Viewpoints: Wis. Senate candidates Thompson, Baldwin offer competing views of health law; 'Disturbing lack' of oversight of compounding pharmacies

Published on October 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM · No Comments

The New York Times: Out-Of-Control Compounding Of Drugs
The meningitis outbreak that has sickened at least 119 people and killed 11 of them has laid bare a disturbing lack of regulatory oversight of pharmacies that mix drug compounds and ship them around the country. Unless Congress passes legislation to strengthen the hand of the Food and Drug Administration, the public will continue to be at risk from contaminated products (10/9).

The Washington Post: Stopping The Next Outbreak
The outbreak raises broader policy questions. In 1997, Congress passed legislation establishing state and federal regulation of compounding pharmacies. But the federal role was challenged by some pharmacies in the courts, and it has been caught up in legal wrangling for years. The FDA has attempted to keep watch with "policy guidance" instead of law (10/9).

Los Angeles Times: Romney's Big Bounce 
[O]nce the two candidates met on an equal footing in Denver, many voters were amazed to meet a Romney who seemed like an earnest businessman looking for ways to fix the economy -; a Romney who insisted that, contrary to his previously stated positions, he didn't want to cut taxes for the wealthy, abandon healthcare reform or reduce education spending (issues that polls find especially important to female voters) (Doyle McManus, 10/10).

The Washington Post: What Women Voters Want
Thanks to certain outspoken members/supporters of the GOP, the Democratic Party has been able to capitalize on a fiction created by the Obama campaign -; the alleged "war on women." ... While these incidents and anecdotes provide handy faces for dart practice, they constitute a war on women only if all women find these positions reprehensible. And only if all women care more about contraception and reproductive rights above all other issues, which is not the case (Kathleen Parker, 10/9).

Politico: Election Could Erase Medical Device Tax
Just recently, Cook Medical announced it is scrapping its plans to build five plants that would have created hundreds of jobs because of this new tax in Obamacare. Now as more companies report potential layoffs and plans to outsource good-paying jobs due to this disastrous law, some supporters of Obamacare are changing their tune. A few weeks ago, Indiana's former Senator Evan Bayh called on Congress to repeal the medical device tax even though he was the 60th vote needed to pass the president's health care law that created this tax in the first place (Sen. Dan Coats, 10/10).

The (Madison, Wis.) Capital Times: Moving America's Health Care Reform Forward
Middle class families should have the peace of mind knowing they will have access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of any pre-existing condition. That is just one of the reasons I fought to pass President Obama's Affordable Care Act. It is the right thing to do to allow millions of young people to stay on their parents' health care coverage until age 26 ... I believe seniors should continue to have access to free preventive care, as well as affordable access to prescription drugs under Medicare. About 33 million Americans have already benefited from free preventive health care benefits thanks to Obamacare (Rep. Tammy Baldwin, 10/10).

The Capital Times: Reform Health Care With Wisconsin Common Sense 
Our nation can afford neither Obamacare nor the prior policy, both of which will cause deficits to balloon, businesses to suffer, and families to fear the loss of affordable care. My plan addresses four fundamental flaws of our current system: 1. Over-regulation. 2. The disconnection of economic realities and consumer choices. 3. The lack of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. 4. The lack of market-based solutions (Tommy Thompson, 10/10).

The New York Times' Economic Scene: Cutbacks And The Fate Of The Young
But the nation's growing debt is not the only threat to our children's future. … Right now, the next generation is getting shortchanged all around, with children too often treated as an afterthought in policies meant to appeal to their elders. The United States tolerates the highest rate of child poverty in the developed world. Yet federal expenditures on children -; including everything from their share of Medicaid and the earned-income tax credit to targeted efforts like child nutrition and education programs -; fell 1 percent last year and will fall an additional 4 percent this year, to $428 billion, according to estimates by the Urban Institute based on the Congressional Budget Office's projections (Eduardo Porter, 10/9).

Los Angeles Times: More On Pete Peterson, Deficit Panic And Washington Influence 
Fix the Debt is chaired by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a democrat, and former Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican -- this sort of D.C. garden-party bipartisanship being a hallmark of the Peterson style. The group is encouraging D.C. lawmakers to cut "entitlements" in return for a modest tax increase. ... In case you've forgotten, entitlements are Social Security and Medicare, to which you're entitled because you've paid for them during most of your working life (Michael Hiltzik, 10/9). 

Politico Pro: What Does Health Care Worker Certification Have To Do With Quality?
Escalating health care costs have appropriately focused the attention of both parties on the quality of care Americans receive -; resulting in the increasingly intensive scrutiny of medical treatments and the health care workers who prescribe or deliver them. ... As we've pushed harder on quality metrics, however, we've made an important discovery: All metrics aren't created equal (David A. Shaywitz, 10/10).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): The Places We Live, Work And Play: What's Health Got To Do With It?
Though personal responsibility is a major contributing factor to health, it's difficult to live healthy lives when communities lack infrastructure and facilities that encourage physical activity. That's one of the many reasons the Colorado Health Foundation has joined a growing number of health-oriented groups in promoting and supporting ... a number of projects and initiatives to promote places where it is easier to engage in physical activity and make the healthy choice is the easy choice (Kelly Dunkin, 10/9).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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