwide would have averted 15,600 deaths among the vulnerable Medicaid-eligible population. (Michael Hiltzik, 7/22)
The New York Times:
Biden And Sanders, Behaving Badly
Health care was a key factor in Democrats’ victory in the 2018 midterm elections, and it should be a big plus in 2020 as well. The shared Democratic position — that every legal resident should have access to affordable care, regardless of income or health status — is immensely popular. The de facto Republican position — that we should go back to a situation in which those whose jobs don’t come with health benefits, or who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions, can’t get insurance — is so unpopular that G.O.P. candidates consistently lie about their own proposals. But right now, two of the major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, are having an ugly argument about health care that could hurt the party’s chances. (Paul Krugman, 7/22)
Obamacare Is Democrats' Mess. Can Any Presidential Candidates Fix It?
Republicans have nipped at the edges of the ACA but have fallen far short of repealing or replacing the controversial legislation. No GOP plans have garnered support, especially since Sen. John McCain was the deciding vote to keep Obamacare in place. But conservatives didn’t create the “unjust and inefficient” system being denounced by candidates today. You built that, Democrats. Obama and Biden’s promise that government can create a better health-care system than the free market has obviously been a disappointment. Taxpayers would be unwise to let them try again. (Jon Gabriel, 7/20)
The Washington Post:
The Fate Of The Cadillac Tax Should Be A Wake-Up Call For Proposed Heath-Care Plans
The House voted last week to repeal a key piece of Obamacare. Hadn’t heard? That’s because hardly anyone in either party uttered a peep of concern; the repeal passed by a whopping 419-to-6 margin. The provision in question was the so-called Cadillac tax on overly generous health-care plans, designed to keep costs down even as more people got coverage, which was set to phase in three years from now. The repeal action moves to the Senate, where there is wide support. Repeal would cost the treasury $197 billion over a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (7/22)
More State Spending On Health Care Is Eroding Americans' Health
The rising cost of health care has become one of the largest sources of stress on American household budgets in the 21st century. More than one-quarter of Americans report problems paying medical bills in the past year, and many are sacrificing spending on basic necessities like food and clothing to pay medical bills. It’s no wonder that nearly 70% of Americans want lawmakers to make reducing health care costs a top priority. Congress has gotten the message and is finally starting to work on surprise medical bills and prescription drug costs. (Shannon Brownlee and Benjamin F. Miller, 7/23)
Can We Afford Medicare For All?
Universal coverage might increase costs for one big reason: When the uninsured get coverage (or the underinsured get better coverage), they’re likely to use more health care. For example, a study begun in the 1970s randomized thousands of people into different health care plans, and found that those with better coverage used more health care ...And yet, nations with universal coverage spend much less than the United States on health care. (Adam Gaffney, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, 7/23)
'Medicare For All': The Hype V. Maryland's Reality
“Medicare for All” advocates, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), argue that single-payer health care could help pay for a major expansion of coverage by greatly reducing the cost of purchasing medical services. They base their argument on two principal observations: that Medicare pays 40 percent less than private insurers for hospital services, and that medical costs are much lower in countries where prices are set by the government. What do we learn from comparing America’s health care costs with those of Sweden or Spain? (Chris Pope, 7/22)