Viewpoints: Is This Leftward Lurch On Health Insurance Going To Benefit Trump?; Health Care Might Give Dems An Advantage Again But Some Of These Ideas Would Backfire
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
Bernie Sanders Won The Debate
President Trump is a lucky man. Typically a re-election campaign is a referendum on the incumbent, and Mr. Trump is losing that race. But the Democrats are moving left so rapidly that they may let him turn 2020 into a choice between his policy record and the most extreme liberal agenda since 1972 (which may be unfair to George McGovern). ...Or take health care, as nearly all of the candidates now consider ObamaCare to be inadequate. Ms. Warren has endorsed Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, which would abolish private insurance for 177 million Americans. So has Kamala Harris, though she now seems to be hedging and says she’d allow private insurance for “supplemental” coverage. But she isn’t clear if that’s for optional procedures like cosmetic surgery or regular health coverage. Most of the other candidates favor expanding the Affordable Care Act with a “public option,” or government-run plan, that would compete with private insurance. (6/28)
The New York Times:
Are We Sure Eliminating Private Insurance Is A Good Idea?
It would be an exaggeration to say that the Democratic primary race is entirely about health care, but only a little bit of one. The standout moment from the first evening was Elizabeth Warren’s vociferous defense of eliminating private insurance companies, and much of the first half of last night’s debate was consumed with the issue as well. The candidates onstage were eager to recommend their plans and elaborate on their differences: Perhaps more than any other issue, this was one on which the different policy ideas in play were clear. Democrats were offering voters choices. (Peter Suderman, 6/28)
The Washington Post:
Do The 2020 Democrats Really Want To ‘Abolish’ Private Insurance?
Few things are less enlightening during a debate than to ask candidates to raise their hands to give a yes-or-no answer to a question, but since the TV networks seem incapable of running these events without at least some measure of idiocy, that’s what we got in both of the Democratic debates that took place this week. The topic was one of the most complex policy challenges we face — health-care reform — so I guess dumbing it down as much as possible seemed like the right approach to somebody at NBC. (Paul Waldman, 6/28)
The New York Times:
The Never-Ending Mistreatment Of Black Patients
My patient would never breathe on his own again, but he didn’t know it yet. Years of smoking landed him in our emergency room several times a month. Now the only thing lying between him and the grave was a breathing machine. As his I.C.U. doctor, I had done everything possible to liberate him from the ventilator. Nothing had worked. Whenever we turned down the breathing machine to see if he could breathe on his own, his eyes widened in panic until we turned it up again. (Jessica Nutik Zitter, 6/29)
Want To Prevent Vaccine Deaths? Show People The Consequences Of Unvaccinated Nations
People’s confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines is greater in poor than rich countries, according to Wellcome’s recently published Global Monitor, a survey of 140,000 people from over 140 countries. For instance, beliefs in vaccine safety are at 99 percent in Rwanda and 97 percent in Bangladesh but 72 percent in the U.S. and 47 percent in France. This is a problem because to stop the spread of a very contagious disease like measles, 90-95 percent of the population should be vaccinated — the concept of herd immunity. (Ifeanyi M. Nsofor, 6/29)
Abortion Rights: Bans Will Further Punish Domestic Violence Victims
As my client testified about enduring years of forced sex by her boyfriend, the judge interrupted and asked if she was talking about rape. My client haltingly responded that she guessed so, but it happened so often. This response is common, both because it can be hard for survivors to define sexual violence perpetrated by someone they care about and who purports to care for them — an intimate partner, family member, friend, or acquaintance — and because our societal fears and conceptions of rape typically fixate on stranger rape. Our laws, also, were designed to respond to stranger violence, not intimate abuse, and the law historically legalized rape of wives and daughters by granting husbands and fathers immunity from prosecution and litigation. (Jane K. Stoever, 6/28)
Is Sunscreen Safe?
While media reporting may have caused some to pause before applying sunscreen, the authors themselves urge that their findings shouldn’t prevent us from using it. These levels of absorption are extraordinarily low and may be completely harmless and the paper concludes that further study is warranted.Sunscreen’s effectiveness against skin cancer — the most common form of cancer in the U.S. — is not in dispute, and the risk of not using it is great. More Americans are diagnosed with skin cancers, more than three million each year, than all other cancers combined, and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. (Jonathan Fielding, 6/29)
California Needs Clean Water
In 2012, former California governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Human Right to Water Act, recognizing that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” At least 1 million Californians are still waiting to exercise that right, according to Brown’s successor, Governor Gavin Newsom, who has called the state’s water crisis a “moral disgrace and a medical emergency.” (6/27)
The CT Mirror:
Common Sense Medicare Changes Can Help Patients, Boost Economic Growth
One effective way to maintain access but cut out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs would be to institute changes in how Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) distribute rebates within the Medicare Part D program. PBMs are the third-party middlemen that negotiate drug prices between insurers and manufacturers. (Tony Sheridan, 6/28)