Today’s Opinions: Haiti’s Lesson For The U.S.; Ending ‘Pay For Delay;’ Getting The CLASS Act Off The GroundIn Haiti, A Lesson For U.S. Health Care The New York Times
In February, a month after Haiti's earthquake, I went down to Port-au-Prince as part of a team that was helping to reactivate cardiac care in the city's public hospital. For several months since, I have observed how the earthquake and its aftermath profoundly changed Haiti's health care system. Over that time, I have come to the unorthodox conclusion that Haiti's tragic experience may show us a way to improve health care in the United States (James Wilentz, 7/28).
Gazing Into CBO's Budget And Health Care Crystal Ball Kaiser Health News
The primary threat to the nation's long-term prosperity is runaway federal entitlement spending. Entitlement costs are set to rise so fast and so quickly that the implications for federal deficits and debt are staggering. If allowed to stand, the health law has dramatically reduced the flexibility of the federal government to respond to the coming budget crisis. It locks in massive new spending commitments, and uses every trick in the book to make it look like those commitments have been paid for (James Capretta, 7/29).
Ending 'Pay For Delay' Tactics On Generic Drugs Could Mean Lower Prices The Washington Post
For too long, pay-for-delay settlements have been an accepted part of the health-care landscape. In these deals, a brand-name drug manufacturer pays a generic competitor to delay its entry into the market. Sound illegal? It isn't -- but a provision to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday would finally make it so, banning such settlements unless drug manufacturers could prove they were not anticompetitive. It's a good idea that could save consumers billions of dollars (7/29).
In Defense Of The CLASS Act The Christian Science Monitor
The CLASS Act is a national voluntary long-term care insurance program that was included in the new health care law. CLASS has the potential to turn long-term care from a welfare program to self-funded insurance-a change conservatives should support. The program can be improved and premiums reduced by stiffening the work requirement for buyers and making some other technical changes. Or, Congress could make CLASS participation mandatory, just as it has done with health insurance. Fiscal conservatives ... ought to be looking for ways to improve CLASS, rather than demanding its repeal (Howard Gleckman, 7/28).
A Spending Goal Too Small For Aging America The Washington Post
In little-noticed remarks a few weeks ago, [Erskine] Bowles suggested that the long-term goal the commission should adopt for federal spending should be 21 percent of gross domestic product. As a matter of math, if you run the government at a smaller level than did Ronald Reagan while accommodating this massive increase in the number of seniors on our health and pension programs, you have to decimate the rest of the budget (Matt Miller, 7/29).
Health Care Reform Needs More Thought Green Bay Press Gazette
In March, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Access and coverage are discussed extensively in the act, but there is still little detail about how health-care delivery will be impacted by reform - that is left to future federal rule-making (Nick Turkal, 7/29).
5 Ways To Preserve Medicare (Albany, N.Y.) Times Union
In many ways, Medicare has been an outstanding success, and no doubt has saved millions of lives. But that success has brought with it charges of excessive spending, and the program is under scrutiny. Five courses of action are available to make sure our money is being spent wisely (Richard Propp, 7/29).
Berwick Can Improve Health Care & Cut Costs Real Clear Politics
Welcome, Dr. Donald Berwick. Once you pull the arrows out of your back, you can get down to the important work for which you are supremely qualified: fixing the government health-insurance programs. Not every manager of medical spending can be trusted to preserve the glories of American health care, but you can. So go forth, Dr. Berwick, and trim a few thousand off our health care bills. We taxpayers won't mind (Froma Harrop, 7/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.