Viewpoints Despair Among Laws Advocates Chamber Is Quiet On High Court Review

first_img Whenever I write about Obamacare’s expansion of health insurance, most of the e-mails I get from readers include some version of: Sure, the premiums may be low, but who can afford to see a doctor? A survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation, tracking 2015 deductibles and copayments across most exchange plans, says those complaints are at least half right. For all but the most generous Obamacare plans, out-of-pocket payments are usually higher than for employer-based insurance — in some cases, drastically so. (Christopher Flavelle, 2/11) An important question that emerges from the rise of the vaccine doubter movement is by what process of persuasion did so many people come to believe what they do about vaccination? They believe the risks of vaccination are much greater than the risk of the diseases it is supposed to prevent. Life without serious disease for the majority is now taken for granted as the natural order. The young don’t sign up for health insurance because they don’t need it. (Daniel Henninger, 2/11) Proposed legislation recently introduced in the Senate arrived with a name that is seemingly hard to argue against: the Homeless Veterans Welcome Home Act. It is a well-intentioned bill meant to provide support for veterans transitioning into permanent housing and to help them acquire furniture and other household items. Unfortunately, this bill is essentially window dressing that would simply leave many deserving veterans out in the cold. (John Downing, 2/11) In 2003, Pence was one of just 19 Republicans to defy the Bush administration’s excruciating pressure and vote against Medicare Part D, the unfunded prescription drug entitlement. So, having demonstrated, as with No Child Left Behind, his conservative credentials, he deserved conservatives’ trust when he responded to Obamacare’s push for expansion of traditional Medicaid by negotiating remarkable concessions from the Obama administration that are a template for nationwide Medicaid reform. (George F. Will, 2/11) The Supreme Court briefs are in, and we can now say that big business backs Obamacare. … But first, a quick observation about interest groups that aren’t urging the destruction of Obamacare.Large corporate lobbying outfits, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, often file “friend of the court,” or amicus, briefs in Supreme Court cases affecting business and the economy. This time, they haven’t joined the assault on Obamacare. The reason can be inferred from the amicus briefs of more narrowly focused insurance and health-care interests that have filed to support the White House. With a significant portion of its constituency urging the justices to leave Obamacare in place, the Chamber couldn’t very well join the attack. (Paul Barrett, 2/11) The New York Times: An Ode To Obamacare Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger: Miss. Medicaid Spending Exceeds National Growth The Washington Post: Why Indiana’s Mike Pence Deserves The Trust Of Conservatives Viewpoints: ‘Despair’ Among Law’s Advocates; Chamber Is Quiet On High Court Review A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. The Wall Street Journal: Vaccines And Politicized Science Gov. Rick Scott should be the only one surprised that the Obama administration will not keep sending more than $1 billion to Florida to help cover hospital costs for the poor and uninsured. A top official from the federal agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid merely confirmed it this week at an Orlando health care conference, ruffling Republican legislators and exposing a big hole in the governor’s proposed budget. That should prod lawmakers to drop their partisan opposition to the Affordable Care Act and accept billions in federal Medicaid expansion money to cover the uninsured and avoid a financial crisis for Tampa General and other hospitals. (2/11) Last April, … CMS said as part of a rule on 2015 Inpatient Prospective Payment System payments that hospitals as of Oct. 1, 2014 must make public either a list of standard charges or policies for allowing members of the public to request and view charges. The agency encouraged hospitals to help patients compare charges for similar services across facilities, and mandated that they update the price information at least annually. … What hospitals are actually disclosing falls far short of actual prices, unfortunately. Following the release of the CMS rule, many hospitals have posted on their websites a page explaining hospital charges and offering information about how patients can obtain price estimates – but not publishing any charges. (Harris Meyer, 2/10) Bloomberg: Big Business Is Backing Obamacare Ahead Of Supreme Court Hearing center_img The New York Times: Quicker Access To Experimental Drugs Modern Healthcare: Why Do We Continue To Tolerate Price Secrecy? The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare Despair Tampa Bay Times: Avoid Crisis And Take Medicaid Money Los Angeles Times: For Veterans, Having A Home Is Not Enough If the law is on your side, the juridical adage goes, argue the law. If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, pound the table. Supporters of ObamaCare have reached the stage of pounding their heads on the table. (James Taranto, 2/11) Let’s sing the praises of Obamacare for a minute. Get back here! I said just for a minute. O.K., it’s not the tidiest law in history. You’re probably still sulking because you wanted something simple and rational, like a single-payer plan. But it’s here, and about 10 million people have health coverage who didn’t have it before. (Gail Collins, 2/12) As one might expect in the poorest state in the union and contrary to much of the rhetoric surrounding the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid spending (adjusted for inflation) has grown by a higher percentage in Mississippi in the last decade than it has nationally. (Sid Salter, 2/11) Bloomberg: Yep, Obamacare Costs A Fortune The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a greatly simplified process for doctors to obtain experimental drugs for patients who are suffering from serious or life-threatening illnesses and have no other alternative. In a breathtaking reduction of red tape, the simplification should reduce the time it takes a doctor to apply for experimental drugs from 100 hours to less than one hour. Their desperately ill patients can only benefit. (2/12) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. 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