Viewpoints: Lessons On Why Every American Deserves Health Care Coverage; Much Worse Things Exist In Health Care Than Horrible ACA Deductibles
Opinion pages focus on these health topics and others.
Des Moines Register:
America Needs A Bold Yet Pragmatic Vision On Health Care
In living rooms and coffee shops across all of Iowa’s 99 counties, I am forever reminded that health care is the paramount issue facing Americans. Our current system is deeply broken, and our country needs a bold vision and a pragmatic approach for improving health care. In many ways, a candidate’s approach to health care defines their governing and leadership style. It answers important questions about their values, vision, pragmatism and management style. The Democratic Party should have as its true north universal access — where every American has health care coverage as a right of citizenship. We should support plans that encourage innovation — curing diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s — and that create a framework for getting costs under control. My BetterCare Plan uniquely achieves all of these goals. (John Delaney, Democratic presidential candidate, 1/1)
The Washington Post:
Why Democrats Can’t Run Only On Protecting Obamacare
Now that a federal appeals court has in all likelihood pushed the final reckoning for the Affordable Care Act past November 2020, many Democrats would like to turn the upcoming presidential and congressional elections into a defense of Obamacare, and leave behind that pesky and unpleasant debate over Medicare-for-all. As Politico reported last week, “Democratic strategists and candidates are eager to run a health care playbook that mirrors that of the party’s House takeover in 2018.” But simply promising to build on, strengthen and protect the ACA won’t be enough in 2020. (Helaine Olen , 12/30)
Addiction Treatment Is Broken. Here's What It Should Look Like
“If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply just to a baseball stadium in a cornfield. I believe that the same principle will work for creating affordable, effective treatment for addiction in the United States. Despite well-meaning rhetoric and funding from sources both public and private, the U.S. has an appalling dearth of person-centered care for the millions of Americans living with addiction, the biggest public health crisis of our time. I have worked in the recovery field for more than 30 years. (William Stauffer, 2/2)
The New York Times:
The Patriarchy Of Alcoholics Anonymous
I got sober in 2013. It took me about six months to transition from throwing back a few bottles of wine or pints of cheap whiskey a night to total abstinence. I didn’t go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I didn’t go to 90 meetings in 90 days. I didn’t have a sponsor. I didn’t work the steps. Most important: I wasn’t required to enumerate my character defects and work to eliminate them, or to buy into the idea that an outsize ego and lack of humility were the causes of my need to numb myself with alcohol. (Holly Whitaker, 12/27)
He Jiankui Is Going To Jail. Would The U.S. Criminally Prosecute A Rogue Gene-Editing Researcher?
On Monday, 13 months after He Jiankui announced that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies, the Chinese scientist was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $430,000. Working with two embryologists, who were also sentenced to fines and imprisonment, and an “unsuspecting doctor,” He used in vitro fertilization to create single cell embryos, whose DNA he then altered with the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to carry a gene variant thought to confer resistance to HIV. (Josephine Johnston, 12/31)
The New York Times:
Why Is America So Depressed?
Everyone has his or her own definition of a political crisis. Mine is when our collective mental health starts having a profound effect on our politics — and vice versa. It cannot be a simple coincidence that the two have declined in tandem. The American Psychiatric Association reported that from 2016 to 2017, the number of adults who described themselves as more anxious than the previous year rose 36 percent. (Lee Siegel, 1/2)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Tale Of The Gut-Shredding Magnets Shows Where De-Regulation Zealotry Can Take Us.
Three years ago, a type of small, powerful magnet used in children’s toys was returned to the market after a federal court lifted a government ban. The magnets can be lethal when kids swallow them, but manufacturers said they would address that concern through voluntary industry standards — an increasingly popular way of policing the marketplace that effectively curtails government regulators.It also curtails safety. A Washington Post investigation found that in the three years since the magnets returned to the market under the supposedly careful eye of manufacturers’ self-regulation, emergency rooms are seeing record numbers of kids for related injuries. (1/1)
The Washington Post:
Diabetes Brings Constant Worries — Especially When Deductibles Reset
If a night goes by and I make it until morning without hearing an alarm sounding from my daughter’s room, I rise with a slight tinge of panic, wondering whether she is okay. If I’m lucky, a week will pass without me waking at 2, 3 or 4 a.m. But even on those nights when I do slip from the covers, I often return with emotions that keep me from returning to sleep. (Erinne Magee, 12/30)
For Healthy New Year's Habits, Learn From The World's Longest-Lived Peoples
As a doctor, I'm often asked for medical advice by friends, family members, even new acquaintances: What about this diet? What should I do about this symptom? What about this medication? People are usually disappointed when I don't share their enthusiasm about the latest health fads. Members of my family, in particular, are often underwhelmed by my medical advice. (John Schumann, 1/1)
Placenta-Eating's Disputed Science Gets A Lift From 'Highly Medicalized' Childbirth
When Brooke Brumfield wasn't battling morning sickness, she craved nachos. Like many first-time expectant mothers, she was nervous and excited about her pregnancy. She had just bought a house with her husband, a wildland firefighter who had enrolled in paramedic school to transition to firefighting closer to home. Everything was going according to plan until 20 weeks into Brumfield's pregnancy, when she lost her job at a financial technology startup and, with it, her salary and three months' paid maternity leave. (Daniela Blei, 12/27)
DeVos Restores Fairness To Campus Sexual Misconduct Cases
Perhaps the federal Department of Education shouldn’t micromanage college disciplinary procedures at all. But policy makers like DeVos are right to remind schools that, although federal law prohibits schools from responding to claims of sexual misconduct in a discriminatory way, schools should take care to handle all claims fairly and with due process. (Jennifer Braceras, 1/2)
Des Moines Register:
Iowa Needs An Immunization For Officials Against Ignorance On Vaccines
A thistle to Rep. Jeff Shipley for spreading his painful ignorance about vaccines. The Republican from Fairfield should either get educated or get off social media. He felt compelled to respond on Twitter to a California lawmaker who has written laws strengthening oversight of school vaccine exemptions and limiting parents’ ability to opt out of vaccinating their children. Shipley called him “a medical rapist” before saying “pharma fascist” or “corporate vaccine whore" would be more appropriate terms. (12/31)