Viewpoints: The Health Law and Wal-Mart; Congressional Probe Into Planned Parenthood; Trimming Medicare
The Wall Street Journal: Everyday Low Benefits
When Wal-Mart endorsed President Obama's health care plan in 2009, CEO Mike Duke said it did so "to remove the burden that is crushing America's businesses and hampering our competitiveness in the global economy." That doesn't seem to be working out too well — for all Americans, and especially for Wal-Mart's employees (10/26).
The Wall Street Journal: Obama's Health Care Gamble
(The Department of) Justice argues that the individual mandate is not severable from the Affordable Care Act's core insurance regulation and subsidy scheme. In other words, the mandate is so important that the rest of the law may need to be erased if it goes overboard. ... Justice's all-in gambit may be to raise the stakes — daring the court not merely to overturn one unpopular provision but to quash President Obama's major policy achievement and open itself to political blowback a la Citizens United (Joseph Rago, 10/25).
Des Moines Register: Where Is GOP's 'Obamacare' Solution?
Elect me and I’ll work to take away your health insurance. I’ll try to maintain a system where you lose coverage if you lose your job or get sick. Send me to office and I’ll make it my top priority to continue to leave millions of Americans uninsured and protect profit-seeking insurers. That is essentially what Republican presidential candidates are promising voters when they push to "repeal Obamacare." It's not as if this country's health care system was working so well for Americans before President Barack Obama came along and fouled things up (10/25).
Roll Call: Planned Parenthood Probe A Good First Step
It is a matter of public record that the affiliates of Planned Parenthood and its national headquarters receive about $1 million per day in federal-state support for a total of $1 billion or more in tax dollars in any three-year period. This alone would merit close government attention as to whether these funds are being spent appropriately and, specifically, in keeping with the federal laws that not only say abortion should not be funded but also that public money should not be made available to any program in which abortion is used as a means of family planning (Abby Johnson, 10/26).
Bloomberg: Four Ways The Super Committee Can Trim Medicare Down To Size
Congress's super committee, which is charged with cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade, can't prudently fulfill its mandate without tackling Medicare costs. … First, buy prescription drugs more wisely. … Second, stop reimbursing hospitals for beneficiaries who fail to rustle up their copayments or deductibles. … Third, rework cost-sharing rules. … Fourth, re-examine Medicare's eligibility age (10/25).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bill Weakens Protections For Public
Since 1995, Michigan has been the only state in the country in which citizens cannot bring suit against drug companies. If a drug has received Food and Drug Administration approval, that manufacturer cannot be held liable for deaths or injuries caused by its product. ... An identical law is being proposed for Wisconsin. … For 16 years, Michigan has endured a law at odds with public health, civil justice, economic growth, consumer protection and the FDA itself. We can only hope that Wisconsin will avoid the same fate (Henry Greenspan, 10/25).
Houston Chronicle: Some Facts To Consider In Prostate-Screening Debate
The bottom line is this. The population-based studies can predict the likely occurrence of prostate cancer in a large group of men who were and were not screened with PSA. PSA screening had little if any influence on the number of deaths from prostate cancer among these men. This does not predict what will happen to you, which, after all, is your focus, as it should be. The correct course can best be determined by each man and his caregivers (Leonard A. Zwelling and James S. Goodwin, 10/25).
Health Policy Solutions (A Colorado News Service): Culture Change Key To Countering Obesity Epidemic
Colorado is officially the leanest state in the nation, with a 19.8 percent adult obesity rate, according to ... [a] report released in July. ... While some Coloradans may consider the ranking a victory for the state, many local health organizations are urging residents to consider all the facts before celebrating. For example, despite its top ranking, Colorado’s obesity rate has nearly doubled in the last 15 years, and today one in five Coloradans are obese and more than half of our population (56.2 percent) is either overweight or obese (Maren Stewart, 10/26).
Journal of the American Medical Association: The Continuing Paradoxes Of Nursing Home Policy
The confusion about nursing homes arises because many clinical practices and public policies about long-term care are unclear and frustrating. In the patchwork of US health care delivery and financing, nursing homes sit squarely atop 2 of the most problematic seams: the disjunction between Medicare and Medicaid and the disjunction between episodic acute care and long-term care. As a result, facilities referred to as "nursing homes" are generally individual facilities with 2 entirely separate — and often conflicting — clinical missions (Bruce C. Vladeck, 10/26).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Hospital Readmissions And The Affordable Care Act
Hospital readmissions have been the subject of ever-increasing scrutiny. Indeed, they are an important focus of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Identified by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission as a major action item for some time, hospital readmissions remain prevalent, costly, and largely preventable (Dr. Robert P. Kocher and Kr. Eli Y. Adashi, 10/26).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Hospital Readmissions — Not Just A Measure Of Quality
Readmission policy could reward hospitals that address the root causes of readmission. Unfortunately, the penalties also have the potential to create new access barriers (Dr. Shreya Kangovi and Dr. David Grande, 10/26).