Viewpoints: GOP’s Chance Of Replacing Obamacare; Lack Of Transparency In Health Care Costs
A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.
Republicans Have A Shot At Replacing Obamacare
Would the Republican plan work? Define “work.” If this plan passed, could it operate roughly as described? Probably, yes. I would have some worries about adverse selection with the mandate gone -- but given that being able to obtain cheap coverage in the future relies on obtaining it now, not that many worries. Of course, the numbers are not very specific, so we don’t know how much it would cost. (Megan McArdle, 6/23)
Republicans Find A Key To Dismantle Obamacare
Paul Ryan has gotten his often fractious House Republicans to endorse an outline of a plan to replace Obamacare, although not yet an actual piece of legislation. While the outline contains many of the health policies conservatives sought even before Obamacare, those policies may have particular appeal against the backdrop of the health-care system Obamacare has created. (Ramesh Ponnuru, 6/23)
Los Angeles Times:
Cutting Healthcare Costs Shouldn't Be This Painful
This is yet another example of the lack of transparency in medical pricing, and the fact that hospital charges for routine tests and procedures can be orders of magnitude more expensive than those of specialized clinics – although patients typically will find that out only after they’ve paid their bill and realize they’ve been fleeced. (David Lazarus, 6/24)
The Wall Street Journal:
Will House Republican Health Proposal And Trustees’ Report Make Medicare A Factor In Election?
Two things happened this week that could heighten Medicare’s visibility in the coming election cycle. So far Medicare has not been one of the major health-care issues in the presidential campaign. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has talked about it much. The former secretary of state has discussed the idea of a Medicare buy-in for the near-elderly, but that’s been mentioned more as a way of strengthening the Affordable Care Act, not reforming Medicare. Meanwhile, Medicare faces serious long-term challenges, including how to finance care for an aging population, ensure its solvency in the future, fill gaps in coverage, and address cost-sharing burdens that can be onerous for its mostly lower- and moderate-income beneficiaries. But more attention may be coming, thanks to this week’s events. (Drew Altman, 6/24)
The Washington Post:
It’s Us Against Zika — Whose Side Is Congress On?
In the very early morning hours Thursday, Republicans who control the House pushed through a bill to combat the Zika virus that is a totem to their favored causes and a poke in the eye of Democrats. More than four months after President Obama requested nearly $1.9 billion in emergency funding to deal with a public-health emergency, the House voted for $1.1 billion but saddled it with unnecessary partisan baubles. This may further delay action against the mosquito-borne virus that can cause severe fetal birth defects. (6/23)
The Wall Street Journal:
Please Don’t Take Away My Autistic Son’s Treatment
Though they have never met my son David and have no information about his specific diagnosis or care, bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration are endangering his life by proposing to stop the one treatment that has allowed him to lead a happy life that includes learning, socializing and having loving relationships with his family. (Paul E. Peterson, 6/23)
The Des Moines Register:
Iowa Can't Afford To Wait For Mental Health Reform
State policymakers and elected officials have long acknowledged that when it comes to mental health services, Iowa fails almost every conceivable test. A 2015 report estimates there are 120,000 people in Iowa with a serious mental illness, but only about 300 psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who can prescribe medication. Iowa now ranks last among the states in terms of the available state psychiatric beds. (6/23)