Viewpoints: Paul Ryan And High Risk Pools; Why Is Congress Delaying Zika Funding?
A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.
Los Angeles Times:
Paul Ryan's Idea To Cover Preexisting Conditions Via High-Risk Pools Is A Scam. Here's Why.
In yet another attempt to show that Republicans can be just as serious about healthcare reforms as Democrats, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called Wednesday for eliminating the Affordable Care Act's guarantee of insurance for people with preexisting medical conditions. Ryan didn't advocate cutting off these people entirely, but instead moving them into state high-risk pools that would subsidize their coverage. Taking them out of the general insurance population would "dramatically lower the price for everybody else" -- presumably everyone who was healthy. Speaking to students at Georgetown University, Ryan implied that this would be no big deal, because "less than 10% of people under 65 are what we call people with preexisting conditions, who are really kind of uninsurable." (Michael Hiltzik, 4/28)
Are Paul Ryan's High-Risk Pools A Better Way To Insure Sick People?
One of the Affordable Care Act's most consistently popular features, even among Republicans, is its ban on health insurers denying coverage or charging grossly higher premiums to people with pre-existing health conditions. But House Majority Leader Paul Ryan said Wednesday he wants to eliminate that ban and replace it with an alternative way of covering sicker people – high-risk pools. One problem is that similar pools had a long and rocky history in many states before Obamacare's guaranteed coverage took effect, and they would cost taxpayers billions of dollars a year. (Harris Meyer, 4/28)
Congress Has No Good Reason To Delay Zika Funding
More than two months after the White House asked Congress for more than $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus, Congress has yet to provide it. President Barack Obama, Republicans claim, has failed to explain in sufficient detail how his administration would spend the money. (4/28)
The Wall Street Journal:
Mental Dystrophy At The FDA
For anyone wondering why Americans disgusted with government would take a flyer on Donald Trump, consider Monday at the Food and Drug Administration: A panel of experts recommended denying young boys with a lethal form of muscular dystrophy access to an experimental drug with four years of promising clinical results. (4/28)
The Daily Beast:
Ronald Reagan’s Daughter To Will Ferrell: Don’t Mock My Dad’s Alzheimers
Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker. It steals what is most precious to a human being—memories, connections, the familiar landmarks of a lifetime that we all come to rely on to hold our place secure in this world and keep us linked to those we have come to know and love. (Patti Davis, 4/28)
The Boston Globe:
A Necessary Prescription For MassHealth
Before considering MassHealth by the numbers, it might be wise to take a deep breath. The state Medicaid program provides health insurance coverage for 1.8 million low-income and disabled Massachusetts residents, at a cost of $14.7 billion in this fiscal year alone. That’s about 40 percent of the entire state budget. MassHealth spending is projected to rise by another $300 million in the next fiscal year, and keep going up, draining money from other crucial programs and projects. (4/29)
The Boston Globe:
A Dorchester Dream Dimmed By Union Demands
Joel Abrams, the longtime head of the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center near Savin Hill, thought he had struck gold when his agency received a $7 million federal grant for an expansion he had dreamed of for years. The money would allow the center to expand both its medical examination area and office space, and create an urgent care center. In addition it could replace its cramped pharmacy and laboratory with significant upgrades. The 23,000-square-foot addition needed a few city approvals, including a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeal. But given its strong community support, he assumed getting those would be routine. (Adrian Walkers, 4/28)
Autism An ‘Opportunity’ To Soar For Palmetto High Teen
When I first talked publicly about being on the autism spectrum, I was 13 and a freshman at Miami Palmetto Senior High. At the time, having autism felt like a concrete block inside my head, which made it hard to flow through life like other kids. Success always seemed fleeting — or just out of reach. So I decided to write a story about my experiences for my honors English class. I remember standing up at my desk to read it, facing my teacher and roughly 30 of my peers. I was both anxious and excited; anxious because I could be rejected and excited about the possibilities. (Connor Cunningham, 4/28)
The Louisville Courier-Journal:
PAs Key To Better Healthcare Here
The commonwealth of Kentucky is famous for many great things: fried chicken, a major horse race and baseball equipment, to name a few. Unfortunately for the citizens of the Bluegrass State, it is also the only state that does not allow physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances. (Edward Timmons, 4/28)
The Columbus Dispatch:
More Strategies Needed On Obesity
The many campaigns that have been waged over the past decade to get American children to avoid unhealthy foods have not been fruitless. The national childhood obesity rate has stopped rising. Yet neither is it falling. What kids need is not just a better diet, but also a better media diet. (4/29)