Viewpoints: Kasich on what would Reagan do about Medicaid; The need for more doctors

Published on June 6, 2013 at 5:57 AM · No Comments

USA Today: Reagan's Compassionate Medicaid Expansion
Leaders in the states that have decided against expanding (Medicaid) have often invoked Reagan conservatism as the reason to oppose extending Medicaid health care coverage to more people. After all, doesn't (Ronald) Reagan embody modern conservatism? He cut taxes, cut government red tape and fought the growth of entitlements. Yes, he did all those things. However, he also expanded Medicaid, not just once but several times (Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 6/2).

The New York Times' Taking Note: Reagan For Health Care Reform
With many right-wing politicians dead set against expanding Medicaid, the Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, needed cover for going along. Facts and figures and kindness surely weren't enough, what with his colleagues comparing health care reform to a "hostage" situation. But in an op-ed for USA Today he settled on a great excuse: It's what Ronald Reagan would have done (Juliet Lapidos, 6/4). 

The Washington Post Wonkbook: The Terrible Deal For States Rejecting Medicaid
Typically, in politics, there's no guarantee that winning an election will get anything big done. Politicians talk about ending wars and reforming health care, but then they take office, have one meeting with the chairman of the relevant committee, and back off. Here, however, federal law already says Americans making less than 133 percent of poverty are entitled to Medicaid coverage. All that needs to happen is for recalcitrant state governors and legislators to get out of the way. The publicity the benefit will get, the value it has to the target population, and the clear political path to getting that benefit all present an extraordinary organizing opportunity (Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, 6/4).

The Missoulian: Medicaid Expansion: Call A Special Session
Now that the dust has settled, it's time for (Montana) Gov. Steve Bullock to call a special session of the Legislature to finish one of the most important tasks they had this year – Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion is a winning proposition for all of Montana. The obvious winners are those 70,000 Montanans without health insurance earning 138 percent or less of the federal poverty limit who would become eligible for Medicaid. Many of these are the working poor – a family of three making $26,344 a year. But the rest of us will also win and here is how (6/4).

Bloomberg: Why Florida Business Wants Medicaid Expansion
Florida's business community, a bastion of conservatism on most matters, was among those pushing hardest for a state measure that would have adopted a major part of President Barack Obama's federal health-care law. What made the situation unusual was that business wasn't getting its way in a state where it almost always does (Lucy Morgan, 6/3).

Bloomberg: How Michael Douglas Helps The Fight Against HPV
Michael Douglas may have done more for awareness about human papillomavirus than all the education programs health advocates have ever sponsored. The actor revealed this week that his throat cancer was caused by an HPV infection, the result of his having oral sex with an HPV-infected woman. The HPV problem can certainly use the attention. A dozen or so variants of HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease, cause cancer. For people who don't have the virus, vaccines can prevent infection. Yet, the inoculations are underused (6/4).

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Health Care CEO Salaries Outpace Even Health Care Costs
In a way, you can argue that Steven H. Lipstein is severely underpaid. As Jim Doyle of the Post-Dispatch reported Sunday, Mr. Lipstein, the president and CEO of BJC Healthcare, got a million-dollar bump in his compensation package in 2011. He took home a total package of $3.3 million. ... Moral of the story: Don't go to med school, young people. Get a degree in hospital administration. And if you really want to get rich, get into the health insurance business (6/4).

Lund Report: Hospital-To-Hospital Clinical Integration Programs Represent Good Alternative
In many areas of the country, hospital providers are developing Centers of Excellence, Preventive Care, and Service Line Improvement models with other hospitals to provide greater quality care at lower costs. These models generally do not involve the often high costs of an acquisition and its attendant integration costs. There is a recent trend toward even greater coordination by and among non-affiliated hospitals across the board through hospital-to-hospital (H2H) clinical integration (CI). Such programs can obviate the need for hospitals "to be acquired" to compete in today's marketplace, and thus can help stem the tide of increases in healthcare costs (Paul DeMuro, 6/4). 

Sacramento Bee: State Can't Take Risks With County Public Health
Protecting public health is a basic government function. County health officers track illnesses and deaths from West Nile virus to hospital infections to food-borne contamination. They conduct vaccination campaigns and restaurant inspections. They respond to outbreaks and disasters. Unfortunately, this essential public health function is being lost in the budget battle between Gov. Jerry Brown and the counties in the jostling over preparing for the federal Affordable Care Act (6/5).

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Congress Should Address Looming Physician Shortage
That the Affordable Care Act will open the doors to consistent healthcare for more people is a good thing. But it will also make a predicted nationwide shortage of doctors even worse unless steps are taken to increase the number of physicians (Harold Jackson, 6/4).

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