Viewpoints: Does Endorsing Single Payer, Like Kamala Harris Does, Really Go Far Enough?; Lessons From Anesthesiologists On Stemming Opioid Abuse
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and more.
The Washington Post:
Kamala Harris Doesn’t Waver On Single Payer
On Monday night, Sen. Kamala D. Harris — whose presidential campaign rollout is going extremely well, you have to admit — did a town hall on CNN, answering all kinds of questions from a studio audience. At one point, someone asked about her position on health care and she said that she supports “Medicare-for-all,” then talked in general terms about why health care has to be a right and not a privilege. But as we know, candidates can mean different things when they say Medicare-for-all. Most importantly, they might mean something like Bernie Sanders’s true single-payer plan, in which there would be only one insurer and private insurance would essentially cease to exist, but they might also mean something that would better be termed Medicare Access For All, in which people could choose to keep their private insurance or buy into Medicare (or Medicaid). (Paul Waldman, 1/29)
The Washington Post:
Kamala Harris Just Set The Litmus Test For Democrats In 2020 On Health Care, Climate Change And Guns
Universal health care. A Green New Deal. An assault-weapons ban. These are the progressive issues that most Democrats running for president in 2020 will not only unapologetically endorse but be expected to support if they have any chance of winning the Democratic primary. Call it the Bernie Sanders effect. Or the AOC influence. (Colby Itkowitz, 1/29)
The Lund Report:
Anesthesiologists Work To Stem Opioid Abuse
For one in 10 surgical patients, surgery is the gateway to long-term opioid abuse. Oregon has one of the highest rates of prescription opioid misuse in the nation. As doctors who care for you in the operating room as well as in the pain management clinic, physician anesthesiologists are uniquely poised to help combat Oregon’s opioid crisis. (Kate Ropp, 1/24)
The New York Times:
If A Government Can’t Deliver Safe Vaccines For Children, Is It Fit To Rule?
Earlier this month, hundreds of aggrieved parents gathered outside the government office in Jinhu County, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, demanding an explanation for why 145 infants had been administered expired doses of the polio vaccine. It was China’s fifth vaccine scandal in less than seven years, and yet another blow to the country’s drug industry, its national immunization program, its regulatory authorities — and to the very legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.). (Yanzhong Huang, 1/30)
Combating Cancer Around The World Means Keeping Patients At The Center
An important first step is a more intense focus on prevention. It offers a truly cost-effective solution, as somewhere between one-third and one-half of all cancers are preventable. Tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, excess weight, unhealthy eating habits, and heavy alcohol use — all of which are modifiable — contribute to the development of a wide range of cancers. (Julie L. Gerberding, 1/29)
The New York Times:
Why Couldn’t My Ebola Treatment Center Save This Baby?
BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo — A young mother stepped out of the ambulance into the triage area of our Ebola Transit Center, here in the northeast of the country. She moved slowly, careful not to wake the sick baby, swathed in layers of linens, that she carried in her arms. They had been brought here for testing because health workers suspected the baby might have Ebola. (Karin Huster, 1/30)
Safe Injection Sites Aren’t Safe Or Legal
The opioid epidemic is the greatest public health crisis facing the United States since the Spanish influenza of 1918. But while federal and state authorities continue to battle this threat, others work to effectively legalize opioid abuse by opening supervised injection sites in Boston and surrounding towns. Injection sites give addicts a “safe” place to inject themselves with heroin and fentanyl — “safe” meaning with medical supervision but without the risk of arrest. These sites are a terrible idea and, more important, they are illegal. (Andrew Lelling, 1/28)
Chicago Sun Times:
Chiberia Jokes Aside, Subzero Chicago Is No Laughing Matter
The elderly can be especially vulnerable to extremes of temperature. A 93-year-old woman from Harvey, an 82-year-old woman in Beverly, an 88-year-old woman from Burbank and other seniors were among this winter’s cold victims, according to the medical examiner. And remember that most of those who died during the infamous 1995 heat wave were elderly residents who couldn’t afford air conditioning. Take a minute to check on friends and neighbors, especially seniors. You can also call 3-1-1 and request a wellness check. (1/28)
The Star Tribune:
Be Warm. Be Safe. But Tougher, Too?
“No matter how resilient the people of Minnesota may be, this weather should be taken seriously,” Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday. He’s new on the job, but we expected a little more of a pep talk from the former high school football coach. Something like, “Suck it up!” This newspaper advised its readers to watch “Rear Window” and eat soup. That’s always a good call, and advice many of us followed long before we had windchill and black ice. All kidding aside, be safe Minnesota — this is seriously dangerous weather. And turn up those bun warmers. (1/29)
San Jose Mercury News:
New Family Planning Rules Hurt Families, Economy
Any day now, the Trump administration is expected to finalize new rules attacking the Title X family planning program that will make birth control and other preventive reproductive health care inaccessible for millions of Americans. This is an obvious calamity for the women and families that rely on Title X, but it would also weaken the economy President Trump claims to care so much about. (1/29)