Viewpoints: Opioid Litigation Has To Take Accountability Of Purdue Pharma Into Account As Well Money; Concerns About Reducing Obesity Seem To Be Slipping Away From Politicians
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
The Washington Post:
Can Justice Be Found In The Rubble Of Purdue Pharma?
What is the main purpose of the multiple lawsuits seeking to hold the pharmaceutical industry liable for the epidemic of opioid addiction and death that has swept the country over the past two decades? By filing for bankruptcy and offering to distribute billions of dollars among jurisdictions that agree to settle their claims against it, Purdue Pharma has implied that the plaintiffs are really interested in one thing, money. And undoubtedly they are: Purdue’s cash could do a lot of good for victims of opioid addiction, especially if it does indeed get spent on addiction treatment and on preventing new addiction, as opposed to being diverted for general purposes as much of the nationwide tobacco lawsuit settlement was. Nevertheless, the plaintiffs also seek justice. (9/17)
Media And Candidates Should Be Ashamed That They Don't Talk About Obesity
The Democratic presidential debate on Sept. 12 raised numerous issues related to health care, gun control, and immigration reform. Why didn’t one of the media representatives ask “How do you plan to address the obesity epidemic?” Obesity should be the plum topic. It affects 40 percent of eligible voters (the same percentage of the population as all registered Democrats) plus 20 percent of our children. There are ethnic/racial disparities. African, Asian, Latino and Native Americans are disproportionately affected. There are income disparities. (Michael Rosenbaum, 9/18)
Experts Say No Sugary Drinks For Kids, But Parents Can't Do It Alone
This week, four of the largest organizations dealing with pediatric health came together to endorse new guidelines about what young children should drink. On the surface, these recommendations are not surprising: They suggest that kids under five should be drinking primarily water and dairy milk and avoiding sugary drinks and juices. But heeding even this intuitive advice is a major public health challenge — one that will take more than just informed consumer choices. These guidelines point to an urgent need for stronger regulations, system changes and more cooperation from industry to protect our children’s current and future health. (Mary Story, 9/18)
Dreamers Like Me Fill Critical Gaps In Mental Health Care
In 1993, when I was 3 years old, my family left Pakistan for the United States. My parents were searching for a brighter, safer future and better educational opportunities for their children. All of that came true for me, but now it is being threatened by President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives young undocumented immigrants — often called Dreamers — the right to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.I’m now working in my dream job as a psychiatrist in a hospital and Veterans Health Administration clinic just outside Chicago. (Aaima Sayed, 9/18)
Innovation Litmus Test: Does It Ease Health Care 'Tensions'?
It is easy to understand why: the promise of innovation is astounding. Innovation done well can improve health care outcomes, decrease costs, serve more people, create market share, and help institutions gain cutting-edge reputations. And as health care spending approaches 20% of the U.S. economy, it’s apparent why the concept holds so much appeal for decision-makers and innovators.Yet innovation theater and liberally labeling projects as “innovations” pose threats of equal proportion. We believe there is value in innovation and want to protect it, but to do so it’s important to discern what it really means in health care. (Joseph S. Salama, Alex Lee and Ashkan Afshin, 9/19)
The Washington Post:
The GM Strike And America’s Health-Care Burden
Almost 50,000 General Motors workers represented by the United Auto Workers union went on strike just after midnight on Monday. At issue: Workers want the Big Three automakers to address pay disparities that trace back to the Great Recession (people hired before 2007 earn more than those who came on after). The companies can certainly afford that, given that GM’s profits alone topped $8.1 billion in 2018. And, since this is the United States in 2019, do I need to tell you that health care is also an issue in the strike? (Helaine Olen, 9/18)
The New York Times:
A New Wave Of Caregivers: Men
When you hear the word “caregiver,” what image comes to mind? Most likely it is a woman in her 40s — someone tucking her children in with a phone call to her aging mother before bed. And in fact, this isn’t inaccurate. But did you know that of the 40 million family caregivers in America, nearly half of them are men? (Courtney E. Martin, 9/18)