Viewpoints: Work, The Safety Net And Obamacare; Hospitals And Disaster Preparations
A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.
The Washington Post:
Part Of The Safety Net Does Discourage Work. Expanding Obamacare Would Fix That.
If Paul Ryan really wants to encourage more Americans to work, and to move up the income ladder, he could start by urging his fellow Republicans to expand Obamacare. Really. The House speaker recently rolled out his grand vision for reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility, part of his effort to brand the GOP as the “party of ideas.” A recurrent theme in his 35-page plan is how today’s social safety net discourages poor people from working, or at least from earning more money. (Catherine Rampell, 6/14)
San Antonio Press Express:
How Can Hospitals Possibly Prepare For Disasters? With Practice And Planning
Emergency departments are expected to respond rapidly. They must effectively and quickly assess who among the wounded needs treatment first, or triage. Hospitals must create surgical capacity in the operating rooms, and bed capacity on the floors to treat patients that require admission. ... These systematic approaches to surge planning for mass casualty responses take an “all hazards” approach to ensure that the plan is adaptable and scaleable regardless of the type or cause of the event. (Sam Shartar, 6/15)
Louisiana Hospitals Welcome Medicaid Expansion But Fret About Budget Cuts
Louisiana's nine safety net hospitals are bracing for big state funding cuts as lawmakers in a special session remain deadlocked over new Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' request for tax increases to fund healthcare and higher education. Meanwhile, the state is racing to enroll low-income adults in its new Medicaid expansion that starts July 1, which Edwards implemented through executive order and which the Republican-controlled Legislature did not try to block. State officials say they've already signed up more than 200,000 of a projected total of 375,000 people since enrollment started June 1. (Harris Meyer, 6/14)
The New York Times:
Is The Sanders Agenda Out Of Date?
As the Democratic primaries came to an end Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met. Mr. Sanders presumably made a strong case that the ideas and ideological direction of his campaign should be incorporated into her campaign and, if she wins, her presidency. Earlier in the day, in anticipation of the meeting, he said, “I think the time is now — in fact, the time is long overdue — for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party.” ... But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues. For example, many liberal Democrats would agree with Mr. Sanders, in theory, that single-payer health insurance could be fairer, more efficient and cheaper than our fragmented system. But the president and Congress made the decision in 2010 to build on the private insurance system, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, in part because single-payer wasn’t politically viable. A Democratic administration’s next moves will be to expand and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not start over. (Mark Schmitt, 6/15)
Los Angeles Times:
The NRA Has Blocked Gun Violence Research For 20 Years. It's Time To End Its Stranglehold.
The Orlando massacre reminds us that there’s an enormous amount we don’t know about gun violence — what causes it, what its consequences are for surviving families, how to stop it. You can blame our ignorance on the National Rifle Assn. – and on the federal officials the NRA has intimidated away from this crucial field of public health for 20 years. (Michael Hiltzik, 6/14)
New Hampshire Union Leader:
Nursing Shortage Threatens NH Health Care System
Our aging country must come to grips with the fact that, increasingly, it’s hard to find caregivers for our most vulnerable citizens. By 2022, the number of direct care workers needed nationally is projected to exceed the number of K-12 teachers. And New Hampshire is aging faster than almost any other state. (Brendan Williams 6/14)
Reframe Minnesota’s Conversation About Disparities
We’ve approached racial equity “from a place of despair,” Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, told the editorial board. We should instead be talking about assets, she said, and “celebrating and encouraging things that are working.” (6/15)
The New York Times:
I Am A Gay Man From Orlando. Why Can’t I Donate Blood?
Growing up as a gay man in the suburbs of Orlando, Fla., was a challenge. After I started coming out to friends and family when I was 15, I was moved from school to school and I was subjected to the Exodus program, which attempted to change my sexuality through religious reform. In the face of this kind of discrimination, L.G.B.T. people in Orlando have carved out our own safe zones, congregating at bars and restaurants where we can dare to be ourselves, away from disapproving eyes. Pulse, the nightclub that was attacked on Sunday morning, was one of those places. My husband and I got married in Orlando on April 23. The night before, we went to Pulse with our closest friends to celebrate and to feel a sense of love and community. That’s the type of environment that Pulse offered us. (Blake Lynch, 6/15)
The New York Times:
How Did I Get An Abortion In Texas? I Didn’t.
Any day now, the Supreme Court is going to decide whether women everywhere have full access to the right to an abortion, or just those who live in the right ZIP code — and whether any other woman in Texas, where I live, will have to go through what I did last fall. The abortion restrictions that the court is currently considering, which were passed in 2013 under the pretext of protecting women’s health and safety, are really nothing more than unnecessary obstacles. In my life, they made a devastating situation much worse. (Valerie Peterson, 6/15)
Kansas City Star:
Spend More Money To Aggressively Attack Lead Poisoning In Children
Because of lack of resolve and money, this nation has failed to meet a 2010 goal to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by attacking a problem that often exists in poor and minority neighborhoods. Paint found in many older homes in the Kansas City area and throughout the country contains lead; it was finally banned as a paint ingredient in 1978. (6/14)