Editorial pages focus on these health topics and others.
The Washington Post: Arkansas’s Medicaid Experiment Has Proved Disastrous
This summer, Arkansas became the first state to require poor people to prove they’re employed to receive Medicaid. Critics say the state is trying to save money on the backs of the poor. That’s nonsense, Arkansas officials reply. They want to help the poor. Backed by the Trump administration, they are inspiring slackers and moochers to climb the economic ladder. (Catherine Rampell, 11/19)
Los Angeles Times: Tobacco And Alcohol Companies Have To Post Warnings About Their Products. Why Do Gun Vendors Get A Pass?
In California, businesses that sell products containing known carcinogens must post “clear and reasonable” warnings about the danger of exposure consumers face (remember that brouhaha about coffee?). Look at the side of a can of beer and you find a label warning that “drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects.” Ditto for tobacco products.But in Washington state, the King County Board of Health (think Seattle) has gone one better about a consumer product with a much more immediate risk of death. It recently ordered all gun vendors in the county to post signs warning of the increased risks of danger from possession of a firearm. The signs read: “Warning: The presence of a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide, homicide, death during domestic violence disputes and unintentional deaths to children, household members and others.” (Scott Martelle, 11/19)
Miami Herald: Gun Violence Has Become An Issue Of Public Health
I called this an American epidemic because it is not a worldwide pandemic. In the last two years, more Americans have died from firearm violence in their homes and communities than died in combat or from terrorism. More, in fact, than were killed in the decade-long Vietnam War. In 2016 alone (the most recent year of reported data), 37,000 people were killed in the United States by firearms. (In 2017, there were more gun deaths by suicide than by homicide in the United States. The numbers have grown steadily over the past quarter century. (Peter Gorski, 11/19)
The Detroit News: To Drain The VA Swamp, Trump Must First Wade Into It
President Trump campaigned on cleaning house at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He pledged to fire inept and corrupt bureaucrats and give veterans greater choice in their health care. …To translate his campaign promises into reality, President Trump needs people who agree with his vision for the VA — not civil servants who were there before he took office and will be there after he leaves. (Bob Carey, 11/19)
Stat: 6 Lessons From The Fight To Reform Pay For Primary Care Physicians
I have had the fortune — both good and bad — of being at the forefront of reforming physician reimbursement as an advocate for physicians. I’ve worked on models spanning private practice, group employment, faculty practice plans, and independent physician associations. It’s been a bruising journey. (Andrew M. Snyder, 11/20)
Bloomberg: Peanut Allergy Remedy Offers Hope And Risk
Food allergies alter lives and can have deadly consequences. That’s one of the reasons that full results of a study of Aimmune Therapeutics Inc.’s peanut allergy treatment, published Sunday in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, are so exciting. The findings validated and fleshed out details of the study that were first released in February. The key takeaway: After a year of treatment, two-thirds of children who took the medication were able to eat small amounts of peanuts. This isn’t a cure. But it has a shot at U.S. government approval, and could make the lives of children with few options easier and safer. That gives the medicine huge commercial potential. (Max Nisen, 11/19)
The Hill: Talking Points And Health-Care Restrictions Prevent People From Enrolling In ACA
Open-enrollment for marketplace health insurance began at the beginning of this month and with open-enrollment each year come the falsehoods and inaccuracies from the anti-choice movement.These inflammatory talking-points have been going around since the Affordable Health care Act was passed in 2015. Chief among these false talking points is the argument that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides federal subsidies for abortions — it is a blatant lie. (Julie A. Burkhart, 11/19)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.