Viewpoints: Obamacare’s Future; Supreme Court Impact On Health Care; And Medicare
Editorial pages focus on these public health issues and more.
Obamacare’s Illusion Of Preexisting Condition Protections
President Trump’s recent executive order laying out his “America-First Healthcare Plan” makes clear his continued commitment to the long-standing, bipartisan consensus that we should protect people with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, the previous administration’s attempt to make good on that consensus — Obamacare — has failed to deliver on its promises. (CMS Administrator Seema Verna, 10/19)
Judge Barrett's View Of Obamacare Stirs Fear Among Disabled Americans
As I watched the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett last week, I couldn't help but think how much her confirmation would hurt families like hers and mine. Nobody questions that Judge Barrett loves her family, but it is a simple fact that whether she is promoted to the Supreme Court or not, she will have a level of guaranteed health care for life that many if not most disabled people can only dream of -- especially if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. (Rebecca Cokley, 10/19)
ObamaCare And The Supreme Court -- Can The Government Force Us To Eat Broccoli?
Wait a minute. Didn’t the Supreme Court already uphold ObamaCare in 2012? Yes, it did. So why is the constitutionality of this legislation back before the Supreme Court?Here is the backstory. (Andrew P. Napolitano, 10/19)
Breaking My Silence: My Family Needed Me. I Had To Survive, So I Had An Abortion.
I did not intend to write this story, but our present moment, with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court and the challenges almost certain to follow in regard to Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act, have led me to break my silence. In the fall of 1993, I had an abortion. My husband went with me to the hospital. My parents met us there. They circled me in the curtained room of the pre-operative area. My 12-year-old son was at his middle school. Like many children that age, he was having a hard time of it. (Elaine Neil Orr, 10/20)
The Washington Post:
Judge Amy Coney Barrett And The Future Of Physician-Assisted Suicide
Other issues created more controversy during her confirmation hearings, but one of the insufficiently appreciated effects of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s elevation to the Supreme Court could be to fortify existing high court doctrine on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, specifically a 23-year-old precedent denying that terminally ill patients have a constitutional right to either one. (Charles Lane, 10/19)
Medicare Must Speed Coverage For Breakthrough Digital Therapeutics
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a draft rule that could dramatically improve access to evidence-based treatments that can be delivered virtually. But it won’t unless CMS makes another seemingly simple change regarding benefit categories.Covid-19 has killed more than 180,000 Medicare beneficiaries to date, representing about 80% of all Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. That means there’s a pressing need for safe and effective socially distanced digital therapeutics. (Andre Ostrovsky, 10/19)
Policymakers Need To Keep Health Care Costs In Check
Nowhere are the stresses of the pandemic on Kentucky more apparent than in the health care delivery system. Our state has seen the largest jump in Medicaid enrollment in the nation. Between February and August, Medicaid rolls swelled 17.2%, with more than 226,000 new enrollees. Now, one in three Kentuckians are Medicaid beneficiaries. (Stephanie Stumbo, 10/19)
Use Cell Phone Numbers To Match Patients With Their Health Records
When the U.S. House of Representatives voted in August to overturn a ban on using federal funds to establish a national patient identifier — a unique health ID number for every U.S. resident — the move was widely lauded by health care groups. A national patient identifier could be the unambiguous thread that would tie all medical records across all health care organizations to the correct person. It would provide the basis for improved care coordination and enhanced patient safety by ensuring that physicians have access to comprehensive medical data at the point of care. (Mark Larow, 10/20)
The Washington Post:
My Elderly Father Spent 36 Hours Searching For Urgent Hospital Care. It Was Entirely Preventable.
Covid-19 recently became more than an abstraction for my father. He wasn’t diagnosed with the disease, but he did spend several days crisscrossing central Wisconsin in search of a hospital bed and a doctor to provide the urgent care he needed. (Signe Jorgenson, 10/19)
Helping Alzheimer's Patients Bring Back Memories
People of all ages have moments when it feels like we’re on the edge of recalling something but can’t quite do it—where we parked our car or left our phone, for example, or what name goes with that familiar face. It’s extremely frustrating in the moment, but for most of us, we can usually remember if we try. For patients with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and many other dementia-causing diseases, however, memory loss is much more profound. (Dheeraj Roy, 10/19)
Stop The Presses: According To Latest Studies, We Are All Going To Die
Here’s the bad news: According to the latest study, we are all going to die. Worse, it is for the most part sooner than expected. I’m not talking about COVID-19. Published studies caution coffee causes cancer; buttered popcorn increases risks of Alzheimer’s disease; and soda raises the probability of premature death. It seems like an entire industry exists to support the warnings that “everything will kill you” sooner than expected. (Richard Berman, 10/19)