Los Angeles Times: Health Law's Ailments Can Be Cured By Single-Payer System
With the Oct. 1 rollout of a major facet of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, you'll be hearing a lot about the glitches, loopholes and shortcomings of this most important restructuring of America's healthcare system in our lifetimes. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind: First, the vast majority of these issues result from one crucial compromise made in the drafting of the 2010 law, ostensibly to ease its passage through Congress. That was to leave the system in the hands of private health insurance companies. Second, there's an obvious way to correct this flaw: The country should progress on to a single-payer system (Michael Hiltzik, 9/10).
Los Angeles Times: House GOP Playing With Fire By Tying Debt Ceiling To Obamacare
How do you try to stop House Republicans from doing something counterproductive and, potentially, politically ruinous to stop the 2010 healthcare law? If you're House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), evidently, it's by proposing something even riskier (Jon Healey, 9/10).
The National Review: The Defund-Obamacare Civil War
A handful of conservative Republicans walked into a meeting with Majority Leader Eric Cantor Monday night anticipating a discussion — an effort to find consensus. What they got instead was a perfunctory heads-up about his plan for the upcoming fight over the "continuing resolution," or CR, a bill to continue funding the government when the current appropriations run out. Under Cantor's plan, the House would pass two different bills, a standard CR and a measure to defund Obamacare. Through parliamentary wizardry, though, the House would keep the Senate from voting on the CR bill until it had also voted on the Obamacare measure (Jonathan Strong, 9/11).
The Wall Street Journal: Stopping ObamaCare Fraud
Every politician claims to hate fraud in government, and the House of Representatives will have a chance to prove it Wednesday when it votes to close a gigantic hole for potential abuse in the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services Department announced in July that it won't verify individual eligibility for the tens of billions in insurance subsidies the law will dole out. Americans are supposed to receive those subsidies based on income and only if their employer doesn't provide federally approved health benefits. But until 2015 the rule will be: Come on in, the subsidy is fine (9/10).
The New Orleans Times-Picayune: Affordable Care Act Needed To Help Stomp Out HIV In The South
There's a fire raging in America's South, but few people are paying attention. More than three decades into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its epicenter has shifted from major metropolitan centers like New York and San Francisco to more rural Southern communities. Today, about half of all new HIV infections occur in the South, despite accounting for barely one-third of the America's total population. ... Given this, it is especially troubling that Southern states are some of the most resistant in the nation to implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, including Louisiana. Not only are state officials perpetuating misinformation about the law and its benefits, but by refusing to implement aspects of the law -- including the Medicaid expansion -- these states are actively impeding the ability of their citizens to access much-need insurance coverage (Paul Kawata, 9/9).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Financial Incentives In Primary Care Practice
It is estimated that 66 percent of total health care spending in the United States is directed toward care for about 27 percent of individuals with multiple chronic conditions. Many policy experts suggest that improving the quality of chronic disease management is a key strategy in controlling costs. Thus, insurers and payers are creating and evaluating incentives to improve the quality of care, including reducing the underuse, overuse, and misuse of clinical services. Pay for performance (P4P) is one of the most common strategies under evaluation, and the types of P4P incentives may vary based on whether it is implemented in a capitated or fee-for-service environment or on the size of the practice (Drs. Rowena J. Dolor and Kevin A. Schulman, 9/11).
The New York Times: The Race to Improve Global Health
International health programs have greatly reduced death and sickness worldwide over the past two decades but there is still a long way to go. The United Nations General Assembly will meet later this month to assess progress — impressive in some areas, halting in others — toward achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and are supposed to be reached by the end of 2015 (9/10).
Baltimore Sun: A Chance To Fix Medicare
More than 1 million men and women in Maryland have one thing in common: They are enrolled in Medicare or Tricare. These programs provide seniors, the disabled and military families the coverage they need to remain healthy and to access the care when they are sick or injured. In Maryland, a number of new health care payment and delivery models are being established to improve patient care and reduce health care costs under the Medicare system, but a broken Medicare payment formula threatens to disrupt the progress of these innovations (Dr. Brian H. Avin and Dr. Ardis D. Hoven, 9/11).
Forbes: Walgreens Buys More Drugstores While Expanding Lab Services For Obamacare
A day after announcing a new relationship to bring quicker lab tests for cholesterol and other conditions into its stores, Walgreen said it would buy a North Carolina-based retail drugstore and specialty pharmacy business. ... To be sure, Walgreen is aggressively expanding into new businesses to increase its presence into the delivery of primary care services. Its competitors, too, like CVS/Caremark and Wal-Mart Stores are also ramping up opening retail clinics (Bruce Japsen, 9/10).