Editorial pages focus on these health topics and others.
The New York Times: A Better Path To Universal Health Care
As a Canadian living and studying health policy in the United States, I’ve watched with interest as a growing list of Democratic presidential candidates — Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker — have indicated support for a Canadian-style single-payer plan with little or no role for private insurance. Approval of such a system has become almost a litmus test for the party’s progressive base. But rather than looking north for inspiration, American health care reformers would be better served looking east, across the Atlantic. (Jamie Daw, 2/20)
Miami Herald: Medical Community Must Sound Alarm About Climate Change’s Negative Effects On Health
Hearing that 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record reminded me of a family I visited a few years earlier.I was with the medical and nursing students of FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine NeighborhoodHELP, which provides home healthcare visits to Miami’s underserved communities. This household visit was supposed to be like any other. But when I stepped out of my car in Little Haiti and felt the stifling June heat coming off of the pavement, I knew, unfortunately, what to expect. (Cheryl L. Holder, 2/20)
Los Angeles Times: As Age-Obsessed Billionaires Turn To ‘Vampire’ Therapies, The FDA Takes A Stand
The federal government finally took a stand this week on vampires feasting on the blood of the young. It’s against the practice. Actually, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about older people injecting themselves with the blood plasma of young donors — a fringe therapy that’s marketed as a way to fight aging and a variety of illnesses, including dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. (David Lazarus, 2/20)
Miami Herald: Trump Wants To End HIV Transmission By 2030. That Means, He Should Withdraw Proposal That Undercuts Treatment.
Currently, Medicare Part D has six “protected classes” of medications, which includes antiretroviral drugs used to manage HIV. People living with HIV are able to access this life-saving treatment without insurance interference. Under the Trump administration’s proposal, insurance companies would be able to create bureaucratic hoops through which people living with HIV and their doctors would have to jump before getting the treatment best for them. (Nadine Smith and Alejandro Acosta, 2/19)
Los Angeles Times: Health Insurers Are Exacting Their Revenge For The GOP’s Sabotage Of Obamacare
It turns out that the federal government cannot, in fact, order individuals or businesses to do something, then refuse to pay for it. Who knew? Several cases working their way through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims illustrate this point. One set involves the Affordable Care Act mandate that insurers reduce the out-of-pocket payments for lower-income customers buying policies on the Obamacare exchanges. The act also requires the federal government to reimburse insurers for these discounts, and here’s where the fire started. (Jon Healey, 2/20)
Salt Lake Tribune: Prop 3 Repeal Is A Cruel Lie To The People Of Utah
The Utah Legislature, assisted by an overly meek governor and a stunningly silent medical establishment, has shown us all what it thinks is important: Having a state where far too many people have no access to health care. (2/20)
Des Moines Register: Iowa Should Abolish Its Tampon Tax; Too Many Women Can’t Afford Them
This year, the Iowa Legislature will have a chance to do right by some 1 million women in Iowa by passing a bill to exempt the sale of feminine hygiene products and diapers from sales taxes.It comes as no surprise to women that feminine hygiene products are essential, not a luxury item. Yet tampons and pads are subject to sales tax, making them difficult to access for women on limited budgets. They are also ineligible for families on WIC or SNAP assistance programs, forcing women and girls to make choices that can threaten their health or force them to stay home from school. (Andrea Cohen, 2/20)
Columbus Dispatch: Anti-Choice Lawmakers Start New Fight They Won’t Win
So here’s another reason why it’s important to pay attention to what happens in your state capital.Last week, two Pennsylvania state lawmakers — both Republicans — fired the opening rounds of the 2019 culture war, announcing plans to reintroduce legislation that would ban abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. (John L. Micek, 2/20)
Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky Abortion Battle: Louisville Woman Tells Her Story
Politicians tell voters their voice matters. But at times like this, it’s clear only certain voices are heard and respected by the majority party in our General Assembly. Two bills that would eviscerate a woman’s ability to make her own informed decisions about health care are rocketing through the 2019 General Assembly. House Bill 148 would criminalize all abortions in Kentucky if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Senate Bill 9 would criminalize abortion at 6 weeks gestation, which is before many women even know they are pregnant. (Kim Greene, 2/20)
San Francisco Chronicle: California Lags In Seizing Weapons From Owners On Banned List
California, with some of the toughest laws in the nation, faces an Illinois-scale problem. Since 2013 state authorities are directed to seize firearms from people with criminal convictions and mental health problems. At that time, the forbidden list totaled 20,000, but it’s only been whittled down to 9,000 through the administrations of two state attorneys general, Kamala Harris, who is now a U.S. senator and running for president, and Xavier Becerra, who now holds office. (2/29)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.