Wednesday's OpEds: Berwick nomination; Health reform costs and benefits; Medicaid and COBRA in jobs bill

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The Elephant in the Room: Health Reform Fog is Lifting  The Philadelphia Inquirer
As its real costs become clearer, Obama's program is looking even more expensive for employers, seniors, and taxpayers (Rick Santorum, 6/16).

Congress Must Restore Health Care, Insurance Provisions of Jobless Bill The [Tacoma Washington] News Tribune
In the coming days, Congress will act on critical legislation that will affect the 325,000 workers in Washington who've been left unemployed during this recession. … One provision, FMAP (Federal Medical Assistance Percentage), brings federal dollars to the state for Medicaid costs. ... The other would continue a 65 percent bump to COBRA health care benefits that help about 3,500 Washingtonians scrape by on unemployment (Remy Trupin, 6/16).

O's radical pick for Medicare The New York Post
Controversy is mounting over Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama's nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid -- and for good reason. Berwick's writings reveal that he would make radical changes -- seniors beware (Betsy McCaughey, 6/16).

Dangerous to our Health  The Boston Globe
If Obama is as opposed to a government-ruled health sector as he claims, why has he nominated Dr. Donald Berwick as director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services — far and away the nation's largest health-insurance programs, at a cost of nearly $1 trillion — a man who openly adores Britain's socialized health care? (Jeff Jacoby, 6/16).

The Unmet Promise Of Obamacare  Forbes
The number one question on my patients' minds as the new health reform bill passed was whether they would be able to keep their current health care plan, like the president promised. … Unfortunately, it's a resounding no (Dr. Marc Siegel, 6/15).

Congress Should Let States Handle Their Own Labor Relations  The Washington Post
Many public employees have been promised pay, pensions and health benefits that tax bases cannot sustain even in good times. As a result, voters and political leaders of both parties are rethinking the costs and benefits of public-sector unionism. Except in Congress, it seems (6/16).

A Scorecard For Health  wbur.org
TBF and NEHI have designed a scorecard that will measure the effectiveness of the coalition's prevention efforts against the goals of fostering healthy weight, reducing preventable chronic illness and, ultimately, achieving better value for our health care dollars (Valerie Fleishman, 6/15).

Arizona's Immigration Law and Health Care  The Denver Post
Amid all the discussions of the legislation - including the marginalization of the Latino culture and society - few have noted its impact on health. Arizona S.B. 1070 will decrease health care usage, leading to increase public medical care spending, worse health outcomes, and lower immunization rates (Paul Cheung, 6/16).


Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.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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