Viewpoints: Health Care Needs To Be Top Focus Of Dems In 2020; Trump’s Plan For Transparency Is No Cure-All, But Can Help Lower Hospital Costs
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues and others.
2020 Democrats Must Focus On Health Care To Beat Trump
The firing pistol went off on the 2020 election and the incumbent President Donald Trump aimed it in a strange direction — directly at his own health care record. “If we win back the House, we’re going to produce phenomenal health care,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News on the eve of his 2020 kickoff rally in Florida. “And we already have the concept of the plan. And it’ll be much better health care.” As Democrats enter the presidential primary debate season, this presents an opportunity. They would be smart to talk about health care as a core economic issue facing Americans, not a theoretical debate on how to cover more people. Polls show health care has been an area of repeated and considerable failure for Trump. (Andy Slavitt, 6/26)
Trump Executive Order On Health Care Prices Is A Good Start
This week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order aimed at pushing the health-care industry to do something it has vehemently resisted: reveal the prices that providers such as doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies actually charge for their goods and services. It’s a great idea, and potentially an important first step toward reining in America’s famously high and rising health-care costs. The U.S. health-care system has long been maddeningly opaque. Patients are typically aware of their out-of-pocket expenses, but nobody has a full picture of what the entities that cover most of the bills — private insurers, employers, pharmacy benefits managers — ultimately pay. This veil of secrecy helps hospitals, doctors, drugmakers and insurers avoid criticism and competition, and complicates government efforts to get prices under control. (6/25)
It's Time To Find New Targets For Brain Diseases
Most of the limited success in drug development for brain diseases has come from either “me too” medicines that merely tweak formulation or delivery, or “somewhat new” medicines that act on already proven targets. The appeal of pursuing incremental improvements with medicines that act on old, familiar targets is understandable. Pursuing known targets and mechanisms is less daunting to investors and seems less risky to pharmaceutical company executives. But repeatedly filling drug-development pipelines with agents that act on the same handful of CNS targets has done little to help patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Our industry needs to accept, if not embrace, risk taking with new drug targets. (Brad Margus, 6/26)
The Washington Post:
Biden Is Trying To Prove His Abortion Rights Bona Fides. Will He Muddle His Position In The Process?
Before his entry into the 2020 presidential race, there was plenty of discussion about where former vice president Joe Biden would fall on abortion. His attempts to clarify that question haven’t necessarily erased doubts among abortion rights supporters, and they have probably made it harder for him to make inroads with abortion rights opponents. (Eugene Scott, 6/25)
The New York Times:
A Philosopher On Brain Rest
In January 2018, while I was chaperoning my daughter’s school ice-skating trip, a sturdy third-grade boy lost control and came sliding into me from behind on his knees. He was just the right-size projectile to undercut my skates and send me flying backward on the ice, where I landed on my head. Thus began my ignoble descent into becoming a philosopher on brain rest. When I got up I was not my usual self. Feeling disoriented and unable to remember my own address or the date, I was taken to the emergency room, where I was examined and told I had whiplash and a concussion. (Megan Craig, 6/25)
The Washington Post:
I Was Fired For Being Transgender. The Supreme Court Should Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again.
“With the support of my loving wife, I have decided to become the person that my mind already is. I cannot begin to describe the shame and suffering that I have lived with . . . at the end of my vacation on August 26, 2013, I will return to work as my true self, Aimee Australia Stephens, in appropriate business attire.” That was the letter I gave to my boss and co-workers at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes. For me, it’s the reason I lost my job. But for other transgender people around the country, it is the basis of a landmark case that will be argued at the Supreme Court next term that could finally recognize that federal law protects us from discrimination in the workplace. (Aimee Stephens, 6/25)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Preserve Ohio Medicaid Expansion. Help Save Black Babies’ Lives
In 2018, black babies in Cuyahoga County were almost four times as likely to die before their first birthday than white babies. That’s an atrocity. ...We got some good news about a potential new front in the battle this spring when researchers revealed data showing that the expansion of Medicaid, the government program that provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals, seems to be saving the lives of black babies. (Mitchell Balk and Akram Boutros, 6/25)
Los Angeles Times:
Bills Seeking To Firm Up California's Red-Flag Gun Law Offer A Mixed-Bag
Three years ago, California became the first state to give immediate family members of mentally unstable people the ability to obtain a court order temporarily barring the ailing person from possessing firearms. The genesis of that measure was the May 2014 tragedy at Isla Vista, in which 22-year-old Elliot Rodger stabbed and shot to death six UC Santa Barbara students before killing himself. A month earlier, Rodger’s parents had discovered troubling videos he’d posted on YouTube and called police, but the officers who responded found insufficient cause to intervene. The new law allowed a judge, at the request of a mentally troubled person’s close relatives or law enforcement officers, to order firearms be removed immediately. (6/26)