Viewpoints: The ‘Need’ To Repeal CLASS; Squaring Romney’s Poverty And Tax Promises
Politico: Repeal Ponzi Scheme Known As CLASS
As a physician, I treated hundreds of patients who needed long-term care, including ones with Alzheimer’s. More than 13.5 million seniors could have this disease by 2040. Middle-class families remain dangerously unprepared for these costs. Some people will likely spend more than $100,000 on care. The fictional CLASS daily benefit of $50 per day won’t cover this. I urge my House and Senate colleagues to support this CLASS repeal. We should instead make it easier for disabled Americans to save for future needs, expand access to affordable private long-term care coverage and better educate Americans about the need for retirement planning (Rep. Charles Boustany, 1/17).
The Washington Post: Report: Young Adults Making Gains Under Health-Care Law
[T]he part of health-care reform intended to make sure people have coverage is working. I’ve talked to a number of young adults who couldn't afford health insurance on their own who are grateful they didn't join the ranks of the uninsured. ... Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you don’t need health insurance. One in six young adults has a chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes or asthma. Nearly half of uninsured young adults report problems paying medical bills (Michelle Singletary, 1/17).
The Washington Post: Mitt Romney's Miserly Concern For The Poor
Consider Romney’s support for the budget plan crafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and passed by the Republican House. It would cut Medicaid spending by $700 billion over 10 years, reduce food stamps by $127 billion and cut in half the funding of Pell Grants for low-income college students. As Fox News’s Chris Wallace usefully pointed out in an interview with Romney last month, “You would cut all of these programs, Governor, that people depend on, and a lot more than that" (Ruth Marcus, 1/17).
The Fiscal Times: Cancer Business: $$$ Drugs and Conflicts of Interest
In the long-running war to hold down health care spending, controlling cancer chemotherapy costs looms as the next great battleground. Pharmaceutical companies have been slapping price tags on their latest cancer drugs from $50,000 to $160,000 a year, even though most of them have limited ability to extend the lives of people in the final stages of this devastating illness (Merrill Goozner, 1/17).
The Miami Herald: Bad Prescription For Patients
Gov. Rick Scott's plan to fix the state's budget by cutting Medicaid spending will deliver a near knockout blow to Miami-Dade County's public hospital, the Jackson Health System, as well as others that assist the poorest and neediest. Reeling from a $110 million cut in Medicaid funding this fiscal year and facing an $86 million shortfall, Jackson is in a terrible fiscal bind. Now Gov. Scott proposes a formula for Medicaid reimbursement that subtracts another $200 million or more (1/14).
Los Angeles Times: A Smoke-Free UC Goes Too Far
Smoking is a detestable, dangerous habit — but it's also a legal one, and there is plenty to say in defense of allowing adults to make bad decisions if they're not breaking the law or harming others. The University of California should have taken that into account before UC President Mark G. Yudof announced that all 10 campuses would become smoke- and tobacco-free within two years (1/18).
The Washington Post: Roe V. Wade's Greedy Offspring
The annual carnival in Washington around the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision (Happy 39th, Roe!) has become more farcical with each repetition. As technology and state-policy changes make the landmark case less important, anniversary observances have devolved into fact-free spectacles that have less to do with abortion than with raising money for advocacy groups on both sides (Dana Milbank, 1/17).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Universal Screening And Drug Treatment Of Dyslipidemia In Children And Adolescents
The rationale for considering cardiovascular disease prevention efforts in childhood is compelling. ... the development and progression of atherosclerosis, which often starts in childhood, are also directly related to the number of risk factors and their severity. ... The robust evidence that high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are a cause of atherosclerosis and clinical events is not matched by similar levels of evidence that long-term, perhaps lifelong, drug treatment in young children is effective and safe (Dr. Bruce M. Psaty and Dr. Frederick P. Rivara, 1/18).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Is Universal Pediatric Lipid Screening Justified?
(E)ven together these factors do not necessarily amount to a solid rationale for universal screening. Most randomized trials of lipid lowering in youth are relatively short and involve medication treatment of high-risk children. The extent to which lifestyle intervention reduces long-term risk in those with moderately elevated lipid levels is unknown. Also unclear are the presence of psychological effects from labeling and safety for children taking statins for long periods (Dr. Matthew W. Gillman and Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, 1/18).
HealthyCal: Resolving To Talk With Your Loved Ones About Aging With Dignity And Independence
I invite you to think about what aging with dignity and independence means. Then take time to have the tough conversations with your loved ones about what is important to you as you grow older, and how you will get help should you require daily assistance. ... Many Americans are dramatically unprepared, so there is no time like the present to think through and discuss these topics with the very people who will likely be part of your caring network (Dr. Bruce Chernof, 1/17).