Opinion writers focusing on expanding health care to more Americans and other issues.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: One In Four Children Have Immigrant Parents. Should They Go Without Health Care?
New federal regulations say that using too many public benefits could keep foreign-born parents from permanent residency and a path to citizenship. The fear and confusion surrounding this new “public charge” policy may cause immigrant parents to go without health care assistance, like Medicaid coverage, for themselves and their children — even though they qualify because of low household incomes and because they are, in fact, U.S. citizens. According to the Urban Institute, nearly 90% of children born to immigrant parents are U.S. citizens. More than 60% of children born to immigrant parents have at least one parent who is a citizen. (Andy Carter, 12/3)
The Washington Post: Biden And Buttigieg Say You Can Keep Your Health-Care Plan. They’re Lying — Just Like Obama.
In 2009, President Barack Obama promised that under Obamacare, “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” Millions of Americans believed him, and millions of Americans lost their health-care plans. Obama’s promise was a lie and his administration knew it. As Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber later explained, “the stupidity of the American voter … was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”Well, apparently some Democrats still think you are stupid. Because a decade later, they are at it again. (Marc A. Thiessen, 12/3)
Chicago Tribune: Health Care Pricing Is Getting More Transparent, Finally
In today’s information age, the average person can empower himself or herself with knowledge like never before. But there is one notable exception: Most Americans have no idea what a health care service costs before they get it. If we expect to lower health care costs, that must change. Companies in every other industry compete for consumers on the basis of cost and quality. Decisions made by informed consumers drive companies to deliver the products people want at prices they can afford. (Seema Verma, 12/3)
Boston Globe: Choosing A Plan From The Impossible Health Care Maze
In this highly partisan political moment, there’s one issue that nearly every American can agree on: Our health care system is a mess and in need of dramatic overhaul. That’s not just because it is absurdly expensive compared to other developed countries. It’s also because the system is so dauntingly complex. That complexity derives in large part because the health care system has been driven significantly by profit, rather than by measures of health. (Elisabeth Rosenthal, 12/4)
The Hill: Reducing Maternal Mortality In Rural America
Women who live in rural areas of the United States are more likely to die from pregnancy-related deaths than urban women, although two thirds of these deaths are preventable. As former governors, we have seen firsthand how access to maternal health care is a major challenge in rural communities. We also know the situation will only worsen in the coming years if no action is taken at the federal level to address hospital closures, workforce shortages, and payment structure issues. (Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, 12/3)
Stat: U.S. Continues To Lead The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
One of the greatest threats to public health today, in the United States and around the world, isn’t a new exotic hazard. It’s antibiotic resistance: the potential failure of one of our most important and well-known disease-fighting tools. The latest Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that antibiotic-resistant (AR) infections — when germs defeat the drugs designed to kill them — cause more than 35,000 deaths each year in the United States. (Secretary of HHS Alex Azar and Director of CDC Robert Redfield, 10/4)
Bloomberg: Astellas Deal For Audentes Is Gene Therapy Vote Of Confidence
Gene therapies — treatments that replace faulty genetic code to fight deadly diseases — are still in their infancy. Just two have been approved in the U.S. so far. But they got a big vote of confidence after the close of U.S. trading Monday when Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. announced it was buying Audentes Therapeutics Inc., a Bay Area developer of gene therapies, for $3 billion. The acquisition is a gamble for Astellas. It’s paying a substantial 110% premium over Audentes’s closing stock price on Monday, and the deal could constrain its ability to buy anything else of significance. And while there’s been a lot of progress in gene therapy — some treatments look like potential cures — no company has proved it can turn promise into sustained commercial success yet. Still, it may be worth the risk. (Max Nisen, 12/3)
Los Angeles Times: Addicted Mothers Like Chelsea Becker Deserve A Break, Not Prison
I had conflicting reactions to the story of Chelsea Becker, the 25-year-old Hanford, Calif., meth addict who delivered a stillborn baby boy in September: revulsion, sadness, pity, sympathy. An autopsy showed that the baby, Zachariah, had what prosecutors allege were “toxic levels” of methamphetamine in his system. Becker is now in jail on suspicion of murdering him. My colleague Alexandra Wigglesworth, who reported the story, visited Becker in jail, where she’s being held in lieu of $5 million bail. “I didn’t kill my baby,” Becker sobbed during their visit. “I wish it could have been me instead.” (Robin Abcarian, 12/3)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.