OpEds: Missouri Vote On Insurance Mandate, Sacramento's 'Rabbit Hole,' Venter On Synthetic Cells

Improving Health Care Las Vegas Sun
A group of organizations with self-funded insurance plans is putting pressure on Southern Nevada's hospitals to improve care. The Health Services Coalition wants better quality and is asking for ideas on how it could provide incentives for good care (5/26).

Jumping Down The Rabbit Hole In Sacramento Los Angeles Times
Although Arnold Schwarzenegger and I don't always see eye-to-eye, he was on to something when he described the Sacramento sausage factory like this: 'Money goes in. Favors go out. The people lose' (Steve Lopez, 5/26). 

Health Care Ballot Issue Displays Missouri's Folly Kansas City Star
If summer vacation plans don't have you excited this year, here's a cheery prospect for Missourians: We get to liven up those dog days of August with a statewide vote on health care reform. ... In a way, the animosity toward the [individual] mandate is puzzling. It’s true that Americans don’t appreciate the government telling them they have to do something. But nor do we generally approve of free riders, those folks who use services like hospital emergency rooms and expect somebody else to pick up the tab (Barbara Shelly, 5/21).

A Shot In The Arm For Medical Integrity The Seattle Times
The long, sordid and destructive tale of Andrew Wakefield continues. The discredited British physician and autism researcher has been banned from practicing medicine in Britain (5/25). 

How We Created The First Synthetic Cell The Wall Street Journal
The digitized DNA information of Mycoplasma mycoides, a simple bacterium, can now be brought to life. To make this happen, our group of 25 researchers had to decipher this bacterium's set of instructions, synthesize them, and then express them in a recipient cell (J. Craig Venter and Daniel Gibson, 5/26).

District's XL Effort In Encouraging Safe Sex Should Be Applauded The Washington Post
About 3 percent of the city's population is HIV positive, and with so many youngsters still having unprotected sex, that number is likely to rise. ... Insights gleaned from the city's youth survey will almost surely help with efforts to prevent STDs and, perhaps more importantly, shore up the resolve of those who would rather abstain from sex.  (Courtland Milloy, 5/26).

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