Today’s Op-Eds: Costs Of Health Care Lawsuits; Politics And The Deficit; Self-Recusal And The Supreme Court
Missouri's Medicare Nightmare Kansas City Star
As a patient advocate, my top priority for health reform is expanding coverage and giving people access to the best treatments. Controlling costs is important, but it shouldn't come at the expense of patients. The (Independent Payment Advisory) board is structured in such a way that cost cutting in Medicare could push out caregivers and compromise senior care. Missouri's representatives have to push for reform (Heather Craig, 10/26).
BARTON: Ten Ways To Start Cleaning Up The Mess The Washington Times
It's up to the people to decide what happens next. It seems plain to many that the president and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, California Democrat, have made a mess of things, and if voters choose to take control of the House from their hands and reinvest their trust in Republicans, I mean to be prepared. ... Our first job will be to find out what's gone wrong. That's why the return of vigorous congressional oversight is going to be a top priority for me and the committee next year (Rep. Joe Barton, 10/26).
Health Care Isn't Free The Salt Lake Tribune
When the 46 million Americans without health insurance go to the hospital when they get sick, somebody has to pay. So whether it comes from Jacob's hospital bill last week or mine next week, the money has to come from somewhere. Health care reform can shift that unfair burden and make the system more equitable. Give it a chance (Beth Chardack, 10/27).
The Critics Aren't Wrong About Health Care Lawsuit The Houston Chronicle
I suggest that this type of lawsuit makes a political statement of disagreement. These kinds of lawsuits cannot be settled and don't solve problems. They should be filed with great caution. In 2010 we saw much such political litigation against the federal government, over pollution regulation, federal education money, the drilling moratorium and more. Such litigation has solved nothing, and has not benefited Texas (Barbara Ann Radnofsky, 10/26).
Dithering On The Deficit Orlando Sentinel
About a third of federal spending already goes to Medicare and Social Security. That share will swell as the U.S. population ages and health care costs rise. Politicians who call themselves fiscally responsible but rule out cuts in these programs and other big-ticket areas, including defense, aren't credible. Earmarks and the other easy targets for faux cost cutters - waste, fraud and abuse - are tiny by comparison (10/27).
Let The Justices Be The Judge Chicago Tribune
[W]e definitely know that [Virginia Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas] is an outspoken opponent of President Barack Obama's health care reforms, and we will eventually find out whether her high visibility on the issue will prompt Thomas' recusal when challenges to the law reach the Supreme Court. ... In what may well be the most troubling aspect of this whole contretemps, however, the disqualification decision will be made by Thomas alone, without the participation of the other justices (Steven Lubet, 10/27).
If Employers Stop Offering Health Insurance The Des Moines Register
Based on the Congressional Budget Office's prediction, it's unlikely the new health reform law is going to dismantle most employer-based coverage. But if it does, the exchange infrastructure will be in place to respond -- perhaps creating a system that makes more sense (10/27).
The End Of The Quality Improvement Movement The Journal of the American Medical Association
Instead of trying to fill gaps in knowledge about the epidemiology of quality, the focus should be on developing an epidemiology of value, which contains both measurement of cost and quality, and is applicable to both the developed and developing world. The results of this work would help to distinguish between a level of quality that is a good value and the best available quality that may produce small improvements in health at enormous cost (Robert H. Brook, 10/27).