Viewpoints: Dismantling Health Law ‘Piece By Piece’; Democrats Are ‘Own Worst Enemy’
A selection of opinions on health care from around the United States.
The New York Times:
The Piecemeal Assault On Health Care
Now that they will dominate both houses of Congress, Republicans are planning to dismantle the Affordable Care Act piece by piece instead of trying to repeal it entirely. They are expected to hold at least one symbolic vote for repeal in the next session so that newly elected Republicans who campaigned against the law can honor their pledges to repeal it. ... All of the provisions they are targeting should be retained — they were put in the reform law for good reasons. (11/22)
Why Do Democrats Look Down on Voters?
I support many Democratic policy positions and want to see them succeed. The Affordable Care Act, in particular, is a worthy endeavor: Despite the botched rollout and a great deal of unfinished business, I want to see it prevail. Sometimes, though, [the party] is its own worst enemy. ... All salesmen sell -- but some respect their customers, whereas others look down on them. Too many Democrats fall into the second camp, and too few of those are any good at disguising it. In this respect, Gruber, who calls himself a "card-carrying Democrat," is typical of many in the party -- and Democrats are different from Republicans. (Clive Crook, 11/23)
Los Angeles Times:
House GOP Lawsuit Wages Surprising Fight Over Federal Purse Strings
When the House GOP authorized a lawsuit accusing President Obama of overstepping his authority, the rationale it offered was a head-scratcher: the administration's move to delay the employer mandate, a requirement that House Republicans unanimously opposed. The lawsuit filed Friday devotes only half of its attention to that issue, however. The other half takes up a topic much more important to Republicans in Congress, and indeed to any lawmaker in a divided government: the power of the purse. (Jon Healey, 11/21)
The New York Times:
Change In Health Care Law Would Take Aim At Consumer Inertia
People who bought Affordable Care Act health plans for 2014 but who don’t go back to shop again for 2015 will automatically keep the plan they first chose, even if its price goes way up. Now the federal government is proposing that when people sign up, they should get a choice of defaults for future years: to stay in the same plan, or switch to a cheaper one in the same category if theirs gets too pricey. The proposed regulation, published Friday, suggests phasing in the additional choice, first giving states with their own exchanges the option of offering it. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 11/21)
Expanding Medicaid over the opposition of other Republicans marks Gov. John Kasich’s greatest first-term achievement. His top priority now must be to ensure that the health-care expansion for low-income Ohioans continues, even if he has to threaten, cajole, or beg members of the General Assembly. If facts or fear don’t move legislators, Mr. Kasich should bring the faces and stories of expansion inside the Statehouse walls and shame them into action. (11/23)
Mental Health Issues Need Our Attention
Maybe now that we are again back in the national spotlight over violence resulting from untreated or misunderstood mental illness we can have a serious community conversation about mental health. ... Here we are again. Myron Deshawn May, 31, was shot to death by police after he opened fire Thursday morning in Florida State University's crowded Strozier Library. ... surely, we can all see the value in elevating the conversation about mental health and we urge our community leaders — city, county, school, law enforcement, Department of Health, the state Legislature and our colleges and universities — to come together, devoting more time and if needed resources. We can't simply shrug our shoulders and put the responsibility elsewhere this time. (11/23)
The New York Times:
Will Texas Kill An Insane Man?
On Dec. 3, Texas plans to execute an inmate named Scott Panetti, who was convicted in 1995 for murdering his in-laws with a hunting rifle. There is no question that Mr. Panetti committed the murders. There is also no question that he is severely mentally ill, and has been for decades. (11/23)
The Washington Post:
What Happens When Your Pregnant Sister-In-Law Is Paralyzed In An Accident — And Has No Insurance.
MIT political scientist Andrea Campbell is known for her research on Social Security, Medicare, and other safety-net policies. Yet when Campbell’s pregnant sister-in-law suffered a spinal cord injury, their family’s on-the-ground experience was more bewildering and difficult than Campbell expected. Her new book describes these experiences. Below is an edited and condensed transcript of our conversation. (Harold Pollack, 11/23)