Viewpoints: Are Waivers Weakening Health Law?; Ill. 'Dangerous Docs'; Arizona Transplants

Minnesota Public Radio: President Shouldn't Back A Proposal To Weaken The Health Reform Law 
[I]t is irresponsible for the feds to dole out hundreds of millions without the assurance of insurance, payment and system reform, as well as universal coverage. That's the problem with Republican proposals to use a "block grant" approach in giving Medicaid dollars to the states to do with as they will. ... The president should use his precious time to encourage the law's implementation as soon as possible in areas of the country that are already on this road -- like our own Upper Midwest -- not to coddle his political enemies (David Durenberger, 3/8).

Kaiser Health News: Wyden-Brown And The Health Law: A Match Made In Heaven Or Limbo?
When the Wyden-Brown legislation was first introduced last November, the reaction was muted. Since then, only Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has joined Wyden as a Democratic co-sponsor, and Brown has attracted zero of his Republican colleagues. Sanders, who also supports moving up the date to 2014 to help Vermont set up its own single-payer plan, has filed a bill to accomplish the same objective. Now they have President Obama on board. What's behind the bipartisan reticence of the rest? (John McDonough, 3/8).

Roll Call: Consider Effects Of Cuts On Health, Security
Food safety and drug approval are among many areas where cuts, if they occurred, would have counterproductive impact... Here is what the Senate ought to do between now and March 18, when the CR extension runs out: Do a real debate, program by program, on the cuts proposed by the House Republicans. Move the dialogue from one focused on reducing debt and deficits — a phony debate when it relies almost entirely on immediate cuts in one-half of one-eighth of the budget — and direct it to the real impact on programs and the perverse impact on spending (Norman Ornstein, 3/9).

McClatchy / The Kansas City Star: Planned Parenthood — One Man's View
Congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood sparked a perspective only a man could add. ... I wrote recently of my tempered support for the organization, despite my opposition to abortion. My reasoning is that by ensuring women access to contraception, Planned Parenthood probably keeps abortion rates down by preventing unwanted pregnancies. ... Jeff Munzinger e-mailed of his life-changing encounter with Planned Parenthood — emphasis on life (Mary Sanchez, 3/9).

The Arizona Republic: Arizona Must Help Save Lives
There is no defensible reason for Arizona to continue denying coverage for nearly 100 people whose lives are at stake... [Gov.] Brewer and the Legislature argue that Arizona can't afford them. But lawmakers are rushing through an emergency bill to give Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu $5 million from the general fund to buy equipment and supplies for deputies for border security. The vaguely worded bill is virtually a blank check ... That's far more than the estimated $1.4 million it would take to restore this year's transplant funding, which would also draw a federal match of 2-1 (3/9). 

Chicago Tribune: Stop Dangerous Docs 
Late last year, state lawmakers moved to prevent doctors from preying on patients. But their proposed bills, none of which passed, wouldn't have clamped down hard enough on predator doctors. A doctor convicted of a sex crime against a patient — or anyone else — should automatically and permanently lose his license to practice medicine (3/8).

 

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