Healthcare as a right has been debated over many years, but is still not in place for all Americans as this country remains an outlier among advanced industrial countries around the world.
The Supreme Court's recent blessing of Obamacare has precipitated a rush among the nation's biggest health insurers to consolidate into two or three behemoths. The result will be good for their shareholders and executives, but bad for the rest of us -- who will pay through the nose for the health insurance we need.
In the words of the Chief Justice Roberts in the majority opinion in the case, "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them." Those words could not be more true.
In King v. Burwell, decided last Thursday, the Supreme Court has once again (no doubt inadvertently) given us a lesson in the philosophy of language. The dispute in the case is over the meaning of the phrase "exchange established by the state." Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, argues that the phrase can and should be read to include an exchange established by the federal government. He explains that "exchange established by the state" is ambiguous because when read in context (as he proceeds to do) it means something different than it does when read in isolation. Justice Scalia retorts that by the logic of such a reading, "everything is ambiguous." That's both right and not right.
The whole King v. Burwell episode is a reminder that we live in a period of highly constrained rationality, where facts are too often on the run, and simple common sense is a cause for celebration.
We all need to accept and build a future where prevention becomes a dominant force. Waiting to get sick before going to the doctor makes no economic sense.
For the first time since they've polled people on the Affordable Care Act, more Americans like Obamacare than dislike it. And an overwhelming majority of citizens like the tax subsidies. Most feel the law works but could be improved with changes. The change they want is different from what opponents are talking about, however.
Traditional Medicare has proven its superiority over any private, market-based alternatives for the last 50 years. It is time to build on this social insurance model as the health care debate continues.
You might think that we learned the lesson of discredited managed care in the 1990s. The term "managed care" is confusing to many, but really amounts to managed reimbursement rather than managed care, whereby a set prospective annual payment is made by federal/state governments, as in the case of Medicaid managed care (MMC), to cover whatever services patients will receive over the coming year.
The tax starts in 2018, but many employers are making changes to their health care plans now to avoid the tax in the future.
Let me put this as politely as I can. David Brooks has taken leave of his senses. There are no Republicans anywhere in this country who could be elected to the U.S. Senate, let alone the House of Representatives, who would ever, ever be part of any kind of bipartisan governing majority led by a Democratic president -- no matter how moderate he or she is.
I think that the momentum for a single payer system will sweep the country . . . it will be such a huge popular issue . . . that even if it's not successful the first time, it will eventually be.
In 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, we knew that new opportunities were emerging for drug users who were disconnected from the traditional healthcare system.
To improve the process of ethical oversight of research, we need to change our attitudes, and recognize far more fully that complicated moral issues, strains and vagaries are involved.
There is broad, bipartisan support to end the medical device tax, and we urge Congress to make this a priority. Doing so would provide a much-needed boost toward innovation and job creation, while protecting the objectives of health care reform.