Los Angeles Times: The Rove Rule: When All Else Fails, Make 'Obamacare' A Dirty Word
The disconnect between what Americans think of most provisions of Obamacare (love them!) and what they think of "Obamacare" (hate it!) has been the most perplexing aspect of rollout of the Affordable Care Act. It's also the aspect most vigorously exploited by Republican opponents of the law. That's not so perplexing, since it's hornbook politics that if you don't have anything substantive to say about an issue, just demonize it (Michael Hiltzik, 9/3).
The Washington Post's Plum Line: Karl Rove Recycles Years-Old Attacks On Obamacare
When Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor made national news by rolling out a major ad campaign touting his vote for the health law, many Republicans -; and some neutral analysts -; rushed to declare that there's no way the politics of Obamacare could be shifting even a little bit. Now Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS is out to prove the point, rolling out a new $2.5 million ad campaign that kicks off with a new anti-Obamacare ad responding to the Pryor spot (Greg Sargent, 9/3).
Los Angeles Times: Rich, Educated And Stupid Parents Are Driving The Vaccination Crisis
The most shocking and disheartening story you'll read in the Los Angeles Times today may be our piece on the stunning decline in vaccination rates among California's kindergarten-age children. Kids are coming to school with immunization exemptions at twice the rate of seven years ago. As my colleagues Paloma Esquivel and Sandra Poindexter document, high rates of "personal belief" exemptions from child immunizations are correlated with high median incomes (Michael Hiltzik, 9/3).
Bloomberg: Want to Quit Smoking Or Lose Weight? Try Major Surgery.
When it comes to health care, less is generally more. That's doubly true of surgery. ... But how little is possible? Often people who get a more invasive surgery do better than people who get some less invasive procedure. Patients may prefer percutaneous coronary intervention -- also known as angioplasty -- to a coronary bypass because it doesn't involve cracking your chest open and grafting things onto your heart. But bypass patients seem to have better long-term outcomes, even though both methods increase blood flow to the heart muscle (Megan McArdle, 9/2).
Raleigh News & Observer/Greensboro News and Record: Another Reason To Expand Medicaid In NC: Rising Cost Of Treating Diabetes
Diabetes is a costly epidemic in North Carolina, and it is rapidly expanding. That's a disturbing finding headlining a report by Harvard University researchers released earlier this year. ... many North Carolinians lack access to medical care or programs that help them reduce risk or manage disease. They recommend a number of policies to improve those conditions. One, already rejected by political leaders, is broadening Medicaid eligibility. This report gives another reason to reconsider (9/3).
New England Journal of Medicine: Sham Controls In Medical Device Trials
When a drug is found, after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to have unacceptably dangerous side effects or insufficient therapeutic benefits to outweigh its risks, patients can discontinue its use. But what if the approved therapy that is later discovered to be ineffective or unsafe is an invasive procedure or an implanted medical device? Patients who have already undergone the procedure were put at unwarranted risk, and ... must decide whether to leave it in their body or incur the risk associated with another procedure in order to remove it. In this sense, medical procedures and devices pose potentially greater harm to patients than drugs do. Approval standards for high-risk medical devices, however, are generally less rigorous than those for pharmaceuticals (Dr. Rita F. Redberg, 9/4).
This 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.