Viewpoints: 'Feud' over health care compact; humane end-of-life care

Kansas City Star: Inside The Feud Over The Kansas Health Care Compact Law
Never has an issue of The Best Times, Johnson County's monthly magazine for seniors, been so eagerly awaited. I know I've been on the edge of my seat. At first the draw was to read the article that had gotten some Kansas legislators so worked up that 11 of them stormed en masse into a meeting to berate the volunteer members of the Johnson County Commission on Aging for writing it. The Legislature last session passed a bill potentially enabling Kansas to shuck off Obamacare and other regulation-laden federal programs and join other states in a "health care compact." Naturally, lawmakers would expect federal money to do this. Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill. Members of the Commission on Aging, who advise county leaders, looked at the new law and found it alarming. They penned their concerns in an article for the October edition of The Best Times (Shelly, 9/25).

The New York Times' Room For Debate: Finding Humane Care At The End Of Life
As the story of Joseph Andrey's last month's shows, many Americans will end their lives in surroundings that only add to their misery. Those who hoped to die in their own beds are often forced into nursing homes, some of which mistreat patients. Even if home care is arranged, it too can be substandard, even abusive. And those who hope for government guidance can find unreliable information (9/25). 

Los Angeles Times: Despite Obamacare, U.S. Healthcare System Still Dysfunctional
Obamacare was supposed to make our healthcare system friendlier to patients, and in many ways it's succeeded. But we still have a long way to go. For almost her entire life, Maria Rogers has been the picture of health. .... In May, however, Rogers was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer of the abdomen. ... Rogers' experience illustrates the challenges we face not just getting affordable healthcare but keeping it while dealing with a life-threatening illness (David Lazarus, 9/25). 

Los Angeles Times: When They Would Rather Let You Die Than Let You Have An Abortion
Have you ever wondered what a world without abortion might actually look like? Let me amend that: There will obviously never be a world without abortion. Have you ever wondered what a world without legal abortion would look like? (Robin Abcarian, 9/25). 

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Behind The Increase In HIV Infections Among Gay And Bisexual Men
Gay and bisexual men represent an estimated 2% of the U.S. population but more than half of all people living with HIV and 66% of new HIV infections. They are the only population group in the United States for which HIV infections are rising. Projections have shown that if current trends continue, half of all gay and bisexual men will be HIV-positive by age 50 (Drew Altman, 9/25).

Baltimore Sun: Primary Care Providers Can Handle Hepatitis C Prescriptions
The release of an extremely costly medicine (sofosbuvir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C illustrates a great number of dilemmas facing health care policy in America: how to appropriately manage our financial resources in caring for populations, how to ascertain which patients will benefit the most from expensive treatments, and even how other countries have gotten the same drugs -; reportedly priced at about $84,000 in the U.S. for one three-month cycle of treatment -; for less (Loftus, 9/25).

Los Angeles Times: No On Proposition 46 Campaign Tries To Start A Hacker Panic
Even by the political world's low standards of truthiness, a new commercial being aired by the No on Proposition 46 campaign is jaw-droppingly deceptive. The proposition would make three major changes in the laws related to the practice of medicine in California. It would quadruple the cap on "pain and suffering" damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, require many physicians to be tested for drug and alcohol use, and force physicians and pharmacists to consult an existing state prescription database before prescribing or distributing certain medications to a patient for the first time (Jon Healey, 9/25).

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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