Viewpoints: Healthy Ideas On Trimming Medicare Costs Need Democrats’ Support; As Sandy Hook Tragedy Continues, Prayers Aren’t Solving The Problem
Editorial writers focus on these health topics and others.
The New York Times:
Not All Medicare Cuts Are Bad
Senate Democrats, including several of the party’s presidential candidates, have savaged President Trump for proposing to reduce Medicare spending by several hundred billion dollars over the next decade. Senator Kamala Harris of California said the proposed changes in Medicare “would hurt our seniors.” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted, “The Trump administration wants to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the #Medicare budget, all while giving billionaires and giant corporations huge tax breaks.” (3/25)
Keep The Thoughts And Prayers. Ban AR-15s Instead.
Jeremy Richman was undoubtedly battling unfathomable demons before he took his life Monday, but what really killed him was the same weapon that killed his daughter, Avielle, at Sandy Hook Elementary School: An AR-15 made by Remington Arms. The two Parkland survivors who took their lives over the past week were also victims of an assault on their school by an AR-15, if indirectly. Those who twist the Second Amendment into a perverted pass for selling and buying weapons of mass destruction are willfully blind to the horror these weapons inflict on our society. Would the framers have stood by after innocent children were cut down in Newtown and cheered for the gun possession rights of Adam Lanza? It’s time to end the charade that is gun politics in the United States. (3/25)
Islamophobia Is A Public Health Crisis
In September 2016, just before President Trump was elected, I wrote about why Islamophobia was a looming public health crisis that would cost countless numbers of lives. In response, my family received hate mail, I received a torrent of threats for condemning discrimination against Muslims. Today, that "looming" crisis has more than arrived, as a horrific terrorist attack against Muslims is leading to a global reckoning and greater acknowledgement of Islamophobia as a global problem. Those of us who work in public health aim to fulfill individuals’ right to health and wellbeing. As I struggle with heartache for the 50 lives lost and the countless others who remain injured, it is more clear than ever that white supremacy is a public health issue. (Goleen Samari, 3/25)
The Washington Post:
As Opioid Crisis Explodes, Few Youths Get Drug Treatment — Especially Youths Of Color
Amid the roar of the opioid crisis, little is heard about the lack of drug treatment for young people. Now, a new analysis of federal survey data brings attention to a serious issue within a larger problem that is getting worse. That issue is how few children and youths who abuse drugs, including opioids, get the help they need. “Only a small percentage of youth who report pain reliever (including opioid) abuse or dependence receive addiction treatment, and youth of color are significantly less likely to receive treatment than their white peers,” according to an analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (Joe Davidson, 3/25)
Universal Health Care Would Benefit My Small Business
Ask someone living in Canada, the U.K., Australia or any other country that has a universal, single-payer or national health-care system and they'll certainly tell you it's far from perfect. My wife is British and her parents both live in London. As they've gotten older, they've sadly gotten sicker. They could take advantage of Britain's National Health System (NHS) but, other than the usual doctor visits, they rely on private insurance for the big ticket stuff, which is an option there. They believe the care is better and faster that way. They're right and because they live in Britain (as opposed to Canada) they have that option. (Gene Marks, 3/25)
Ending Tuberculosis: We Can Get There With A New Roadmap
Two recent events have nudged tuberculosis, the leading infectious cause of death around the word, onto the world stage. The first was the World Health Organization’s Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB, which was held in Moscow in 2017. The second was the United Nations High Level Meeting on tuberculosis in September 2018. At that seminal gathering of national leaders, a political declaration laid out two goals to achieve by 2022: prevent at least 30 million people from becoming ill with TB, and successfully treating 40 million people who are already infected with the disease. That’s an audacious goal, especially given the fact that most of the tools currently available to prevent, treat, and cure TB are decades old and inadequate. (Robert W. Eisigner and Anthony S. Fauci, 3/24)
The Washington Post:
Elizabeth Holmes Defrauded Investors. Why Are We Obsessed With Her Appearance?
These two things can be true at the same time: The first is that Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the failed medical-testing company Theranos and dark protagonist of the new HBO hit documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood,” probably lied to investors and the public, seems like a terrible person, and deserves a lengthy prison sentence. The second is that the coverage of her — which commanded, last week, pieces and segments in The New Yorker, most of the major papers, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, CNN, ABC’s “Nightline,” “The View” and dozens of other outlets — has been unbelievably, jaw-droppingly sexist. (Eve Fairbanks, 3/26)
Full-Risk Models Let Health Systems Deliver What Patients Really Need
Better health usually isn’t the result of higher-quality health care. Factors outside the current health care system, social determinants like income, education, employment, food security, housing, and social inclusion, generally make a bigger difference — especially in disadvantaged communities. We need to rethink how health care organizations can help their patients stay healthy and out of the hospital by addressing these essential factors. (Griffin Myers, 3/26)