Viewpoints: Warren Outlines Her ‘Medicare For All’ Vision; Can Only Giant Taxes Pay For A Giant Overhaul?
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
Ending The Stranglehold Of Health Care Costs On American Families
Health care is a human right, and we need a system that reflects our values. That system is Medicare for All. Let’s be clear: America’s medical professionals are among the best in the world. Health care in America is world-class. Medicare for All isn’t about changing any of that.It’s about fixing what is broken — how we pay for that care. And when it comes to health care, what’s broken is obvious. A fractured system that allows private interests to profiteer off the health crises of the American people. A system that crushes our families with costs they can’t possibly bear, forcing tens of millions to go without coverage or to choose between basic necessities like food, rent, and health — or bankruptcy. (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 11/1)
We'll Need A Lot More Billionaires To Fund Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare For All'
Here’s bad news for Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): Turns out that to pay for “Medicare for All,” we’ll need a whole lot more rich people. Today’s crop just won’t come close to providing the vast sums needed for his single-payer plan. That would appeal to the crusty Vermont senator, who has said billionaires shouldn’t exist, about as much as force-feeding foie gras to an animal-rights activist. (Liz Peek, 10/31)
The New York Times:
What Chronic-Pain Patients Are Deeply Afraid Of
In recent years, chronic-pain patients on long-term opioid therapy have been living in fear. They fear being abruptly cut off from their medication by doctors who no longer feel comfortable prescribing opioids. They fear the prospect of withdrawal and a life of pain. We now have evidence that these fears are eminently reasonable. Across the country, clinicians have changed their prescribing practices, requiring that patients taper abruptly to a lower dose or discontinue their opioid medication altogether, sometimes under threat of being “fired” from their clinic if they don’t comply. (Travis N. Rieder, 10/31)
The Health System In My Native Australia Can Learn A Lot From The U.S.
As an Australian living in California and doing research on health policy, I’ve taken an interest in the ongoing debate among Californians about the benefits of moving to a single-payer health care system.In my home country, the government’s Medicare policy covers health care costs for its citizens. There’s a set fee for physician consultations, and most medicines and procedures are subsidized. While it was perhaps a blessing to grow up with this system, it didn’t prepare me for health care coverage in the United States. (David Boettiger, 11/1)
Billion-Dollar Loophole Threatens Medicaid Integrity
Since our nation’s founding, Americans have valued hard work and self-sufficiency. With near record-low unemployment and seven million open jobs, the American Dream has never been more attainable. So why is the government fast-tracking its citizens on to welfare instead of connecting people with opportunities? Across the country, state officials are using auto-enrollment to funnel people already on food stamps into Medicaid, a massive government-provided healthcare program intended to serve low-income folks and the disabled. They’re also using automatic renewals for existing Medicaid enrollees to keep them in dependency. (Robin Walker, 10/30)
The Washington Post:
Missouri Didn’t Track Planned Parenthood Patients’ Periods To Protect Women. It Was To Control Them.
If you want to track your period, there’s lots of ways to do it besides taking notes on your own personal calendar. There’s Period Tracker and Clue and Flo and Eve and Cycles and Bellabeat Period Diary and so on. In fact, there are at least 200 apps that will do the job for you. And apparently, the state of Missouri briefly joined that crowded market, at least if you terminated a pregnancy at the state’s one remaining abortion clinic, a Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis. (Helaine Olen, 10/31)
Kansas City Star:
Missouri’s Spreadsheet On Women’s Menstrual Cycles Is Totally Normal. In Dystopia
Hey Missouri, Margaret Atwood can’t keep up with you. In the totalitarian Gilead of her novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the Commanders would appreciate the ingenuity of creating a whole spreadsheet of women’s menstrual cycles. So as to better protect them, of course. As you’ve probably heard, the Missouri state health director, Dr. Randall Williams, testified this week at a hearing on revoking the license of the state’s last Planned Parenthood clinic that his department kept a spreadsheet on the menstrual periods of women who were patients there. This was to help the health department identify those who’d had complicated abortions. Put another way, it was to help them find something, anything, to justify closing the St. Louis facility. (10/31)
The New York Times:
Meet Memo, The Marie Kondo Of Fitness
Memo is a minimalist, so we’ll keep this short. In the Video Op-Ed above, we trail Guillermo Piñeda Morales, a.k.a. Memo. He clocked a 2:28:42 at this year’s Boston Marathon, placing him in the top 10 marathon runners for his age group globally. That’s very fast. The American fitness industry is worth $30 billion, but Memo’s not in on the trend. He won’t pop up in your Instagram #fitspo feed and you won’t get a glimpse of him at your gym. But if you have a resolution to run a marathon sometime, Memo will likely be whizzing past you. This Sunday, he’ll be running the New York City Marathon, bib #477. What’s Memo’s trick? Well, you can find that in the video. But it’s far simpler and cheaper than anything else out there. (Lindsay Crouse, Nayeema Raza, Taige Jensen and Max Cantor, 11/1)
The CT Mirror:
The ACA Is A Game Changer
Starting today, health insurance open enrollment begins in Connecticut. That means people across our state and around our country can choose a health care plan that works for them and their families. This includes signing up through Access Health CT—our state-run online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). (Chris Murphy, 11/1)
The Detroit News:
Get Ready For Budding Marijuana Market
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency today starts to take applications for recreational marijuana business licenses, nearly a year after voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing pot for pleasure .The state has had a year to prepare for this day, and we hope it's ready. Given the state's poor record of handling medical marijuana licensing of both businesses and testing facilities, the pot regulatory agency has a lot to prove. (11/1)