Viewpoints: The High Cost Of Treating Patients Who May Die; Young Girls And Plan B
The New York Times: When Care Is Worth It, Even If End Is Death (Essay)
You've probably heard that we spend a lot of money on patients who die. It's true. ... But what about my patient? How could it be that we were prudent with health care dollars because he lived, but would have been described as wasteful had he died? Doctors in an emergency room cannot know which will occur. They do not have divining rods that direct them to patients they can save and away from those they can't. Rather, caring for the sick means caring for people who may die (Dr. Peter B. Bach, 12/12).
The Wall Street Journal: The Church Of Kathleen Sebelius
In the church of Kathleen Sebelius, there is little room for dissent. "We are in a war," the Health and Human Services Secretary declared to cheers at a recent NARAL Pro-Choice America fund-raiser. Give the lady her due: Her actions mostly match her words. Mrs. Sebelius's militancy explains the shock her allies are now feeling after last Wednesday's decision to overrule the Food and Drug Administration on Plan B, a morning-after pill. The FDA had proposed allowing over-the-counter sales, which would give girls as young as 11 or 12 access without either a prescription or a parent. Now the secretary's allies are howling about her "caving in" to the Catholic bishops (William McGurn, 12/13).
The Baltimore Sun: Obama's Plan B Decision Puts Girls At Risk
A decision that our youngest adolescents should have fewer measures to avoid unwanted pregnancy than those enjoyed by women with more power will not help young teens avoid pregnancy. It will not stop young teens from having sex, and it will not encourage parents to have more and more-effective conversations about sex and values with their children. It will just make pregnancy more likely (Margaret Moon, 12/12).
The Seattle Times: Administration Wrong To Block Plan B Sale To Girls Under 17
The Obama administration is wrong to block the over-the-counter sale of the "morning-after pill" to girls under 17. A pill to prevent pregnancy is of special value to younger teens, who are in no way ready for motherhood. ... The cynics say (President Obama) did it with an eye to the 2012 elections, so it would not be used against him in swing states. That may be smart politics, but it is not good science (12/12).
Des Moines Register: Perry Talks At Length Of Faith, Courts, Obama
What is surprising, for someone who has held elective office for more than a decade, is (Texas Gov. Rick) Perry's lack of understanding about the American health care crisis — especially when his state has the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation. Oddly, Perry doesn't think this is a problem. He said Texans have health care. "Whether it's going to federally qualified health clinics, whether it's going to emergency rooms, people have access to health care." Are diabetics supposed to go to the emergency room to get insulin? (12/12).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Funding Could Ease Doctor Shortage
We must be willing to increase the number of resident positions in order to graduate competent family doctors for the people of Wisconsin. We should expand the use of multidisciplinary health providers in order to implement team-based models in Patient Centered Medical Homes. We ask the state to increase residency funding so that we can recruit, train and retain the best family physicians necessary to serve the whole population (Alan K. David and Ken Mace, 12/12).
iWatch News: Analysis: Who Is Essential? Insurers Or Consumers?
The money that patients' rights advocates have to spend trying to convince the Obama administration that Americans should have decent health care benefits pales in comparison to the boatloads of cash insurers and their corporate allies have on hand to do largely the opposite. But at least the advocates are now in the game. Last week a broad coalition of patient-focused groups launched its "I Am Essential" campaign in an effort to make sure that when all of us have to buy health insurance in 2014, we will be getting good value (Wendell Potter, 12/12).