Viewpoints: Finding A Plan For 'Tinkering With DNA'; Fact-Checking Claims Of ACA Losses; Pediatricians' Fears Of Retail Clinics

Los Angeles Times: When Tinkering With Our DNA, Researchers Should Take It Slow
The manipulation of human genes could lead to profound advances in our ability to cure or prevent terrible diseases. But in some cases, it might also mean introducing genetic material that could be passed from one generation to the next, changing the human gene pool in a manner that could inadvertently harm peoples' health. Such "inheritable" DNA is a hotly debated issue among bioethicists, and one that an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration will review Tuesday and Wednesday as it considers whether human trials should be allowed for a new therapy that could prevent a rare but devastating inherited disorder (2/25).

The New York Times: Genetically Modified Babies
An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to begin two days of meetings tomorrow to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step. These techniques would change every cell in the bodies of children born as a result of their use, and these alterations would be passed down to future generations (Marcy Darnovsky, 2/23). 

Los Angeles Times: Who Really Cost Mrs. Blackwood Her Cancer Medicine?
Stephen J. Blackwood is utterly, unalterably convinced that his mother has lost access to her cancer medicine because of Obamacare. That's the theme of his passionate op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. The piece currently tops the most-read list over at the Journal website and has shot around conservative websites with the speed of a measles virus in an unvaccinated population. Since we recently expressed perplexity about how easy it is to debunk most (if not all) Obamacare horror stories being retailed by Republicans and other critics of the Affordable Care Act, it's only fair to take a look at this one (Michael Hiltzik, 2/24). 

The Virginian-Pilot: The Fierce Urgency Of Now
As both a practicing physician and a policymaker, my support for Medicaid expansion is no secret. It is a simple fact that one's quality of life significantly improves with access to affordable health care. Imagine your child had a fever of 105 and was not able to be seen by a provider, or that you had to decide between paying rent and refilling a life-saving prescription. Hundreds of thousands of working Virginians make these choices on a daily basis (Va. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, 2/25).

Los Angeles Times: Want An America That Works? Innovate, Don't Regulate.
Down with stakeholders. The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out against affordable healthcare for kids. Retail medical clinics — at drugstores, Wal-Marts, etc. — are cropping up across the nation, thanks in part to the expected longer waiting times and out-of-pocket expenses stemming from Obamacare. And the pediatricians don't like it. "While retail clinics may be more convenient and less costly, the AAP said they are detrimental to the concept of a 'medical home,' where patients have a personal physician who knows them well and coordinates all their care," reported the Wall Street Journal. You say "medical home," I say locked-in customers. Tomayto-tomahto (Jonah Goldberg, 2/24).

Los Angeles Times: The Rights Of The Unvaccinated Child: The Legal View
In light of what's starting to look like a surge of measles cases spread by unvaccinated carriers, Hastings Law professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss offers some welcome insights into the legal rights of unvaccinated children (Michael Hiltzik, 2/24). 

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