Viewpoints: Romney, Obama offer their 'visions for America;' One liberal wary of Mass. effort on assisted suicide

CNN: President Barack Obama: My Vision For America
Change is an America where we reduce our deficit by cutting spending where we can, and asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the income tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. I've worked with Republicans to cut a trillion dollars of spending, and I'll do more. I'll work with anyone of any party to move this country forward. But I won't agree to eliminate health insurance for millions of poor, elderly, or disabled on Medicaid, or turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut (Barack Obama, 11/1).

CNN: Mitt Romney: My Vision For America
We will restore fiscal sanity to Washington by bringing an end to the federal spending and borrowing binge that in just four years has added more debt held by the public than almost all previous administrations combined. We will put America on track to a balanced budget by eliminating unnecessary programs, by sending programs back to states where they can be managed with less abuse and less cost, and by shrinking the bureaucracy of Washington (Mitt Romney, 11/2).

The Washington Post: The Choice
Obama's intention has always been to re-normalize, to reverse ideological course, to be the anti-Reagan -; the author of a new liberal ascendancy. Nor did he hide his ambition. In his February 2009 address to Congress he declared his intention to transform America. This was no abstraction. He would do it in three areas: health care, education and energy. ... And it wasn't just rhetoric. He enacted liberalism's holy grail: the nationalization of health care. His $830 billion stimulus, by far the largest spending bill in U.S. history, massively injected government into the free market -; lavishing immense amounts of tax dollars on favored companies and industries in a naked display of industrial policy (Charles Krauthammer, 11/1). 

Journal of the American Medical Association: Voting With The Weight Of 32 Million
Next Tuesday, each of us has a chance to make our vote count 32 million times. What I mean by that is a vote for reelecting President Obama will ensure that 32 million uninsured people gain coverage as promised under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A vote for the challenger, Governor Mitt Romney, endorses his commitment to overturn the coverage expansion, insurance regulations, reforms in the health care delivery system, and public health strategies that are the foundation of the law (Dr. Andrew Bindman, 11/1).

Kansas City Star: Some Food For Thought For Voters
Just when we need to be building a new economic engine, governments around the world find themselves hamstrung by previously planned spending and debt. Governments are recognizing that they've over-promised pension benefits. And that health care costs for aging populations will soon begin to starve out other budgetary needs. Many countries are either cutting back now, or like the United States, seriously debating about how and how much to slow the growth of spending in the coming decades. Voters, too, are coming to a scary realization: They now know they won't be able to count so much on governmental help in their older years (Keith Chrostowski, 11/2).

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Could Simply Voting – For Obama Ot Rommney – Impact A Community's Health
During these final days leading up to the election, I find myself more and more aware of the barrage of television advertisements, political commentary and tightening polls. ... And as an observer from the perspective of public health, I began to wonder what, if anything, participation in voting might have to do with people's well-being, apart from the critical and contentious debate about the Affordable Care Act. ... we should agree that greater, not lesser, voter participation is good for the health of us all. And, whatever our political affiliations, we should go to the polls on Tuesday empowered by evidence that doing so is not only good for the democratic process but may be critical for the future health of our communities and our country (John Rich, 11/2).

The Washington Post: Liberals Should Be Wary Of Assisted Suicide
The Death with Dignity movement has done enormous good by calling attention to problems in our medical system. It often did a poor job of pain management and so emphasized medical concerns, in the narrowest sense, that it dehumanized the final months of life for many terminally ill patients. Because of pressure from the Death with Dignity movement, there have been marked improvements on both fronts. And we need to continue moving forward. On the issue of pain, I believe in the need to continue drawing a bright line between risking a patient's death by prescribing heavy doses of pain medication, and killing a patient outright. Some might dismiss this distinction as forced, but it isn't. In particular, making this distinction helps us avoid compromising the doctor's role as a healer (E.J. Dionne Jr., 11/1). 

The Wall Street Journal: A Parable Of Health-Care Rationing
Ion Beam Applications is now the world's leading purveyor of equipment for proton therapy, a form of particle radiation designed to treat tumors aggressively while sparing more healthy tissue than in other forms of radiation. The U.S. has 11 such centers in operation-;more than any other country. Eight of them were designed, built and installed by IBA. But Mr. Legrain's American dream is in doubt, particularly as it relates to high-cost medical innovation. ... Proton therapy can cost more than twice as much as the methods it is replacing, and it is already being scrutinized as Americans prepare to put more health care on the public tab (Anne Jolis, 11/1). 

Health Policy Solutions: Obamacare Saved Consumers $2.1 Billion in 2012
For most Americans, when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, the proof is in the pudding: Will it make health care more affordable? Will it save me money? Here's a number: $2.1 billion. That's the amount saved in 2012 by consumers because of two provisions of the ACA, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That's money in the pocketbook for millions of Americans, and it supports the notion that insurance premiums can be better managed (Bob Semro, 11/1).

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.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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