Viewpoints: Doctors' sway over Medicare pay; hospital rankings not all they seem; legal immigrants' health needs overlooked

Published on July 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM · No Comments

National Journal: The Unprecedented – And Contemptible – Attempts To Sabotage Obamacare
When Mike Lee pledges to try to shut down the government unless President Obama knuckles under and defunds Obamacare entirely, it is not news-;it is par for the course for the take-no-prisoners extremist senator from Utah. When the Senate Republicans' No. 2 and No. 3 leaders, John Cornyn and John Thune, sign on to the blackmail plan, it is news-;of the most depressing variety (Norm Ornstein, 7/24).

Chicago Tribune: Looking Back To 2013
On Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the state's massive Medicaid expansion. With that flick of his pen, 342,000 low-income Illinois citizens will be newly eligible for Medicaid starting in January. State officials also expect as many as 171,000 others who are now eligible but haven't signed up to do so as an Obamacare marketing campaign rolls out. If so, the number of Medicaid recipients would grow from today's 2.8 million to 3.3 million -; more than 1 in 4 Illinoisans. ... We also hope that, a decade or two from now, Illinois citizens don't look back to 2013 and say: What were they thinking? How could the politicians be so willfully blind to the billions that the Medicaid expansion would cost taxpayers? (7/24).

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Much Is At Stake For Minorities In Medicaid Debate
As Pennsylvania decides whether to expand its Medicaid program, a new study says the decision will have a major impact on the state's racial and ethnic minorities. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that 15 percent of African Americans in Pennsylvania are without health insurance and nearly two-thirds of them would qualify for coverage under federal poverty level criteria set out by the Affordable Care Act if Medicaid were expanded (Steve Twedt, 7/25).

Sacramento Bee: Use Health Law To Fight Tooth Decay In Kids
Tooth decay is the most common chronic health problem in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a quarter of kids have decay in their baby teeth by the time they enter kindergarten. Nearly 68 percent of teenagers 16 to 19 have decay in their permanent teeth. The Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity to improve children's access to dental care starting in January 2014 – if the California state health exchange, called Covered California, does things right (7/25). 

The Huffington Post: Decline In Cost Of Health Care In America
Undeniably, over the past several years the singular focus of conversation among policy makers has shifted from simply more care and better quality of care to better value in health care, where value is defined as quality over cost. ... Yet if history is any indicator, as our economy strengthens costs of health care will rise once again. So, last month the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) made 50 bold recommendations on how to sustain the lower growth of health care costs (Dr. Manoj Jain and Dr. Bill Frist, 7/24).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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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