Even as other issues are overtaking the air waves, some opinion writers keep an eye on the health debate.
The New York Times: Trumpcare Is Already Hurting Trump Country
The mere threat that Obamacare will be dismantled or radically changed — either by Congress or by President Trump himself — has persuaded several big insurance companies to stop selling policies or significantly raise premiums. The practical effect is that some lower-income and middle-class families may have no good options for insurance and will have to spend more on health care. (5/19)
Los Angeles Times: Miss USA Spoke For Many Americans When She Said Healthcare Isn’t A Right
[W]e probably shouldn’t be surprised that the person who has most clearly articulated America’s core philosophical belief when it comes to healthcare is our newly crowned Miss USA, Kara McCullough. She was asked at this week’s celebration of swimsuits, evening gowns and womanhood whether she thought “affordable healthcare for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege.” “I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” the 25-year-old answered without hesitation. … Miss USA initially was voicing a position common to many Americans, mostly conservatives — a stance that has prevented the United States from joining all other developed countries in providing its citizens with universal coverage. (David Lazarus, 5/19)
Morning Consult: Despite What You’ve Read, Many Small Businesses Support Obamacare
Now, the latest round of stories on the Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act give the impression that America’s small businesses will be glad to see the ACA go if and when Congress manages to repeal it. While most small business owners agree there are portions of the ACA that can and should be improved, polling shows that a majority of small businesses actually prefer the current law over the GOP replacement plan, and that key provisions of the ACA are helping entrepreneurs succeed. (John Arensmeyer, 5/19)
Medscape: Is Medicaid Only For Those Who ‘Deserve’ It?
I am irritated today. Why? Because we keep getting proposals from Washington that suggest that people ought to work if they want to be eligible for Medicaid. What bothers me about this is that it is a reversion to 19th-century thinking, that the people who deserve healthcare are only those who earn it. This was the attitude when Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, which was a bit biographical in that his own dad was hauled off to debtor’s prison when the author was a child. He bemoaned the idea that only the “deserving” poor should get our aid. (Art Caplan, 5/18)
The New York Times: The Best Replacement For Obamacare Is Medicaid
In defending their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republican leaders in Congress argue that the insurance marketplaces created by the law are failing. They aren’t completely wrong. Trouble began with faulty websites during the rollout in 2013. Since then, enrollment continues to be below expectations. Obamacare plans often have higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses than expected. Some markets, mainly in rural areas, may not attract a single insurer in 2018. And insurers that stay are likely to impose double-digit premium increases. (Michael S. Sparer, 5/18)
Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal: A Country Of The Well, A Country Of The Sick
I am alarmed at many of the ideas underlying the House Republican health care plan and the administration’s proposed budget. Each seems to be driven by an idea that there is an “us” (rich, healthy, young) and a “them” (poor, sick, old). The winners and the losers, each residing in their unchanging, indisputable categories. This cold-blooded social Darwinism is poised to deprive millions of health care, while millions more will find insurance prices prohibitive and go without basic health care, or the astronomical cost of insurance and health care will bankrupt them. According to the logic of this health care plan, it is their own fault for having pre-existing conditions, or being old, or poor. (Sara T. Baker, 5/18)
The Washington Post: My Son Has Down Syndrome. The GOP’s Health-Care Bill Scares Me To Death.
The American Health Care Act scares me. I’m scared for all Americans with disabilities. I’m scared for my family. And I’m particularly scared for my son, who has Down syndrome, because it would take away many of the supports he needs to live his life as a free and independent American citizen. (Allison Wohl, 5/17)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.