Viewpoints: Treat Heroin Like The Public Health Crisis It Is; Examining Tax-Exempt Hospitals Commitment To Charity Care
A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.
Heroin Must Be Treated Like Public Health Crisis That It Is
Over the course of history, threats to public health have triggered the collective action to stop polio, raise billions for cancer research, and turn the tide on AIDS, which once meant certain death to its sufferers. Today, the heroin epidemic merits collective action. (9/18)
Some Tax-Exempt Hospitals Are Lax At Providing Charity Care, Accountability
I’ve been evaluating and investigating tax-exempt hospitals for more than a decade. Most of them work hard to meet their obligations and care for low-income patients to the best of their abilities. But when the wheels fall off at certain hospitals, they fall off badly. Such hospitals seem to forget that tax exemption is a privilege, not a right. In addition to withholding financial assistance to low-income patients, they give top executives salaries on par with their for-profit counterparts. Early on in my oversight of tax-exempt hospitals, the congressional Government Accountability Office concluded that nonprofit hospitals and for-profit hospitals were virtually indistinguishable in their levels of uncompensated care. (Sen. Chuck Grassley, 9/18)
Is There A Future For A Zika Vaccine?
When Zika does start to spread again, which seems likely, the loss of this one vaccine is unfortunate, particularly because it is from a major manufacturer. But there are numerous other Zika vaccine candidates currently in the works. While it’s not entirely clear what lies behind Sanofi Pasteur’s decision, it is worrisome, suggesting that a deeper problem is at play and highlighting one of the biggest challenges in vaccine development. (Seth Berkley, 9/18)
The Columbus Dispatch:
New Bill Is Bad Medicine
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger showed common sense by putting the brakes on a bill to bar Ohio employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated against the flu. The bill was opposed by every major health-care association in Ohio, along with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. (9/19)
Gates Foundation’s $120 Million Fuels PATH’S Lifesaving Work
AS Seattle recovers from the one-two punch of Amazon’s wanderlust and Mayor Ed Murray’s ignominious resignation, residents should find inspiration in the city’s thriving global-health ventures.Bill and Melinda Gates continue to raise the bar for generosity with investments in health programs saving millions of lives. (9/18)