Viewpoints: Placing Blame For Fla.’s Hurricane Nursing Home Deaths; The Problems With Paying Medical Bills
A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.
Negligence - Yes, But Also Legislative Cowardice To Blame For Nursing Home Deaths
It’s not a mere oversight that Florida nursing homes and assisted-living facilities aren’t required to have generators for air-conditioning units. That’s how the industry wanted it. Generators, as you know, are expensive. And it’s not as if lawmakers didn’t comprehend that a massive hurricane blackout might expose ailing seniors to life-threatening heat and dehydration. Everyone knew, but few had the spine to take on the Florida Health Care Association, the powerful nursing-home lobby. Some tried, though. An autopsy of their past efforts was depressingly recounted in The Herald following the tragedy in Hollywood Hills. (Carl Hiaasen, 9/29)
The Medical Bill Score: How The Public Judges Health Care
We track a lot of numbers in health care: how much we spend on health as a share of our economy; the number of uninsured; and the share of the federal budget allocated to health programs. What we don't track — and a number the Congressional Budget Office cannot score — is the statistic that means the most to the American people: the share of the public having problems paying their health care bills. (Drew Altman, 10/3)
The Washington Post:
I’m Dying Of Brain Cancer. I Prepared To End My Life. Then I Kept Living.
In April 2015, at the age of 55, I was diagnosed with one of the most lethal and aggressive brain tumors, a brainstem glioblastoma multiforme in an advanced stage. The prognosis was both grim and precise: Without treatment, I might have a few months; with treatment, I could last six months. If I beat overwhelming odds, I’d toast the new year one last time. (Jeffrey Davitz, 9/29)
Breast Cancer Is Important, But So Are Other Cancers
I won’t be wearing pink this month, or taking part in a breast cancer walk, or donating money to breast cancer research. It’s not that I don’t think beating breast cancer is a good cause. It is. I believe that to my core. Money raised by breast cancer charities has increased screening and funded important research. It has saved lives, including those of people I know and love. My issue is that the amazing job that breast cancer charities have done raising funds and awareness has exacted a heavy toll on awareness and fundraising opportunities for other types of cancer — like colorectal cancer, the one I am currently living with. (Tamlyn Oliver, 10/2)
Georgia Health News:
It’s Our Goal To Make Fresh, Healthy Food An Everyday Affair
Though summer is over, the “season” for local, farm-fresh food is still in full swing. And while affluent foodies in Georgia have an abundance of local produce options nearly year-round, these options are sometimes not feasible for those who live at or below the poverty line. (Sara Berney, 10/2)
The New York Times:
What Makes Singapore’s Health Care So Cheap?
Singapore’s health care system is distinctive, and not just because of the improbability that it’s admired by many on both the American left and the right. It spends less of its economy on health care than any country that was included in our recent tournament on best health systems in the world. (Aaron E. Carroll and Austin Frakt, 10/2)