Viewpoints: Ebola takes us to 'uncharted waters'; the failure of workplace 'wellness' programs

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The New York Times: What We're Afraid To Say About Ebola
There have been more than 4,300 cases and 2,300 deaths over the past six months. Last week, the World Health Organization warned that, by early October, there may be thousands of new cases per week in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world's public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted waters and that Mother Nature is the only force in charge of the crisis at this time (Michael T. Osterholm, 9/11). 

The Washington Post: The World Yawns As Ebola Takes Hold In West Africa
The United States has the expertise and the personnel to get this outbreak under control. This week there were encouraging signs that the U.S. government was starting to take it more seriously and scale up the response (Richard E. Besser, 9/11). 

The Wall Street Journal: Doctoring In The Age Of Obamacare
It has been four years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, so I thought it may be useful to provide the perspective of a physician providing daily medical care. I am an endocrinologist in Washington, D.C., and have been in solo private practice for 17 years after seven years at an academic institution. Since 1990, the practice of medicine has changed significantly, seldom for the better (Dr. Mark Sklar, 9/11).

The New York Times' The Upshot: Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work? Usually Not
Most news coverage of the new Kaiser Family Foundation annual survey on employer-sponsored health plans has focused on the fact that growth in premiums in 2013 was as low as it has ever been in the 16 years of the survey. But buried in the details of the report are some interesting insights into how employers think about controlling health care costs. One example is that they're very fond of workplace wellness programs. This is surprising, because while such programs sound great, research shows they rarely work as advertised (Austin Frakt and Aaron E. Carroll, 9/11). 

The New York Times' Taking Note: Want An Abortion In Missouri? Wait 72 Hours.
Missouri's Republican-controlled state Legislature on Wednesday imposed a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion, overriding a veto of the measure in July by the state's Democratic governor, Jay Nixon. Governor Nixon criticized the legislation's tripling of the state's 24-hour waiting period as "extreme and disrespectful" to women's rights and well-being. He was especially troubled by the absence of any exception for victims of rape and incest (Dorothy J. Samuels, 9/11). 

The Washington Post: Whatever Its Motive, CVS Does The Right Thing By Ending Cigarette Sales
CVS stopped selling cigarettes last week. The move may be little more than a business calculation for the pharmacy chain. But it is one worth cheering: It makes the sale of cigarettes less ubiquitous, and it shows that, after decades of effort, smoking is getting the stigma it deserves (9/11).

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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