Opinion writers weigh in on these and other health topics.
The Wall Street Journal: Will Republicans Start Winning On Health Care?
Prices of health care products and services have been rising very slowly in the Trump era. Meanwhile the President’s opponents are embracing increasingly radical plans for the sector. The issue that enabled Democrats to take the House in 2018 may present a challenge for the party in 2020. (James Freeman, 2/14)
Miami Herald: After Parkand, There Were 1,100 Young Gun Deaths In Its Shadow
But a year after the Parkland shooting, U.S. gun-related deaths of children and teens continues, as the Miami Herald/McClatchy/Trace investigation shows. To bring home the enormity of the 1,100 young deaths in 365 days, the report says: “That’s a Parkland every five days, enough victims to fill three ultra-wide Boeing 777s.” (2/14)
Los Angeles Times: As Long As Handguns Are Easily Available, We’ll Have Gun Violence
So far, the primary gun-control legislation advancing in Congress is HR 8, which would extend mandatory background checks to almost all gun acquisitions. The bill would require that all gun sales and transfers, including gifts, be processed by registered gun stores, and it would effectively prohibit handgun ownership by those under 21 — the cohort with the highest suicide rate. These are good steps, but are they enough? There is nothing in my background that would prevent me from buying a gun. And though it’s a long time since I was under 21, my cohort has a pretty high suicide rate, too. (Charles Fleming, 2/15)
The Washington Post: I Understand The Vaccine Doubts. Here’s Why My Children Will Get Them Anyway.
Ten states are battling the spread of measles, the contagious and sometimes lethal childhood disease once bested by vaccines. Washington state, in particular, has declared a state of emergency in response to the rising number of measles cases concentrated in Clark County, where childhood vaccination rates lag behind regional averages. Public-health officials have made special entreaties to residents to get themselves and their children vaccinated as the outbreak has spread. But vaccinating after an outbreak has begun is suboptimal, to say the least; ideally, widespread vaccination should prevent flare-ups of disease from gaining traction in the first place. (Elizabeth Bruenig, 2/14)
Stat: Americans Have The Right To Know Their Health Care, Hospital Costs
Americans are prolific shoppers, constantly on the lookout for the best price for top-quality products and services. If you are searching for a new television, it’s easy to find prices and statistics transparently and prominently displayed at just about every store. Yet when it comes to maintaining our health, very few of us ever know price or quality before receiving a health care service. This is true whether it’s a simple visit to the doctor, a cancer screening, or a knee replacement. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Seema Verma, 2/15)
The Hill: Military Women Need Better Reproductive Care At No Cost
At a recent military conference, an Air Force pilot said that she and her husband, also an Air Force pilot, paid $20,000 to have a family. They call their twins their deployment babies because they used the money they saved from a deployment to pay for in vitro fertilization treatments. This was just one of many similar stories that emerged during a research effort conducted by the Service Women’s Action Network into the reproductive needs of service women and women veterans. Our findings show that military women from all eras have high rates of infertility, yet they receive very little support from the military or the Veterans Health Administration. (Ellen Haring, 2/14)
The New York Times: A Portrait Of Intimate Violence
In a photograph taken in the early 1960s, I’m sitting on the side porch of our rambling Victorian off Hope Street in Providence, with my parents and three sisters and brother. We’d just come home from Sunday school at the First Unitarian Church. We girls are wearing skirts and crisp white blouses, stockings held in place by garters. (Pantyhose, which will shortly arrive on the scene, will seem liberating.) My father and brother have crew cuts and narrow ties; they wear drip-dry polyester shirts — perhaps in genuine Dacron polyester, more likely, some off-brand: with five kids in the family, we pinched pennies. We are smiling, clean, white, well fed, well dressed, cheerful, bright. (Anne Finger, 2/13)
Bloomberg: Health-Care Stocks Defy Market Volatility
Rising demand for health-related products and services, regardless of the economy’s cycle, military conflicts and political firestorms, helps explain why health-care investors can ignore Trump’s daily tweets and his tariffs on trade with Canada, China, Mexico and the EU. They can be confident that aging populations in the U.S. and other countries will keep their money secure. Sixteen percent of the U.S. population was 65 or older in 2018, up from 12.7 percent a decade ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Across the globe, 9.1 percent of the population was 65 or older last year and is projected by the Census to climb to 10.2 percent by 2024, an increase of 2.6 percent since 2009. (Matthew Winkler, 2/15)
Arizona Republic: Hacienda HealthCare Fiasco Could Kill Ducey’s #CutTheRedTape Crusade
These aren’t minor incidents that state government can shove under the rug. These are major mistakes with grave consequences that illustrate how bad things can go when those running government go all-out with lax regulations. (Elvia Diaz, 2/14)
Idaho Statesman: Medicaid Expansion In Idaho: Lawmakers Must Uphold The Voters’ Wishes
The people of Idaho have spoken on access to health care through Medicaid expansion.And they will not rest on this issue until they are sure the Legislature respects the will of the voters.On Monday, Feb. 4, Reclaim Idaho brought volunteers from all over the state to the Capitol in Boise to meet with more than 40 lawmakers. Their message was simple: implement Medicaid expansion the way nearly two-thirds of Idahoans voted for it. (Rep. Muffy Davis, 2/14)
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Medicaid Eligibility Crackdown Pushes Out Genuinely Needy Missouri Families
Missouri Medicaid rolls have been dropping dramatically lately, a phenomenon that state officials say is due to an improving economy. That would be a nice thing to believe, but advocates for the poor say something else is at work: Many of those leaving the system are being expelled by a state eligibility crackdown that’s ensnaring eligible families. (2/14)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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