Viewpoints: GOP attacks on health law; challenging assumptions about Obamacare politics; is employer mandate worth it?

Published on May 16, 2014 at 4:46 AM · No Comments

Los Angeles Times: The Dirty Truth About The GOP Attack On Obamacare: It Worked
A crucial component of the Republican Party's assault on the Affordable Care Act always has been ignorance -- that is, the promotion of ignorance about the ACA's benefits among the general population. Now, from the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., comes hard evidence that the campaign worked, bigtime. In its latest national survey to determine how the healthcare reform act has been working, McKinsey found that the perceived cost of health insurance still was the No. 1 reason given by respondents for not enrolling (Michael Hiltzik, 5/14). 

The Washington Post's The Plum Line: Time To Revisit Conventional Wisdom About Politics Of Obamacare 
The initial conventional wisdom about the Arkansas Senate race -; that incumbent Mark Pryor is the nation's preeminent Dead Dem Walking -; is rapidly getting revised in the wake of new polls showing him ahead of GOP Rep. Tom Cotton. So perhaps, in the context of the Arkansas race, it's also worth revisiting the conventional wisdom that Obamacare is nothing but a hideous liability for Democrats, and can only shower Republicans with political gold from now until election day (Greg Sargent, 5/14).

news@JAMA:  Time To Reconsider The ACA's Employer Mandate?
Businesses have collectively issued a sigh of relief with each delay. They really don't like the employer mandate. For many of them, it will cost a lot of money to provide qualifying insurance, especially high-volume, low-wage employers (think restaurant chains) that would have to pay a penalty if any of their workers purchase health insurance through an exchange and receive a subsidy because of their low earnings. ... Many economists hate the mandate as well (Aaron Carroll, 5/14). 

The New York Times: The AIDS-Shaming Of Magic Johnson 
Let's start here: Contracting H.I.V. (or AIDS) is not evidence of a character defect. It is simply a disease and should be treated as such. The way that so many people, like Sterling, seem to separate out and shun people with communicable diseases -; particularly sex-related ones -;is outrageous and mustn't be tolerated and glossed over (Charles M. Blow, 5/14).

USA Today: If 'Clean,' Big Data Can Improve U.S. Health
Less medical privacy may be good for your health. A growing body of research has found that information Americans share on social media websites about their health and lifestyle is more up to date and accurate than what they share with doctors, employers, insurance companies and government agencies (John Shinal, 5/14). 

USA Today: Your DNA Enters The Digital Age
Biomedical research is at this amazing juncture, where questions that we thought we dared not ask a decade ago are now possible to ask and answer. Whether we're talking about neuroscience and the effort to understand how the human brain works; whether it's the ability to completely read out the script of a cancer cell and understand what's driving it to misbehave; whether it is the ability to develop vaccines for infectious diseases like influenza that would not require an annual shot; or whether it's the transformation of one-size-fits-all medicine into personalized medicine (Interview with Francis Collins, 5/14). 

The Wall Street Journal: Burwell's ObamaCare Promises
Sylvia Mathews Burwell is waltzing toward confirmation as the new Health and Human Services secretary, with for some reason only perfunctory scrutiny from Republicans. They did at least occasionally interrupt the bipartisan lovefest that was her Senate hearing on Wednesday to extract a substantive commitment or two. Ms. Burwell is the White House budget director whose credential for the HHS job is that she is a technocrat. She's about to become the CEO of ObamaCare and Medicare, but she's skating by on her reputed competence and content-free platitudes (5/14).


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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